Zenigata arrives at the birthday party of an important politician to investigate a fake Lupin calling card. Lupin shows up as well. Suddenly, masked assassins break in and begin to shoot everything that moves. Zenigata goes after Lupin amidst all the gunfire and corners him in the courtyard of the house. Suddenly, a hand holding a Walther P-38 pops out of a window and shoots Zenigata in the chest. Lupin recognizes the Walther as his own and decides to investigate. The assassins that attacked the party are from a hidden island called the Island of Assassins. The island is kept secret by the help of top government officials from around the world who use the assassins on the island for their own personal gains. There are lots of hidden secrets on the island, however, and Lupin, Goemon, Jigen, and Fujiko find themselves involved in a plot that tears the residents of the island in half. The movie also delves into Lupin's past in his pre-Jigen days.
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: The chain of mediocrity has finally ended! This is a major step up from the previous few in every way! Lupin and the gang find themselves forced to join a band of assassins, and prevent from leaving by a tattoo that injects poison into their bodies that can only be countered by the gas found on the island. There's a lot of tension, but maybe a bit too much, because by the end, the gang don't ever end
up getting rid of the poison... Despite that one flaw, this is still a pretty great special.
Art: Probably the weakest point, through it is really a matter of opinion since the animation was really good. I'm not a fan of blonde Fujiko or Jigen's creepy design in his one. Goemon and Lupin looked ok. Zenigata's the only one whose design I really like.
Sound: Lots of great soundtracks this time around. There's a really great song at the end called "Don't Forget My Eyes".
Character: Everyone's really great in this one. They all get a share of kick-ass. Zenigata doesn't really do much, but what he does isn't just comic relief for once. He delivers a bit of exposition, and it's a really nice change of pace to see him doing some detective work. The female guest character this time is pretty great too. There are also a bunch of nice side characters and a few reveals near the end.
Enjoyment: This special was a breath of fresh air from the previous. I really liked it. The ending didn't bother me too much through I could see it ruining the special for some.
Overall: This is really a must have. Among the best of the specials, through not quite there yet...
Walther P-38 (Island of Assassins) is a damn good Lupin III adventure.
A man commits a heinous crime using a Walther P-38 pistol much like the one Lupin has, along with a spooky group of assassins with spider tattoos. This leads Lupin and the gang to the foggy island of assassins.
This is the most serious Lupin special, and also the most violent. It's an intriguing change of pace for Lupin, where he has a serious score to settle from his past. The less known about the plot going in the better, there are some nice twists.
Lupin naturally takes a liking to a female assassin on the
island, she turns out to be one of the better guest leading ladies. The scenes between Lupin and her are pretty touching.
The Lupin gang is here as well, with Jigen there to help his partner, Fujiko with a couple nice scenes, and of course Goemon with some great fighting. For the most part they're separate from Lupin in this one, as he is doing his own personal thing, but they do get some decent screen time.
This has a comparatively more serious art style, and is pretty dark looking. The soundtrack by Yuji Ohno is also pretty intense. There's still some good comedy in this though, being Lupin, and Inspector Zenigata provides quite a few of those laughs.
A really good thriller, I recommend giving this one a watch, Lupin fan or not.