Japan Release date: 15th December 1979
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 18th December 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is another in a series of Studio Ghibli productions that I’ll be reviewing over the next week or so. From 1979, this one has a lot more humour and a more simple style than the first one I reviewed. This works quite well and I really enjoyed the straight forward story telling too. A thief, some ninja assassins, a beautiful damsel in distress, an evil count, oh, and a counterfeiting ring… what more could you ask? Well, I’ll tell you more after this brief summary.
Lupin is a thief, he makes quite a good living from it and enjoys the thrill of the chase. When he and his associate, Jigen, knock over the main casino in Monaco, they discover that all the money they’ve just stolen is fake. Lupin knows where it has come from and decides to go there to solve the mystery. Cagliostro is a small principality in Europe and when they arrive they get immediately involved in a chase with a beautiful bride. She is being pursued by an unsavoury bunch of thugs. Needless to say Lupin manages to get the better of them, but the girl is picked up by another crew when he is knocked unconscious. Moving on, they discover that the girl is Lady Clarisse de Cagliostro, daughter of the late Archduke and heir to the throne. She is being forced to marry Count Cagliostro, who happens to be behind the strange disappearances in the region and the counterfeiting operation. When Inspector Zenigata of Interpol arrives, all the pieces are in place and Lupin can start to reveal his plan. I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Ninja Assassins will be hiding in every shadow again.
I must admit I really enjoyed this one; although the animation has a bit of a naive style about it, it certainly makes up for it in entertainment and storytelling. I saw it in Japanese with subtitles, but I believe there is a dubbed version out there for those who fear the subtitle. Honourable mentions go to the voice talents of; Yasuo Yamada as Arsene Lupin III, Eiko Masuyama as Fujiko Mine, Kiyoshi Kobayashi as Daisuke Jigen, Makio Inoue as Goemon Ishikawa XIII, Gorô Naya as Inspector Zenigata, Sumi Shimamoto as Lady Clarisse de Cagliostro and Tarô Ishida as Count Cagliostro.
This is a film I had seen once before and it was interesting to see just how much of it I had forgotten… I was several years ago that I saw it though. I loved the slapstick humour, particularly from Lupin, some of it was really funny! Although I found the plot a little complicated it didn’t particularly disrupt this interesting and entertaining film… Recommended.
My score: 8.2/10.
IMDb Score: 7.7/10 (based on 7,502 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 90/100 (based on 10 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 59/100 (based on 11,047 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Daisuke Jigen: We got five billion in various denominations! It's a shower of bills, look out!
[a pile falls on Lupin]
Lupin III: There's a lot of them, isn't there? More! Bury me with them!
[Jigen buries Lupin with the bills as ordered, but sees Lupin look downcast]
Daisuke Jigen: What's wrong, Lupin?
Lupin III: Dump them.
Daisuke Jigen: WHAT?
Lupin III: These are fakes. Good ones, but fakes.
Daisuke Jigen: These? It can't be! We stole these from the vault of the national casino!
Lupin III: It's Goat Money.
Daisuke Jigen: Goat Money? You mean the phantom counterfeit?
Lupin III: It's even hit the national casino... Jigen! I've decided what our next job will be! First, we're gonna celebrate!
Daisuke Jigen: Damn, damn, damn you!
Daisuke Jigen: Did you slip into that castle?
Lupin III: It's a story more than ten years old. I tried to solve the mystery of the Goat Money. I was still a young punk...
Daisuke Jigen: So what happened?
Lupin III: They gave me hell! I ran away with my tail between my legs.
Fujiko Mine: [on TV] Thank you for waiting, ladies and gentlemen. We're now back on the air. And all hell has broken loose in the ceremonial hall!