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The Mike Toole Show: The Lupin Tapes


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jsc315



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 924

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:10 am Reply with quote
Mike I'm always amazed by the knowledge you have about anime. As a big Lupin fan I was very pleased to read all this. Very impressed with the review. Now I'm going to have to get this!
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12545

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:13 am Reply with quote
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I still remember purchasing them on VHS from AnimEigo CEO Robert Woodhead himself at AnimEast 1995,


I remember seeing some nifty Lupin figures at his booth back when he put out Fuma on DVD. Sadly, he would not part with them. Crying or Very sad My experience with "Rupan" came from a local rental store called 20/20. [Makes me wish I bought out some of those old tapes they had before they converted to DVD, too...]

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in that ratty little yellow Fiat


Hey, the Fiat rocks, man! It's like Herbie with style.

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But I'm not going to get into these goodies, because they're fairly easy to obtain.


Assuming you wanna pay import fees for the entire Shin Lupin, and not just what Geneon put out, sure. Hell, I'm getting it all for free on channel 18.2, and they still chose not to broadcast the superhero spoofs, and, according to Reed, certain nude scenes. [It is a non-cable channel...]

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Monkey Punch himself has commented that he'd love to get a modern Lupin the 3rd film made, with Jim Carrey in the title role (you gotta admit, the guy has the same lanky frame, sharp grin, and rubbery face as Lupin).


At this point in cinema history, it'd either be Depp or Jesse Eisenberg. Though, considering the Downey Holmes was probably as close to a new Hollywood Lupin we'll get, and considering that Iron Man 2 race-car outfit reminded me of Green jacket, I think he could fit the role. Nonetheless, if this guy speaks English, I think I'd prefer him for the part.

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Goemon didn't make the cut for this one, don't ask me why.


I'm guessing because he wasn't a supporting character in the series until the second manga. Recurring, but not supporting. Plus, his back-story might've padded the budget.

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the Leblanc estate would occasionally complain and get things changed.


Probably because France's official 70s Lupin blew. Rolling Eyes

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and when the writer's heirs asked for a hefty sum, the money wasn't available and production shut down.


Lupin aficianado and cosplayer Dale Engelhardt claims you still gotta pay France a fortune to use the Lupin name in certain markets. I'm just surprised the Canadian take on Arsene Lupin isn't on DVD yet. And while it's good enough for TMC, the 30s Lionel Barrymore Arsene Lupin isn't on DVD. While the legal issue over the anime seems to have expired here, I wonder if the estate is leaning on companies which want to sell products w/ the original character.

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I still meet fans at almost every convention I attend who started seeking out anime after playing Cliff Hanger.


Apparently, Cliff Hanger's also one of the names still used for Lupin in territories which TMS doesn't want to get sued.

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Pink Jacket Lupin the 3rd is actually kind of awesome, but also weird and ridiculous.


I liked the spin-off, Babylon, and am hoping DT still releases it here. Other than that, I haven't kept up with it much, besides the Spike Spiegel "cameo", but I hear it'll be on after the red-jacket series here, and I can't wait.

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He is (yep, he's still alive!)


And the only director who makes Leiji Matsumoto look middle-aged by default. Laughing

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I hated it when I first saw it,


The only Lupin I still hate to this day is Nostradamus.

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I'm looking forward to Discotek's release.


You might be looking for a while, as they claim they're actually being charged a lot for it. [Someone on the ML has speculated that since Suzuki's been name-dropped by Tarantino here, TMS thinks he's suddenly a brand name now. Ironically, Macek told me he was able to get the Miyazaki eps from the second Lupin series for peanuts. Go fig. ]

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(including a dub of the 1989 TV special Bye Bye Liberty Crisis, which didn't get released in the US at all!),


I don't even think it's on DVD in the UK, either, which means your ass has to E-bay it, and hope that you don't get stuck with one of those NTSC tapes.


Last edited by GATSU on Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:26 am; edited 5 times in total
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 5984
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:21 am Reply with quote
Lupin III is my favorite anime character, and I love the Lupin III franchise. So an article about it, by Mike Toole no less, is enough to make me grin madly.

