The Tombstone of Dead Leaves

The Tombstone of Dead Leaves is an anime episode of Galaxy Express 999 that was released on 02/01/1979

Plot Summary

"One day when the universe grows old, it can be said that all things of shape and size will reach a point when thy are ready to die. When that time comes, what will happen to those with mechanical bodies? However, in the same universe, without thinking of such things, there are still people who live happily day by bay." - Narrator

Maetel and Tetsuro sky swimming on Ballera
Maetel and Tetsuro sky swimming on Ballera

The GE999 makes a stop on Ballera, an agriculture based planet with aerial farms, and Tetsuro and Maetel decide to leave the train and explore around a bit. While on the planet, Maetel asks Tetsuro if he would like to go swimming. With no pool of water in eyesight, Tetsuro is a bit perplexed but Maetel changes into a swimsuit and tells him that they can swim through the air due to extremely low gravity on the planet. While the two are swimming through the air, they stumble across some of the farm animals on the planet. A few cows take interest in Maetel, which leads a space cowboy to mistake Tetsuro and Maetel for cattle thieves. A small struggle ensues but Maetel and Tetusro are able to hide from the cowboys until they get bored and leave.

Tetsuro asks Moriki about his body
Tetsuro asks Moriki about his body

Back aboard the GE999, Tetsuro has fallen asleep but is awoken by Maetel as they pass through the Tombstone of Dead Leaves, literally a floating ring of dead leaves that orbit around what was formerly a planet with sprawling plant life. At this stop a wooden cyborg by the name of Yutaka Moriki boards the GE999. Tetsuro is surprised to see a cyborg such as Moriki but the two become friendly with each other after a brief conversation. Still interested in the dead leaves swirling around the GE999, Tetsuro opens the window, allowing many of them to fly in. An electric toadstool enters the train and Tetsuro nearly picks up but is stopped by Moriki who warns that it carries a charge strong enough to kill anyone without a properly insulated body like his own.

Moriki makes a heroic sacrifice to save the GE999
Moriki makes a heroic sacrifice to save the GE999

Moriki takes care of the toadstool and everyone returns to their seats. Suddenly, the GE999 goes out of control and everyone is tossed about the cabin. The Conductor enters and tries to calm everyone down despite not knowing what is causing the issue. Tetsuro is angered by his ignorance and demands to be taken the four of them (Moriki, the Conductor, Maetel and Tetsuro) head to the control room of the GE999 to see what the issue is. Once their the see that an electric toadstool has attached itself to the control console and is causing a plasma discharge, which is responsible for the train's behavior. Tetsuro leaves to find something to remove the toadstool but while he is away, Moriki says that he will handle it so that now danger comes to Tetsuro who still has a long life ahead of him. Moriki removes the Toadstool and immediately catches on fire due to the discharge. Due to some panicking by the Conductor, the flames aren't extinguished fast enough and Moriki's body is destroyed leaving only the device containing his human memories and cyborg brain, which is quickly ceasing to function. In his last moments he gives Tetsuro all of his belongings (a painter's kit) and wishes him best of luck on getting a cyborg body.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Conductor ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Maetel ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Tetsuro Hoshino ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Yutaka Moriki ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Hiroshi Ohtake ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)

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