Funny stories including crime, sex, samurai, spies, detectives, assassins, shady persons, con men, crazy scientists and other fun stuff? This is the not very known Anime Mankatsu or Monkey Punch Manga Katsudou Dai Shashin in its long title.
As a little disclaimer: If you don't like Ecchi stay away from this. This Anime is filled with very explicit content and full of gags related to this matter.
Regarding the appearance of Lupin the III and his gang: Yes in every episode we have some short gags with Lupin the III and a few cameos in the stories. But all of them are - mute - and
only last a few moments. If you are only interested in Lupin III you will be disappointed. The gags mostly are just the gang running away from Zenigata and nothing special.
Mankatsu is a great mix of many funny independent stories with many different characters from Monkey Punch. Every episode of about 50 minutes is composed of 2 independent stories in the length of a normal episode and short gags filling up the rest of the time. There is no story going on over the whole 12 episodes with the exception of a few settings expanding over a few episodes.
The stories are short and fun. It's very easy going to grasp the many different settings and enjoy them. If you don't like one setting don't be discouraged there are many others and you will find your favourite. The stories were kind of predictable but really enjoyable for me.
The art looks quite a lot like the other works of Monkey Punch. It's alright for an Anime from 2005. The censoring of genitalia is done in a quite funny manner using the standard gender symbols. Beside that nothing is censored.
Decent voice acting and a good sound. As far as I can judge the how Japanese sounds it fitted quite well to the characters. Only the music was repetitive. They shouldn't have used the same ones this often.
Too much characters to talk about! Nearly all characters were really enjoyable and fitted well in the story. For a good number I wish they had their own series...
I really like the humour from Lupin III so there was no surprise that I enjoyed this. The episodic nature make it a great show to watch one episode at a time when you have some time to spare. No rush with cliffhangers forcing you to marathon the series. Funny stuff compressed in 50 minutes. The only things diminishing my enjoyment was that many jokes were based on wordplays in Japanese which were lost in the translation.
I don't know if there are English subs for this (at least I didn't find them). After some searching I finally found a subbed DVD-Version on the French Amazon.