As I said in my last post on Blogger & Multiply, I feel like I need to go out and watch new anime, or old-school anime that I don't normally watch. So I went out and watched Lupin III:The Castle of Cagliostro!
Originally released in Japan in 1971, it wqas released with subtitles in 1991...and then with english voice actors in 1992 to great success. The only criticism (and I didn't know about it until I did some intial reseearch on the movie)was that title music had been changed and edited to exclude kanji symbols that were in the beginning for the 1992 release.
Animation for this movie reflects the time it was created, late 70's thru the early 80's. Sorry, no CGI, this the real animation. What that means is that there is quite a few jumps in frame that wouldn't appear in today's productions. Still, if you understand that you are watching something old school, then you appreciate it more.
The plot is typical Lupin. He and Jingen are absconding with cash after robbing a casino in Monte Carlo. As they drive away, being chased by Zenigata (who else?), Lupin notices that the stolen cash is actually counterfeit and useless. As the two make their escape by throwing out the useless money from their getaway car, Lupin vows to take revenge on the counterfieters who make their base in the very tiny country of the Duchy of Cagliostro (population less than three thousand).
As they enter the tiny country, they come across a young girl in a wedding dress trying to escape from a bunch of criminals. Lupin, of course, coems to her aid and after an interesting chase scene (you just have to watch and suspend your disbelief) Lupin actually recognizes the girl. She is eventually captured and Lupin adds her rescue to his vow of revenge. Needless to say, she becomes central to the plot...and of course old man Zenigata plays into the whole thing very well.
This movie is a bit differnet than the series. Fujiko makes a small appearance, a little bit more than a cameo. And, she isn't a thief, but works for the CIA. Goemon makes an even smaller role, but really, you can't have a Lupin production without the whole gang!
All in all, this is a VERY good anime movie to watch. Also, it's a real movie, not somethign that lasts 80 minutes, or two or three episodes tied together and called a movie. This sucker is nearly two hours long at 110 minutes! But it is a fast-paced 110 minutes!
As a BTW, there was another reason why I decided to watch this movie. In the mid-eighties, at the height of arcade games...a type of arcade appeared briefly. It had joystck and a couple of buttons...but the visual action wasn't like your average video game. The visual was based on animation. It was placed on a laserdisc (precursor to the DVD) and at certain moments, the player would be asked to move a press a buttonof thier choosing...an incorrect action would result in the end of the game. One of these arcade games was called "Cliff Hanger" and used scenes from Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, but called Lupin "Cliff" instead, and did not follow the plot of the movie precisely.
I used to play that game when I visited the arcades on the weekends as a kid....
Hayao Miyazaki is considered by many people to be one of the most influential directors of our time, a Walt Disney for our generation. The animators at Pixar have dubbed many of his movies, they cite him as being their major influence, and even Steven Spielberg was said to have called one of Miyazaki's films "the greatest action movie [he's] ever seen." High praise indeed, but what is this great film Spielberg is talking about? Well it's not the Oscar winning "Spirited Away" or the charming "My … more
Lupin's search for the source of the legendary counterfeit "Goat Money" leads him to the small country of Cagliostro. While fixing a flat tire on the side of the road, Lupin and Jigen are passed by a beautiful girl being chased by a group of thugs. Lupin naturally rushes to the aid of the pretty girl and saves her from a nasty fall over a cliff.
The girl turns out to be the Princess Clarisse soon to wed the Count of Cagliostro. The Count is seeking to find the lost treasure of Caglistro and needs the Princess's ring to do so. Can Lupin rescue the Princess, find the counterfeit money, and find the lost treasure? And just what is his secret past with both the Count and Clarisse?