Anime Review: Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Movie

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With New Years around the corner, everyone is trying to think up a goal.

As for me, I am just glad that I can cover the last two releases of Detective Conan for the year, since people where I live have easier access to the manga than the anime, especially considering that the Internet can go out at any time here.

Today, I will be reviewing the more recent of the two DVDs, which is called Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Movie.

Lupin III has come back to Japan on a mission to steal a jewel and people are getting involved relatively quickly this time.

However, when whatever Lupin is entangled with meshes with a different case that Jimmy and the gang found themselves wrapped up in, Jimmy must decide whether he should set his differences aside and work with the thief and his gang again or bring Lupin's career to an end and making the case harder to resolve.

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After the atrocity that was the special, I was not really looking forward to watching this movie.

However, after having watched it, I can say that enjoyed this movie way more than the special.

Almost everything I liked about how Discotek did its translation and handled the quality of the subtitles was retained, which is a plus, because, as I have mentioned in my review of the special, I have encountered titles from places that mainly do subtitled releases that were not as good as other titles from the same people for various reason.

I am definitely going to be much more willing to cover titles that are subtitled only if I can get as good of quality as I am getting from Discotek, though I may actually be more irritated if I understood Japanese beyond a few words and counting to 99, since I would actually be able to gauge the translations better.

I liked how Lupin III and his companions actually seemed to shine a bit here, even suggesting that they did quite a bit of research on Jimmy and his allies against Black Org, though I doubt they knew the FBI agents they met.

In the special, Lupin seemed to be absolutely terrible at the art of disguise because he gave himself away.

Here, however, he seems to have redeemed himself a bit by actually fooling me at least twice.

I am not particularly ready to admit that Lupin III deserves the recognition that he gets, but I can say that with how he does things here seem to be as exciting as the Lupin stories written by Maurice Leblanc that I have read, he is somewhat deserving of the hype he has gotten over the years, though maybe not quite as deserving as Kaito Kuroba, whom Lupin III does seem to know about.

I also liked how I actually found myself laughing a bit.

For example, after Haibara decides to go with Fujiko, they take a bath together and Fujiko seemingly does perverted stuff to Haibara, while expressing her desire to get her hands on APTX 4869, as well as knowing who Haibara actually is.

From what I have seem of Lupin III in ads and the special, I kind of expect Lupin III to do perverted things to women, but apparently Fujiko likes doing weird stuff too.

Another funny part, which was kind of related to what happened while Haibara and Fujiko talked, was that I even got the impression that Fujiko did weird things with Jimmy at the end of the special, since Haibara does remark that Fujiko apparently did come off strong while she was alone with Jimmy.

I also liked how the case was actually interesting this time around.

While it was not like the usual cases in Detective Conan, which are either whodunits or proving the obvious culprit guilty, I actually felt like I wanted to get involved with the case.

This is what fans of mystery, detective, and crime fiction want from their stories.

After all, why would one want to continue following a detective or thief whose cases or heists are boring? I sure would not, even though I have not read every book out there in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres.

It really seems like TMS got their act together and is delivering something that actually makes both franchises look good this time around.

The thing that I liked the most though was that this seemed to be more action-packed than the special, as it should since this is considered am action flick.

I actually did not want to stop watching this from the moment I started watching it, unlike the special, where I could not help but bring up the time display or look at it more than the video.

I am really impressed with the delivery of this movie and it kind of does make me want to follow both franchise, though I do not think that I will starting reading Lupin III manga or watching the Lupin III anime adaptations, since I kind of have a hard time following all the series that I like if I try following too many.

Other than those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I liked, without giving too much away.

The fact that the case presented this time was quite interesting and Lupin III seemed to be a much more competent thief, as well as the fact that it felt like there was much more action packed, made this movie very enjoyable.

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Although I did like this movie, there are some issues.

However, aside from my continued disappointment in not getting a true confrontation between Lupin III and Jimmy, though it did seem like they actually were enemies for much for this movie, there were only two things that really annoyed me.

At the beginning of the movie, there is a little feature that many Detective Conan fans are used to seeing, where characters from both Lupin III and Detective Conan are introduced.

While this is a nice thing to have, since I do not know too many Detective Conan fans that also like Lupin III and vice versa, it was kind of annoying here because it seemed like TMS could not choose just one character to narrate the whole thing like is done in the Detective Conan movies.

Now, this is not the worst thing that I have seen in my time following anime, but switching characters does not really make sense, especially since Jimmy Kudo is known to suddenly know things that the audience was never able to learn to the point where it is pointless to complain about it.

Still, I think that this little feature could have been drastically improved by having a character from Detective Conan or Lupin III narrate the whole thing.

The thing that I hated the most though was the presence of two credits sequences.

While this is not a new thing for US anime fans, since Sentai Filmworks has put up their own little credit sequence in each episode of Clannad after going through the original ending sequences, but it is most annoying here because I have to go through the credits with Lupin III's theme and scenes from the special, then a well-known tune from Detective Conan starts playing and I see scenes from the actual movie.

Come on, TMS! Do I really need to be reminded of the awful special, no matter how important it is to fully appreciate this title?

I am fine with theme songs from the two series, but it should have just featured both in one long credit sequence, much like American movies, instead of doing two different credit sequences.

By doing this, it makes what was a pretty decent movie seem like it is dragging on for infinity, at least for those that actually watch the credits, since not everyone does stick around for the credits.

Still, it is not that bad of a mistake, compared to what plagued the special that came before this.

As a result, I am just going to label this a minor issue.

Other than those things, I cannot really think of anything else that is particularly wrong with this movie.

While the movie still does not present a head to head showdown between Lupin III and Jimmy Kudo, it does not hurt the quality of this movie as much as the annoyances with the character introductions and the credit sequences that are minor issues in of themselves.

Despite the fact that there were some annoyances and Lupin III and Jimmy Kudo still do not really go head to head, there was enough good in it that makes it outshine the special, making it definitely worth watching.

I recommend this to fans of the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres because the case presnted was actually decent, as well as fans of Detective Conan (Case Closed) and Lupin III, since the movie seems to do both franchises justice, though I highly suggest watching the special before this, as bad as it is, in order to fully enjoy this movie.

As for everyone else, this movie seems to do enough justice to both franchises enough that it can serve as a good introduction to either series, though I think that it might serve as a better introduction to Detective Conan.

What are your thoughts on Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Movie? Did you like it or hate it? If you liked it, did you like it better than the special, like I did, or was it about the same? Was there anything that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.