Space Symphony Maetel

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  • 1969
  • 7.3  (39)

Space Symphony Maetel is a fascinating Japanese animated series that first premiered on SKY PerfecTV in 2004. Produced by the renowned animation studio, Planet, the show is a seamless blend of science fiction and drama. This 13-episode series has a substantial fan base in Japan and also garnered international fandom due to its compelling storyline and charismatic characters.

The series, set in a universe parallel to Leiji Matsumoto's Galaxy Express 999, pays homage to the original while crafting a separate narrative that stands strong on its own. Rather than a direct sequel, it functions as an alternative universe version of events. The story arc of Space Symphony Maetel is interconnected with Matsumoto's other works and characters, creating an enriched cosmos of science fiction mythology.

The narrative follows the journey of Maetel, a character well-known and loved among fans of Matsumoto’s works. Maetel is a heroine epitomizing compassion, bravery, and mystery. Born of royal blood on the planet La Metal which faces impending doom due to its dying sun, Maetel is forced to undertake a dire mission given by her mother, Queen Promethium. Although the severity of events unfolding around her provides an intense backdrop to the series, Maetel's personal transformation serves as the beating heart of the story.

An essential element of Space Symphony Maetel’s charm lies in its ensemble cast, which is as eclectic as it is engaging. Each character is intricately designed, not just in terms of visual aesthetics but also in terms of their distinct personalities and captivating dialogues. Fan favourite characters such as Tetsuro Hoshino, also provide nostalgic nods to the original series.

A strong point of Space Symphony Maetel is its capacity to balance a serious, dramatic plotline with lighter moments of humour and camaraderie. This balance makes it a show that is equally engrossing for both novice anime watchers and seasoned viewers. The series also probes into mature themes like the meaning of human identity, technological advancement, and the eventual destiny of civilizations, giving it a philosophical undertone.

Style-wise, the series retains the classic Matsumoto aesthetics - characters with stark eyes and long limbs, and sexualized yet strong-willed female characters. A noticeable design aspect is the Space Trains, gigantic train-like spaceships that travel through galaxies, a distinctive element from the Galaxy Express 999 series. They embody the retro-futurism that gives a unique look to Matsumoto’s Universe.

The technical aspects of Space Symphony Maetel are noteworthy. The animation quality remains competent, leaning towards traditional styles of Japanese animation, and steering clear of overly flashy effects. The music and sound design impeccably blend with the visuals, heightening the viewing experience. The hauntingly melancholic theme song, ‘Everlasting Love’, performed by famed Japanese singer, Takako Shirai, is particularly memorable.

Space Symphony Maetel was critically received as a fitting extension of Galaxy Express 999. The series was praised for its ability to capture the essence of the original series while adding new plot elements and depth. As it introduces a new twist to the familiar tale, it provides both nostalgia to the old fans and an intriguing tale to the newcomers.

However, it's worth noting that although the series can stand alone, familiarity with the original Matsumoto universe can undoubtedly enrich the viewing experience and lend a deeper understanding of the characters and narrative elements.

In conclusion, Space Symphony Maetel represents a remarkable chunk of sci-fi anime history. The series is a must-watch for fans of Leiji Matsumoto’s works or for anime enthusiasts in general who have a penchant for space operas and character-driven narratives. Its nuanced storytelling and stellar animation make it a lasting gem within the vast constellation of space-themed anime.

Space Symphony Maetel
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  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (39)