Lupin the 3rd: Voyage to Danger - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • 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: Voyage to Danger

By Chris Beveridge     May 26, 2003
Release Date: May 20, 2003


Lupin the 3rd: Voyage to Danger
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
After twenty years, Detective Zenigata has been taken off the Lupin case! With a new assignment and an aching heart, he seeks friendship in the one man he could never catch?The indomitable Lupin the Third!

When Lupin finds out about Zenigata?s new assignment to take down a weapons smuggling organization, he sees his opportunity to steal some extra income! And when these two enemies team up--along with Fujiko, Goemon, and Jigen?the ride is unbeatable!

But lurking in the shadows is the new head of the Lupin Task Force. His name is Keith. He?s an ex-mercenary, and the ICPO put him on the case for one reason and one reason only? To find Lupin and his friends and exterminate them.

From nukes to submarines, from Maui to Russia to Arizona, Voyage to Danger covers the map on adventure! Only this time, the cop is in with the criminals. Or is it the other way around?

The Review!
Lupin returns for another fun adventure, this time nicely raising the stakes and adding a new member to the team.

Audio:
We ended up listening to this show in full in both languages and enjoyed both tracks quite a lot, though a few characters didn?t sound quite right in the English one to us, based off of various other English casts. Regardless, both tracks feature a nice solid stereo mix that does a good job of providing the effects and music of the show nicely as well as placing dialogue well throughout the program. During regular playback, we had no issues with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released back in 1993, the full frame transfer here looks quite good with only a few minor issues. Done in the usual style one expects for the franchise, Voyage to Danger has a good color palette that is mostly real-world but with some nice flashes of vibrancy. Colors are nicely saturated without bleeding and cross coloration is practically non-existent. There?s some minor aliasing in a few areas, but the main thing that?s noted about this transfer, particularly in the first third, is various dust and dirt as well as a few scratches on the print. Otherwise, this is a good looking disc.

Packaging:
Though the cover itself really has little to do with the show itself, it?s a nice mix shot of three of the leads standing out in the front while the image of an expensive mansion behind them. It?s not terribly eye-catching for casual fans and likely Lupin die-hards will have wanted something better, such as the original Japanese artwork. The back cover provides a few shots from the show as well as a decent summary. The basic information is here, though the lack of mentioning which languages and subtitles are included is a poor service to the casual fan. The insert is another shot of the front cover while the reverse side is just more advertisements.

Menu:
The menus are nice and simple this time around, with a sliver of artwork through the center of a black screen and a hook piece of artwork at the end. Selections run along the top of it while some light instrumental music plays along. With no transitional animations or various things to load in the submenus, access times are nice and fast and problem free.

Extras:
The only extra included in this release is the profiles section, which lists the basic character biographies for all the principal players here as well as providing the dub casts picture and credits, a feature we really like (and would like even more if it was expanded to cover the Japanese cast as well).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Voyage to Danger, or Orders to Assassinate Lupin as it was originally called, is a rather fun little Lupin adventure that adds a nice twist for part of the program, though it?s not really carried through as well as it could be.

The film unfolds with a common image, that of Lupin and Jigen being in a building and surrounded by police. What goes strangely this time is that Zenigata gets out and sends all the police away. He makes his way up to where the boys are and, after getting in, starts pulling out expensive liquor to drink and offers them a seat at the table.

As they learn, after all these years, Zenigata is finally being pulled off the Lupin case. His continual failure to arrest him (never mind all the actual arrests and escapes) has caused the ICPO to finally reassign him and bring someone new into the picture. Zenigata finds himself now being assigned to a case where he has to deal with a massive weapons/arms dealer and take him down. Lupin and Jigen see this as opportunity, since arms dealers generally have a sizeable amount of cash on hand. So they opt to help Zenigata take down this dealer, Shot Shell, and steal the money out from under him.

Their only problem? Zenigata?s replacement is a mercenary type that the ICPO has hired to take care of their Lupin problem. Through a not so subtle piece of dialogue, they give Keith the nod to go and actually kill Lupin and his gang. So it should be little surprising that Keith has a fair likeness to Arnold in the Terminator.

Lupin?s plan is to basically become best buddies with the arms dealer, and what better way to do that than to steal a nuclear submarine from the Russians? This actually works out well, as it turns out that Shot Shell was in the process of kidnapping the exact same nuclear physicist that Lupin intended to grab, as she was one of the primary designers behind the particular submarine that they?re stealing. So after a few rather fun action sequences, and getting biker-babe Fujiko into the picture, you have the team working together, plus Zenigata, stealing a nuclear submarine.

Ok, so it doesn?t take on the intensity level of the Hunt for Red October and the Russians are generally pretty quiet about all of it, it does provide for a fun little adventure in having this particular group going around the high seas in their own submarine. Lupin?s plan to use the submarine as a chip to get Shot Shell?s attention works, and works so well that Lupin takes up several jobs for them as they continue to try and figure out where all the money is.

Voyage to Danger is a rather fun little adventure with the high stakes of nuclear weapons that don?t figure too heavily into the plot. There?s definitely a requirement for a substantial suspension of disbelief with various aspects of the plot. I had hoped to see Zenigata work more with Lupin and company, but since he was trying to get his job back in hunting down Lupin, it does make sense that he wouldn?t get terribly involved outside of hitching a ride and doing some bodyguard duty. This unfortunately diminishes his role in the film since he?s not hot on the heels of anybody.

While I?m sure a bad Lupin movie/special/OVA can be made, I haven?t really run into one yet that made me cringe. This is a great little adventure, especially for fans of Fujiko since she gets more screen time.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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