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Lost Universe Review by cFodder - DALnet #anime



Lost Universe Logo
Added by cFodder on November 24, 2003
Last modified on January 06, 2004
| List all reviews by this author |
Overview

Anyone familiar with Slayers will know of the five universes created by the lord of chaos. Enter Lost Universe, the little known sister series to slayers set in the sixth universe, one separated from the rest of existence long ago. Set amongst a science-fiction background at a time where beleagured, undermanned, underfunded government forces wage day to day warfare against a shady criminal syndicate.

The series has much the same atmosphere found in its much better known sister series; anyone who enjoyed the light hearted humour of Slayers will likely enjoy Lost Universe just as much. It seemed apparent to me however that despite its innovative(for the time) use of computer animation during combat, this was a series plagued by budget problems(mistaken a friend and I watched a Fushigi Yuugi marathon before switching to LU, and found ourselves saying "That's a reused shot" "That's a repeating sequence" "That's just a frame they're shaking around").

Personally, I have a soft spot for these underdog series and while the artwork and animation can be described as dated at best; it was still a delightful series.

Storyline

Lost Universe Picture 1 The series follows the travels of the Sword Breaker, a TroCon(Those who've seen Dirty Pair may remember the term) ship crewed by one psi-blade wielding Kain Blueriver, 'The Greatest in the Universe' Millie Nocturne, and FCS Canal(crewmember, ship control system, you decide). Between scraping together a living and subcontracting for the always undermanned Universal Guardians, it is soon discovered that the Sword Breaker is home to more than just a domineering ships computer. It is a Lost Ship, one of many built by unknown creators for unknown purposes and as such, matched only in power by another of its kind. As the conflict between the Universal Guardians and the Syndicate unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that Lost Ships will play the decisive role. Leading towards the conclusion, hints emerge that these ships are not all they appear; driven by dark motives and whose relationships with their masters are not mutually symbiotic.

Characters

Lost Universe Picture 2 Little is discussed of Kane's parents, he's was raised by his grandmother, an enigmatic figure of his past whom he adored, and from whom he inherited the Sword Breaker and his mastery of the psi-blade(lightsaber, sword of light; you've seen it before).

FCS Canal, Sword Breaker's computer, is one of the most endearing characters in any anime I've ever seen and one of the aspects that make this series so worthwhile. Her sensibilities are those one might expect from a starship, while her history dates back to some time in the indistinguishable past. Her experiences with Kain's grandmother, her former owner, likely go deeper than Kain's own though the usually energetic computer is strangely silent about memories of figures from her past, refusing to even acknowledge old aquaintances in Kain's presence; of the battle involving the death of Kain's grandmother, she is mute. One is left to wonder how the starship survived while its master did not. Her interactions with the other sentient Lost Ships are particularly interesting(those familiar may notice they bear the names from Slayers).

Millenium(Milly) Nocturne is the third character involved. A private investigator who suddenly finds herself unemployed with Kain and Canal as the unwitting yet primary factors inolved in her dismissal. Naturally she ends up seeking employment on the Sword Breaker. While she sometimes slips into the much stereotyped energetic, annoying girl, but-at-least-she-tries-really-hard role; Millie is not without her saving graces though. For one she's not an idiot, just unbelievably driven, and two she's not merely dead-weight being dragged around. The self appointed title "Greatest in the Universe" while a little exaggerated, is not pulled wholly out of the realm of self-delusion. Additionally, her own history traces itself to the very roots of events unfolding around them.


Animation

As mentioned the animation and artwork is not spectacular. The computer animations are original(particularly the way care is taken to see that, while computer derived, the end result is still recognizable as anime, rather than some CG experiment that looks nothing like the rest of the series).

Voice Acting

In terms of voice acting, Lost Universe is in all ways comparable its sister Slayers. I should take this opportunity to point out the ubiquitous Megumi Hayashabara(FCS Canal/Lina Inverse) who also sings for the title and ending credits.

Likes

The storyline of Lost Universe is wonderful, and the humour great. I'm not too proud to admit that I cried near the end(the only other anime to elicit tears from me has been Fruits Basket). The ending was rather different in its execution, all I can really think to say without ruining it is: "Make of it what you will."

Dislike

The artwork and animation: low budget
Its noticeable, but personally, I think it subtracts nothing from the charm of the series as a whole.


cFodder's Lost Universe Review Scores
Story :8/10Animation :4/10
Characters :9/10Voices :7/10
Overall Score 75% : Excellent



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Average User Rating for this Review : 5.0 (From 2 comments)
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Posted by: Subject Date
Tod - Blackburn Very good review. 03/20/07 01:23:24
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