The Anime Cafe - Your complete source for anime reviews

[ go to homepage ]
[ what's new - editorials, calendar, to-do list, news articles, mailbag and archives ]
[ animé café contest information ]
[ episode-by-episode anime reviews, how we review ]
[ a parent's guide to anime, title list, titles by category ]
[ the anime encyclopædia ]
[ café trivia - anime trivia ]
[ anime humour, the laws of anime, light articles, etc ]
[ serious articles, essays, anime guides, etc. ]
[ message forum for the discussion of anime, manga, reviews, etc. ]
[ faq about the café and contributors, awards given to the café, etc. ]
[ feedback forms, error reports, or e-mail the café ]
[ links to other resources on the internet ]
[ site map ]


[ café reviews ]

Giovanni and Campanella on the Galactic Railroad.

Ginga Tetsudo no Yoru
(Night on the Galactic Railroad)

[ production info ]

Length: 105 minutes
Genre: fantasy / drama
Rating: G, suitable for family viewing
Format: Original Japanese Dialog with English subtitles (VHS/LD)

[ rated pg ]

adult situations

Parental Guidance Advised - No real objectionable content, other than the subject itself: death. This movie will not be able to hold the interest of most children, and many adults for that matter.

[ plot summary ]

Giovanni is a young school boy who's father is currently working a long ways from home. With his mother ill and in need of help and medicines, Giovanni works both before and after school to help buy the basic necessities for the house. However, since he's always working and is somewhat withdrawn, the rest of the kids at school tease him constantly about the new "otter skin coat" that his father is to bring back for him, amongst other things. The one kid at school who doesn't tease him however, is Campanella; the son of his father's friend. During the evening of the Festival of the Stars, both Giovanni and Campanella find themselves on board a train; this train which will take them to the very edges of the galaxy and possibly beyond.

[ capsule review ]

This movie sort of takes you off-guard if you don't know what it's about; and it definitely has a point to make. Recognised by the Ministry of Education in Japan, it deals with the subject of death and does so in a sensitive manner which *shouldn't* give kids nightmares, but will have them in tears. Indeed adults will have a tough time keeping a dry eye assuming that both can get through the movie that is. The main drawback to this movie is the sheer length of the production. It's extremely demanding on one's ability to maintain their interest, and would be even more difficult for kids to watch; either in North America or Japan. The animation is okay although nothing particularly special, but the music is very nice. The voice acting is nothing particularly special in this show either, and really both Giovanni and Campanella are very quiet throughout the movie and the train ride. The *lack* of action more than anything makes things even more demanding, it's very much as though you were taking a ride on a train, people come and go, sometimes it's interesting to look out the window sometimes not, sometimes you take a nap... It's very slow paced and it becomes very tempting to take a nap as things go on.

The main thing to note however, is that the whole topic of death doesn't *really* show up until at least half-way if not later in the show. There is a bit of foreshadowing of what the story is about when Campanella and Giovanni first meet on the train, but this is very easy to miss. Beyond that however, the first adventure the boys go on looks like lots of fun; seeing people working on an archaeological dig of some sort. However, as the movie (slowly!) progresses you start to get an idea about who is really getting on the train, and when the ticket master goes by, you know something is very strange with Giovanni's ticket compared to Campanella's. By the time you meet the threesome from the shipwreck, you know very well what's happening and you also know how the story will end. It's a nice and sensitive way of looking at death, but truth to be told, very few kids will have the staying power to watch the whole show, and indeed many adults will have a tough time about it. - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 3 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars N/A

[ see also ]

[ home ] [ what's new ] [ café contest ] [ café reviews ] [ parent's guide ] [ encyclopædia ]
[ café trivia ] [ café latté ] [ café espresso ] [ about the café ] [ feedback ] [ links ] [ site map ]

© 1997-2000. All rights reserved. The Animé Café logo and the Crystal Kyoko award are original creations of the Animé Café. Please do not use any of the materials on this site without the expressed written permission of the Animé Café.

Page last modified 1999.10.27