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WO Reviews: Lost Universe

First of all, apologies for taking so long in getting anything written on here for the past couple of days; it's been a long week, and with Christmas just a few days away, I've been doing a lot of last minute stuff not only off-line, but between the two blogs as well.

Anyway, let's get right to it, shall we?

This is one of those shows that has garnered a lot of its popularity courtesy of its bigger sister series franchise, Slayers and while the look of Lost Universe is very much on par with that of the other superior Kanzaka effort, the sad fact is that Lost Universe is definitely lacking in many departments.

While the show is a flip-side to everything that Slayers is, it differs greatly in several regards. The most notable is the timing of the show, but I'll get into that a little later.


For right now, Lost Universe is more or less an alternate universe story in contrast to Slayers, where in the universe of Lost Universe the names of characters come from the Black World instead of the Red World, and the super-power beings are represented as massively powerful Lost Ships... did you catch all that?

The series is based on the light novels by Slayers creator Hajime Kanzaka, and the novels did have some success, though it was largely due to the popularity of the Slayers series.

From a story stand-point, Lost Universe is riddled with many false starts, and bounces back and forth rather clunky-like between the action, the drama and the bits of the show that are intended to be funny. Combine that with the monumental production issues during its creation, and it's a wonder the series wasn't canned before it saw the light of day.

Some of the initial footage of Lost Universe was destroyed in a fire at the studio, and the scenes were hastily redrawn, resulting in sub-par quality for those replaced parts, not to mention the forth episode animated by the Korean based, San Ho Studio which used poor character charts for their drawings and the result was awful.

Beyond all that though, the story is solid, even if it has these flaws. Though, once we push past the Japanese market and move it to the North American distribution, it takes an even worse turn.

The dub is terrible, most likely one of the worst I've heard in years; and despite the fact that this anime was licensed and distributed during an anime surge in the American market, it failed to receive a proper dubbing and script. The resulting English version inserted hysterical laughter during the commercial eye-catches, and throughout the entire dub, it seems as if the characters are screaming and yelling everything they want to say, despite the intensity or refrain on the moment. It was to the point that I ended up watching the show subbed for a vast majority.

Probably the best parts of Lost Universe, is Megumi Hayashibara as Canal—the sentient holographic AI of the Sword breaker Lost Ship—and her singing. Aside from the, this is one of those shows, whose heart was in the right place, but failed to reach its dream.

Comments

  1. Megumi Hayashibara just rocks as a seiyuu. I remember being very happy when I learned she was playing a major role in "Lost Universe," and more so after watching it since her character is so different from Lina Inverse.

    My disappointment with the series was its lack of linkage to "Slayers." It wasn't until much, much later that I learned that Kanzaka-sensei never intended the two franchises to be linked at all. Although he originally used many of the names of villain characters/beings from "Lost Universe" in the "Slayers" universe, apparently, it was just because he liked the names. That was even more disappointing to me, but then it kinda answered why Kanzaka-sensei stopped writing the main "Slayers" story and went with the stand alone novels instead. He's a good story teller, but apparently doesn't like having big, over-aching stories like he started with.

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