Lost Universe

Title:Lost Universe
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SoftX
HOSHI Souichiro
NODA Junko
Original Concept - KANZAKA Hajime
R1 License - Right Stuf Intl
Kain Blueriver is a Trouble Consultant who inherited the ancient and powerful "lost ship" known as "Swordbreaker" from his grandmother. The ship's AI, Canal Volfield, manifests herself as a solid hologram in the form of a young, green-haired girl and she's always on the lookout for upgrades in "Swordbreaker's" weapons and defenses. Then there is Millie, a former detective who lost her job after running into Kain and Canel. Since she's bound to be the best at something, she ends up joining the crew. Together, they must stop the evil Nightmare Syndicate from carrying out their plans for the universe.
[26 TV episodes. According to the mangaka, Lost Universe takes place on a different planet in the same "universe" as Slayers. The series is set in Darkstar's universe as mentioned in Slayers Try. However, there are serious continuity flaws between Lost Universe and Slayers so that this isn't canon to the Slayers universe.]

R1 by Rightstuf; formerly licensed by ADV.
[edit] The ↗Slayers franchise time line: Lost Universe (same universe):
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 6 6 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:23#1552]
For a spinoff based off Slayers, Lost Universe was a bit underwhelming for me. Lost Universe basically starts off being a comedy/ adventure series in its first half focused on the missions that Kain and Millie partake in as trouble consultants, a number of which being a bit on the bizarre side much like Slayers. Unfortunately, the comedy here felt a bit flat for me as it didn't really seem to be poking fun of anything other than the quirks of the characters (Millie's bragging of being the "best in the universe" and Kane's obsession with his cape) and the nutty situations they dealt with, which were more obnoxious than funny for me. Slayers worked for me in the comedy department because it was poking fun of medieval fantasy/ adventure titles with its major characters quite aware of a number of the cliches for which they were dealing with. Lost Universe lacks that charm and it was what led me to take a while to get around to finishing the series without putting it on hold in my stockpile.

The second half held up my interest a little better as it explored the major conflict in which Kane deals with in the form of the crime syndicate Nightmare and their gathering of other Lost Ships like the one that Kane is in possession of. It provides a reasonable amount of fleshing out on Kane's character and explores what led him to seek revenge on the syndicate. The series would slowly unveil the motivations of the syndicate and the nature surrounding the Lost Ships they desire.

Still though, the major characters representing Nightmare mostly fulfill stock archetypes you would expect in conventional sci-fi titles serving either as mooks for their boss, desiring planetary/ galactic domination or wanting to flat out destroy everything that exists, making them quite shallow and not so interesting in motives or personality like Xellos or Rezo from Slayers. Not to mention it seemed like the series had quite a bit it was trying to explore yet so little time to provide reasonable substance. The final episodes of the series noticeably rush through their revelations and conflicts without any solid buildup, had some details on prominent characters left unexplored (Millie's past and how Raily came across some major information for later in the show) and seemed to lack a proper ending as it was hinted there would be more to Kane's adventures beyond this show.

The drawing style for Lost Universe is similar to Slayers, which shouldn't be of much surprise to Hajime Kanzaka fans since he created both shows. The animation for the series tended to be quite inconsistent at points, especially as I've heard that this series ran through a number of different art directors throughout the show's run. Close-up shots of characters made use of a bright color palette on occasions yet reverted back to a more subdued color tone in medium and far camera shots. There were some occasions where I seen scenes where the details of characters and scenery take a hit quality-wise and they were back to par in the next scene. Animation sequences with spaceships quite often switch between use of traditional hand-drawn animation and subpar CG animated renderings of the spaceships. I can forgive the CG animation considering the early use of the technology for a TV anime, but not the inconsistent quality that I could notice with the title's animation throughout its run.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with how subpar Lost Universe was as I was quite entertained with much of the Slayers franchise. While this series has some decent elements with its plot unveiled in its second half, the flat comedic delivery, inconsistent animation and lack of time to fully explore its world and characters were major issues for me with Lost Universe. I wouldn't consider this too memorable compared to the other TV anime titles that make up the Slayers franchise.

