Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: C
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Lupin the 3rd
Lupin the 3rd: Secret of the Twilight Gemini
By Mark McPherson
May 31, 2002
Release Date: April 30, 2002
Lupin The Third is probably one of the most well known faces of anime. It spawned over 200 TV episodes, 10 movies and a variety of TV specials that still continue to run today. Now, for the first time in a long while, the international thief is back!
Audio: After FUNi's impressive audio work on Cooler's Revenge, this disc leaves more to be desired. The audio is in minor 2.0 Dolby and sounds okay, but I was kinda hoping for FUNi to add more 5.1 audio tracks to more of their disks. Still, the audio still sounds impressive on it's own.
Video: Not all that bad, but it could have been better. It's pretty much the quality of what I've seen on the Yu Yu Hakusho discs. It's a solid transfer though and I have to congradulate FUNi on that. Also, you can switch between an English and Japanese version angles on the feature. The English video angle is okay, but I'd recommend the Japanese angle. For instance, why would FUNi put the cast of the Japanese version on English Opening sequence when they are mostly touting their English voice actors?
Packaging: While the front cover looks pretty good, the back leaves a lot to be desired. I've seen DBZ discs that have more content on the back then this cover. What is even more disturbing is that they put the words "Uncut Feature" on the front when there isn't an edited version Twilight Gemini to begin with and I seriously doubt there ever will be.
Menus: FUNi has really done a great job with these menus. They offer some of the greatest orchestral pieces in the feature as well as showing a different main menu everytime you go back to it. Interesting note: I looked through the scene selection on scenes 4-6, went to the extras menus and then went back to the scene selection and, wouldn't you know it, it was already on 4-6. Nice job, FUNi.
Extras: While there isn't wasn't really a whole lot of extras you could include on this disc, I felt that FUNi did a good job by putting character bios on this disc instead of just sticking with trailers. Atleast FUNi is trying.
Content: Well, the Lupin TV specials are finally coming to America. While it would have made more sense to start with the first one, FUNi decided to take the worst one first so that it would be out of their way.
But maybe Im being too baised. While many have said that this is the worst TV special, I found myself quite entertained with this title. The story starts out with Lupin aquiring a diamond from a man named Dulune, who can do little now but breathe. Lupin decides to head for Morocco to uncover the secret treasure of the diamond. When it looks like Zenigata has pretty much caught Lupin on his way to Morocco, his plan is foiled by the newest enemy. An assassain named Sadachiyo. Throughout Lupin's hunt for the treasure in Morocco, he runs into this homosexual assassain atleast five times.
Through all this comotion, Lupin meets a woman named Lara who is a member of the Gelt tribe, a tribe that use to rule Morocco. Little does Lupin know that Lara plays a key role in restoring the Gelt tribe. To add to all this fun, Commisioner Perry of Interpol arrives as well to help Zenigata catch Lupin. Fujiko and Goemon soon come into play and actually have some intersting roles in the story.
One of the things that bothers people the most about Twilight Gemini is the nudity and I can see why. There is a scene in which Fujiko is tied up on a rope wearing nothing but panties. The most bothersome part about that scene was that Fujiko has breasts that you could only see that big in hentai titles. However, there is some humor in that scene when Goemon arrives.
The English dub was actually pretty good and reminded me a lot of the old Streamline dubs. However, unlike Cagliostro, the names are pronounced differently. Lupin is pronounced as Lupin and Jigen as Jig-en. I was kind of happy about that. But, still, even with a great English dub, I must highly recommend the Japanese track which brings more justice to the movie.
Overall, Twilight Gemini is more Lupin. And if you like Lupin, there is no reason not to buy this title.
Oritron 2001 DVD100; RCA 19-inch television