The Anime Primer

Capsule Descriptions of Anime: L

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Landlock   Laputa, Castle in the Sky   Last Exile   Laughing Target   Legend of Black Heaven   Legend of Galactic Heroes   Lensman   Locke the Superman   Lost Universe   Love Hina   Lupin III


see Serial Experiments Lain


Firstly, this is not a Shirow story. It merely uses some character designs. A typical brother and sister eventually find that they have more to them than meets the eye. Or two eyes; each one a different colour! This story is a typical quest to save the world against insurmountable odds and evil mentors. Available from Manga Video.

[Entry by Chika]

Laputa, Castle in the Sky (a.k.a. Tenku no shiro Laputa)
Tenku no shiro Laputa: Sheeta falls into Pazu's arms

Young Pazu's life is turned upside down when a girl, Sheeta, floats down from the sky into his sleepy mining village wearing a mysterious blue pendant. Together they search for the flying castle in the sky, Laputa, while pursued by nefarious government forces after the secrets that Sheeta and her pendant hold. A rip-roaring adventure classic from Studio Ghibli and master director Hiyao Miyazaki, with an almost relentless pace, animation that still impresses twenty years after it was made and amazing attention to detail.

Available in both US Region 1 and UK Region 2 on DVD - the UK release is unfortunately dubtitled, although the dub (from Disney) is of excellent quality.

[Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Last Exile

Claus Valca and Lavie Head, two young Vanship pilots in the flight-dominated world of Prestale, become embroiled in a massive war for power after rescuing a young girl, Alvis Hamilton, from the wreckage of a Vanship stalked by a mysterious mechanical creature. Gonzo's flagship series to mark their 10th anniversary is undeniably visually impressive, and perhaps most successfully recaptures the blending of shounen action and shoujo romance pioneered by Escaflowne of any recent series, although there are some moments when the plot could do with tightening up a little - overall, however, Last Exile is an epic adventure that should appeal to most audiences.

Available on Region 1 DVD from Geneon, in Australia from Madman, and forthcoming from ADV in UK Region 2.

[Entry by Andrew Hollingbury]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Laughing Target

Taken from the Rumik World series of short stories, this horror story concerns Yuzuru, who has a childhood sweetheart. When this girl, Azusa (bethrothed to him as a young boy), returns to his life, strange things start to happen, especially to Yuzuru's current squeeze. When people start dying and Yuzuru's girlfriend is threatened, Yuzuru has to start to find out about Azusa's past and make some unpleasant decisions. Was available from USMC.

[Entry by Chika]

Legend of Black Heaven (a.k.a. Kachou Ooji)

On the outside, Ooji appears to be a typical Japanese middle-aged middle manager; married to a wife who wants a home of their own, father of a son who wants Dad's attention, working for a boss who just wants things to run smoothly, and so on. But things were not always this way, and years before Ooji was the lead guitarist in a fairly successful rock band, and the urge to look back and remember is never far away. Things come to a head when Ooji's wife throws out his old guitar and Ooji becomes despondent over the loss of this final symbol of his youth. But then a mysterious and beautiful new colleague tempts Ooji with a new guitar and a chance to play. Ooji is lead off as if in a trance and finds a chance to release his soul through his music. But there is a very odd catch to this bargain - Ooji's music is the source of power for the weapons of one side of an interstellar war that is going on unbeknownst to Humanity, and soon the very existence of the Earth depends upon Ooji and his ability to play. This story of a mid-life crisis that turns into a sci-fi adventure is simultaneously funny and poignant and is definitely for the "older" fan who may well also find himself "looking for his old guitar" from time-to-time.

Available in North America from Geneon.

[Entry by Dave Baranyi]

Legend of Galactic Heroes

A far-future SF epic in which two vast space-faring governments, the Empire and the Federation, vie for supremacy amid the sea of stars. Against this backdrop two young heroes on the opposing sides wage war with each other and politics with their peers.

DMOZ Open Directory Project


Loosely based around the E.E. "Doc" Smith stories, an ex-patrolman suddenly finds his planet being ripped apart, but all is not lost! His son inherits a "lens", which because of the nature of the info on it, the enemy would really like back, hence its destruction of the planet and relentless pursuit of the boy from that point onwards through all sorts of weird scenarios. However, he gathers allies on the way, so the enemy doesn't get it all its own way ...

