Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: C
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Image Entertainment
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 102
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Lupin the 3rd
Lupin the 3rd: Mystery of Mamo
By Taylor Shann
February 14, 2002
Release Date: April 21, 1998
This review comes as a result of Castle of Cagliostro, the recently released Miyazaki that has received (deserved) universal acclaim. I was scanning DVD Express and found, surprise, another Lupin movie on DVD! Hmm. Well, if it's anything like Cagliostro, then it has to be worth seeing.
Let me start off by saying that this is not a very good DVD in the DVD sense. Whether because it is an old movie or the transfer was bad, the film itself doesn't look that great. (It looks like you're watching VHS). The dub isn't bad at all (better than Cagliostro's actually) but suffers because there is no Japanese track. As for packaging, the picture on the front cover follows in Cagliostro's tradition of being kind of random and unimpressive, however, I did like the back picture and description. The menu is bare bones and unimpressive, to go along with the bare bones and unimpressive features.
Ok, enough bashing, is this flick any good?
Yes. YES. YESS!!! Well, at least, if you liked the goofier parts of Cagliostro. remember at the beginning, when all the cop cars suddenly fall in half and explode? THIS WHOLE MOVIE is like that, and frankly I like it. Zenigata is nuttier than ever, and Lupin's assistants Jigen and Goemon get much more screen time and funnier lines. The plot is on the whole better and more epic than Cagliostro, with a baddy who harkens back to the old school days of James Bond. Lupin rips it up in Paris, Egypt, Mysterious Islands, Argentina and elsewhere, with Zenigata always on his tail. I have to say, these adventures are like Ranma or Dragonball- technically it's all the same, but you just want more!
The movie also gets extra points for having some real genuine twists and some true surprises, as unlikely as they may be. In fact, in every department but two, I think this movie is slightly superior to Cagliostro. It's funnier, it has a better dub, it has more of Lupin's partners in crime and it has a great villain. The drawback?
Well, the film was made in the 70's and it really shows. This is not Anime's brightest moment in terms of animation, as the film as lots of spots and the frame rate is very low. Now, you compare this Miyazaki. and you see why Cagliostro is really the superior movie. Also, the story in Mamo really doesn't have any romance or heart; it's all zany humor and adventure. Nothing wrong with that, but Cagliostro was genuinely moving and beautiful with a few funny moments. This is just hilarious and occasionally very exciting, along with a couple of laugh-out-loud ridiculous parts (one of which involves a Giant Brain).
Bottom Line? As a DVD, not so great. As a movie? Wonderful! A great companion to Cagliostro. And since I think this is the only way to get it, I advise you do.
Philips Magnavox Region One DVD Player Model DVD405AT, Magnavox 14" TV/VCR with Sony Speakers, Regular AV Cables