When Lupin heads to the kingdom of Zufu to pilfer its treasure, he incurs the wrath of its psychotic ruler General Headhunter, who places a dead-or-alive bounty on his head that many intend to collect.
Lupin the Third, grandson of the "gentleman thief," Arsene Lupin, traveles the world in search of challenging loot to steal, along with his companions: The sharpshooter Daisuke Jigen, the swordsman Ishikawa Goemon XIII, and the deadly beauty Fujiko Mine. Chasing them to the ends of the earth is the redoubtable ICPO officer Inspector Koichi (The Ol' Man) Zenigata. Whether it's a billion dollars' ransom menat to save the city of Pisa, Italy, a solid gold van, or the mask of Tutankamen, Lupin will go after it!Written by
The series, more parody-based than its predecessor, has referenced/satirized a number of international celebrities, such as Alan Delon, Pele, Jacqueline Kennedy,and Aristotle Onassis (to avoid legal repercussions, the names have intentionally been changed by home video distributor Geneon to Japanese romanized spellings), as well as frequently parodying 1970s American movies and TV shows. See more »
Unlike most other Japanese animated TV series (or American, for that matter,) the main cast is credited by name and character at the beginning of the show. See more »
Due to copyright issues in the early '90s with the estate of Maurice LeBlanc (author of the original "Arsene Lupin" stories), when the Miyazaki, Hayao-directed episodes were first released on videocasette by Streamline Pictures, the studio was forced to rename Lupin "Wolf" (a English rendition of his French name). See more »
The first 'Lupin' series from 1971 is an anime, and animation, landmark and is still a great show in its own right and a good demonstration of what is so appealing about the Lupin franchise in the first place.
It was inevitable that there would be another show, and a series of films, that would follow, and the second 'Lupin' series is a very worthy one. It is not as big a landmark as the 1971 incarnation, which was always superbly written, entertaining and even suspenseful, actually really admired the darker and grittier tone of the earlier episodes, which more than made up for the ill-fitting and out-of-date music. With that being said, 'Lupin the III: Part II' does have more polished animation quality and much better music scoring that fits much better and sounds more appealing, plus its tone for anybody more familiar with the films is likely to be more accessible.
'Lupin the III: Part II' is not perfect. Do have to agree that a lot of the modern day jokes in the American/English dub are really jarring and anachronistic, and whether they're successful in being funny wildly varies (some are entertaining, others pretty cringe-worthy and distract badly). Things can be wildly implausible in the earlier episodes, with action that is admittedly well-animated and exciting but throws logic out the window.
However, as said, the animation is more polished this time round. There is more refinement in the drawings, more vibrant colouring, bolder and more meticulous background details and it looks more imaginative in general. The music score, again as aforementioned, is a much better fit and is more dynamically scored with a real liveliness, cool vibe and lushness.
Writing is incredibly funny, very smart and also very intelligent, while the action even with the implausibility is really exciting and often beautifully and imaginatively animated. The stories entertain and intrigue, with a real sense of adventure, fun, charm and suspense. Nothing's too simplistic and nothing's convoluted.
Great characters too, with a likable and interesting titular character who has both a fun and gritty side that stops him from being a one-dimensional stereotype. Of the supporting characters, Zenigata is my favourite, the conflict engrosses between the two and the character is just very well-written in his own right. The voice acting is good.
In conclusion, very good series. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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