The BEST Episodes of Galaxy Express 999
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Galaxy Express is a manga written and drawn by Leiji Matsumoto, as well as various anime films and TV series based on it. It is set in a space-faring, high-tech future in which humans have learned how to transfer their consciousnesses (but not their consciences) into mechanical bodies, thus achieving practical immortality. The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1978. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1981.
#1 - The Street of Fireflies
Season 1 - Episode 16
On their latest planet, Tetsuro meets Freiya, a poor girl who appears beautiful to him but is considered ugly and deformed by the other inhabitants of her planet because she does not glow in the dark with a uniform light. Freiya is an amateur animator who hopes to become a director someday.
#2 - Planet of Eternally Pursued Dreams
Season 1 - Episode 101
Tetsuro meets a man who would like to be a manga artist but can't do so because the planet has a caste system. Maetel's suitcase is stolen and the passes are taken. They have the manga artist thrown in jail with an execution pending if he is found guilty. He is found innocent but they will kill him anyway. Then it turns out his sister actually stole the passes. He has a spazz attack, runs into open traffic and gets hit by a car. As he sits in bed dying he dreams he could only find the books he read as a child then he dies. His sister regretfully returns Tetsuro and Maetel's passes having killed her brother by stealing them. But they forgive her because he at least died a peaceful if not delusional death.
#3 - From this Star
Season 1 - Episode 49
Tetsuro and Maetel arrive on a planet filled with kind hearted, hard working people. When a storm ends up destroying the hotel that they are staying in, their luggage, including their passes are lost.
#4 - Ballad of Departure
Season 1 - Episode 1
Tetsuro's mother is murdered while the two of them travel through the snow by the villainous Count Mecha. Before she dies, Tetsuro's mother tells him to go to the planet Andromeda where he can get a machine body and not die like she did. Tetsuro passes out from the cold but is rescued by the mysterious Maetal, who gives him a pass to the Galaxy Express 999 for free under the condition that he will travel with her.
#5 - The Fossilized Warrior (2)
Season 1 - Episode 13
Additional people arrive on the planet who seek to steal the petrified remains of the warrior's lover. Moreover an another petrification cloud is approaching the planet.
#6 - The Witch of Plated City (1)
Season 1 - Episode 34
The 999 arrives on a planet where everything is plated in gold, the streets, the buildings, even the people. A thief knocks Tetsuro out and steals Maetel's luggage. Tetsuro runs after him into the sewers where he discovers the thief, a teenage boy named Hoilock, is not gold after all.
#7 - The Witch of Plated City (2)
Season 1 - Episode 35
Hoilock's mother's dying wish is for him to continue in her footsteps in toppling those in charge of making everything gold. Meanwhile the 999 takes off without Tetsuro when he doesn't return in time.
#8 - Tetsuro, of the Planet of Mirrors
Season 1 - Episode 53
A boy who looks just like Tetsuro, named Manabu, and his brother work hard and are able to purchase a single pass for 999. The brother passes away before they can make it to the town where 999 arrives. When Tetsuro goes out on his own, Maetel mistakes Manabu for him. Tetsuro arrives and fights Manabu, but they quickly become friends as they have so much in common. When Manabu tries to board the 999 however, he is told that the pass is counterfeit.
#9 - Maetel's Trip (1)
Season 1 - Episode 109
To make up for the delay in the previous episode, the 999 enters Warp Space. Unexpectedly, a duplicate 999 materializes alongside them and the two trains collide and become entangled. Crippled, the 999 and its double are drawn into the gravity of a sinister-looking planet that seems to be adrift in Warp Space. Tetsuro climbs though a breach into the other 999 and encounters an exact double of Maetel; however her companion is not his own double, but a different boy named Redril Hammer. Redril explains that he is traveling on the 999 to a planet where he will receive a mechanical body for free. The trains narrowly avert crashing down but the car carrying both Maetels breaks loose and falls to the surface.
#10 - Maetel's Trip (2)
Season 1 - Episode 110
The trains having landed on the Wandering Planet's surface to rescue the two Maetels, Redril and Testuro confront two extremely alien-looking creatures who refer to themselves as "humans". When the aliens confirm to their satisfaction that Tetsuro, Redril, the two Maetels and the two Conductors are flesh-and-blood and not mechanized, they are permitted to return to the trains. As they prepare to lift off, the Conductors are seized by a pair of mechanical creatures with a shape resembling that of the two "humans" they encountered before. They demand that the two boys surrender their passes and allow them to take their place on the train. The Conductors are aghast and ask to stay behind instead of the boys, who in turn object that they themselves should remain as the Conductors are too important to the other passengers. Startled that flesh-and-blood creatures could be anything other than cruel and selfish, the aliens relent and explain that the "real" "humans" who rule their planet are tyrants who ruthlessly hunt down and murder their mechanized "human" subjects. The boys remark that this is the reverse of their own experience, much to the astonishment of the two mechanized "humans", who conclude that they could never harm "real" humans as compassionate as them. The trains leave the planet, and exit Warp Space to return to their respective time periods.
#11 - The Graveyard at the Bottom of Gravity (1)
Season 1 - Episode 7
The 999 falls into the Sargasso, where they find the remains of the 333, a missing train. Traveling aboard, Tetsuro, Maetel and the Conductor find only skeletons. A woman aboard the train, Ryuzu, reveals herself, saying that she sped up time on the train which killed everyone. Through her threats, she takes a hold of Tetsuro and departs the train's remains with him.
#12 - The Red Winds of Mars
Season 1 - Episode 2
The 999's first stop is the planet Mars, a desolate planet where few live. When Tetsuro is provided a tour by a young woman, Freme, her boyfriend Geronimo shoots Tetsuro and steals his 999 pass.