My preference is for the second series, as well, but the first series has its moments, but feels extremely awkward and amateur, even, especially in the first six or so episodes. It didn't come into its own until the episode where Fujiko's former partner comes back to cause trouble. That's a great episode because while Fujiko is injured and trapped in her partner's hideout, Lupin is desperate to get her medical care, and launches medical supplies into the house, begging the partner to use them to help her. By the end of the episode, Fujiko betrayed Lupin again, despite his show of love, but it's not as though he doesn't expect it. Then you have episodes like the one where Lupin has everyone at an event dress like himself to confuse an out of town detective. Classic.

I wish we could have gotten more of the second series here, though I was a bit on the fence about the English dub. The English cast was solid enough, with Tony Oliver doing a pretty good job of portraying the Lupin of that era, but the script added a lot of localizations that ranged from clever to cringeworthy. Though I give Phuuz points for having a villain do a bad Christopher Walken impression.

The live-action movie feels like a cross between the Adam West-era Batman TV show and Benny Hill. I have a copy of it and quite enjoy watching it now and then. I especially love the musical number with the assassin women. The movie seems more like a string of sketches than a solid story, but is satisfyingly cheesy.

The reason why Cagliostro isn't a great Lupin movie (but IS a beautiful anime movie) isn't because Lupin isn't mean enough, he just isn't selfish enough or lecherous. Not to mention that a lot of the other usuals are pretty much entirely cameos. Jigen and Goemon do nearly nothing, Fujiko's betrayal-a-minute attitude is toned down, and everything is just overall too soft and feels like a movie that was intended to be something else and had the Lupin characters just plugged in. It's a wonderful movie on its own, but as Lupin III movie, it is somewhat lacking.

Gold of Babylon is a pretty weak Lupin feature because all its best scenes are dragged out for too long. The direction felt self-indulgent. And that ending... jeez. I mean, I guess you can say the same of Secret of Mamo, but really, that ending is just too weird, even for Lupin.

I can't believe I still haven't gotten Episode 0: First Contact! It's the best Lupin III TV special, and the last of the "magnificent three" (my three favorite Lupin TV specials): $1 Money War, Alcatraz Connection, and Episode 0. I wish somebody would license Alcatraz Connection.

I wonder what Mike thinks of Yamada vs Kurata. Is he just doing a Yamada impression? I thought it was that way at first, but I think he's sort of come into his own. I actually rather enjoyed when Toshio Furukawa played him in Plot of the Fuma Clan, though.

Lupin III is a big franchise, and because of that, there are a lot of stinkers, especially recently. In fact, in the past ten or twelve years, there's only been a few TV specials even worth watching. And Green vs Red was a huge disappointment. But I still hope the franchise can recover at some point. I think maybe a new TV series would help.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:51 am Reply with quote
Quote:
and everything is just overall too soft and feels like a movie that was intended to be something else


I think Miyazaki has gone on record as stating the Cagliostro Lupin is an older version of the character.

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I wonder what Mike thinks of Yamada vs Kurata.


Kurata started off really awkward on Nostradamus, but picked up pretty fast.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 354
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:02 am Reply with quote
Great article, though it probably says something about me that I'm 1. reading this at 1:45 AM on a Saturday, and 2. knew about all that stuff already. What a frightening existence; if my Lupin III panel for Otakon is approved I'll steal some of your ideas and act as if I thought them up on my own! And yes, Superman pulling a knife is getting used in some capacity, right alongside Spider-Man with a gun.

penguintruth wrote:
I wish we could have gotten more of the second series here, though I was a bit on the fence about the English dub. The English cast was solid enough, with Tony Oliver doing a pretty good job of portraying the Lupin of that era, but the script added a lot of localizations that ranged from clever to cringeworthy. Though I give Phuuz points for having a villain do a bad Christopher Walken impression.


I asked Lex Lang, the voice of Goemon in that dub who also was the voice of that villain, whatever inspired him to use the Christopher Walken voice that time. His Walken impersonation is actually very good--I think he's gotten some radio work out of it--but it was basically decided upon right there and then in the booth by him and Richard Epcar, the director of that dub who was also the voice of Jigen.

