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Originally a manga series by Yuri Hijiri, that later became a movie and a series of OVA releases.
Former federation supersoldier Locke is a pacifist psychic who has willed himself to stay eternally young in order to avoid becoming a bellicose man (see Peter Pan and Wendy). He is dragged out of retirement by agent Ryu Yamaki to thwart Lady Cahn, an industrialist secretly training a group of psychics to form the Millennium, a thousand-year dominion over mundane humans.
Surprisingly little of the film centers on its titular hero. Instead, much of it is taken up with Cahn's school for psychics-a bizarre Nazi convent, where Jessica Olin is completing her training. A girl who falsely believes that Locke killed her parents, Jessica is the most powerful of Cahn's new breed, and, after successfully destroying her opponents, she is drafted into a sabotage mission against a government outpost. When her psychic cohorts destroy the base, Cahn's agents start revolts on five outlying planets; the first steps in the foundation of a new order. They then delay Ryu's attempts to return home (though God knows why) by crashing the ship sent to take him home. Ryu rescues Jessica from the wreck, but she has amnesia. Now calling herself Amelia, she follows him back to Earth, confessing her love for him. Eventually, after all this padding, Locke appears and defeats Cahn. Amelia stays in the arms of her beloved Ryu, while Locke finds love in the form of Cahn's alter ego, schoolmistress Cornelia Prim, only to discover that her personality was removed as punishment for her crime. Alone but satisfied he has saved the universe, he returns home.
Based on the 1979 manga in Shonen King by Yuki Hijiri, Locke was rushed into production during the post-Star Wars boom in sci-fi that also created Captain Future and Lensman-the ten-minute Cosmic Game pilot film for the project was made as early as 1980. It was the first Nippon Animation film made directly for theaters and boasts technical experiments to rival Fist of the North Star, including some subtle early computer graphics and actual "live" footage of flames, static, and bubbles. An earnest spectacle that crashes Frank Herbert's Dune (Cahn wants to use Holy Mothers to breed a master race) into the thousand-year empire of Isaac Asimov's Foundation, with reviled psychic warriors lifted from the X-Men, LtS is let down by amateurishly clunky dialogue, as twee British-accented voices mispronounce "esper" and "combatant" throughout, confuse planets with stars, and intone priceless lines such as "a small man-made planet in this universe." Ryu Yamaki suffers worst at the hands of Japanese and English scripts-a man so outstandingly stupid that he lectures Locke on care of "sheeps," tries to break down a steel door with his own head, and insists on having sex with his ladylove while she is still recuperating in a hospital bed. Released in English with the original names still in place, presumably in a Japan-commissioned translation that explains the poor-quality dub, the "superman" part was dropped in some territories to avoid conflict with DC comics-similar wrangles dogged Maris the Chojo.
With plenty more of Hijiri's manga left to adapt, the "industrialist-seeks-power, Locke-leaves-retirement, Locke-loses-girl" plot was rehashed straight to video with LtS: Lord Leon, in which the titular cyborg pirate kills the grandson of Great Jugo, a wealthy industrialist whose starship-building project is in financial difficulty. Locke is once more unwillingly pressed into service by Federation Security, only to discover that Leon is the wayward brother of his new girlfriend, Flora, who has sworn vengeance on Jugo for killing the rest of his family. Jugo is responsible for the terrible injuries that caused Leon to have cybernetic augmentation and for the loss of Flora's eyesight. Fearing for his own life, he kidnaps Flora, and Leon sails into a trap while Locke rescues her.
A third incarnation was released as LtS: New World Battle Team (1991, Shin Sekai Sentai), in which Elena, the leader of the Galactic Alliance, decides to begin an Esper Elimination Project. Locke and four other psychics go on the run but lose their memories. To regain them, they must hunt down the creature known as the Tsar, unless the agents of the Galactic Alliance catch them first.
A sequel, LtS: Mirroring (2000), followed after a long hiatus and features new character designs by Junichi Hayama. Elena's "backed-up" cyber-successor Cassandra mutates on the "Galactic" Internet and returns as the mighty "Neon." Locke must round up his old cohorts once more (and why not, the writers just rounded up the old plot, after all).