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GALAXY EXPRESS 999 #7 - - Watch & Learn

Skulls are just fundamentally enticing...

You know, since I’m continually mulling over whether I want to see this series through (to one of its ends, at least), I really ought to take a moment to complement whoever’s picking the screenshots for each of these episodes’ promos on Hulu. There definitely is an art to making an attractive cover (which is what these promo shots are, basically) and it’s been a long time since I’ve been hooked to a story over such a basic tease.

This is to say, in so many words, that the image of Tetsuro and Maetal freaking out in a cabin full of skeletons piqued my curiosity. How did they get there? Where did those skeletons come from? Whose skeletons were they? Will our heroes get out alive?!?!

Presumably, any poster, cover or publicity still for an adventure like this is supposed to prompt such frenzied questions. That’s what keeps us watching, right? However, I feel like everybody’s gotten a little too cool for direct baiting these days. Maybe they’re still going for such hooks, but just in more subtle ways, but c’mon - - we all know that the prevailing M.O. today favors pin-up shots over shocking teasers. An image of Tetsuro and Maetal’s big, floating heads situated around the 999 should be enough, right? Let’s not bother with the skeletons. The butts are already going to be in the seats.

All right. Enough speculation about the marketing. What’d I think about the story?

Well, the show continues to feel like an adolescent, or pre-adolescent, fever dream. Between the pseudo-matron Maetal’s preference for whips and the nearly-predatory nature of her evil double’s interest in Tetsuro, there seem to be a number of undeniably Freudian burners simmering beneath this psycho-fantastical stew. And considering how there are apparently only seven basic plots that play out throughout the 100+ episodes of this series, I feel like those same burners are just going to keep flaring, over and over again, until it's all but impossible to miss these underpinning themes.

Watch this episode, "The Graveyard at the Bottom of Gravity, Part 1"” 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

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Dig Deeper into Galaxy Express 999

Leiji Matsumoto's meditation on mortality and social class. Beginning as a manga series, it moved on to films, Original Animated Videos (OAV), and a television series.

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