Night on the Galactic Railroad (film)

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Night on the Galactic Railroad
Night on the Galactic Railroad.jpg
Poster for Night on the Galactic Railroad
Directed byGisaburo Sugii
Produced byAtsumi Tashiro
Masato Hara
Screenplay byMinoru Betsuyaku
Based on
StarringMayumi Tanaka
Chika Sakamoto
Music byHaruomi Hosono
CinematographyNobuo Koyama
Edited byMasashi Furukawa
Distributed byNippon Herald Films
Release date
  • 13 July 1985 (1985-07-13) (Japan)
Running time
113 minutes

Night on the Galactic Railroad (銀河鉄道の夜, Ginga Tetsudō no Yoru) is a 1985 anime film directed by Gisaburo Sugii based on the 1927 Japanese fantasy novel by Kenji Miyazawa. The screenplay was written by Minoru Betsuyaku. It was released on July 13, 1985, and features Mayumi Tanaka as Giovanni and Chika Sakamoto as Campanella.


Character Original English
Giovanni Mayumi Tanaka Veronica Taylor
Campanella Chika Sakamoto Crispin Freeman
Zanelli Junko Hori Pete Zarustica
Kaoru Kaori Nakahara Lisa Ortiz
Givoanni no haha Yoshie Shimamura Unknown
Old Woman Reiko Niimura
Birdcatcher Chikao Ohtsuka Pete Zarustica
Young Man Hidehiro Kikuchi Gil Ramsee
Train Conductor Shashou Tetsuya Kaji Scott Cargle
Wireless operator Takeshi Aono Eric Moo
Milkman Seiji Kurasaki Scottie Ray
Dr. Bulganillo, Campanella's Father Gorō Naya Eric Schussler
Teacher/Scholar Ryūnosuke Kaneda Gregory Wolfe
Lighthouse keeper Fujio Tokita Eric Stuart

Additional Voices[edit]


The film was produced by Nippon Herald and animated by Group TAC with in-between animation done by Gallop. The most prominent but controversial alteration made in the anime is that the main two characters (and their classmates) are depicted as cats. Some other characters, such as the children from the ship, are humans. Many members of the anime staff ultimately went on to high-profile careers as directors or as studio founders, such as Kōichi Mashimo, then a storyboard artist, who more than ten years later would go on to form the famed studio Bee Train.

Use of Esperanto[edit]

The captions throughout the film are in Esperanto as an homage to Kenji Miyazawa, who was strongly interested in the language. The film's title in Esperanto is Nokto de la Galaksia Fervojo. Text appearing in various scenes was also written in Esperanto, such as writing on the blackboard in the classroom. A newspaper being printed in the printing house where Giovanni works tells of the shipwreck of a passenger ship bearing the Esperanto phrase Dio, pli apud vin (Nearer, My God, to Thee).


The film soundtrack was composed by YMO member Haruomi Hosono.

Home video[edit]

The film was licensed by Central Park Media in the late 1990s, and was released on VHS with English subtitles. The subtitled version played irregularly on the Canadian station Space in 1997 and 1998.[1] When it was later released on DVD in 2001, CPM produced an English dub that starred Veronica Taylor as Giovanni and Crispin Freeman as Campanella. The film was re-licensed by Discotek Media and released on DVD in 2015 and Blu-ray in 2016.[2]


Justin Sevakis of Anime News Network commented that the film was "a beautiful journey, albeit an ominous one. Slowly, the mood of the trek shifts from excited and childlike to desperate and profound."[3]


The film was honored with the Ōfuji Noburō Award for 1985.


  1. ^ Igarashi, Ru (November 24, 1997). "[Galactic Railroad] Space's broadcast". rec.arts.anime.
  2. ^ Jensen, Paul (February 1, 2016). "Shelf Life: One Piece: Season 7 Part 4". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  3. ^

Anime adaptations[edit]