Lupin's on the trail of a decades-lost treasure—the collected booty of World-War-II-era thief Harimao—worth billions of dollars. But as he plans to con retired British spy Sir Archer into giving up the location of the stash, Archer himself gets into the hunt. Lupin now has to team up with his former mark to outwit a more sinister opponent who wants the treasure for himself. And of course, Zenigata's on the scent and gunning for the gang once again.
Agent 007. Part-Time Assassins. Cross Dressing Nazis. Over the top characters? Check.
Three crazy statues. An eight-hundred BILLION dollar treasure. Lupin scores a date. Off the charts absurdity? Check.
Fujiko? Jigen? Zenigata? Check, check and check.
Alright, we got ourselves another Lupin special. Released in 1996, this is just another notch in the Lupin franchise with nothing too unique or defining about it. Unless, of course, you consider the bringing together of two literary icons "unique".
James Bond, born on page in 1953, is one of the most charismatic and captivating characters ever seen to come out of the 20th century. He is an icon, the embodiment of espionage
and lady killing. A true master in his craft, an over-the-top personality that overcomes seemingly impossible odds time and time again...all in his best suit.
Lupin the Third, born as we know him on page in 1967, is without a doubt heavily influenced by the cavalier English spy. The adventures, the women, the gadgets...just about anything seen in them Lupin franchise can be traced back to the original exploits of double-o seven.
With all that said you're being led to believe that this story would be one epic tale of heroism, charm, and subterfuge. Well, it isn't. In fact, its rather disappointing all things considered. The two begin as enemies for only a brief while and become a tandem, yet their tandem is also brief and lackluster.
Long story short, same ol Lupin as always. Only difference is we get the rather disappointing inclusion of 007. You'll see the same characters as always reprising their same roles pulling the same gags to the same soundtrack.
I will admit though, I did get a chuckle out of Goemon being a "part-timer".
Lupin fans will enjoy this for what it is. It carried the franchise along in 1996 and has its place. Other than that, I can't recommend this to most anyone else. If you're not a big Lupin fan then theres no reason to catch this specific special. If you're looking to try out Lupin, there are much better representations (Secret of Mamo, Missed By A Dollar, Cagliostro).
STORY: This one is ok. It's a bit overreaching, but actually addresses some issues that you don't see a whole lot in Lupin specials. One trend that IS in every special, though, is that they focus usually on one new female and disregard the group a bit. That becomes a little bit of an issue when there's literally 10 minutes of movie at a time without any of the main group in it.
CHARACTER: Some of the character development is great. Like Fujiko, who is known as the female thief who depends on her beauty and intelligence to outwit men (and occasionally women), is captured
along with another female. One of the captors says, "Bring one of his women!" and another captor says, "Ok, which one?" To which the first one replies, "The pretty one!" The second captor then brings the other female. Fujiko is outraged and screams that "I'm the pretty one!" On the other hand, we've got what is becoming a staple in the Lupin franchise, the bad guy who is in drag or Nazi or a man-woman. The bad guy in this one is two of the above. I just finished watching a Lupin special in which Zenigata gets a lot of attention and is treated as a worthwhile detective, and not the buffoon. In this one, however, he's the hard working detective who is also a huge fool. All he cares about is his noodles, and goes so far as to use a precious treasure as a noodle lid (or something like that).
ART: Well, this special/movie definitely fits in with every other mid-90s show out there. It looks like it could take place in the same universe as Cowboy Bebop or Trigun. The non-main characters are seriously nothing that belongs in the Lupin franchise, but rather in one of those two instead.
SOUND: Another special from the 90s that completely disregards the fantastic voice work from the second series voice actors and canon name pronunciations. It physically hurts sometimes. The second series dub was, in my opinion, one of the best out there. Lupin's VA can't be topped as Lupin, especially that laugh! It's a shame they didn't stick with those VAs for much more than the Red Jacket series, Mamo, and a video game. The Japanese cast is, however, wonderful.