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Front cover of the first novel.
|Written by||Hajime Kanzaka|
|Illustrated by||Shoko Yoshinaka|
|Published by||Fujimi Shobo|
|Imprint||Fujimi Fantasia Bunko|
|Original run||1992 – 2000|
|Written by||Shoko Yoshinaka|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Magazine||Monthly Dragon Junior|
|Original run||December 1997 – November 2002|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Takashi Watanabe|
|Produced by||Noriko Kobayashi
|Written by||Hajime Kanzaka
|Music by||Osamu Tezuka|
|Network||TV Tokyo (1998)|
|Original run||April 3, 1998 – September 25, 1998|
Lost Universe (ロスト・ユニバース Rosuto Yunibāsu?) is a series of science fiction light novels, running from 1992 to 1999, by Japanese author Hajime Kanzaka. It was later adapted into a 26-episode anime television series that ran throughout the summer of 1998 on TV Tokyo during the same time slot that the anime adaptation of Kanzaka's previous work, Slayers, ran.
This anime is called "Universe Police" in China and Hong Kong.
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. 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", intelligent space ships of unknown origin that have powerful or somewhat divine powers with more advanced technology than any other device in the universe. Their rarity and superiority has sparked suggestions that they have been made by an advanced ancient alien civilization or by coming from the beginning of the universe itself. Being a central part to the plot the "Lost Ships" are intelligent beings with different loyalties and even their own agenda. Kane Blueriver, a "trouble contractor," inherits a "Lost Ship" from his grandmother and from there, he and his sidekick Milly, together with Canal, the ship's computer, journey to find a source of the evil that threatens the universe.
- Kain Blueriver (カイン・ブルーリバー Kain Burūribaa?)
Voiced by: Souichiro Hoshi (Japanese); Steve Metz (English)
- Kain is the protagonist of the adventure. He is an intergalactic trouble-Contractor. He is a tough and reckless adventurer who captains Sword-Breaker, the legendary lost space ship from an ancient civilization. He acquired his spaceship from his grandmother and constantly recites quotes of her. A free spirit, keeps an open mind whatever the situation. Ever the optimist, he is always confident he will prevail over whatever troubles await him. His motto is "carry out any difficult assignment to the end!" Kain is the master of the Psi-Blade, a weapon of psi energy, requiring tremendous mental strength.
- He always wears a black cloak, apparently also worn by his grandmother.
- Canal Volfield (キャナル・ヴォルフィード Kyanaru Vorufiido?)
Voiced by: Megumi Hayashibara (Japanese); Jessica Schwartz (English)
- Canal is a female human-like hologram. She is the computer terminal of the Sword-Breaker. She has a distinctive personality, emotions and reasoning abilities. Her usual form is a teenage girl, but if necessary, and she can morph her form into a baby, a noble lady or other objects, whatever is needed to help Kain in his missions. Her motto is "carry out any difficult assignment to the end, as long as it shows a profit!" In this respect she's much like Lina Inverse, from the spin-off series Slayers. Ironically they're voiced by the same actress. Canal's mind functions as a computer...she is very practical, analytical and logical. On the other hand, she sometimes shows her emotions when she teases Kain for his mistakes or has a quarrel with Millie Farrier.
- She is a bit selfish, doing a lot of negative actions for the Sword Breaker owner (Kain Blueriver), like turning off Life System only for getting a job that Kain didn't want.
- Millennium "Millie" Feria Nocturne (ミレニアム・フェリア・ノクターン Mireniamu Feria Nokutaan?)
- "Millie" is an uninvited assistant to Kain. Jealous of Canal, Millie is a happy-go-lucky girl who is a self-professed, but amateur private detective. She has very basic detecting' skills like opening a locked door with her hair pin! Her dream is to be the best in the universe' at everything she does. At work, she is indeed the best shot in the universe...but at home on Sword-Breaker, is another matter. Providing a bit of comedy, she routinely blows up the kitchen, but somehow the meals turn out delicious.
- She meets Kain and Canal in the first episode but doesn't actually join them until the second. She travels with them throughout the series.
- Raily Claymore
- A handsome and smart police inspector of Interstellar Police. Kain has a sort of inescapable "give-and-take" relationship with this young inspector. He often contacts the crew of the Swordbreaker with mission requests, that are not always requests.
- Nina Mercury
- The secretary of Raily Claymore. Nina is so deeply in love with Raily that she is fascinated by his gaze and forgets what she is doing. Two running gags in the series focus on her actidentally spilling coffee on Rail, and shortening out any machine with the slightest touch. The latter is actually useful in several adventures.
- The master of a giant company called Gazer Konzern and the boss of mega-crime organization; Nightmare. He is the master of the Lost Ship Darkstar and intends to control the whole universe. Stargazer possesses a power to destroy the mind of a person from afar.
Spreader of Darkness
- Spreader of Darkness
Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (Japanese); David Stokey (English)
- A young-looking guy who works for Stargazer, and master of Goln-Nova, one of the legendary Lost Ships. He commands Glen and Carly at Nightmare. He was injured in the battle with Alice 10 years ago pre series and has since been in stasis. He woke up after sleeping for 87016 hours in a capsule.
When the first novel of Lost Universe was released in 1992, it enjoyed moderate success due in no part to Kanzaka, who already had negotiations in the works for the Slayers anime.
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Lost Universe ran for 26 episodes, and was plagued with numerous production problems. Most notably, large amounts of the raw work for the first few episodes was destroyed in a studio fire and had to be quickly replaced leading to fairly sketchy quality for those episodes. It also ran in during the Southeast Asian financial crisis of 1998 which severely limited budgets for anime series across all studios. A Lost Universe movie was rumored in 1998, but was cancelled in favor of more Slayers movies.
Lost Universe is distributed in North America by Enoki Films, and was originally licensed for American distribution by ADV Films who released the series onto both dubbed and subtitled VHS tapes and bilingual DVD. The rights have since transferred to Nozomi Entertainment who re-released the complete series in a new bilingual DVD boxset.
The 4th episode entitled Yashigani Hofuru (ヤシガニ屠る)?, lit. "feasting on coconut crab"), which aired on April 24, 1998, was initially worked on by a South Korean animation company, San Ho Studio. They only had basic manuals of the characters. The result was so dismal in quality that it was later reworked for the Laserdisc releases. The San Ho depiction of that episode is no longer considered canon.
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- "Lost Universe VHS Vol. 6-7". Anime News Network.
- Houston, Don (December 29, 2007). "Lost Universe - Thinpak Collection". DVD Talk. Internet Brands.
- Beveridge, Chris (September 12, 2000). "Lost Universe Vol. #1". Mania.
- Sternenberg, Melissa (April 30, 2004). "Lost Universe". THEM Anime Reviews.