Castle of Cagliostro (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: -
What They Say
Master thief Lupin III, a.k.a. "The Wolf", and his right-hand gunman Jigen are hot on the trail of a counterfeiter. But when their search leads them to the secluded European country of Cagliostro, they find far more than they bargained for. Lupin unwittingly attracts the attention of the nation's mysterious monarch when he tries to help a damsel in distress escape the Count's henchmen, and in the process stumbles upon the key to finding the lost fortune of the Cagliostro clan.
With the help of the beautiful Fujiko, the Stoic Swordsman Goemon and the bumbling Interpol inspector Zanigata, Lupin tries to penetrate the defenses of the Count's fortress, rescue the girl, break up a counterfeiting scheme and escape with the hidden treasure of the Castle Of Cagliostro.
Written and directed by anime pioneer and visionary Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service), anime fans will enjoy this lighthearted romp which Steven Spielberg once called one of the greatest adventure movies of all time.
The Castle of Cagliostro is a true stand out title. Released on VHS here during the period when Manga Video played up anime as just violent action porn for teenage boys, Cagliostro provided a refreshing change of tone, having the overboard action of anime, yet a nice side not really violent side. But then who can resist the antics of Lupin ^_^
The choice of two stereo tracks, English and Japanese. Having seen other Lupin films fansubbed, it was good to finally watch Cagliostro in Japanese, and we get a reasonable, if aged performance. For better or worse, many people got used to the Streamline Pictures dub, and some have looked down on this version because of its lack. The new English track sounds okay and is closer to the Japanese track, but it lacks the panache of the Streamline dub.
Taken from a film print, this is the best you could probably get without major repair and remastering. We get any number of film artifacts, ranging from the usual nicks and scratches to reel change marks. We have two sets of Madman's standard yellow subtitles, both are in fact identical in content, just that the second set are placed completely over the image so that those with 16.9 widescreen TVs can zoom the non-anamorphic image and still see the subs. The subs are accurate, if in need of proof reading with minor things like 1927 becoming 927 during Lupin's explanation to Zanigata about the Goat bills.
The main menu consists of a static shot of the castle, with animated clouds moving behind it and the main theme playing. Transport between menus is fast and all are based on Lupin clambering up the castle. The scene selection pages are an example of a nice touch, advancing through the four pages causes Lupin to climb up the roof ^_^
We get a reasonable array of extras with a Princess Mononoke trailer, trailers for Wings of Honneamise, Macross Plus, Street Fighter Alpha, 5 image picture gallery, local DVD credits and trailer for the Streamline Pictures dub. It's good to finally see even some limited plugging for Princess Mononoke in Australia, but it's a pity that Madman can't get the rights to release it and only included it as a pointer to the fact that Miyazaki produced this. Also the accursed Manga Video trailer for the Streamline Picture dub included on Madman's release of Macross Plus volume 1 returns, but like before its taken from what seem like a 9th generation fansub and is as ugly as sin.
Like the Region 1 release, we have Lupin climbing up the castle, which is a nice image for a screen capture. The back has a combination of screen captures and things taken from the disc's image gallery, along with various bits of information like regional globes (2 and 4) local licensing credit and special features listing the fact this has Princess Mononoke trailer on the disc. Got to get the plug in for Miyazaki, even if Mononoke didn't receive a general cinema release here. The inside cover uses a darkened shot of Clarisse and Lupin's ill-fated first escape from the Count from the disc's image gallery, with advertisements for Blood, Perfect Blue and X along the top and the chapter list on the bottom of the facing side. On the opposite side we have the cover shot of Lupin rotated so he's no longer angled under the disc hub. The disc has a blue background at the top with black silhouette of the castle at the bottom. Atmospheric and functional with all the usual items and regional coding globes.
The movie opens with a standard Lupin style heist on a casino, with Lupin and Jigen sabotaging their pursers and netting a car full of money. On closer inspection Lupin learns that it's all counterfeit, which leads the pair onto learning the location of their printing, a trail that leads to the mysterious tiny European country of Cagliostro. Seeing a damsel in distress to rescue, the pair is dragged into head long into the Count of Cagliostro upcoming marriage.
In classic Lupin style, we see our hero defy the laws of psychics and more as he outwits the Count's minions and stays one step ahead of Zanigata, his companions providing their usual assistance. This is a great movie, with action and comedy galore. Money well spent.
English 2.0 channel track,Japanese, 2.0 channel track,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Local DVD credit
JNL-7001 DVD Player, Commodore 1802 PAL Color Monitor
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 4 - Australia / South America
Released By: Madman Entertainment
MSRP: 29.95 AU
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Lupin the 3rd