Galaxy Express 999 (銀河鉄道999, Ginga Tetsudō Surī Nain?) is a manga written and drawn by Leiji Matsumoto, as well as various anime films and TV series based on it. It is set in a space-faring, high-tech future in which humans have learned how to transfer their minds (but not their emotions) into mechanical bodies, thus achieving practical immortality.
The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for seinen in 1978. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1981.
The number, "999", in the title is pronounced "Three-Nine", as opposed to "Nine-Nine-Nine" or "Nine hundred ninety nine".
A street urchin named Tetsuro Hoshino desperately wants an indestructible machine body, giving him the ability to live forever and have the freedom that the unmechanized don't have. While machine bodies are impossibly expensive, they are supposedly given away for free in the Andromeda galaxy, the end of the line for the Galaxy Express 999, a space train that only comes to Earth once a year.
The series begins with Tetsuro and his mother making their way to Megalopolis where they hope to get jobs to pay for passes for the 999. Along the way however, Count Mecha and a gang of "human hunters" kill Tetsuro's mother. Before she dies, she tells him to continue the journey they started, and to get a machine body to live the eternal life she couldn't.