Friday, December 18, 2020

Lupin III: The First Review: A Beautifully Animated Exciting Heist

J. David Brimmer	...	Lambert (voice) Richard Epcar	Richard Epcar	...	Daisuke Jigen (voice) Doug Erholtz	Doug Erholtz	...	Inspector Koichi Zenigata (voice) Tatsuya Fujiwara	Tatsuya Fujiwara	...	Gerald (voice) Paul Guyet	Paul Guyet	...	Gerard (voice) Suzu Hirose	Suzu Hirose	...	Laetitia (voice) Laurie Hymes	Laurie Hymes	...	Laetitia (voice) Kiyoshi Kobayashi	Kiyoshi Kobayashi	...	Daisuke Jigen (voice) Kan'ichi Kurita	Kan'ichi Kurita	...	Lupin III (voice) Lex Lang	Lex Lang	...	Goemon Ishikawa XIII (voice) Daisuke Namikawa	Daisuke Namikawa	...	Goemon Ishikawa XIII (voice) Tony Oliver	Tony Oliver	...	Arsene Lupin III (voice) Michelle Ruff	Michelle Ruff	...	Fujiko Mine (voice) Jacqueline Sato	Jacqueline Sato	...	Fujiko Mine (voice) Miyuki Sawashiro	Miyuki Sawashiro	...	Fujiko Mine (voice)

Release date: December 16, 2020 (Digital)
Running time: 93 minutes
Japanese Cast: 
Kan'ichi Kurita, Suzu Hirose, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Miyuki Sawashiro
English Cast: Tony Oliver, Doug Erholtz, Michelle Ruff, Richard Epcar, Lex Lang, Laurie C. Hymes, J. David Brimmer, and Paul Guyet 
Director: Takashi Yamazaki

The iconic "gentleman thief" Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary, before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that have made LUPIN THE 3RD one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new.

Shuji Abe	...	executive producer Takeshi Ito	...	producer Hibiki Itô	...	executive producer Ryota Kato	...	planning and production Shuhei Kato	...	planning and production Naoaki Kitajima	...	producer Koji Nozaki	...	producer Hiroyasu Shinohara	...	executive producer Mayumi Tachikawa	...	line producer     Directed by  Takashi Yamazaki	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Monkey Punch	...	(characters) Takashi Yamazaki	...	(script)
Lupin III has a really striking animation style.  It is a 3D rendered anime that keeps some aspects of anime but also evolves the genre into a new dimension.  It doesn't look hand drawn, rather it looks like something out of a video game.  But thankfully, this change to a different style doesn't affect the overall fluidity of the animation.  Characters move rapidly and easily so you wouldn't even notice that it is CG versus some more traditional hand drawn.  And the more CG style does give the film some extra oomph, with some really beautiful lighting and effects during the movie.  Explosions are epic and exciting, the film can go into slow motion at times, and everything just feels exciting and crisp.  And the animation style is really interesting, as it evokes anime tropes but looks somewhere in between Japanese style animation and Western animation.  Characters look like anime characters, but with less pronounced eyes.  And the film has exaggerated expressions and some silly parts, another hallmark of Japanese anime.  But the setting and effects are realistic looking, feeling more on the Western front.

The movie also has a terrific soundtrack to accompany the beautiful animation.  It has an upbeat jazz-style soundtrack that evokes the general setting and high energy heist of the film.  And speaking of heists, it wouldn't be a Lupin movie without one.  The story follows a particularly difficult heist that goes in many phases.  But Lupin is not alone and several characters from his past movies reunite in this film, along with a couple new additions.  The characters are wonderfully voiced with series stalwarts returning to reprise their roles.  And the new additions are a lot of fun as well.  The film is overall light hearted and silly, with a few serious portions thrown in for drama.  The story of the film follows the heist with plenty of ups and downs.  Plans change and Lupin outsmarts some but is outsmarted by others.  Overall the story is very enjoyable until about the final act, when it goes off the rails  But the adventure is so much fun up until that point you will forgive the film for going a little crazy for the final sequence.  Up until that point you have an elaborate adventure that evokes aspects of Indiana Jones.  And even when the film goes extreme, it at least provides you with an epic sequence that is exciting to watch.

Lupin III: The First has beautiful animation, an upbeat soundtrack, and an exciting heist adventure that takes the gentleman thief all over the world.

Watch it.

Anime animation lupin lupin 3rd thief heist japan japanese nazis german

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Lupin III: The First is out digitally on December 16, 2020, with a physical release early in 2021.

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