Last updated Monday, October 22 2012. Created Monday, October 22 2012.
Rent Forbin [series:23#1573]
Anime Type
Story Line26 Episodes

/sigh. Softx tricked me again. Damn Clones! The last 3 episodes is where they explained it all, and the last 3 episodes is where everything goes to hell! I loved the first 23 Episodes, then BAM! Tons of Plot, no real explanation on how anything happened and tons of reused Animation. Damn Damn Damn. No more freaking CLONES! Read my review in The Slayers and you will understand how I HATE IT when they cheapen the story by bringing in the clones.

Owell it was a good anime up to the end, so I'll rate it a rent but honestly those last 3 episodes should've knocked it down to a WATCH.

Original Review
Wow I like! Everyone compares it with Slayers and I went, hey that's a Blonde Lina and that's a Red Head Gourry and look Zelgadis is a girl! Hehe and Amelia is a boy! Then I stopped and realized this isn't a Slayers Clone, it looks more like someone crossed Slayers with Gunsmith Cats. I like it. Good mystery about the Lost technology. I hope it keeps it up. In fact it's more realistic than Slayers in that each character has a particular weakness that balances out their 'super' powers. It's not that Lina's only weakness is her breast size, Millie is a crack shot but she fails under pressure and blows up the kitchen for a single meal.

Last updated Monday, October 31 2005. Created Wednesday, September 28 2005.
Rent 7 7 8 7 7 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:23#436]

Officially, Lost Universe takes place in the multi-verse created by Hajime-sensei of which the Slayers titles are also a part. Specifically, Lost Universe is supposed to take place in Dark Star's universe, but sadly, the writers failed to link this series with the Slayers franchise. OK, the name Dark Star is the same but beyond that, there was little linkage. Why? It wouldn't have taken that much effort to link the two series. Then fans of Slayers Try, where Dark Star played a major part, would have had more to enjoy. As it is, Lost Universe has to be watched as a seperate item since events in Slayers Try don't jive with those in this series.

That aside, a little over the first half of the series is dedicated to little adventure stories. We learn very little about the overall story and very little about the characters during this time. There are some minor hints at stuff to come, but precious little. This was another problem I had with the series. The adventures stories weren't a problem for me. Indeed, episodes like "Toilet Fears" were an absolute riot! However, the writers decided to put off giving the audience any information until the series began to draw to a close, including information about character's past. They did this with the idea of keeping the audience in wonder, but they went overboard. The series would have been MUCH better had the writers given us more information about Kain, Canel, Millie, and the others.

That said, I did enjoy the series. As I said, episode 9 was extremely funny! There is good seiyuu work here with many seiyuu from the various Slayers titles having roles in LU. Hayashibara Megumi does nice work again. I was afraid she might play Canel as Lina Inverse, but she doesn't. When her character gets upset, she doesn't go into Lina mode and that was great. She played it as a computer unit might -- even keeled. Canel was my favorite character.

There are some issues with the art and animation. The CGI doesn't fit well with the regular art and animation. But then the medium was in its early days when LU came about. The music wasn't bad, but not anything to write home about (IMO).

Bottom line: This had the potential to be so much more, but instead, the series went for the average. Still, it is worth a rent for Slayers fans, Hayashibara Megumi fans, and those who like sci-fi titles.

Additional: Since my previous update in May 2005, I have learned that the Lost Universe novels by Hajime-sensei, while having characters previously mentioned in his Slayers novels, is in fact apparently not related to Slayers. According to KanzakaDex, he apparently just reused names like "Dark Star" and the others because he liked them, not because he was showing what was going on in the world of Dark Star that he gave a glimps of in the Slayers novels. So I guess the anime writers can be forgiven for not linking this series to Slayers. ^_^;

Last updated Monday, January 28 2008. Created Tuesday, July 27 2004.

