Lupin's Latest Is A Disappointment
Brad Frank | Tulsa, Oklahoma USA | 05/14/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Lupin III (aka Rupan 3, aka Wolf) was created by Japanese comic strip artist Monkey Punch in the mid 60's. He's the grandson of Arsene Lupin, the original gentleman thief created in 1906 by French mystery writer Maurice Leblanc, and later typified by Raffles and Simon Templar (The Saint). Between 1971 and 1985, Lupin III appeared in over 200 half-hour episodes on Japanese TV. The first of six theatrical features was released in 1978, and a series of feature-length specials (13 so far) have appeared on Japanese TV annually since 1989. However, aside from poor quality, unlicensed copies, American audiences have only seen four of the features, and a mere two episodes (see the videos "Tales of the Wolf" and "Lupin III's Greatest Capers"). Lupin fans who have been eagerly awaiting this new DVD release will be disappointed. "The Secret of Twilight Gemini" (the 8th TV special, originally aired in 1996) features all the usual characters, but the story is so typical of Lupin as to be entirely uninspired. But the worse thing about it is the crudeness of the animation, even by American standards. This one was obviously made on a budget. Newcomers to Lupin III may still find this enjoyable, but for much better examples, see the classics "The Mystery of Mamo" or "The Castle of Cagliostro". A nice feature of the DVD is that you can choose between the original Japanese soundtrack (with or without English subtitles) or the English dubbed version, and the titles and other onscreen text can be switched from Japanese to English via the "angle" button of your DVD player."
Very, very dull.
Inspector Gadget | On the trail of Doctor Claw | 11/10/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This really doesn't match up to Castle of Cagliostro. Lupin isn't as funny or wacky or as hyperactive. The scenery and music are uninspired and plot just isn't interesting. The only good thing about this 'un is the nudity (only in the uncut version) provided by Fujiko. It helped spice up some of the tedious scenes. CoC had a formidable villian and set up the movie for some imaginative set-pieces. The locations in TSoTG are not very vivid or engaging. Zenigata, Goemon and Jigen don't even provide decent sideshow entertainment this time. It's like they were just filling a contractual obligation by appearing. The DVD is in full-frame with Dolby Stereo sound. It has a decent amount of extras, including quite a few trailers. But one curious thing. There is no chapter selection on the disc or timecode displayed on the player once inserted. Though you can still skip to the next scene number using the remote."
AstroNerdBoy | Denver, CO | 09/15/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"While the animation may not be up to snuff in this movie, the worst part is the writing. Basically, the story has Lupin at the bedside of an old, dying underworld boss. This boss gives Lupin an odd-shaped purple diamond called the Twilight Gemini. Apparently it is the key to a vast treasure in Morocco. So off Lupin goes followed by Inspector Zenigata. The rest of Lupin's gang shows up for whatever reason and don't do much for the movie except show up. Things are rather boring and uninteresting and when the end comes, it is a relief!People with below-average intelligence will QUICKLY be able to figure out where the other half of the diamond is and who the chief bad guy really is. So, to make up for their bad writing, animated nudity is inserted. It is here that we see the Japanese love of fetishes such as large-breasted women, transvestites, and B&D. They found many opportunities to show Fujiko nude (topless) whenever the story becomes unwatchable. And just so Fujiko isn't the only one forced to lose her clothes, they have the character of Lara lose hers!Characters are butchered here. Fujiko in "Castle of Cagliostro" is smart. She's been working undercover for a long time to try to make a huge score. When Lupin shows up, she aides him only because it helps her to do so. So she's sexy, smart, and classy. In "Twilight Gemini", Fujiko is reduced to an ignorant slut who uses sex to try to get information out of Lupin to find out why he's here. Her only purpose is to show her naked breasts at various times, nothing more.While there should be a purpose for Jigen being here, he really has no purpose. The writers try to make up one but it is so weak as to be laughable. And then Goemon's purpose is only to fight the transvestite bad guy who apparently trained with Goemon at some point. Goemon supposedly has been on this person's trail for some time. Yeah, whatever.Just horrible writing is the plague here. Obviously this was slapped together since the studio that made this movie just wanted a Lupin product out. If you are a hard-core Lupin fan who want's to add to their Lupin collection, go ahead and get this. Otherwise, I'd skip this one."