In the distant future, trains are no longer bound by their physical tracks. Instead, they take to the skies and travel across the universe on the Galaxy Railways, transporting mankind from planet to planet. However, the Galaxy Railways are no safer than traditional trains: criminals, terrorists, and vile aliens always find a way to stir up trouble.
Manabu Yuuki, a rash and hot-headed man, is the latest addition to the Galaxy Railways' elite Space Defence Force (SDF). These brave men and women are responsible for protecting the railways and responding to any unprecedented danger, risking their lives to protect the innocent from evil. But as this drama unfolds and the SDF's greatest crisis draws nearer, Manabu must truly learn what it means to be a member of the SDF before it is too late.
It always surprises me when I find a series that approaches perfection. I just finished watching Galaxy Railways, and have to say, if you even remotely enjoy anime, it is easily worth your time to watch it. Obviously Matsumoto Leiji is legendary for Harlock and Galaxy Express, and if you've seen his work in the past, this isn't a huge departure from it. Contained is a relatively typical, but incredibly deep cast of characters, including the obligatory hair-covering-one-eye protagonist Manubu, his Harlock-resembling father, and the beady-eyes-popping-out-of-their-forheads old people that bother me to no end.
The story takes place in a futuristic-space setting where the usual spaceship
fare has been traded in for space-travelling trains, some of which look like they could be from the future, and some have the old-school flair of a coal-powered locomotive. These trains are used to traverse people across the galaxy, and there is a military operation called the SDF that protects these people from all the unusual things that happen to the trains they are riding. Manubu happens to join this faction and the series follows the SDF and their escapades across space.
This is first-and-foremost a drama, you might feel yourself wanting to tear-up a couple of times. Aside from episode 19 (what's with episode 19?? 0_o) there is very little in the way of comedic relief. Despite that, you won't be crying yourself to sleep or anything. The main impression the series is constantly trying to get across to you is that grabbing a hold of your own destiny is possible with the right attitude.
Animation is excellent 99% of the time. There are a couple of spots that appear slightly rushed, although they are brief and barely worth mentioning. There is some CG, however it is mostly used on the trains and is well hidden using cell-shading techniques. It would have been nice to see the trains moving a bit more fluidly in some cases, however this isn't detrimental by any means.
My only other minor beef is episode 19, although I enjoyed it by its self, it doesn't fit in with the series at all. For those wondering, it's the overdone hot spring episode where half the girls introduced in the series show up and everyone suddenly digs Manabu, also interspersed with 1500% more comic relief. I'd love to know the story being this episode.
Anyway, if you have some time to burn, pick up this series, it should not disappoint, even if you're a somewhat jaded anime watcher like myself.
I've watched many many anime to find the "one" with a great story, drama, and a hint of romance. The Galaxy Railways has all the things I was looking for. Interesting story, well developed characters. The setup is a bit unexpected, but it works! yes, flying trains maybe something not really of a sci-fi, but that is just the base ground to build up an interesting story around it. To anyone who looks for a bit serious anime, a conclusive ending, a hint of romance and some drama, I would definitely recommend to watch this anime. I wish there were more like this.
Leiji, Leiji, Leiji… How many times can you rehash the same stories and tropes over and over and when will I actually condemn you for it? I’e stated before that I’ll watch anything with that man’s name attached to it and really wanted to watch it when I first heard about it last millennium. And as Leijiverse stuff goes it’s a base line. While the animation is fluid and smooth, the character designs are of Leiji’s era (meaning old) The stories are by the book, which is okay, but Manabu Yuki’s young man pursuing the only dream he ever had thing has been done in
every Leijiverse production to date. The stand alone character driven stories are good but cliché. But there’s this goddess of time thing going on that I scarcely remember because it wasn’t interesting. Also, none of the established Leijiverse character appear. I love space opera. I love watching things blow up in space; it’s one of the reasons I never stopped watching anime. But if you’ve seen any other Leijiverse, then this will offer you nothing new and different. Having said all that, the action is cool, the drama real and occasionally discussed philosophically, and space is just as strange as ever. So it delivers exactly what it offers. I probably would’ve loved it more had I seen it years ago. It’s far superior to OZMA though and more accessible than The Endless Odyssey. Watch it if you love Leiji, sci fi or are out of anime to watch.
As soon as I saw the picture/cover art of this anime I immediately remembered those anime shows of the late 70s / early 80s namely, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999 and all those other shows. Apparently they're all done by the same person, Leiji Matsumoto. Most of his stuff are pretty good but it doesn't mean that ALL of his works are good. I picked up this title because I like to watch dubs and this one a title that seemed interesting and it reminded me of those old Captain Harlock shows from when I was a kid. This show is....interesting, I wouldn't say it's
overwhelmingly fantastic or anything but it's a nice change of pace to look at a different style of art compared to other types of anime.
