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Anime / Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express

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When Doraemon meets Leiji Matsumoto.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express is a 1996 Anime film adapted from the installment of Doraemon's Long Tales of the same name.

Doraemon, after a three-day absence, returns with tickets for the Galaxy Super-express, a mysterious express train from outer space which comes only once in a year, leading to various theme park-planets and adventure worlds before landing in it's ultimate destination, the largest theme park planet in the galaxy. Nobita and the gang eagerly joins the trip, but their fun vacation into space is cut short when they're attacked by parasitic aliens with an Assimilation Plot.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Galaxy Super-express contain examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: The unnamed mining planet which Doraemon and friends, alongside their new allies the Super Express Conductor and Baum, crashes upon after having the Galaxy Super-Express sabotaged by possessed!Aston turns out to hold a series of underground mines. There's a second, functioning Galaxy-Express Train inside the tunnel as well which proves essential for the heroes to escape the mining planet.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The long story and movie is based on a short from the manga where Nobita and friends board a railway train to space (after Nobita found leftover tickets in Doraemon's possession and made it off without telling Doraemon as usual) only to get into trouble as the trip goes wrong. Ironically, the short has Doraemon explicitly forbidding Nobita from boarding the space train because of safety hazards; but here it's Doraemon who invites Nobita and gang to join the trip!
  • Adaptational Badass: Don and Jane in the original manga are non-combatants, whose roles are reduced to the sidelines after discovering the second steam locomotive for Gian and they spend the entirety of the climax hiding in the Galaxy Express with the rest of the passengers while Nobita, Doraemon, Baum and the other heroes took on the aliens. The anime on the other hand have them partaking in the final battle, taking down parasitic aliens and saving their possessed friend Aston in the process.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Subverted. The fun rides and animatronics of the amusement park planet goes haywire and starts wreaking havoc everywhere they go, but that's caused by the parasitic aliens taking over the controls.
  • Amusingly Awful Aim: Doraemon and Nobita partake in a shooting contest on the Planet of Cowboys, alongside Nobita's new rivals, Ashton and his lackeys, Don and Jane, the challenge being to hit a minimum of two out of six targets using six bullets. While Doraemon, Nobita and Ashton both pass the challenge, Don scores no hits at all, while Jane accidentally hits the shooting range's referee with her first shot, leading to him angrily disqualifying her.
  • Asteroid Thicket: After escaping the mining planet, the second Galaxy Express gets pursued by the Yadori aliens, whose ranks now includes a stolen flying pirate ship from one of the amusement park worlds. The Galaxy Express tries losing their pursuers by flying through an asteroid field, only to be hit by cannons and force to land in an adjacent planet.
  • Big Bad: The Yadori Emperor who leads the Yadori aliens in infecting entire populations of humans (or humanoid aliens) across the galaxy.
  • Body Surf: The Yadori aliens seem to have this ability. The one that possessed Suneo later skips out of the unconscious Suneo’s body and possesses Nobita, before it gets eliminated when Shizuka unintentionally sprays Nobita in the face with the soap solution. One scene later Suneo reappears, having recovered from the possession and feeling guilty over what he had done while under the alien parasite’s influence.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Shizuka's Bathing Beauty moment ends up unintentionally providing a vital clue on how to fight back against the Yadori when she mistook a Yadori saucer intending to assimilate her for a voyeur and sprays it with soap.
    • The Ninjutsu scroll from the Ninja Planet that Gian collects as a souvenir turns up helping later in the adventure when Gian, Don and Jane finds a second, functioning Galaxy Express in a caved-in tunnel. While they're hopelessly trapped, Gian finds the Ninjutsu scroll in his pockets, remembers it's phasing functions, and phases the entire train out of the caverns, right in front of Doraemon and the others whom are looking for him.
  • Conspicuous CG: The Dream Land's entrace. It really clashes with the remaining hand-drawn animation of the anime.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Don and Jane, after being stranded on an asteroid before colliding with the passing Yadori mothership, gets flung onto a random mining planet nearby - which turns out to be the same planet Doraemon and gang crashes into after the Super-Express' first failed escape. While landing on the same planet can be due to the close-proximity between the various amusement worlds, what are the odds that they land within walking distance from each other?
