Anime Review: Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Special

lupinconan_cover.jpg

It is Christmas time and things seem to be going well, especially considering that I had troubles earlier this month, in which many of you were not able to access this place.

Recently, I got a few DVDs and some other items to enjoy, some of which I was expecting before now, but beggars cannot be choosers.

Today, I will be reviewing one of the DVDs that I got, which is called Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Special.

During a family outing, the queen and prince of Vespanian died, leaving the princess in a distraught state, unwilling to assume the throne.

However, things will only get worse for them when the descendant of one of the world's most famous thieves, who has also made a name for himself, sets his sights on the crown and another group is after the life of the princess.

Luckily for them, Jimmy and the gang are determined to unmask the threat and catch the elusive thief.

princess_mira_rachel.jpg

Even though I already kind of knew what I was getting myself into before watching this, I am not too sure about this special.

Fortunately, I am kind of glad that I can at least think of a few good things, because I kind of hate skipping right to what I hate about products, as much as I do have to do that, which is thankfully pretty rare in many of the reviews I have written.

I liked how the subtitles very were easy to read.

While some of you may not think that this is a big deal, especially considering how many people out there that think subbed anime is better than dubbed and that fan translations are somewhat better than the professional, despite the fact that many that make such claims are people who, like me, do not understand the language too well.

However, in all my years of watching anime, especially when I am in a good enough condition to watch anime subbed, since watching anime subbed while one has a headache is a bad idea, I have come across moments where the subtitles were not very easy to read, either due to color contrast, or in the case of the Pandora Hearts anime, the text is too small to read.

Fortunately, that was not really a problem, which makes really want to consider supporting Discotek more often, though that is going to depend on if they get titles that I like to watch, much like I buy titles from FUNimation, Sentai Filmworks, and Aniplex of America if it is a title that I like or want to try out.

This is how subtitles should be handled, instead of the somewhat inconsistent quality I get from NIS America or any other anime distributor, and I would buy more subbed titles if I could get this kind of quality.

Not only were the subtitles easy to read, but they did seem to flow quite well with both what I saw on the screen and did not seem to have that many grammar errors, which even my own reviews tend to have.

Now, I have heard that this release from Discotek was not all that good, but people tend to forget that translating is not an easy task because there are things that do not really translate well to different languages and, like the Clannad dub, which does feature some Japanese honorifics, other things may not sound right, even if it is something that some anime fans want, which is why I do not care too much if honorifics are used or not, just that people know what they mean.

Here, however, I did not have any troubles that came up because things did not sound right in the subs and, of what little Japanese I do know, things seemed to have been translated correctly.

The mystery presented in this special was also somewhat enjoyable, as long as the we were following Jimmy and the gang, but that could be just because I am much more familiar with Detective Conan than I am with Lupin III, as well as not being too obvious but not perfect.

The thing that I liked the most though was the interaction between the main cast of Detective Conan and Lupin III and seeing how similar and different they were.

Almost every time that they were together, I found kind of laughing, but not it is definitely not the kind of laughing fit that I would get from shows like D-Frag! or Baka & Test.

Still, there was some bit of humor to be seen.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked.

While there was not too much to like about this special, the decent quality subtitles and humor created by the interaction between the casts did make this somewhat enoyable.

princess_mira_annoyed.jpg

Although there were things to like, there are definitely some issues.

First, while the case present to Jimmy and the gang was somewhat enjoyable, it felt like it was relatively boring enough to the point where I had no interest in trying to solve the case myself.

Even though this is not necessarily being labelled as a mystery flick, the people behind the making of this special do not seem to get that the fan base of Detective Conan around the world are also those that will most likely have read or will read many works in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres and those people want to be given cases that are exciting.

Unfortunately, I do not get that here at all and that really hurts my overall enjoyment of this special.

I also really hated how the Lupin III cast was handled here.

Now, I have not watched or read much, if anything, featuring Lupin III and his companion, but considering that Monkey Punch made him the grandson of the infamous Arsène Lupin, who was created by Maurice Leblanc, and I have read a few of the Lupin stories written by Leblanc, this is not what was I expecting from the grandson of Arsène Lupin, especially considering that Lupin III is supposedly just as well-known around the world as, if not more so than, Conan Edogawa.

When I picture the grandson of Leblanc's Lupin, especially one that is quite well known in our world, I see a man that is so good at disguise that nobody can tell it is them, not even the detective chasing them, and pulls off seemingly impossible feats.

Unfortunately, in this special, Lupin III seems to be a disgrace to his namesake because he does not seem to study the people that he decides to impersonate and says things that automatically reveal who he is, since Zenigata recognized Lupin III almost immediately after what he said.

Honestly! Kaito Kuroba seems to be a much better thief and master of disguise than Lupin III is, even though Kaito did seem to slip up when he tried to disguise himself as somebody he did not know was actually a girl.

I am not too sure if Lupin III is better at the art of disguise than he was portrayed here, though fans of Lupin III are more likely to know than I am, but after watching this special, I am certainly not that interested in following Lupin III and his adventures.

Because of things like this, I am feeling like whoever made this special are not doing justice for either franchise, considering the fact that there are quite a few people who do not like this special overall.

The thing that I hate the most though was that there was absolutely little, if any, conflict between Lupin III and Jimmy and the gang.

This special is literally called Lupin III Versus Detective Conan and they do not really go head to head.

Really TMS? You call this Lupin III vs. Detective Conan, but the two sides do not actually fight against each other?

When I think of a title with versus in it, I expect a showdown to ensue between the two groups, like the stories in which Sherlock Holmes and Arsene Lupin face-off against each other.

Here, however, the two sides help each other in solving the case and getting Jimmy Kudo back to Japan, since the secret of Conan and Jimmy being the same person would get out if they tried going through normally method, especially since Haibara, Dr. Agasa, and the Junior Detective do not show up, nor is there any hint of some kind of antidote to APTX 4869 featured in this special.

As a result, this movie does not even deserve to be classified as a versus special, and from what I can find and remember reading, it looks like I am not the only one who feels this way.

Other than those things, I cannot think of anything else that is particularly bad, other than things that would be minor annoyances to some fans, like the lack of Japanese honorifics in the official subtitles.

While there might be things that annoy some people, the things that really hurt this special was a dull case, a thief that does not seem to deserve the recognition that he has gotten in our world, and the fact that the casts of the two franchises never really go head to head in this special.

Despite the fact that there were things to like, the things that hurt it, such as a dull case and making the Lupin III cast seem like they deserve the respect that they probably do, makes this a waste of time.

If it were not for the fact that the movie that is released after this requires some knowledge of what occurs in this special, since this is where Lupin III and his gang are revealed to know that Conan is Jimmy, I would have recommend that everyone avoid this special like the plague.

Because of this fact, I only recommend watching this if you are planning to watch the movie that was released in 2013.

What are your thoughts on Lupin III vs Detective Conan: The Special? Did you like it or hate? If you are a fan of Lupin III, am I correct that Lupin III is actually a better thief than he is portrayed here, or is he just as lousy as he seems to be here? Was there anything that you liked or disliked that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment?

Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.