Anime Meta-Review


Lost Universe


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-26 of 26
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • people: Hayashibara
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Tue Oct 17 13:58:42 EST 2000
  • mod: none

I'd heard this referred to as `slayers in space', in what I thought was a somewhat derogatory manner. It is by the same author of course, and is nominally set in the same `reality' as slayers. But having watched some, I must admit that the description is actually fairly accurate. The story concerns a wandering group acting as `trouble contractors' in a sci-fi universe. Of course, like all anime sci-fi hero's they have a spaceship, the sword-breaker, which is both an ancient relic and technologically superior to most other craft. The hero of the story is Kane, a heroic swordsman wielding a potent psychic blade (although he wishes people would stop making fun of his cloak). In addition it looks like he's got some interesting history to be revealed. His companion is the ships computer, in the form of a cute female solid hologram. And the most recent addition is the self proclaimed greatest detective in the universe. Of course while they're making a living it seems that nightmare, a galaxy wide criminal syndicate, has taken an interest in them...which is not something to be welcomed. Will our hero's survive and emerge victorious? I'd expect so, this is slayers'ish after all, but some serious (and many not so serious) events should happen along the way.

In other words it truly does have the same atmosphere as slayers. Coming from a novel it has a well developed world, full of interesting politics, people and technological toys. It does give a feeling of an interesting world simply waiting to be explored. Meanwhile the team are the usual mix of extremely capable people, with unique talents, that have their moments of humor and of being deadly serious. And like slayers, the interaction between the team leads to some sweet moments. In addition the world has psychic powers, which interact with and are enhanced by various devices, as well as ancient artifacts from lost hyper-tech civilizations, allowing what is effectively `magic' to intrude into the world. Indeed there's a strong suspicion that nightmare are somewhat more than just criminals, and have access to strange powers of their own. And, once again like slayers, it's awfully watchable and enjoyable. While at the same time containing enough silly episodes to keep if from being revered or taken too seriously. If you're looking for deep, move on, if you're looking for enjoyable space adventure then you shouldn't go too far wrong with this. Apparently it did badly in Japan, and the conclusion doesn't seem to contain the promise for more. It could also be said of the conclusion that most of the characters begin to fade a bit (bar canal (the computer), who seems to be doing all the emotional work). It could well be that Hayashibara-san damages the balance by being too good, or perhaps space adventure doesn't have the same potential for epic as the god's and demons of fantasy? While it is interesting to try and guess reasons for it's (rumored) poor reception this should not be allowed to detract from the fact that this is an anime worth watching.

The production is interesting in several ways. The first thing that will be noticed is that the voice of slayers, Megumi Hayashibara is back, both doing the lead song and playing a core character (although obviously not the lead). Although strangely enough milly, the female detective, is probably doing the role closest to what we expect of MH. The next thing is the anime production. It's very similar in appearance and quality to slayers. This is somewhat of a suprise, considering the heritage of the author it would have seemed a sure bet for popularity. Thus the fact that the animation is no better than first season slayers TV, complete with still frame action when things get complex, seems strange. It's certainly workable, but it will no longer impress and some of the action scenes are limited by the animation. Another interesting thing is that the ships, and ship combat, is all computer generated. This works fairly well, given that ships are pure mechanical structures. In addition a filter has been applied to reduce the color, detail and complexity of the appearance of the ships. Thus they look like a weird middle ground between cell and `flashy' CGI which I must say looks like a reasonable (and interesting) approach. Certainly the ships, in terms of technical design and action, are well done. Some of the computer tech (given one of the characters is a computer) is also well designed and fun to watch. The writing is fairly good, the characters are fun, the music is light and energetic (lovely MH opening and ending themes too) and the voices are fine (though milly grates a little). In other words solid and sufficient production, but not too impressive and with minimal eye candy.

The only review from my regular sources is from Lord Carnage. The review is positive, although noting the similar style and atmosphere to slayers. His offsider, Herself the Elf, found it somewhat less funny and less clear than its sibling.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009