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Anime / Marine Express

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Most of the main cast.

Undersea Super Train: Marine Express was a 1979 made-for-TV Japanese Animated film featuring characters from various Osamu Tezuka manga. The whole thing is basically an Alternate Universe Fic except that it was made by the actual creator of the characters. (While Tezuka was already known for creating Expies of his own characters to reuse from one manga to the next, this movie (one of three) was created specifically for crossover purposes.) Among the characters involved are Black Jack, Astro Boy, The Princess Knight, Don Dracula, The Three-Eyed One and Kimba the White Lion.

The plot involves the world's first undersea train, in its maiden voyage from Los Angeles to Japan. Several characters board it with their own secret agendas, involving everything from weapon smuggling to preventing pollution. Then midway through the trip the train is whisked back in time to the era of the lost Mu Empire, which once reigned over the Pacific, and the characters must now help liberate it from an evil tyrant.


Not to be confused with the TV series Supertrain.

Tropes in Marine Express include:

  • Anyone Can Die: By the end, several characters are dead, including Skunk, Boon Marukubi, Milly's father, Astro Boy, his creator and Sharaku.
  • Bittersweet Ending: several characters die, others stay on the past to live there. But at least Rock and The Queen remain together. Only Detective Ban returns to the present.
  • Death by Cameo: Ham Egg appears for a few seconds before being killed off.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The film initially seems like it will be focused on Shunsaku Ban and Black Jack. It quickly focuses to Rock and his development once they're on the train.
  • Eenie, Meenie, Miny Moai: The heroes are attacked by giant stone heads on Mu.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Director Credit dearly loves his daughter and spares Detective Ban's life so she wouldn't see him murder someone.
  • Excuse Plot: Most of the story doesn't make much sense; in particular, Sharaku's reason for bringing the Marine Express to the past.
  • Green Aesop: Dr. Narzenkopf wishes to destroy the train to prevent destruction of sea life and Polynesian islands from industrializing and polluting the ocean.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The original plot is caused by Director Credit smuggling illegal weapons on the train and hiring assassins to kill anyone who gets in his way. After they're taken out, the train is transported 10,000 years into the past by aliens.