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to most previous Long Stories, this one has parasitic aliens targeting the heroes for an Assimilation Plot, hundreds of innocent tourists in danger, with the stakes much higher overall than earlier works.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Yes, the future tourists trio of Aston, Don and Jane are a bit of a dick towards Nobita and friends, calling them "cavemen" after realizing they're from two centuries before. But that hardly justifies Aston getting possessed by a Yadori parasite while driving from one planet to another, and then jettisoning Don and Jane on an asteroid leaving them stranded and nearly dying of starvation before colliding with the Yadori Emperor's mothership and crashing into the mining planet, nearly killing them in the process...
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Doraemon is unable to use any gadgets from his Fourth Dimensional Pocket due to the Yadori tampering with the Dimension Gate (which Doraemon found put after receiving a nasty electric shock while looking for a gadget after the entire gang, sans Suneo, wakes up in a locked carriage), forcing the heroes to rely on themselves for the remainder of the final act.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: The Planet of Cowboys have a shooting range where contestants must test their worth to participate as a Sheriff by shooting at a row of six bottles and cans, with a minimum of two hits being a requirement. Ashton, showing off his Improbable Aiming Skills, shoots down five targets. Nobita then fires six shots, hitting only one target in the process... before revealing the tin he shot at has six holes in it. And contains six spent bullets.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms:
    • Due to the enemy mooks being parasitic aliens who can be weakened by soap solution, the heroes can engage in shootouts using squirt-pistols loaded with the liquid, where any humans infected by the aliens can be cured with having the solutions blasted into their faces (causing the parasite inhabiting their bodies to shrivel and fall out). Nobita in the final battle notably takes down scores and scores of alien parasites and possessed humans using two squirt guns simultaneously.
    • Earlier on, Nobita and Doraemon's adventure on a Western-themed planet have them using inflatable guns – firearms that deactivates robot outlaws, but only causes humans to inflate into floating bubbles when hit.
  • Four Is Death: Suneo's room is numbered 4, and when the Yadori took over the train he's the first member to be possessed.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Shizuka momentarily gets to partake in one when she gets to be Snow White on the Planet of Fairy Tales. Unfortunately, there are six other contestants partaking in the role, much to the confusion of the prince when he sees seven coffins, each containing a different Snow White. Hilarity Ensues soon after.
  • Gold-Colored Superiority: The regular Yadori aliens hovers around in white UFO-shaped capsules, while their leader, the Yadori Emperor, pilots a gold capsule with jewel-like studs on the sides.
  • Lured into a Trap:
    • Possessed!Suneo, while posing as the real Suneo, tells everyone via communicator that he found a safe spot behind the cabins, so that the other Yadori-possessed humans can lock them up for later assimilation. Thankfully the arrival of Baum and the Conductor (both who escaped the Yadori's initial takeover) saved Doraemon and gang before things get worse.
    • The heroes flips it around towards the climax. Aboard the second Super-Express, they are attacked by the Yadori mothership and crashes on a deserted nearby planet. The Yadori Emperor, Yadori cronies in mini-saucers, and all the Yadori-possessed humans comes out to collect the victims for assimilation, but that's exactly what the heroes want - cue Nobita, Doraemon, Baum and the other heroes, all armed with squirt-guns loaded with soap solution, firing en masse on the aliens killing Yadori by the dozens and reversing the effects of Yadori possession on the infected humans.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Yadori Emperor's trump card in the final battle. Seeing that his underlings are rapidly gunned down by Nobita, Doraemon, Baum, the Conductor and every one of the heroes, the Yadori Emperor retreats to the stolen pirate-shaped spaceship before revealing he had taken control of a massive robot statue (shaped like an ancient Greek warrior) and using it to attack the heroes.
  • Meaningful Name: The Yadori aliens are named after Yadokari, or hermit crab, which is appropriate for a race of microscopic aliens whose schtick involves them infecting humans (or humanoid aliens) and possessing their victims. Lampshaded by Gian when he mispronounced Yadori as "yadokari", which possessed!Suneo quickly corrects.
