Reviewby Darius Washington
Galaxy Express 999
"A good switchpoint between stations..." Early last year, the third installment of the Galaxy Express 999 series was released in theatres entitled "Eternal Fantasy." Based on the story by manga master Leiji Matsumoto (The Cockpit, Queen Emeraldas), the 55 minute featurette picks up one year after the events of Adieu, Galaxy Express 999 in which a young boy named Tetsuro and his motherly companion Mater worked to rid the universe on the Mechanized Empire who had taken over Earth.
The film opens with Tetsuro shackled down in an Earth city and deprived of food and personal items. He is constantly beaten by tryants who took over after the machine men were destroyed. At the moment of his execution, Mater busts through the city in the 999 and drags Tetsuro away for another adventure. After a much needed bath and haircut, Mater rearms him with his Cosmo Gun and tells him that Earth has become a colony for an unknown ruler who seeks universal domination. They also discuss a prophecy in which the Earth is forever covered in a cloud of darkness...
Eternal Fantasy is directed by Rin Taro, who directed the previous two films as well as Dagger of Kamui, Harmageddon, and Space Pirate Captain Harlock. In those films he took advantage of the most advanced animation techniques available at the time. In this however, it seems like he just phoned in his work. The computer animated 999 was nice, but everything else was just...there. Instead of the epic battles, intense drama, and child-like wonder he was able to create in the past, Taro just brings drama and battles to this piece. Even the inevitable Captain Harlock fly-by shooting (required in any Galaxy Express story) just seems like it was added instead of intended.
Matsumoto's story is a decent enough addition to the universe he's created which also includes Queen Millenium. If it weren't for the ending and the fact that a two-hour movie is due in theaters this year, I'd have given this film a C+ . Instead I'll give this a better grade and hope that the upcoming release answers one question plaguing people who have seen this and the Queen Emeraldas OAVs: What the heck is the Yamato doing flying around in these videos?
Overall : B
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