||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (March 2014)|
Front cover of the first novel.
|Written by||Hajime Kanzaka|
|Illustrated by||Shoko Yoshinaka|
|Published by||Fujimi Shobo|
|Imprint||Fujimi Fantasia Bunko|
|Original run||December 15, 1992 – ongoing|
|Written by||Shoko Yoshinaka|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|Imprint||Kadokawa Comics Dragon Junior|
|Magazine||Monthly Dragon Junior|
|Original run||December 1997 – November 2002|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Takashi Watanabe|
|Produced by||Kazuto Imanishi
|Written by||Mitsuo Kusakabe
|Music by||Starchild Records|
|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 depiction 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.
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.
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 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.
- In episode 9 the crew finds an alien egg-like device which turns out to be a trap. It splits the ship in dimensional sections reminiscent to the later Shattered (Star Trek: Voyager). The device has a stark resemblance to the one in the later Supernova (2005 film) serving the same function.
- "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.