#13 - Lala of the Dual Planets
Season 1 - Episode 14
The 999 arrives at the Dual Planets, a world full of machine people. When a large group of machine people at a restaurant treat Tetsuro and Maetel rudely, Tetsuro goes on a rampage and kills them all. Tetsuro and Maetel then meet Lala, a machine woman who steals Tetsuro's body, switching it with her own.
#14 - Beethoven of the Water Planet
Season 1 - Episode 15
The 999 is pursued by the Black Knight, a caped figure in a dark, fog drenched world. The Black Knight requests Tetsuro stay on the planet and be his friend, but Tetsuro refuses and he attacks. They then travel to the planet Yonde 3 where the son of an innkeeper, a musician, desires Tetsuro's pass so he can leave the planet.
#15 - Ulatores's Mountain of Screws
Season 1 - Episode 33
The 999 arrives on the planet Ulatorus, which contains mountains of screws. When a storm causes one of the mountains to collapse, Tetsuro loses his pass and meets a machine woman who kidnaps him, seeking to keep him in her home permanently. At the same time, the 999 malfunctions due to a faulty screw.
#16 - The Great Chieftain Cyclops
Season 1 - Episode 36
The 999 stops at an abandoned artificial colony world. Tetsuro is pleased with its appearance but Maetel is puzzled that the colony looks quite different than it did on her last visit. They investigate further, and are set upon by a terrified mob of physically identical men. Maetel recognizes their face as being that of the colony's architect, Dr. Cyclops.
#17 - Mīkun's Mansion of Life
Season 1 - Episode 37
The 999 approaches the planet Mīkun's Mansion of Life, and all the passengers appear depressed, closing the blinds as they approach it. When Tetsuro and Maetel arrive at the hotel, Tetsuro finds a tiger and snake in the hallway, so he hides in his bed the rest of the night. The next day Maetel introduces Tetsuro to Mīkun, who takes care of all the various animals on the planet, which are actually all dead animals beloved by their master.
#18 - Kasumi of Fog City
Season 1 - Episode 39
The 999 arrives on a planet where everyone is very beautiful, but also extremely weak, not even going outside during the day due to the sun. A couple steals a suitcase containing Tetsuro and Maetel's passes, but they pass out from running and when they shoot Tetsuro, it is too weak to harm them. They still manage to switch Tetsuro and Maetel's passes with fake ones though, and board the 999.
#19 - The Laboratory of Eternal War (2)
Season 1 - Episode 48
At gunpoint (from the previous episode), Tetsuro told Zeda of his struggles back on Earth. Zeda was instead moved and decided to joined the rebels. With his companions Santana and Brudas, Zeda managed to unite the two soldier factions and started to attack government facilities.
#20 - Artemis of the Transparent Sea (1)
Season 1 - Episode 51
As the 999 approaches its next destination, a large number of small blue blobs start passing by the 999, warning it to not go any further. Eventually the 999 gets stuck in a larger version of these blobs, which apparantely is their mother. The Galaxy Railways headquarters gets ready to blow it up so the 999 can go on, but all of a sudden a ship crashes into the blob.
#21 - Artemis of the Transparent Sea (2)
Season 1 - Episode 52
After being brought aboard the 999, Artemis reveals her history, how she departed her mother to acquire a humanoid machine body. Having to work to pay it off in a factory had its toll however, and she stole a ship and fleed. Artemis dies soon after and is brought to the heart of her mother, where she is absorbed into it. With Galaxy Railways headquarters planning to destroy the mother, Tetsuro cries out for them to not do it.
#22 - The Story of Endless Summer (2)
Season 1 - Episode 55
The insect babies hatch and when Tetsuro finds himself unable to kill them, they climb aboard the 999 and start eating it.
#23 - The Footsteps of Footstep Village
Season 1 - Episode 58
Tetsuro and Maetel arrive on the planet Footsteps Village, and are told of evil spirits that possess and kill people. Tetsuro is warned to not go out at night, but when he meets a spirit that takes the form of water, he does it anyway.
#24 - The Planet of the Pint Sized Room (2)
Season 1 - Episode 61
While stranded on the planet without train passes, Maetel sought help from Galaxy Railways, but her efforts ended in vain. Meanwhile, with Adachi's help, Tetsuro found a job at a noodle shop to support himself and Maetel. Tetsuro and Maetel ran into the disguised Taro when they returned to the train station. Taro, not wanting to leave his friends behind, gave the passes to them, not knowing at first, that they were the rightful owners. As the train departed, Taro returned to Hanako and their friends. And Adachi, who also saw the train leave the planet, finally found inspiration for comic.
#25 - The Sisters of the Pitch Dark Planet
Season 1 - Episode 63
The 999 stops at the Pitch Dark Planet, where all light is instantly absorbed. A while after Maetel leaves the train to "attend to private business", Tetsuro is beckoned outside by a figure at his window, who proves to be Miru, a daughter of the planet's ruler. She and her father tell him that Maetel has been kidnapped by Miru's sister Lelan, a deranged but brilliant scientist who plans to use Maetel's brain to launch an artificial sun into orbit, and that Maetel will die unless Tetsuro can infiltrate Lelan's base and kill her. Further, the new sun will doom most of the life on their world, which has never had light in its entire natural history. Tetsuro goes back for his gun, but is taken prisoner by Lelan the instant he steps off the train. His efforts to escape prove futile and Lelan launches the sun. Miru, horribly burned, staggers into the base and tries to shut the sun off but is shot by her sister. Maetel accosts Lelan and accuses her of genocide but she retorts that sacrifices must be made for the greater good. She runs out into the sunlight and is burned to death. As the train leaves, the Conductor reports that 99.99% of the planet's population has perished.