Galaxy Express 999 v.1 by Leiji Matsumoto – 239 pages
Though labeled as a first volume, this is really a continuation of the classic manga story, reset to start much like it did in the beginning. Those picking up this book will be able to follow the story but will be left to wonder at many of the people, events, and details referenced. It is recommended to pick up other versions of the manga that start at the beginning, or watch the movie Galaxy Express 999. This story begins one year after the events in the film.
Young Tetsuro joins the mysterious traveler Maetel in a journey from Earth into the sea of stars aboard the Three Nine, a train that travels through space. They are reunited with the affable Conductor; Kanon, the “eldritch electrical faerie” who is the heart of Three Nine’s engine; and the valiant space pirate Captain Harlock. Though their route and stopovers (such as on Pluto) are similar to what they experienced before, they find much changed in one year, and Maetel lets Tetsuro know there is a Ruler of Darkness bent on extinguishing all life, threatening the heart of the universe, whom they now must overcome.
Matters of time, dreams, heart, soul, youth and old age, humanity, and memory fill the pages of Galaxy Express 999. “Time does not betray dreams,” Tetsuro believes, “and the dream must not also betray time.”