Galaxy Express 999 Short Animated for Kagoshima Tourism
posted on by Egan Loo
A new Galaxy Express 999 anime short will debut this September to promote tourism in Kagoshima Prefecture, the home of Japan's main space launch facility. The "Ginga Tetsudō 999: Diamond Ring no Achira e" (Galaxy Express 999: Towards the Diamond Ring) short uses Leiji Matsumoto's story about a space-faring train to express the themes of "space, railway, and dreams." The anime represents both the Uchinoura Space Center and the region's expanding Kyūshū Shinkansen bullet train line.
In the short written by Yoshimi Narita (Hakaba Kitarō, Yes! Precure 5), the Galaxy Express 999 boy protagonist Tetsurō takes the 999 train to see the recent total solar eclipse on July 22. The boy, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, ends up traveling throughout Kagoshima, space, and time itself as he arrives at 2035, the year of the next total solar eclipse in Japan. The Young Astronauts Club of Japan, the youth science group chaired by Matsumoto himself, helped with the project's proposal and development, and Iku Ishiguro directed the work at Toei Animation.
Appropriately enough, the 999-second (16-minute, 39-second) short will premiere on September 9, 2009 (09/09/09). That same day, a talk show with Matsumoto and a high-definition remastered version of the original 1979 Galaxy Express 999 anime will be screened in Japan to mark the film's 30th anniversary. The original film's voice cast for Tetsurō (Masako Nozawa), Maetel (Masako Ikeda), and the conductor (Kaneta Kimotsuki) will reprise their roles for the new short. The Galaxy Express 999 characters will also be used in publicity videos and posters. A spokesperson told the Mainichi Shimbun paper, "Kagoshima is not the final stop. It is the doorway that continues into space."
Image © Leiji Matsumoto, Toei Animation
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