Lupin the 3rd TV Vol. #10: Enchanted Lupin - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Lupin the 3rd

Lupin the 3rd TV Vol. #10: Enchanted Lupin

By Chris Beveridge     April 01, 2005
Release Date: April 12, 2005


Lupin the 3rd TV Vol. #10: Enchanted Lupin
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Lupin’s next target is the Kentucky Derby’s prize money at the Metropolitan Bank. It sounds like an easy project, with one exception—he has to get past its perfect alarm system. For his next little job, Lupin develops an intimate relationship with a wealthy widow to get his hands on her jewels…but forgets the fact that every beautiful woman has a poisonous thorn. And then, an ordinary scheme turns out to be the most extraordinary incident when Lupin’s old girlfriend—who had supposedly died years ago—turns up! In order to uncover what really happened back then, he investigates a secret research lab and is trapped by the ex-Nazi scientist who uses it to turn the dead into zombies. Finally, a 3-way fight erupts when Lupin, Fujiko and the cat-like Emmanuelle Poirot all travel to Thailand to find the scripture of immortality. Will Lupin be able to escape this kitty’s deadly claws?

The Review!
With a mix of standalone and a multi-part storyline, this is one of the better recent volumes of the series.

Audio:
For our primary review, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Considering its age, it's a very well kept piece that's done up essentially in mono, though enough of the sounds are played through both stereo speakers. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and there weren't any noticeable dropouts. These tracks aren't going to be real high usage for directionality compared to today's new releases, but this is definitely prime material from its time, which is what I want.

Video:
The transfer for these episodes continues much like we've seen previously, which means that they look surprisingly good for their age and have only some minor issues. The only thing that I can bring myself to complain about with the actual transfer is that some of the scenes are a bit grainy at times, but that's normal. Colors are solid without being over saturated, though there are brightness shifts inherent in older shows. Cross coloration is non-existent and aliasing is extremely low.

Packaging:
With a heavy orange accent, the background is a close-up shot of Fujiko's face that works nicely, or at least as well as the artwork for this series can, while a tumbling Lupin with gun firing is in full color in front of her. It's decent, it fits the show, but it's just sort of there. The back cover provides several animation shots from the show as well as a brief paragraph describing the premise. The episode titles are listed as well as the discs features and production credits. The insert has the same image as the front cover while the reverse side uses some of the opening sequence footage as a background for the chapter listings. On the downside, there's no volume numbering listed here nor are episode numbers provided. While the show is definitely very episodic, I still think it's a mistake to not include at least the volume numbering somewhere.

Menu:
I continue to be extremely happy that Nightjar got the gig for the menus here, because they've done them up in a very neat retro style way that fits perfectly with the show. While selections are able to be done throughout the entire piece of animation playing, the animation itself is just character names flashing across the screen while black silhouetted versions of the characters jump in and out against a red background as the music plays. It's just very simple but also very neatly done and in tune with the show. Access times are nice and fast and with little here beyond the episodes, getting around is nice and easy. Unfortunately the players language presets were not honored and the track dumped into an English audio with no subtitles.

Extras:
The extras are similar to past volumes with the main extra being the production sketch artwork.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Originally slated to be the end of the first run before doing well enough that more volumes are coming afterwards, volume ten of the release has some of the better recent episodes of this season and one of the more enjoyable multi-part episodes in recent memory. Those tend to split between good and bad since they often feel like an extended single episode that shouldn't have been extended since it just feels more drawn out. This one actually works well with the longer length.

The stand alone episodes on this volume are quite fun which helps bolster the multi-part one. The last episode on the disc in particular was a lot of fun. It brings Fujiko to the forefront where she's seeking an ancient manuscript that tells women about achieving immortality. Obviously Fujiko wants that and she's doing her best to get it from an American soldier who found it in Cambodia during the war. But she's not alone in this as one of European's high society women named Emmanuelle is after it as well and she's the daughter of a crafty French inspector so she's got all sorts of skills and tricks up her sleeves to get it. Well, if she had any sleeves. She wears mostly thin gauzy sheets or nothing at all and shows off her body quite well, so plenty of amusing nipple action going on here.

In her quest to get the manuscript, she ends up getting Lupin to fall for her (which wasn't hard) and she uses him as her bodyguard and the tool required to retrieve the script since there's an attached curse to it. Though they never realize it, Emmanuelle ends up setting Lupin against Fujiko and both try to kill each other a couple of times and even Jigen and Goemon don't put two and two together as their plans to either eliminate Emmanuelle or her bodyguard go unfinished. This episode is just a lot of fun as it plays out since it's very sexual in its nature and has such a light hearted nature to it. Emmanuelle is a very fun character that I doubt we'll see again but would make a great returning villainess.

The two-part adventure is quite a good bit of fun as it brings in the living dead, lost loves and Nazi's. You just can't go wrong with Nazi's. The tale is a bit awkward at first as it shifts between time periods but we see a much younger Lupin with an amusing hairdo as he first meets a young woman named Cornelia in Venezuela. He's there to steal away the fortunes of a Nazi scientist general type that went to ground after the war and is spending his time there researching unholy things in attempts to refinance a revival of the Nazi empire. Lupin and Cornelia fall in love instantly and spend quite a lot of time together there in a whirlwind romance, but she eventually decides to flee with Lupin as she doesn't like what her father is doing. But during their escape, her father confronts them and she takes a bullet for Lupin so that he can escape though it cost her life.

So Lupin is quite surprised many years later when he learns that she's still alive but doesn't seem to remember him at all. The caper of stealing a large load of priceless artwork that she's involved with goes awry when Fujiko swipes it instead and she ends up becoming a prisoner of Cornelia's and she sets Lupin up for the fall. Lupin's love of the past becomes something that he can't let go without investigating and since everything ties together it's off to Venezuela to find out what's really going on. The storyline doesn't drag at all across the two episodes and it has all the fun elements that really make a good Lupin story as well as bringing in a past romance that actually briefly worked for him. Seeing the younger Lupin is quite amusing since he's jacket-less for it and almost looks like Perm from Urusei Yatsura. The inclusion of the Nazi stuff and the undead walking the other adds a fun surreal piece that's reminiscent of a lot of the manga storylines that were just out there at times.

In Summary:
More fun than some of the recent volumes of the series, it's almost like these episodes had a breath of fresh air blown into them and they all just work really well. With a good mix of stand alone and multi-part tales, the characters are all fun and engaging as they run about trying to deal with the various capers they're involved with and the way they almost always seem to go wrong at just the right moment. It's a lot of fun and was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Production Sketches

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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