So we’ll be taking on another nice and short series for W&L. For a little variety, this one also happens to be a classic (although time will tell with MADOKA MAGICA, I suppose). As I mentioned last time, I’ve been wondering what the rest of this series would be like for years and years, and it’s damn near impossible not to scratch such an itch of curiosity when the show’s sitting right there in front of me - - easily available for free and legal streaming.
Once more, I’m a little startled by how the body of this show is so far removed from what I imagined it’d be like with only that little snippet I caught however long ago as a basis. I always figured Tetsuro was a meek and innocent Pollyanna who was swept away on a charming, Picaresque journey through the stars. Maybe like Fievel from AN AMERICAN TAIL… but in space. Instead, these first couple episodes have revealed the little scamp as a deadly gunhand. Sort of like a clumsy kid who’s pretending he’s the lead of a spaghetti Western during recess, yet still somehow proving to be as adept as one in fits and spurts of capability.
Finding that comparison point probably isn’t even that profound, I know. Mars basically doubles for Old West Arizona here in an episode that might as well have been guest directed by Sergio Leone and scored by Ennio Morricone. Tetsuro’s even wearing a very Man with No Name-like poncho as if the parallels weren’t clear enough.
With that pop cultural link established in this discussion, I can’t help but see a certain strain of Baroque, romantic and highly emotional adventure storytelling here that maybe started with Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, carried into Matsumoto’s output in the 70’s and then came back through the retro rock opera of INTERSTELLA 5555. Again, it doesn’t take a genius to observe that a title like INTERSTELLA 5555 is a none-too-subtle callback to a title like GALAXY EXPRESS 999 - - but I wasn’t aware that the music of this series probably made as profound of an impression on Daft Punk, too.
Anyway, I get the feeling this will only be the first of many connections I’ll be finding throughout the course of this show…