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Lupin III: The First Review

Oh boy, a new Lupin the Third movie just came out in North America. Anything Lupin the Third is a hit since the film started airing on HBO way back in the 80s and early 90s. Later the series would air on Toonami and AdultSwim, introducing a ton of people to the anime. Since then, it’s become a big hit not just in Japan but all over the world. The latest movie Lupin III: The First, comes with a considerable change in the franchise. How did it turn out, and how will fans react to the difference? Our review breaks it down.

Of course, the movie brings back all our loveable characters created by the one and only Monkey Punch. He passed just last year, and the Monkey Punch team has vowed to carry on the characters and great storylines. Some original characters are added to this particular movie. They are well thought out along with the Lupin crew. Though, the director and scriptwriter were in charge of this movie from top to bottom Takashi Yamazaki. It was on track to be another great Lupin movie.

All Lupin movies are heist type, noir, chase, comedy, action movies. These types of film will always be a hit as long as the story is well written. Yet, the company made a significant change in moving from 2D to a 3D animation style. As a big proponent of 2D animation initially, we thought that the company had gone crazy in Monkey Punch’s passing. Yet, the trailer dropped and what we got was a masterpiece that looks kin to the style of Toy Story, Shrek, and others alike. I was very impressed with this animation style thanks to Marza Animation Planet, TMS Entertainment, Toho Company, and Yggdrazil Group.

This style changed the dynamic of the film. Think about Fast and the Furious going from just racing cars to the notable action-packed heist films of today. Lupin III: The First made me think of this. It went from its regular heist episode to a big blockbuster. The film had to be taken more seriously because of the 3D animation style and a bigger plot. We also suspect that people who aren’t into anime in a traditional 2D style will enjoy this film just as much. It’s certainly a film for the family to see and own.

Let’s not forget that most of all, they brought back all of the voice actors from the original series. That was the most crucial part. These characters have been around so long that any deviation in voice could ruin the film. We at Anime Pad ourselves were introduced to Lupin in the English Dub and not Sub. We prefer sub, but it’s hard to deviate from that when introduced to only one type. We’ve certainly come to watch the Lupin series’s sub versions too, yet the Dub carries the real weight.

Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Kan’ichi Kurita, Daisuke Namikawa, Kôichi Yamadera, Takashi Yamazaki, Miyuki Sawashiro, Suzu Hirose, Kôtarô Yoshida


We want to thank GKIDS for this film’s American distribution on the American side of things. In other words, they were paying the money to bring this film over to Americans to adapt in a dub. Then we have to always talk about the excellent Dub studio NYAV Post. They’ve seemed to have made a great partnership with GKIDS overall by doing all of their latest work. In doing so, they brought back all the original American dub voice actors. In particular, our great friend Tony Oliver arguably the best in this role, tipped us off that the film was coming at the beginning of the year. You can see that story here.

Tony Oliver

The movie takes us from the past to the present with Lupin trying to acquire the Bresson Diary. This book, once unlocked, holds the clues to a treasure that is beyond belief. Lupin will learn about himself and his grandfather along this adventure road. Newcomer to the plot, Laetitia will see what she’s made of and discover what’s missing from life. There’s another group out there, though, looking to acquire the book to find the treasure. Lupin drags everyone in on this hunt while, of course, trying to evade Interpol and Inspector Zenigata. The twist, though, will take this Lupin movie into another stratosphere and make you hold on to your seat!

All in all, the film was great. It ended too quickly in an hour and 33 minutes, leaving us wanting more of the movie. It’s been a while since I’ve left a movie theatre, and I wished it was longer or I was said, “Can we get some more of that?” My only question now is when’s the next movie coming out, or should I catch up on the television series?


We give Lupin III: The First5 out of 5!

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