films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Lupin III: Island of Assassins

Rupan Sansei: Walther P38
1997 / 93m - Japan
Action, Adventure - Animation
Lupin III: Island of Assassins poster

One of the darkest Lupin films I've seen so far. Lupin himself is still quite quirky and jolly, but the film is pretty heavy on gunfire, action and killings. It's remarkable though how little of an impact that makes overall, as it still registers as a pretty basic and formulaic entry in the franchise. And that's not such a bad thing.

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This time around, Lupin ends up on an island where a gang of terrorists is hiding from the world. He soon finds out that the gang members are held hostage too, as leaving the island means certain death for them, unless they inhale a special gas. Needless to say, our resourceful master thief will come up with a solution to outsmart his adversaries.

The animation is quite simple and the art style isn't too impressive, but the action is fun and the look remains distinctive. The pacing is also on point and it's nice to have somewhat higher stakes for a change, on the other hand I did miss the comedy and the silliness. In the end it all evens out, which leaves amusing filler.

Lupin III: Burning Memory - Tokyo Crisis

Rupan Sansei: HonĂ´ no Kioku Tokyo Crisis
1998 / 95m - Japan
Comedy, Action - Animation
Lupin III: Burning Memory - Tokyo Crisis poster

Not the best Lupin film out there, even though on paper it's quite the typical Lupin project, with all the usual ingredients present. Lupin takes on some bad guys in search of an important item and ends up saving the day, with a slew of familiars either helping him or getting in his way, just like in every other film.

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It's a pretty successful setup, but it's also rather basic. Most Lupin films counter this by being extremely silly and over-the-top, that's exactly where Tokyo Crisis disappoints (though it's far from straight-faced). It's just a bit tamer compared to the other films in the franchise, which takes away part of the fun.

The animation too looks cheaper, but that may just be due to the slightlier slower pacing (leaving fewer opportunities for hyperactive animation). It's not a terrible film mind, Lupin is a great lead and there's still plenty of silliness to go around, it's just not as lively and amusing as the other ones I've seen.