  • Mirror Scare: During Nobita's first night on the Super-Express, Nobita had one of these when seeing a vampire suddenly reflected on a mirror while brushing his teeth, causing him to Spit Take the water he's gargling on the mirror. A subtle Foreshadowing that something's not quite right with the Super-Express...
  • Ninja: One of the many visitable amusement worlds is the Planet of Ninjas, which Gian and Suneo travels to... and realize they're the only two visitors around. As it turns out, the planet is poorly-reviewed due to the ninja training games being too realistic. The scroll from the Ninja Planet ends up saving the heroes much later before the final act.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Right in the first scene featuring the gang (in the manga, it's the first page Nobita appeared in). After Suneo bragged to Gian and Shizuka about his space trip, usually this would have a jealous Nobita running home to Doraemon. But since Doraemon has been absent for 3 days, Nobita is so worried about Doraemon's whereabouts he doesn't even care about Suneo's bragging. Gian and Suneo quickly realized something might be amiss as well and instead gives Nobita their best wishes in locating Doraemon.
  • Playing Possum: Nobita gets the drop on the Yadori Emperor by pretending to have passed out in fear, tricking the Emperor to exit the statue it is currently controlling to get a new host body. Once the Emperor is out, Nobita swiftly grabs his squirt gun, fires and scores a direct hit.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Yadori aliens can possess any human-sized target and completely take over their minds within seconds.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: After the first failed escape from the Yadori, which has Doraemon and gang - alongside Baum and the Train's Conductor - crashing on a nearby mining planet, Gian laments that they'll be stuck on the deserted planet until they're dead. The conductor points out there's actually a mining outpost nearby, where despite having been abandoned for entire decades, still has functioning facilities, including electronics, machinery, various equipment, and storage rooms full of food which are still edible. There's also a second Super-Express Train hidden in a mining tunnel, which is somehow still functional enough for the heroes to use as means of escaping.
  • Raptor Attack: The Velociraptor on the Dinosaur Planet are obviously based on the Jurassic Park model, though justified in that they are animatronics.
  • Reused Character Design: In the anime, the technician stationed on the Dinosaur Planet looks a lot like Mr.Koike, a recurring character in the manga and anime (the Recurring Extra who's always eating ramen). As the theme park comes from two centuries later, he might be a descendant.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The premise of this particular movie, as well as the Super Express' name, is a massive homage to the Leiji Matsumoto classic, Galaxy Express 999. Both galaxy-traveling trains even have a cute midget alien as a conductor!
    • The cowboy-themed planet's main attraction is called "Gunsmoke City".
  • Taken for Granite: Referenced, but not actually seen. When the Dinosaur Planet's attendant tries briefing Doraemon and gang on the dinosaurs they can encounter, Shizuka sheepishly asks if there are any hostile, carnivorous dinos around. Turns out there are, but guests who got devoured will be turned to stone before being restored to normal instead of dying.
  • Terrible Trio: Aston, Jane, and Don, the three rich kids from the future who calls the gang "cavemen" for being from the less advanced 20th century.
  • Terror-dactyl: The Pteranodon are naked and can carry a human child, but they are toothless, quadrupedal, and do not grab with their feet. Justified in that they are animatronics.
  • Token Non-Human: Fitting the trend of having a cuddly new character introduced in each book, this one has the Galaxy Super Express Train Conductor, an alien who stood to the height of Nobita's waist.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Being a Keystone Army, the moment Nobita took down the Yadori Emperor via blasting it with soap solution, the remaining Yadori aliens quickly retreats in their mothership, never to be seen again.
  • Wagon Train to the Stars: The Galaxy Super-Express is a steam locomotive-shaped spaceship cruiser used for carrying hundreds and hundreds of tourists to various amusement park planets.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Yadori aliens, despite their technology, can be defeated by soap solution. Any possessed humans or humanoid aliens getting splashed by the solution will return to their normal state as the Yadori infecting them drops out of the body.