Lupin steals an extraordinary gem from a Mediterranean party, only to be interrupted by Pycal, the trickster "magician" who had apparently died fighting Lupin early in his career. Pycal, now armed with real magical abilities, is determined to take revenge.
Lupin III, Return of Pycal can best be described as a big "Meh".
Let us begin the slow, painfull and necisary torture of this movie.
First of all, the story was weak, like realy weak. A good Lupin film always have a story that blend in with the characters, meaning the characters work well with the setting if the story. Most of the character, rather all the character exept one, just feels out of place. The one character that fits in the boring story, is the boring villain, Pycal.
Pycal is a illusionist that Lupin busted a fake in the original series. Then Pycal used a
mixture of advanced and cheep tricks to achive his magic, amongst others walking on glas so it looks like he is hovering, and a chemical mix that makes him burn without getting hurt.
In this movie however he uses real magic, that he got right out of the blue. and he is basicly out after revenge on lupin and the world. As i said, weak story, but not bad enough to make you angry, as in example Lupin III Secret of Mamo.
On to the art.
The movie isnt anything special when it comes to the drawing. By all means, it is not ugly. Yet it dosnt got that Lupin feeling. Best describeid is that it is a soulless so-so experience.
As said with the art can pretty much be said with the sound. One thing i usually love about the Lupin movies is the music. It is classy, well-written and simply swipes you of your feets... exept in this movie, where its just ok.
I have given this movie a score of 2 when it comes to the characters. The characters feel poor, lack the íntense feeling many of the other movies have, and worst of all, there is hardly no link between the characters, no bond to speak of.
In a good Lupin III movie, there is a certain "Hate-yet-friends" relationship between Lupin and Zenigata, the cop trying to catch Lupin. Also there is a certain competition/rivality between Lupin and his companions. This movie hardly contains any of it.
To say it with few words, the characters are weak, bleak imitations of the original characters.
I actually remember me sapping through the film at some point, wich i hardly ever do, especially not in a lupin movie where every detail, every sceen can mean a huge difference. Before you start to wonder, yes i have seen the whole moviue without skipping parts also, so it isnt that i just missed some important parts.
See it, dont see it. Your choise. It dosnt realy land that big of an impact on you.
Now you think "Wait, that still dosnt sound as it deservs a score 2 (Dreadful). rather a 3 or 4 perhaps."
And yes, it would probably deserv a 3 or 4... if it wasnt a Lupin movie. Then it would simply be a bad movie. Now it is a rape of a big name, without any idea, only made for the money. And in my point of view that makes it more horrible.
Return of Pycal is a decent Lupin OVA, but it does have it's drawbacks.
It starts off pretty quickly with Lupin doing a flashy robbery, making women's clothing disappear, and doing magic tricks dressed up as a clown. This leads into a gunfight in a hall of mirrors with Zenigata, who is acting very strangely...
This is the return of Pycal, the villain from the 2nd episode of Lupin III, as you'd figure. It's entertaining to have him back, he's a stylish villain. This has some other nice callbacks to the first Lupin series, such as Lupin's green jacket, and Fujiko's motorcycle animation from the original show's
This OVA also has a slow paced, laid back feel reminiscent of some of the first Lupin episodes. This isn't a problem by itself, but combined with the short length it is a drawback.
Fujiko is sexy as always, sporting a character design closer to the first series in this one. Her amusing obligatory playing the seduction card on Lupin is a standout scene.
Lupin comes across as cool and confident like usual, trying to collect some crystals to thwart Pycal. Jigen and Goemon are solid, but in fairly small roles. Zenigata has a very small part in this, but the screen time he does get is entertaining.
The problem however really comes about 46 minutes in, when the credits start to roll. This ends abruptly, with questions unanswered, and it feels like we're missing a third act to come. We do get a few minutes of decent stuff after the credits, but unfortunately this only makes things more confusing.
So, if you're a Lupin fan this is worth watching, but it does leave you wanting much more.