Rent Stretch [series:23#628]
Slayers in space! The fourth season of Slayers! If you liked Slayers, you'll like this! Well, though I enjoyed it, I for one was not extremely thrilled by Slayers, so perhaps it's not surprising that I found Lost Universe to be a little disappointing as well. My main problem with this series is that I found the gradual revelation of the main plot to be highly confusing, and too many questions left unanswered. Too many hints and too few concrete explanations! What exactly are the relationships between the Gazer Concern, Stargazer, Nightmare, Gore Nova and Dark Seeder? It wasn't until the very last episode that I finally convinced myself that Dark Seeder was indeed the name of that blond-haired villain, since he was the only one left and that name was the only one still in the credits. I felt as if I was trying to make sense of a story being told by way of vague hints.* For example, the Dark Star was described as "A dreadful battle machine that evolves every time it awakes"--what exactly that means is anybody's guess; a sort of Star War's Death Star that has a mind of it's own and is normally in hibernation, perhaps? A super Lost Ship? It's hard to follow a story when you are unsure whether or not you understand just who or what the characters, organizations and spaceships are (and whether maybe the spaceships are characters themselves!). What's the difference, if any, between Canal and Volfield? What was the deal with her appearing briefly as a mature woman in episode 13? Maybe I crave logic and order too much in my plots, but I can't be the only one who saw a problem because at the Anime Meta Review website five respectable critics awarded Lost Universe an average score of only 55%.

Actually, that's kind of funny, because for all my complaints, I would have given it a higher grade. One of those critics suggested comparing Lost Universe to Outlaw Star, which makes a lot of sense: both are Space Operas involving remarkable spaceships which each have a female crewmember who was somehow designed to act as part of the ship. Both feature a strong male main character, who seeks revenge for the murder of a family member. Both take place in high-tech galaxies where "magic" is nevertheless not uncommon. Both contain a number of filler episodes with little or nothing to do with the main plot. I just think the episodes of Outlaw Star fit together much more smoothly. It seemed to me that the main story within Lost Universe didn't even get underway until episode 13 (already halfway through the series!), and I was frustrated when the very next one was another filler (and a pretty feeble one, too). I don't recall ever actually feeling bored during Outlaw Star, but I was during LU until things finally got serious in episode 22. Outlaw Star ended cleanly with no loose threads, whereas though it had an okay ending, LU left too many questions unanswered for me. What happened to the Dark Star and Dark Seeder? Clearly they were defeated (I doubt if that's much of a "spoiler"), but when I have little idea what made their defeats possible, I'm left feeling frustrated and confused. Likewise, how was the Rag D' Mezegis taken out so quickly when not long before it had been kicking the Swordbreaker's ass? What was the point of revealing that certain characters were related to each other? Also, I was expecting more detail on what happened to Alicia, but it never came.

So, what did I like about Lost Universe? Both the OP and ED themes were neat. Also, unlike many other critics, I liked the computerized space combat scenes--especially that black hole firing weapon. Characters were good--Rail was a mystery who took a long while to figure out. I can't help thinking that not all that much use was made of Dark Seeder, though. And some of the filler episodes were fun--the "chicken terrorists", for example.

The overall impression of Lost Universe that I'm left with is one of confusion--a not too complicated plot which nevertheless is explained in a cryptic, difficult to understand manner. Implausible events, sometimes coming completely out of the blue (Nightmare is out to conquer the galaxy?). I wish they'd gotten whoever edited Outlaw Star to tighten things up. I fear I'll wind up leaving an excessively negative impression of the series here, because I find it a lot easier to file complaints than compliments. I did, after all, give it a "rent" rating. I'm not sorry I watched it--I'm just glad I didn't pay full price!

*I stumbled upon a review by Mike Toole, who, though describing a different series, perfectly explains my problem with Lost Universe: "The only problem... is that it's almost too deliberately cryptic. Witholding the proper amount of information from the viewer will breed intrigue, but witholding too much will make for an apathetic audience."

