I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Godiego -- The Galaxy Express 999 (銀河鉄道999)

I remember watching the first movie in the "Galaxy Express 999"series on an old VHS video, and was impressed with the overall animation, the various environments, and simply the entire epic feel of this old 19th-century locomotive traveling through the stars. The symphonic score was fabulous, but there were also the two contributions by the band Godiego(ゴダイゴ).

This song, which appeared at the end of the movie, was composed by vocalist Yukihide Takekawa(タケカワユキヒデ) and written by Keisuke Yamakawa(山川啓介) to reflect the 999 taking off on its journey. Initially, though, arranger Mickie Yoshino(ミッキー吉野), the band's keyboardist, had envisioned a ballad for the movie but with this vision of the train soaring through the galaxy, the song took on a far more uptempo structure.

A version with English lyrics was also created with Yoko Narahashi(奈良橋陽子) as the lyricist. The song was released in July 1979, about a month before the movie's release, and quickly entered the Oricon charts at No. 6. It would eventually peak at No. 2 before finishing off the year as the 14th-ranked song for 1979. As was mentioned in the first entry for Godiego, the year reaped a lot of success for the band since four songs would end up on the high end of the charts.

The Galaxy Express 999 soundtrack
It will never happen, of course, but if there were ever a live-action version, I'd pick Gwyneth Paltrow as Maetel, with a de-aged Shia LaBeouf as Tetsuro. Considering Hollywood's track record of filming anime as live-action, though, I think seeing an actual 19th-century locomotive fly through the sky would enjoy better odds. But seriously, folks, if you want to see a great anime, "The Galaxy Express 999" is definitely one to catch.

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