Paradise Lot
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Not to be confused with Paradise Lost (disambiguation).

Paradise Lot
Title screen of the anime
(Paradaisu Rotto)
Tech noir
Space Western
Created by Takahashi Masaki

Anime television series

Directed by Takahashi Masaki
Produced by Kotaru Sawajima
Written by
Nakato Ryoichi
Takahashi Masaki
Music by Himiko Niigata
Licensed by
NA AnimEigo
TV Tokyo
TV Movie September 12, 1992
Original run
September 26, 1992 –
April 13, 1996
Episodes 57 (List of episodes)
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Paradise Lot (Japanese: パラダイス・ロット, Hepburn: Paradaisu Rotto; stylized as paradise lot) is a Japanese science-fiction tech noir anime television series created by Takahashi Masaki for and animated by FUTURA that ran from 1992 to 1996. The series is set in the year 1999 and follows cyborg private contractor Ekaterina Lot and her spaceship Paradise as she completes bounties at the behest of the Foundation Safety Protectorate, a shady organization dedicated to studying and classifying mysterious phenomena in the universe colloquially called ‘anomalies’. Lot is joined later in the series by various different characters such as Japanese-American conman Honjo Masamune, advanced combat gynoid Raakel, twin esper teenagers Sara and Michael, and others (though usually not more than two at once).

The series is known for its use of applied retrofuturism, intentionally juxtaposing futuristic technology such as interplanetary travel, recreational spaceships, and armed exosuits with then current or slightly outdated technology such as floppy disks, phone booths, and record players. The synthesizer-based soundtrack composed by Himiko Niigata also received positive acclaim. Several home releases and remasters have been available since 2001.


See also: List of Paradise Lot characters

The series occurs in early 1999, decades after humanity has mastered recreational space travel and gone through widespread colonization efforts in order to move off of a resource-depleted and overpopulated Earth. One of the many agencies involved in expanding their intergalactic influence is the Foundation Safety Protectorate (FSP), whose main operation is the containment and research of anomalous occurrences. To achieve this, they employ a system where they reward bounties through contacts to private contractors - or 'agents' - who are able to deliver a specific anomaly to a FSP drop point within a week from their assignment.

Ekaterina Lot, one of the most infamous FSP agents, owns and lives on a recreational starship named the Paradise; the series follows her as she hops from cities to planets in order to complete contracts. Her contact is an anonymous male by the name of K (though he implies it's an assigned nickname). Anomalies contracted for retrieval usually vary from objects to humanoids and are often already in use by other parties, prompting Lot to solve additional problems during her expeditions. She often runs into trouble with intersolar authorities as most of the collection types for anomalies are flimsily extralegal or closely related to terrorist groups and belligerents. Lot also enlists the help of civilians related to the contract by giving them a cut of the profits - the first example in the series being mech police pilot Aurelion Comparri - and occasionally even recruits them onto the Paradise.

Setting and themes

Episodes usually occur in villain-of-the-week formats, with later seasons involving several multi-episode story arcs. Heavy visual focus on neon/colored lighting, firearm realism, and multilingual text became hallmarks of the show. The series also focuses on the blurred line between sufficiently advanced technology and the paranormal or unknown. Other recurring themes include predeterminism, absurdism, corporatocracy, and political corruption.

The setting was largely inspired by cyberpunk works by authors such as William Gibson, Philip K. Dick, Katsuhiro Otomo, and Masamune Shirou; it also makes direct references to Blade Runner and Akira. Several episodes in the series were intentionally done as homages to different genres and shows. The most notable of those episodes upon initial release was "Cop by Cop by Killer", a tribute to famous detective drama series Taiyō ni Hoero!. Despite the harsh setting of the series, Lot is characterized as a happy and charismatic yet strong-willed and capable character; most of the recurring characters are characterized similarly.



Takahashi Masaki in 1993.

Preproduction started when FUTURA approached Masaki to create a TV movie adaptation of his manga series Force Unit: Gaelstar. Although he denied initially, citing creative burnout on the manga, Masaki offered to make an original concept that the studio could retain. Then in-house FUTURA writer Nakato Ryoichi assisted Masaki in creating the basis for what would become the first pilot of the series.

Masaki and Ryoichi both felt a mecha anime would be inappropriate given the genre’s saturation and the popularity of the ongoing Gundam series at the time. They eventually decided on an episodic, exploration-based show to allow the studio and future writers more leeway in subsequent productions. The addition of a female protagonist was at Ryoichi’s request, who thought a female lead would make the series appeal to more viewers. He noted in an expo interview that, “there were strong females before [in anime], but always secondary or subservient to the male leads… I wanted a woman who could stand on her own, someone boys and girls alike could admire.” Masaki later stated, “when he came to me and said ‘I want it to be a woman’, I was completely against it. He ignored me and instead talked at length about his vision and the character. I quickly became just as enamored as he was. It was the right decision.”

The series’s name is an intentional pun on the John Milton epic poem Paradise Lost; the names of both Lot and the Paradise are derived from the title. Lot’s appearance is heavily inspired by Gaw Ha Leccee, a character from Heavy Metal L-Gaim that Masaki was fond of. Himiko Niigata joined the production team as a favor for Masaki, though she expressed great enthusiasm after viewing the pilot’s rough storyboards and even created an image album to help conceptualize the final pilot. The team wanted to have a realistic depiction of firearms, leading to Ryoichi asking his friend Kenichi Sonoda (of burgeoning fame due to Bubblegum Crisis and Gunsmith Cats) for assistance. Sonoda chose the S&W M459 pistol that Lot carries as well as most of the on-screen firearms in the series and provided the team with hand-drawn design documents for them.

The pilot - simply called Paradise Lot - debuted as a TV movie special on September 12th, 1992. Even though FUTURA had planned to eventually create a series, overwhelming positive ratings led the studio to release the first episode of the series (second numerically) only two weeks later. In syndications, the pilot movie was recut and titled as the series's first episode “Requiem for an Angel’s Child”.


No. Production # Title Directed by Written by Airdate (Japan)
01 XX "Requiem for an Angel's Child" (Japanese: 天使の子供のためのレクイエム) Takahashi Masaki Takahashi Masaki
Nakato Ryoichi
September 12, 1992
Ekaterina Lot, an organic cyborg "bioroid" contractor working for the Foundation Safety Protectorate (FSP), is tasked by her contact K with retrieving a crystal in the possession of a government research facility in the citystate of Neo-Haskell on planet Tadalos. She meets several Haskellians; mechanized patrol officer Aurelion Comparri, brilliant research doctor Freyja Wehrner, and young twins Sara and Michael. The research lab is sabotaged and the team working on the crystal murdered by one of their own, prompting Lot to investigate. The twins also disappear. She also runs into secret police colonel Robertson, an efficient and cutthroat soldier. A mysterious figure also follows her during Lot's probe. Lot contacts Comparri to use the police database while he is put on patrol duty after an attack on Robertson. She finds out the culprit of the lab sabotage was Dr. Karl Van Neuytens and that Robertson mistakenly believes Lot to be responsible due to her presence and investigation. Using the address from his file, Lot visits his apartment and finds it full of various machinery; the figure following her appears in the doorway before immediately running. Lot chases after them and attempts to incapacitate them, but misses several shots. She rests at a hotel overnight to stakeout. Michael suddenly appears at her door, injured from his escape from Dr. Van Neuytens, and asks her to help him rescue his twin. Lot takes him back to the Paradise, her spaceship, and confirms that Michael is an esper when he uses his power to warn her. There's much more to the story, but it would make this section too long. Also you can't see this unless you're looking at the page source. Get out of here! :P

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