Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 11th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 1981
Director: Rintaro (Shigeyuki Hayashi)
Writers: Hiroyasu Yamaura, Leiji Matsumoto, Trish Ledoux
Cast: Saffron Henderson, Masako Nozawa, Masako Ikeda, Janyse Jaud, Kaneta Kimotsuki, Yôko Asagami, Toru Emori, Terry Klassen, Makio Inoue, Tatsuya Jô, Chiyoko Kawashima, Ryôko Kinomiya, Shûichirô Moriyama, Noriko Ohara, Reiko Tajima, Kei Tomiyama, Akiko Tsuboi, Chikao Ôtsuka, Hidekatsu Shibata
DVD released: June 28th, 2010
Approximate running time: 130 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese, Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Eastern Star / Discotek
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Adieu Galaxy Express 999 was directed by Rintaro, who’s other notable film’s as a director include Galaxy Express 999 and Metropolis. Unlike its predecessor, Adieu Galaxy Express 999 is an new storyline that does not draw any inspiration from the Manga. Which was the basis of Galaxy Express 999 and the T.V. series.
Very few in any sequels ever live up to the film’s which precede them. With a few of the notable exceptions being Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part 2. More about this film’s connection to The Empire Strikes Back, later on in this review.
Content wise, though Adieu Galaxy Express 999 echoes many of the same themes present in its predecessor. Most notably the loss of humanity in a mechanized world. The general tone of the two films could not be further apart. This time around there seems to be more of a focus of the spectacle of what is unfolding on screen and less time devoted to the characters motivations. Pretty much this is a story about good versus evil and not much more.
Another area in which Adieu Galaxy Express 999 take a page from its predecessor is how a parental figure plays an integral part in the journey that Tetsuro embarks on. Where Tetsuro’s mother’s death played an integral part in his evolution in Galaxy Express 999, it the reemergence of his father in his life that anchors this sequel. Just like the aforementioned Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Ultimately while not as an engaging story as its predecessor, Adieu Galaxy Express 999 is still a highly entertaining space opera that is never short on action or melodrama.
Eastern Star presents Adieu Galaxy Express 999 in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The image never looks too tight, colors look vibrant, flesh tones look healthy, black and contrast levels look very good and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is minimal.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Japanese and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. Both audio mixes are in good shape as dialog is always clear and the audio sounds robust when it needs too. There are no problems with background noise or distortion. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free. And when watching the film via its English dubbed audio track, there is a second English subtitle option that translates all the Japanese text which appears on screen.
Extras for this release include a image gallery and trailers for Galaxy Express 999 (2 minutes 56 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and Adieu Galaxy Express 999 (3 minutes 1 second – anamorphic widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles). Overall Adieu Galaxy Express 999 gets a strong audio / video presentation from Eastern Star that is on par with their Galaxy Express 999 DVD release.