If you’ve heard of this anime you are most likely reading this post before/after watching Mawaru Penguindrum or after reading the first chapter of the visual novel Subarashiki Hibi, Down the Rabbit-Hole. I absolutely recommend you to watch NotGR before watching Mawaru Penguindrum. If you don’t, there will be many scenes you won’t understand.About the Anime:
This anime is based on a children’s book of the same name, written by Kenji Miyazawa. This book is actually very well-known in Japan. It uses symbolism and other common children’s story aspects. I think Miyazawa wrote this book after he read and got influenced by books from Europe. Even though he was a buddhist, he used lots of Christian imagery throughout the story. This anime is about Altruism.
Ginga Tetsudou no Yoru (NotGR) takes place in a town in Italy, so the names of characters are in Italian. Giovanni, our protagonist, is an innocent, poor boy living with his sickly mother. Giovanni‘s best friend Campanella is a wealthy orphan kid whose father used to be friends of Giovanni’s. Yeah, this orphan or sickly mother settings are very common in the books for children, teaching them to be grateful. Anyway, this book is based on a dream Giovanni has. In his dream, he travels through the Milky Way in a train and visits strange places.Is it worth it?
I recommend you to watch this anime if you’ve or going to watch/read SubaHibi, Mawaru Penguindrum, Hatoful Boyfriend or any work which makes references to this anime’s symbolism, otherwise it’s not worth it. It has been almost 100 years since this was written and there are lots of better children’s stories out there. But you can’t understand why they call Kanba a Scorpion or why Takashima and Minakami board the train without watching this.
My Score: 61/100