My favorite line: "We play with each other's minds until one gives up" --Kain, explaining how Lost Ships fight each other.

Last updated Friday, July 11 2008. Created Tuesday, July 20 2004.
Buy 8 8 8 8 8 MarX [series:23#1033]
I am recommending this anime for sole reason of it being good...
Character design is of Slayers type.. So I liked it. I like the idea of the holo-babe... I just like the series. (Though I had seen all the episodes in Spanish.. Which I can't read or speak a lick of...!) As you can see if I enjoyed it in a different language without subtitles then it must be worth while anime...

Last updated Thursday, January 08 2004. Created Thursday, January 08 2004.
Rent 6 6 8 6 8 5 Mark Clifton [series:23#126]
It's a very nice Anime Series, though at times it could have been better. Like several other Anime TV series, the overall storyline doesn't really pick-up till half way through the series. Luckely the characters are lively.
The Animation is nothing special, and the overall artwork could do better. Regardless of those details, it will make you laugh! And you'll laugh even more by ADV's attempt to dub it worse (and they suceed!).
I suggest to check it out, but don't buy unless you get really into it!

Last updated Tuesday, May 08 2001. Created Tuesday, May 08 2001.
Buy 9 9 10 9 10 Black Panther [series:23#142]
I LOVE THIS ANIME! It is very funny and has romance! I didn't like the main girl when watching the first and second tape, but her genuine feelings for her soon "family" if you will, come out, and soon you just get to the point were Kane and his ship are not the same with out her. The title "Lost Universe" is very fitting to the story line. Kane is simply a wanderer, who has an obsession with his cape, which I just, love! He has lost his universe or better yet all who he holds dear.... Or maybe everything he holds dear is as close to him as say his ship (which is like his last bit of family)...I will let you see the rest.

Last updated Monday, December 17 2001. Created Tuesday, February 20 2001.
Buy 6 8 9 7 8 5 Epoch [series:23#85]
This series is funny but rather pointless at the beginning. However, halfway through it gets very exciting and I found myself on the edge of my seat awaiting what happens next.
The animation quality is very good and the characters are lovable, though they tend to resemble characters from the Slayers series. This is probably because its the same writer and Lost Universe was known as the fourth season of Slayers.
Overall this is my favourite sci-fi comedy anime out there. Definite buy!

Last updated Friday, December 15 2000. Created Friday, December 15 2000.
Buy 7 8 7 6 7 CatWoman [series:23#65]
I liked this series a lot, and it is very clean. I loved the main Character Kan, and his obsession with his cape is so funny. There is a character in the series though that I really found...well I really didn't like her! She has an obsession with being the best at something, and she is always following the main character around blaming hem for stuff! But she grows on you after time! Its a good one! (and there ship is really cool too!) THIS IS A MUST BUY FOR EVERONE!

Last updated Friday, April 27 2001. Created Thursday, July 27 2000.
Buy 8 9 8 8 The Coyote [series:23#64]
This thing gets better as it gose and starts off great. you have to see it especially if you like slayers I still wouldn't say it has reached the slayers status if thats possible but its a series you don't want to miss I love it the character interaction is great and very entertaning a must bye

Last updated Friday, January 19 2001. Created Saturday, July 22 2000.
Buy 6 8 7 7 6 6 Dingle [series:23#35]
If you like Slayers, you will love Lost Universe. Like many people say, this is Slayers in space. The difference is Lost Universe has better animation, a more interesting story, and better characters. I have only seen the first 14 episodes, but I am going to buy the rest when they come out. The only thing I hate about the series is that ADV got the US rights to it.

Last updated Friday, June 16 2000. Created Friday, June 16 2000.

Other Sites
Wikipedia - Lost Universe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Universe
KanzakaDex http://kanzaka.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
A huge Slayers and Lost Universe wiki, without the evils of Wikipedia.

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