Inspector Zenigata has been removed from the Lupin case which leaves him despondent, and he ends up drinking with Lupin & Jigen. Lupin decides that he and his gang should work with Zenigata to solve his new case, investigating a group of arms dealers known as Shot Shell. Lupin gathers his partners together (Jigen, Goemon, & Fujiko), and with Zenegata they steal a Russian submarine. They kidnap a scientist named Karen Korinsky to help them operate the sub, and also to protect her from Shot Shell. Meanwhile the ICPO assigns a man named Keith Hayden to the Lupin case, and unlike Zenigata he wants Lupin and his group dead. Where ever Lupin and friends go, Keith follows, as the officer attempts to pick them off one by one.
Voyage to Danger (Orders to Assassinate Lupin) is a very forgettable special.
The plot of this movie involves Lupin and his gang being in a submarine for twenty minutes, with little to no conflict. It's immensely boring. After this, the movie takes place on an evil guy's militarized headquarters in a jungle. The evil guy wants the submarine so he can fire nukes at people.
Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, and Goemon at the very least are treated decently in this. They act like their usual fun loving, money loving selves. One plus side in this very generic movie, is that the Lupin gang end up being nicer
to each other than they often do. Fujiko is especially nice in this one, and of course she brings that sex appeal to the table, which helps. These classic characters are the best part of this story.
Inspector Zenigata is a complete joke in this one, he gets no respect. He's been taken off the Lupin case, so he just gets drunk and depressed, and even hangs out with the Lupin gang. At one point he wears an apron and acts like the Lupin gang's butler. This is very out of character, and pretty much sacrilege, though I admit it's a bit amusing.
The movie does have an enjoyable action climax though, and a nice ending.
All in all, this is on the lower end of the Lupin spectrum. For me, it was worth sitting through for some fun moments between the Lupin gang. If you're not a Lupin completist, this one is very skippable.
I'm writing this for people who are already familiar with Lupin III so if you aren't search up reviews for the main series instead.
Story: This is probably the special that saved the franchise. Which is ironic since it isn't very good. I will say however, that it much less awful that the two that came before it. Zenigata is replaced my a mercenary who plans to kill Lupin. Meanwhile, Zenigata and Lupin team up to stop a weapons manufacture, Shock Shell. On paper it sounds all well and good, but the execution leaves much to be desired (see Character for details).
Art: This special is the
beginning of the annual style change that will continue till the early 2000s. And it's nice, but not really my thing.
Sound: Average for Lupin. Funimation did a dub back in the 90s which sounds ok, but has a long way to go compared to the Pioneer dub of Red Jacket, or even Funimation's dub of Woman Called Fujiko Mine which features some of the same cast members.
Characters: Jigen gets a love interest in this one. And she's actually pretty decent compare to some of the others, a Russian Rocket scientist who was the daughter of one of Jigen's victims back in his mob days. Interestin... Fujiko gets an action role, through not much screen time.
The one thing that really bugs me is the lack of Zenigata. And true, Zenigata doesn't usually get much screen time in specials to begin with, but here it is almost offensive. The plot revolves an assignment he's given, but he just sits on the sidelines while Lupin does most of the work. I'm sorry, but that's just REALLY OFFENSIVE to his character! Seriously, I'm sure every Lupin fan loves to see Lupin/Zeni team ups and this time the perfect prompt is handed to them and the writers just squander it!
Enjoyment: I enjoyed this special. I watched it once or twice. It has a few good laughs, action and dramatic scenes, even through it wasn't at all what I expected from the first 5 minutes.
Overall: Voyage to Danger (dub name) is a mediocre special, that's breath of fresh air from the previous few, but still far from the best. Purchase if you insist, but otherwise it's a definite skip.