[Entry by Chika]

[Chika is understating matters - this anime uses little more than some of the names from the original series of novels. It isn't a bad story, but don't expect it to be anything like "Doc" Smith's masterpiece. Lensman was available dubbed from Streamline when Streamline was still in business.  - Rob Kelk]

Leo the Lion

see Kimba the White Lion

Little Witch Sally

See Mahou Tsukai Sally

Locke the Superman

An intergalactically famous superbeing lured out of voluntary seclusion helps save Earth from a group of elite ESPers bent on galactic conquest. The design sense is rather primitive but the story line is lean, exciting and propulsive, revolving around the title character, a powerful female ESPer, and an evil conclave. Admittedly, these are simple premises, but the action & storytelling are first-rate.

Lodoss War

see Record of Lodoss War

Lost Universe
Lost Universe: Millie, Kain, and Canal

Lost Universe is done by all the same people who did Slayers, and it's pretty much Slayers in outer space. It's a Sci-Fi comedy which follows the adventures of Kain Blueriver, a psychic troubleshooter that hires himself out to solve problems and looks like he could be the child of Lina and Gourry, and his ship the Swordbreaker, which is one of the lost ships belonging to a highly advanced lost civilization. Joining him is Canal, the holographic image which the ship projects to communicate, and Millie, a dead shot who blows up kitchens cooking and wants to become the best something or other in the Universe (exactly what changes with every episode). Despite some not so great animation, those fuzzy dots that move around are not because of a bad TV, the series is an enjoyable comedy done in Slayers fashion, and although it doesn't quite live up to its parent anime it's the closest thing out there to a fourth season of Slayers right now. Available from ADV Films.

[Entry by "Sultan Of Swing"]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Louie the Rune Soldier

see Rune Soldier

Love Hina
Love Hina: the residents of Hinata dorm

Keitaro Urashima, a 20 year old "ronin" (student who has failed his university entrance exams) gets a job as the caretaker at his grandmother's old hot springs inn. What he doesn't know is that she has turned it into a girls-only dorm. The girls aren't pleased at first to have him there, but eventually accept him, and Keitaro starts to fall in love with one of the girls, named Naru. But Keitaro is haunted by the vague memories of having promised, when he was young, to go to Tokyo U with a girl whose name he has since forgotten.

What develops is a romantic comedy, with a fair amount of surreal humor, and a number of fun, memorable characters. This was a big, big hit in Japan. Non-Japanese fans of the manga version tend to have real problems with the anime version since it varies a lot from the manga. I saw the anime first, then read the manga, and tend to like the anime more.

Available from Bandai in North America, or Madman in Australia.

[Entry by Dave Baranyi]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

Love You Baby

see Aishiteruze Beibe

Lupin III
Lupin III - Castle of Cagliostro: Lupin climbing the castle wall

Gentleman (err, mostly) thief, international man of mystery, exquisite lover (but only in his dreams), Lupin III decides to make a career out of flashy crimes and ridiculous car chases. The grandson of the infamous Arsene Lupin (without LeBlanc's consent, unfortunately, leading to a bit of a tiff in which the English translations temporarily went under the title of Rupan), Lupin travels the world in search of the next big score while being hounded by Inspector Zenigata of Interpol. His companions are the sharp-shooting Jigen, the noble Goemon, and the occasionally back-stabbing Fujiko, whom Lupin never quite manages to score with. The quality of the TV series is rather subpar; the OAVs and films are better, but most of them have aged pretty poorly. Personally, I find it a fun throwback to the 70's "mod" style.

Parental Advisories: Moderate violence (for comedic effect), implied adult situations, and lots of (interrupted) Fujiko beddings

[Entry by Dot Warner]

DMOZ Open Directory Project

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Any images on this page are copyright their respective creators or licencees, and are used under Fair Use (review) provisions of the Copyright Act. All reviews on this page are copyright their respective authors, and are used with permission. The compilation copyright for this page is held by Rob Kelk.

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