I like the character design, the rest is pretty standard compared to other shows of it's time. I wouldn't say anything was particularly impressive, maybe what I like about it is that all the concepts are old-school however they are very much improved upon by the conveniences modern drawing techniques and technologies. The colors are nice, the shadings and blendings are done very well. Most of the background settings are well done and some of the locales appear very exotic. All the lights on the bridge and the LED diagrams have a fantastic glow and 3D effect to them that obviously would not have been available in any 70s anime.
This doesn't mean there aren't any flaws. To me, a lot of the time the characters look distorted or disproportionate. The animation is slow and choppy in some areas, you can see this during the fight scenes or when they're running, the movements seem kinda amateurish. The train sequences are all CGI so those look great.
I hate 70s anime music which is obviously what the OP and ED tracks were inspired by, it's always some old dude with his warbling voice with a lot of brass in the background, But for some reason, I was OK with the OP maybe because it was upbeat or because I could tell the music was modern or at least digitally processed and recorded and the singer didn't seem to be overdoing it. However I can't say the same for the ED theme, that one did kinda get to me by the 3rd time I heard it, so I skipped it. The English dub was quite good, no one sounded hokey or went over-the-top with the acting...can't say the same thing about the narrator tho! He sounded creepy as hell, he sounded a lot like one of those narrators from those old horror TV series like Twilight Zone or Tales from the Darkside which made the tone of the series even darker and more depressing.
If somebody asked me what this show was about, I would probably say it's about flying trains because that's the first thing that comes to mind. Can't blame me tho, that is the main, constant imagery used throughout the series. Beyond that there really isn't any one main story or theme. Some might disagree and say it's about Manabu, and to others who want to philosophical about it, they might say it's about man's ability to deal with death, grief, loss and overcoming one's "destiny". Both would be a true statement.
Most of the stories in this series are told in an “Adventure-of-the-Week” style with each story having it's own resolution by the end of the episode. The stories are pretty straight-forward and simple, they're mainly about various rescue missions and some side stories. But it's not like the characters don't get to grow or develop, each story does give a little insight about a character so I would say that the stories do have some purpose, they aren't just totally random “Family Guy” type episodes.
One thing that took me by surprise about this series is the level of fantasy in these stories, maybe because I've seen that it tagged as “SCI-FI” on some sites including MAL. But I would say this is more like a fantasy series so much so, that some stories almost have a nightmarish element to them: flying trains, ghosts, aliens, monsters that don't die when you shoot them, black knights on horseback chasing you down dark alleyways, Grim Reapers etc.
I assumed the series was completely Sci-Fi, more along the lines GUNDAM, MACROSS or even Old-School Captain Harlock that had more to do with politics, spaceships and battles and less to do with spirits, ghosts, faeries and the like.....not that it was a bad thing, I just didn't expect all of that. This show has a lot of ghosts, but I'll venture to say that even though the ghosts and spirits in the show are supposedly “real”, they probably served as some kind of symbolism for the characters' dealing with “loss” and “grief”. It's definitely not supposed to be taken as a Scooby-Doo mystery. If you do get bored of all the rescue stories, this do get exciting after episode 20 way more exciting, even the art seems to look a little better!
A good chunk of the characters you meet in this series are melancholy. They all have some kind of past that involves death and grieving so I would say be prepared to deal with that. Most of the stories are centered around the main guy, Manabu, I like him but at the same time he gets on my nerves a little bit. He's way too impulsive and emotional, I'm not saying he should embrace every rule but in almost every episode he HAS to do something in complete defiance of regulation or reason...he just HAS to!!! It's like whoa dude, not everything is about you, I'm sure if you shut up and sit down the captain and the other crew members can solve the issue too! Another character that kinda irks me is Shura AKA “Blue Crystal Ball Chic” all she does throughout the whole series is stand perched over that swirly blue orb and shed that sad-ass single teardrop. OK yeah maybe you see her two or three other times doing something else...like rolling around on the ground and such but that's what you mainly see her doing. All the while wearing her blue swimsuit and tassels, yet she is the Supreme Commander of the SDF? LOL yeah, that's how you know this shit is fantasy and not sci-fi, there's no bikini-clad Supreme Commanders in Gundam or ROBOTECH, not even the comedy ones. Beyond that all the other characters are pretty normal and cool...well, I guess I would still like to know what a sexaroid is? Is that a 6th generation android or just some kind of hooker robot?
I've always liked Leiji Matsumoto's character designs, the boys with mop-topped 70s hair and the girls with never-ending tresses and super long lashes. The body types in this series are a little fuller, especially the men, compared to his earlier designs. of course this isn't everyone in the series but most of them looked that way, I also love the high-collared uniforms of the SDF...this is also another one of his “signature looks”
This was a pretty good show, by the end I would even say it was awesome. I'll admit I underestimated this series, I was never bored watching it but in the beginning with all the ghosts and rescue missions I simply looked at it as a mediocre series, sometimes even depressing. It wasn't until after episode 20/21 that I changed my opinion and got really into it. Overall I would still say this is a sad anime but it's not mediocre at all.