In this adventure, Lupin III tries to erase the files about him in the world police network. He finds out about the Ultravirus, a computer virus that controls all others and its location is only known by a little kid. Meanwhile, he steals the Statue of Liberty to look for a diamond the size of a football that is said to be hidden somewhere in it. Apparently, the diamond and the ultravirus are somehow related...
I went into this anime special as a loyal Lupin fan, watching it strictly out of loyalty and not expecting much at all. Boy was I surprised! For an animation made in 1989, it was such a delightful treat and easy to see why it sparked annual Lupin specials from then on!
ANIMATION: It's hard to believe this was made in 1989, technically part of the pink jacket series (thought Lupin wears red, as he does in most specials). The DVD/BD release's animation is better done than a lot of stuff released today. Many of the animation sequences seemed to have quite a bit of detail,
featuring movements and tricks that you still see today. This movie was the one that sparked the yearly Lupin special, so it's no surprise. Wow, just wow! If you watched this right now without knowing that it's a remastered version, you'd never think it was made in the 80s!
Additionally, there are some freeze frames that look like they could be straight out of the manga or manga covers, a nice homage to the origins!
CHARACTER: While Lupin is constantly compared ( in other specials and shows) to a monkey, I think Jigen really resembles a goat in this movie. Out of all the Lupin series, the pink jacket style of animation is the most stylized with the big shoulder pads and Western cartoony style. Surprisingly, a style that seemed at times sloppy in the 24 minute show, seems thoughtful and unique in this special.
The movie introduces a new character as if we already know him and should feel attached to him, although it doesn't do a thing to build those feelings. I don't think the character has more than a handful of lines before he dies and the gang decides to avenge him. That was the only detractor in terms of character, really.
SOUND: Usual voices, usual Yuji Ohno music. Which is a great thing! Zenigata trying to speak English (and Lupin's Engrish) were really a high point of this for me.
Highly recommended. It's a typical Lupin story, with physics bending and suspension of belief, with over the top capers. And it's so enjoyable!
Lupin III: Bye Bye Liberty Crisis from 1989 is the first annual Lupin TV movie special, which they've continued doing every year since. Unfortunately, starting that great tradition is pretty much the only good thing about this particular Lupin tale.
It starts out with Lupin retired, slumming it, watching TV. Pretty different way to start a Lupin story, and it does lead to a fun reuniting with Lupin and his gunslinger sidekick Jigen. Their classic characters, and their great dynamic together are one of the bright spots of this story. These characters are classic no matter what.
Pretty much, this has one of the more nonsensical Lupin
plots. I enjoy some surreal craziness, it can be fun and has suited Lupin from time to time. Here, it's just a muddled mess.
Lupin and Jigen set out to literally steal the statue of Liberty and thoroughly search it for a diamond. Meanwhile, Goemon is working as a bodyguard for a weird emotionless woman, and Fujiko is off doing her thing, trying to rip off an eccentric rich guy for money.
There is very little Fujiko in this by the way, so we don't get to enjoy her classic dynamic with the Lupin gang as much as usual. Lupin's lovable enemy Inspector Zenigata does have some fun scenes in this one though, like usual.
Somewhere along the way a computer virus and an evil cult come into play. By this point, the plot becomes very bizarre and messy, but not really engaging or entertaining.
All in all, this movie just lacks the Lupin magic. It lacks most of the fun and style that comes along with the franchise, and for the most part it lacks the classic dynamic between the characters.
I'd recommend skipping this one and enjoying some other Lupin adventures. As a curiosity, this may be worth a watch for the hardcore Lupin fan though.
It was recorded in 1989, so I'm going to be here nor there on recording quality. They did what they did back then, but I can say it's not bad. I was in it for the storytelling and plot, and I was not disappointed! This story is around a heist, that takes some unexpected emotional turns with the characters involved with the event.
The storytelling isn't ground breaking, but it's what you would expect from Lupin. If you're in it as a Lupin fan, I suggest it! If you want to watch this offhandedly, I don't suggest it. I see this one as more for people
already in the know about the characters.