Often considered the sister series to The Slayers
, Lost Universe is Hajime Kanzaka's take on the Sci-Fi genre. Following Kane Blueriver, Millie Feria Noturne and Canal Vorfeed, the anime (and novels) explore the trio's job—Trouble Contractors, who anyone can hire to solve their problems. These problems range from getting a witness to a trial on time (and alive) to tracking down stolen tea sets.
As the series progresses, the Nightmare Syndicate comes to light; this organization is out to conquer the universe, and Kane and Canal seem to have a personal problem with them...can Millie and Kane unravel the mystery of the Lost Ships and the Syndicate before it's too late?
The series is very much a Kanzaka series; it's 60% humor and 40% serious. It pokes fun at the genre and has various shout outs throughout. The anime's 26-episode run was supposed to have been followed by a 2nd series that would have given it a more conclusive ending, but the funding didn't appear.
There's a widely-held Fanon
belief that this series is set in the same universe as Slayers. To pull from the other Wiki
:"In Slayers, it was mentioned that the main characters of that series live on a world that is one of the four created by the mother of all creation, called The Lord of Nightmares or simply LoN. This world was known as the Red World. Lost Universe, however, takes place in a different world, known as the Black World. Whereas the demi-gods of the various worlds such as Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo and Dark Star Dugradigdo had physical presence in that world, they appear in the Black World as "Lost Ships," or space ships that have mystical or somewhat magical powers.?Word of God
(as you can read here
) has explicitly stated that this is not true; the series are set in two totally different universes. He just liked the names, and reused them. Whether you feel this is an improvement or not varies
among the community. Strangely, the "Translation Notes" included as a bonus in the official DVD set of the series does state that the two series are connected
licensed and dubbed the show before they went out of business, and it was recently rescued by Nozomi Entertainment
along with several other titles. The light novels were never released overseas.
This series provides examples of:
- Awesome McCoolname -
- Millennium Feria Nocturne or Stargazer
- Kane Blueriver.
- Berserk Button: Kane is very proud of his awesome (in his own mind) cape, and is easily enraged by people calling it stupid-looking.
- Beyond the Impossible: Deconstructed. Because Vorfeed can ignore things like 'inertia' Millie figures out that's it's a Lost Ship. Because it can do things that are impossible for normal ships, it therefore can't be a normal ship.
- Bittersweet Ending: The anime version, if you take the depressing interpretation, means that Kane and Canal are dead and there's no one to stop the remaining evil Lost Ships. The novel version is much nastier.
- Clothing Damage - Kane shreds and/or loses his cape regularly; good thing he has a closet full of them...
- Clucking Funny: The cast is a flight that gets hijacked by religious fanatics in chicken suits.
- Cool Old Lady: Kain's grandmother was definitely this because all of his Trouble Shooter wisdom comes in the form of things she used to say all the time.
- Dramatic Wind: Darkstar, all the time.
- Millie looks like she could be Amelia's Elseworld counterpart, and Kane is more or less a male version of Lina. Darkstar in human form is basically Gourry's evil twin. See his picture here. They're even voiced by the same voice actor!
- Two secondary characters, Rail Claymore and Nina Mercury, have a relationship and personality traits that parallel Zelgadis and Amelia's, and they even have the same voice actors in the anime (Hikaru Midorikawa and Masami Suzuki respectively).
- Follow the Chaos - It's how you know dinner's ready; explosion!
- Hey, It's That Voice! - Megumi Hayashibara as Canal; Soichiro Hoshi as Kane; Akira Ishida plays a recurring government agent. Yasunori Matsumoto is surprisingly cast as The Dragon. Incidentally, all three actors also have major roles in The Slayers series, being Lina, Xelloss, and Gourry respectively.
- Immortal Immaturity: Canal can be very child-like, despite the fact she's a centuries-old super-computer.
- Improbable Aiming Skills - Millie plans to be the Best Shot In The Universe and she's well on her way there. She normally nails her target in space even if she has no targeting computer; if she is on the ground, she can take out targets with a pistol that are behind her while looking in a mirror while driving at high speed with her other hand. With a targeting computer online? She can wipe out entire fleets with nothing but a basic set of cannons and missiles.
- Karma Houdini - Despite the demonstrated lack of competence and professional ethics in the medical students all that happens to them is that they voluntarily retake their last year of classes instead of the expulsion and/or criminal charges that should have resulted.
- Kill 'em All The climax of the novels, leading to a Downer Ending.
- Laser Blade - Kane's primary weapon.
- Lethal Chef - Played with. Millie is a very good chef but she blows up the kitchen every time she uses it and one time by literal application of Oven Logic. This is one of the reasons why Canal doesn't like her.
- Light Novels - It began as a light novel series, four volumes in total.
- Limited Wardrobe - Kane's closet is nothing but the exact same cloak.
- Lost Technology - The Lost Ships.
- Magic from Technology - The Ships again, whose Energy Weapons look a heck of a lot like magic. The commands used on Dark Star at the end that disrupts him is part of the Giga Slave...
- Megumi Hayashibara
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Yami o Makumono (lit. He Who Spreads Darkness; "Dark Seeder" in the ADV Translation)
- No Budget: Unintentional; it was being made during a financial recession, so it got a meager budget to begin with. To twist the knife even further, the masters for the first few episodes were damaged from a studio fire, so their quality also went down.
- Not So Different - Millie and Canal, from each other. Both are capable of being extremely childish, selfish and immature. In episode 9, for example, Canal dismisses the fact there is only one bathroom on the ship as unimportant because she, personally, doesn't need to use it and she refuses to install another one because she "hates bathrooms".
- The Mole - Rail is one in the galatic police but it's for his own agenda.
- Off Model - Episode 4, "Yashigani Hofuru", had so many animation errors that yashigani became a Fan Nickname for bad animation.
- Only Sane Man - Despite his goofy antics and fixation on wearing a cape (something that everybody mocks him for), Kane Blueriver is arguably the most intelligent and mature out of the Power Trio.
- Recycled In Space - Lost Universe is Slayers, IN SPACE.
- Schizo Tech -Canal, a Sentient Computer, has to do some calculations in the second episode, so she forms a holographic human body which then pulls out a holographic slide rule to do the math. As if that wasn't enough, she gets the math wrong. She calculates out a position to get ahead of another ship by five minutes and instead gets so close it appears before she can finish her sentence. She excuses herself by claiming that her math was off because Millie was too fat.
- She doesn't have any computer interface with her own systems. In order to fly around or fire her weapons she can't simply send a mental command, she has to form a holographic body that then manually controls the systems using joysticks. There's no explanation why the ship's computer has to type on the ship's keyboard to do basic tasks.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Only several villains are alive at the end of the novel series; all of the protagonists are dead without justification. Fortunately, the anime doesn't take this route.
- Shout-Out - Kane's Laser Blade.
- Spaceship Girl - Canal is the Cool Ship's AI and a solid hologram.
- Stun Guns - Millie often uses plastic rounds, which are played more like a less permanent Instant Death Bullet than a painful blow.
- To Be a Master - Millie wants to be the best in the universe - at everything.
- Walking Tech Bane - Nina destroys any computer she touches. Canal is rightly terrified of Nina coming on board.