The Souls of Professionals

The Souls of Professionals is an anime episode of Galaxy Express 999 that was released on 01/25/1979

Plot Summary

" The wandering souls of professionals exist forever on this planet. People call in Memory Planet. For some reason, they say that it can be seen from any distance. Alas, Memory Planet just flickered again." - Narrator

The GE999 approaches Memory
The GE999 approaches Memory

The GE999 is preparing for a 24-hour stop on planet Memory, a planet that looks beautiful and rosy from but is actually an extremely dangerous planet full of cyborg professionals. Maetel considers staying on the train but tells Tetsuro that he may learn something by venturing out for the day. Tetsuro is eager to venture around the planet but Maetel warns him to never look anyone in the eye and that he should bring his gun with him and be prepared to use it without the slightest hesitation. Tetsuro is surprised at how dangerous the planet sounds, but he decides to explore anyways. Despite her reservations, Maetel decides to go with him.

Tetsuro observes the manga artist
Tetsuro observes the manga artist

When they reach the surface, Tetsuro is surprised to see that it looks like an old west ghost town. While walking around, they come across a gunman. Tetsuro nearly looks him in the eye but Maetel is able to drag him away before contact is made. They are near a hotel when this occurs and Maetel decides that they should get a room there. Inside of the hotel, Maetel come across a manga artist who has been drawing for over 200 years. The man seems completely oblivious to the world around him and Maetel tells Tetsuro that the intense and never-ending dedication to one's job is the defining mark of a professional. After checking in at the hotel, Tetsuro and Maetel head towards their room. On the way they, they come across a massive pile of guns in front of a room where a man is creating them with a dedication similar to the manga artist. Tetsuro and Maetel walk past the man and continue to their room.

The Hangman prepares to hang Tetsuro
The Hangman prepares to hang Tetsuro

Once inside of their room, Tetsuro is amazed by the beautiful design and Maetel tells him that a professional made it. Tetsuro goes to look out the window where he see a man digging many holes, which he assumes is his profession. Another man passes by on a horse and Tetsuro wonders if he is an assassin or a sherriff. Tetsuro makes eye contact with him and in the blink of an eye, the man throws a lasso around Tetsuro and begins to drag him throughout the street. Maetel hears the commotion and chases after them. The man eventually stop in front of a tree where he tell Tetsuro that he is a professional hangman and that Tetsuro is about to be executed. Tetsuro is strung up to the tree and begins to choke but the man from earlier comes in to rescue him and shoots the hangman in the head. Tetsuro is thankful for being rescued, but he makes the mistake of looking the man in the eye. When this happens, the man tells Tetsuro that they must have a duel. The two face off once and the man grazes Tetsuro with his gun and tells him to prepare himself again. While initially scared, Tetsuro is now angered that the man is seemingly going to toy around with him and decides to not just roll over and resign himself to his fate.

Tetsuro and Maetel at the Gunmans' grave
Tetsuro and Maetel at the Gunmans' grave

Tetsuro draws against the man and is shot in the hand. The man complements Tetsuro for improving and asks him to draw again. Tetsuro refuses to continue on but the man continues to ask, saying that he won't allow Tetsuro to run away. Maetel shows up and challenges the man to a duel, which he accepts. Maetel is able to defeat him and Tetsuro is grateful. When he runs to hug Maetel he notices that she is crying and he asks her why. Maetel says that the man wasn't actually a bad man and never had any intentions on killing Tetsuro. He was simply a professional gunman who knew his life body was waning and wanted to pass on his skills to someone else before he died. The two give the man a proper burial and return to the GE999.

The destruction caused by the bomber
The destruction caused by the bomber

While leaving the planet, an explosion can be heard on the 999. Tetsuro and Maetel run towards the sound and find the Conductor standing over a dead body. They ask him what happened and he tells him that a professional bomber snuck aboard and detonated a device. The Conductor worries that another bomb is somewhere on the car and Tetsuro suggests that they disconnect the car from the rest of the train and continue on. The Conductor agrees with this and the GE999 continues on its journey towards Andromeda.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Conductor ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Tetsuro Hoshino ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Maetel ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Professional Hangman ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Professional Gunman ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Mikio Terashima ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

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