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1979-1990 Anime Primer
Galaxy Express 999 (1979)

In the future, steam trains travel the universe, lawless space pirates are the stuff of legend, and the rich trade in their flesh and blood bodies for cold, immortal steel. Tetsuro, a street urchin on Earth, longs for a machine body in order to take vengeance on the villainous Count Mecha who killed his mother for sport years before. To do that, he must hitch a ride on the eponymous Galaxy Express 999, the only train making stops at the planet rumored to give these bodies away for free. After a failed attempt at stealing a boarding pass, Tetsuro encounters the beautiful and mysterious Maetal, who offers him a ticket in exchange for his company. As they make their way through space, Tetsuro finds himself learning many hard-earned lessons about the nature of the human spirit…

Galaxy Express 999
is a film adaption of Leiji Matsumoto’s (Captain Harlock, Interstella 5555) long-running manga series, directed by the visually inventive Rintaro (Harmagedon, Neo-Tokyo). A far cry from hard sci-fi, the audience is presented with a romantic take on interstellar travel that is heavily influenced by classic Westerns. The narrative, too, is sentimental, espousing at length the values of dreams, freedom and the fleetingness of life. But like much of Matsumoto’s work, Galaxy Express 999 strikes a chord, and as the catchy theme song suggests, it’s hard to keep it from whisking you away onto a journey to the stars.

Galaxy Express 999 is currently available on DVD courtesy of Discotek.


Some killer titles for the curious (and legal) anime fan:

AKIRA (in Japanese) Katsuhiro Otomo

PRINCESS MONONOKE (Neil Gaiman scripted dub) Hayao Miyazaki

MEMORIES Katsuhiro Otomo

GHOST IN THE SHELL (original in Japanese) Mamoru Oshii

JIN ROH (in Japanese) Hiroyuki Okiura

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER (in English) Mamoru Oshii, Rumiko Takahashi

WINGS OF HONNEAMISE (in Japanese) Gainax

BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE (in Japanese) Hiroyuki Kitakubo

COWBOY BEBOP (in English)  Shinichirō Watanabe

THE GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (In Japanese) Hayao Miyazaki

FUTURE BOY CONAN (in Japanese) Hayao Miyazaki

GALAXY EXPRESS 999 (in English) Leiji Matsumoto

KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (in English or Japanese) Hayao Miyazaki

VAMPIRE HUNTER D (Original, in Japanese) Hideyuki Kikuchi 

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (in Japanese or English) Hayao Miyazaki

NINJA SCROLL (in English or Japanese) Yoshiaki Kawajiri

WICKED CITY (in English or Japanese) Hideyuki Kikuchi 


PARANOIA AGENT (English or Japanese) Satoshi Kon

PERFECT BLUE (in Japanese) Satoshi Kon

TOKYO GODFATHERS (in Japanese) Satoshi Kon

THE END OF EVANGELION (in Japanese) Gainax

PAPRIKA (in Japanese) Satoshi Kon

TOKYO GODFATHERS (in Japanese) Satoshi Kon

SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN (in Japanese) Ryutaro Nakamura

METROPOLIS (in English or Japanese) Osamu Tezuka Remake

SPIRITED AWAY (in Japanese) Hayao Miyazaki

NAUSSICA VALLEY OF THE WIND (in Japanese) Hayao Miyazaki

Some of these titles are originally for younger audiences, but are listed because their merit and/or vintage also appeals to mature audiences. 


Seiyuu Spotlight
Masako Nozawa 野沢 雅子

Birthdate/place: Oct 25, 1936 in Tokyo, Japan.

Most notable roles:

  • Son Goku, Son Gohan, Son Goten, Bardock in Dragon Ball series
  • Kitaro in GeGeGe no Kitaro series
  • Tetsuro Hoshino in Galaxy Express 999
  • Kintaro in Urusei Yatsura
  • Hiroshi in Dokonjo Gaeru
  • Tom Sawyer in Tom Sawyer no Bouken
  • Dr. Kureha in One Piece
  • Hiroshi Suzuishi (Pidge) in Hyakujuu-Ou GoLion (Voltron)

Other relevant roles:

  • Willy in Mitsubachi Maya no Bouken (Maya The Bee)
  • Guilmon in Digimon series
  • Doraemon in Doraemon (Ep. 14-52, 1973 series)
  • Hinata Urashima (grandmother) in Love Hina
  • Doug Funnie in Doug series (japanese dub)
  • Merryweather in Sleeping Beauty (japanese dub)

Masako Nozawa in Wikipedia, AnimeNewsNetwork, MyAnimeList