We can say that "Italian Game" is probably one of the most disappointing Lupin TV Special ever made.
It was a nice choice setting the story in continuity with the last serie (the blue jacket one) with the same animation style and re-proposing the new characters we met, a countinuity that sounded like a warm "don't worry, there's still some of it".
So, what went wrong?
The challenge to find the heritage of the Count of Cagliostro (also an open reference to Miyazaki's film) is covered only by the last 20 minutes of the special, before that we have to see again a lot of material from the serie.
Yes, they took three entire episodes and they sewed them together to make a huge introduction that takes three quarters of the time.
The problem is that many of the scenes make sense only in the context of a standalone episode and they're completely useless for the development of the plot. They could have just condensed the major events in 5 minutes while keeping a good connection to the serie.
The original part suffers for the lack of time, even looking at it simply as an extra episode, we get undeveloped new characters (the Masked Count was ok, but it needed more space) and a rushed resolution, if not forced.
I can save only the majestic opening made by Koji Morimoto, maybe the only part which was worth watching.
In the end, if you really enjoyed the blue jacket serie and you desperately need to see more of it, maybe you can appreciate it.
But if you're looking for a fresh tv special I don't recommand it. read more