Anime DVD Review: Lost Universe DVD Box Set

The Lost Universe DVD box set released by Right Stuf! includes five DVDs packaged in thinpak boxes, and the set includes all 26 episodes of the series. The first disc includes six episodes and special features, while the remaining four discs include five episodes and special features. The episodes are available with English audio and Japanese audio with English subtitles; unfortunately, there are some issues with the subtitles regarding spelling and other typos. One spelling error I saw show up at least two or three times is misspelling Kane Blueriver’s name as Kain Blueriver.

Lost Universe DVD Box Set
English Publisher: Right Stuf
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 4, 2007

Lost Universe is set in the future, where the Nightmare Syndicate is trying to take over the universe any way that they can. At their disposal are Lost Ships, spaceships that use psi-energy as their weapons. The main protagonist of the series is Kane Blueriver, who is a “trouble contractor”; he has a Lost Ship called the Swordbreaker, which was handed down to him by his grandmother. Kane is accompanied by Canal Vorfied, a green-haired human-like hologram that controls the Swordbreaker.

In the first episode, the pair encounters Millennium “Millie” Feria Noctrune, a young woman who is trying to become the greatest detective in the world. Unfortunately, Kane ends up thwarting that goal, and Millie finds herself being arrested with the bad guys. Once Millie is released, she finds Kane and Canal and insists to travel with them, because they owe her for what happened. While Millie may blow up the kitchen every time she prepares a meal, she also has valuable knowledge about arms use. The series follows the adventures the trio has as they keep having run-ins with the Nightmare Syndicate.

Lost Universe starts out as a comedy series, but somewhere along the way, it changes into a more dramatic series. Unfortunately, the transition between comedy and drama really wasn’t handled well, and that helps to make the series feel a little disconcerting and sloppy.

Another problem I had with the series has to do with changes to the characters and plot that come out of nowhere, with nothing to hint that these changes were ever a possibility. The worst of these had to do with the character of Nail Claymore and the plot that he ends up being involved in. By the time I finished watching the series, I still couldn’t figure out Nail’s motivations for his storyline. My husband described the series to me by saying that the plot was like a wall without anything supporting it; as the series progressed, the story just fell apart.

The animation in Lost Universe also deteriorates as the series progresses. While the early episodes have some decent animation, the last couple of episodes look rather rushed and sloppy.

I had originally seen the first episode of Lost Universe that was included on a DVD that came with the February 2008 issue of Otaku USA magazine. After seeing that first episode, my husband and I thought the series showed a lot of promise. When Right Stuf! had a sale on the DVD box set, we were excited to buy it so we could finally see the whole series. By the time we finished watching this set, we were both very disappointed in how it turned out.

When it comes to the special features included in this set, each disc contains character bios; the first four discs contain three character bios, while the last disc only has two. Each bio contains a write-up and a picture of the character.

Discs two and five have a special feature labeled as “Translation Notes.” The feature on disc two would have been more accurately described as trivia, and it includes a couple of things of note from the ninth episode of the series. The “Translation Notes” on disc five talks about the connections between Lost Universe and Slayers (since they were created by the same people). Sadly, I was better able to understand Lost Universe after reading this, since some of the details mentioned in this write-up were either only mentioned in passing or not mentioned at all in the anime series.

Each of the discs also contain two trailers for properties that Right Stuf! was promoting at the time this DVD box set was released.

Personally, I can only truly recommend this DVD box set for anime viewers who are fans of Lost Universe that don’t already have the series in their home video collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of the Lost Universe DVD box set that my husband and I purchased.

Additional posts about Lost Universe:

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