Your Bad Anime Night Needs: Protectors of Universe

What is it?

Protectors of Universe BoxartProtectors of Universe is a 75-minute film by IFD Films & Arts Limited. The film is set in a distant future, where war is erupting. The kingdom of the New Star has been overtaken by vicious bionic human Alfred, whose sole ambition is to conquer the universe. Alfred’s first target the capital city of peaceful planet Orion. Kanann, king of the city, find his troops to be useless against Alfred’s onslaught. In an act of desperation, Kanaan sends his son Prince Cifrian, his daughter Susan, and a hell of a lot of random children to Earth, in the middle of a battlefield, on a gigantic intergalactic train with no weapons, and no means of real defense.

Nobody said that becoming king took intelligence or talent.

Anyway, in an totally unprecedented move, the train comes under fire. As one would expect, the only adults onboard call for help. Earth heeds the call, and sends assistance in the form of Mazinger 7: a totally not copyright-infringing super robot, and a bitchin’ guitar riff to take care of the invading troops. With a temporary victory, and the children safe, the real battle begins. Prince Cifrian and the forces of earth much find a way to defeat Alfred, and return peace to the universe once again!

No, Really. What the heck is it?

Protectors of Universe was produced by an unknown Korean studio. It’s impossible to determine exactly who, since the film has no real credits. However, we can confirm that the company did in-between work on a number of high-profile anime titles, as character and mechanical designs are shamelessly stolen from dozens of anime titles. Everything, from Space Battleship Yamato to Macross was ripped off to make this Frankenstein’s monster of a film. Animation is laughably bad, as characters will sometimes “pop” into the scene, and overall movement is jerky, at best.

The dub used in Protectors of Universe is a Q-grade atrocity by producer Joseph Lai. Characters were voiced by actors that don’t match the characters and, for the most part, don’t even know how to act! The actors, if you can actually call them that, can’t emote, and can barely read a script, as they stumble through their lines. The entire film sounds wonky and disjointed, with no natural flow to any of the dialogue.

On top of this, the film’s sound effects are horrendously bad. Lasers all share the same generic sound effect, and impacts from hits lack required “thuds”, leading to awkward disconnects. The worst offender, though, is the fact that all rocket engines and explosions are accompanied by the sounds of bottle rockets (because a jet engine totally sounds like some two-dollar firecracker). Overall, it’s just a mess. A pitiful, cheaply made mess.

And you want me to watch this WHY?

If anything, Protectors of Universe feels like a total caricature of what an anime film should be. It’s like those bad Speed Racer impressions were brought to life, but only within the confines of this hilariously awful film! It’s a title that is so horrid, so cheaply made, that it turns into a comedy of errors.

The film’s awful dialogue is the perfect candidate for mockery. The acting is atrocious to the point of being funny, and the writing somehow manages to be even worse. The script is rife with one-liners like “Jump Blackman, jump!“, that will become instant memes among any group.

For more experienced audiences, the mechanical designs will become a game of “spot the reference,” as one copycat after another rushes into the various space battles.

Did I mention that the space train docks in Mazinger 7’s ass? Because it totally does.

Protectors of Universe - 034

When and how long should I screen this for?

There really is no bad time to show Protectors of Universe. However, for maximum impact, it’s best to show the film early in the evening, when crowd energy is still high.

I wouldn’t recommend screening the film in its entirety. There are number of dry, dead spots that will put an immediate stop to the momentum of the evening. However, I would show the early segments, as well as key hilarious moments like the train’s “docking” sequence (roughly 13 minutes into the film).


About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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