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Often considered the sister series to The Slayers, Lost Universe is Hajime Kanzaka's take on the Sci-Fi genre. Following Kane Blueriver, Millie Feria Noturne and Canal Vorfeed, the anime (and novels) explore the trio's job ? Trouble Contractors, who anyone can hire to solve their problems. These problems range from getting a witness to a trial on time (and alive) to tracking down stolen tea sets. As the series progresses, the Nightmare Syndicate comes to light; this organization is out to conquer the universe, and Kane and Canal seem to have a personal problem with them...can Millie and Kane unravel the mystery of the Lost Ships and the Syndicate before it's too late?
The series is very much a Kanzaka series; it's 60% humor and 40% Serious Business. It pokes fun at the genre and has various shout outs throughout. The anime's 26-episode run was supposed to have been followed by a 2nd series that would have given it a more conclusive ending, but the funding didn't appear.
There's a widely-held Fanon belief that this series is set in the same universe as Slayers. To pull from the other Wiki:
"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 or simply LoN. 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," or space ships that have mystical or somewhat magical powers.?
Word of God (as you can read here) has explicitly stated that this is not true; the series are set in two totally different universes. He just liked the names, and reused them. Whether you feel this is an improvement or not varies among the community.
- Awesome McCoolname - Millennium Feria Nocturne or Stargazer, Kane Blueriver.
- Clothing Damage - Kane shreds and/or loses his cape quite regularly; good thing he has a closet full of them...
- Completely Missing the Point: Students at a school for nurses plant bombs in their test area in an attempt to remove their rivals for top of the class, proving that they completely failed to grasp the concept of medical ethics.
- Cool Old Lady: Kain's grandmother was definitely this.
- Cut Short: The Light Novel series only lasted for four books, and the ending was abrupt (see Kill'Em All below).
- Everything's Better with Chickens: The cast once ends up on a flight that gets hijacked by religious fanatics in chicken suits. No, really.
- Expy: Millie looks like she could be Amelia's Elseworld counterpart, and Kane is more or less a male version of Lina. Darkstar in human form is basically an evil looking Gourry, or his evil twin. See his picture here
- Follow the Chaos - It's how you know dinner's ready.
- Fridge Logic - They talk about years, days, hours, etc... That sure makes sense on planet Earth yet, when we go to space, we cannot work with those units as those depends on the relation between the Sun and planet Earth.
- There's no reason they can't have a standard day as a universal time reference for space travellers. Otherwise nobody could schedule anything.
- Also when they go to a planet it always seems bright as day. Then comes to wonder... "Where's the star that lights all that?!?!"
- Genki Girl - Canal.
- Hey, It's That Voice! - Megumi Hayashibara as Canal; Soichiro Hoshi as Kane; Akira Ishida plays a recurring government agent. Yasunori Matsumoto, better known as the voice of Gourry Gabriev, is surprisingly cast as The Dragon.
- Informed Ability - Millie gets completely wrapped up in bandages by a group of medical students who are allegedly ready for their final exam because she sneezed - once.
- Karma Houdini - Despite the demonstrated lack of competence and professional ethics in the medical students mentioned in the Completely Missing the Point and Informed Ability examples, all that happens to them is that they voluntarily end up having to retake their last year of classes instead of the expulsion and/or criminal charges that should have resulted.
- Kill'Em All: The climax of the novels.
- Laser Blade - Kane's primary weapon.
- Lethal Chef - Subverted: Millie is actually a very good chef...she just blows up the kitchen every time she uses it. Once by literal application of Oven Logic.
- Light Novels - It began as a light novel series, four volumes in total.
- Limited Wardrobe - Kane's closet is nothing but the exact same cloak.
- Lost Technology - The Lost Ships.
- Magic From Technology - The Ships again, whose Energy Weapons look a heck of a lot like magic. The commands used on Dark Star at the end that disrupts him is part of the Giga Slave...
- Megumi Hayashibara
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast - Yami o Makumono (lit. He Who Spreads Darkness; "Dark Seeder" in the ADV Translation)
- No Budget: Unintentional; it was being made during a financial recession, so it got a meager budget to begin with. To twist the knife even further, the masters for the first few episodes were damaged from a studio fire, so their quality also went down.
- The Mole - Rail.
- Off-Model - Episode 4, "Yashigani Hofuru", had so many animation errors that yashigani became a Fan Nickname for bad animation.
- Recycled in Space - Lost Universe is Slayers, in...well, you know.
- Soichiro Hoshi
- Spaceship Girl - Canal, who is also a Cool Ship.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Only several villains are alive at the end of the novel series; all of the protagonists are dead without any real justification.
- Shout-Out - Kane's Laser Blade.
- Stun Guns - Millie often uses plastic rounds, which are played more like a less permanent Instant Death Bullet than a painful blow.
- To Be a Master - Millie wants to be the best in the universe - at everything.
- Tsundere - Millie.