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GALAXY EXPRESS 999 #5 - - Watch & Learn

Matters get just a LITTLE Freudian in this outing...

Hm. This cut-off is actually going to be harder to call than I expected. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that I’ve already picked another series to cover on W&L in place of this (you’ll be getting a very concrete clue about that very soon, by the way). Initially, I was thinking I’d swap out once I got to the last GALAXY EXPRESS episode featured on Hulu. Then, the last episode turned out to be so lame that I decided I’d part ways with this show earlier and wrap up with this episode.

Well… this episode actually turned out to be the best one offered up, so far, so... I’m in a bit of quandary, now.

Really, this is precisely the sort of story I’d expect, and hope, to see in a series about a couple of outcasts traveling through space in a blatantly-ridiculous train that makes stops on one strange planet after another. The surrealism in this installment takes on the sort of dreamy, operatic quality that washes over all potentially snicker-inducing absurdities - - like, say, a frozen lake full of sleeping bodies or an all-powerful bullwhip - - and renders them into evocative, allegorical flourishes.

Sure, this is still cheesier than melted Mozzarella; but damn, if it isn’t fascinating to watch. And damn if isn’t fascinating to listen to, as well. I don’t think I’ve ever actually commented on the sound design in any of the hundreds of anime episodes I’ve watched (it really is one of those ingredients that’s as essential as it under-appreciated), but the relentless whooshing of the harsh Plutonian winds cooks up such a rich mood here. Maybe it’s technically “dated” sound work since I’m consciously noticing it instead of just subconsciously registering it, but I swear, I think it might’ve been the X-factor that turned this nearly-ridiculous yarn about a faceless, beauty-obsessed, robot temptress into a hypnotic, lucid nightmare that tugs on a lot of elusive, Freudian chords.

Now, I’m not so eager to turn away so early. Oh boy…

Watch this episode, "Shadow, of the Planet of Delusion” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.

The series definitely has it's ups and down. The Hulu episodes stop like right before it starts hitting its stride imo but you can go on Crackle and see the whole series for free I believe.

Dig Deeper into Galaxy Express 999

A young boy named Tetsuro and a mysterious woman named Maetel travel across the galaxy getting into adventures in this 1978 anime series based off a manga series of the same name by Leiji Matsumoto.

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