As for Gold of Babylon, my main objection to it has to do with something that tends to run common in most of the Lupin the Third material I consider to be so-so if not bad: its incorporation of sci-fi/supernatural elements. I noted it in my Otaku USA review of Episode 0: First Contact, but I think Lupin works best when it's taking place in an exaggerated take on the present-day real world. You can have some fanciful gadgets, but once you start dealing with space aliens and time travel it's just a little too out there. Motorcycle chase aside, Babylon has pacing problems and a lot of the goofy jokes--flyswatter of death, the Miss ICPO contestants--miss more often than they hit.

I seem to be describing more and more things these days as "the Japanese James Bond" when I try to put them in laymen's terms, but production-wise, Lupin III is probably the closest. It's continually made year after year, with what are generally the same actors but with vastly different production staff. That's why the quality can vary so sharply from one work to the next. As an example, the character design of Lupin himself has varied so wildly over the years that it's fascinating to see just how drastically you can change his looks while still having him be recognizable as Lupin. Years ago when Monkey Punch came to a Florida convention, he demonstrated live how simple it is for him to change Lupin into Jigen with just a few extra lines. As a side note, I asked him what his involvement was with Baxinger and Sasuraiger since the ANN encyclopedia credits him with the original story for those. He looked at me like I was insane; he'd never even heard of the J9 trilogy. Actually...hmm, those entries are still there. But my error report flags are still there, so eventually that should get fixed.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:34 am Reply with quote
AWO:
Quote:
And yes, Superman pulling a knife is getting used in some capacity, right alongside Spider-Man with a gun.


The irony is that one of the episode which did air on 18.2 featured a guy at a costume ball with the Superman cape. Oh, and pro-tip. If you look really closely, you can see Mickey Mouse with a pimp hat. Wink
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:58 am Reply with quote
Anime World Order wrote:

I seem to be describing more and more things these days as "the Japanese James Bond" when I try to put them in laymen's terms, but production-wise, Lupin III is probably the closest.


My stock description of Lupin III is "James Bond meets Bugs Bunny".
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E-Master



Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 459

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:23 am Reply with quote
I bought the DVD sometime ago. Cause I'm a Lupin fan and try to obtain every domestic DVD of the franchise(which I already did).

Great topic by the way, and I too wouldn't regard Gold of Babylon to be the best Lupin movie, but it would be worth owning on domestic DVD if Discotek is ever able to purchase the DVD rights for it. Cause if it wasn't a Lupin movie, I'd care less for it. But if they're unable to get their hands on it, I still hope for them to release other Lupin anime.

Cause right now, I can see them baring the honor of being top distrubutor on Lupin than any of the other companies out there. I use to have faith that Funimation would release more Lupin, but I don't think they're even bothering with trying to obtain more movies when their busy with other anime properties.

Plus the other companies that partly own Lupin, let their license on Lupin expire or let someone else own it.
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TheTheory



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:58 am Reply with quote
Great article. I definitely need to go out and get those Discotek Lupin titles ASAP to try and complete my R1 collection.

And if the UK got some Lupin that we weren't privy to, I might have to try and dig those up as well.
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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Location: Quezon City, Philippines

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:03 am Reply with quote
So far the only Lupin III I've seen has been one of the Red Jacket series on local TV back in the nineties.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:31 am Reply with quote
Theory: Manga's Goodbye Liberty Crisis is likely only available on OOP VHS. I know how that feels, too, as I wish I had kept my UK dub of the Cobra movie if I knew Urban Vision wasn't gonna put it on DVD and the import was gonna have the alternate theme excised.
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Barciad



Joined: 11 May 2004
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Location: St Andrews

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:00 am Reply with quote
I've tried, I want to say this, I've tried. I have watched a fair amount of Lupin, both old and new.
However, the only piece that I liked was Castle of Caligostro. Everything else was either bland and predictable, brainless and crass, or a combination of those four. I have always been wondering this, why has a series that I have never liked ever got it so right in that one gem of a film? For me the simplest answer would the four words 'directed by Hayao Miyazaki'. Yet, I bet some of you could tell me that there is far more to it.
So question, if I was to watch another Lupin III (you see, I always liked the idea, the premise of the show) what would it be?
On another count, Jim Carrey as Lupin would be a disaster - almost as bad as Keanu Reeves wanting to play Spike in a Cowboy Bebop film.
Personally, I would give the whole thing to the Ben Stiller crew. Thus having:-
Lupin - Ben Stiller
Jigen - Owen Wilson
Goemen - (unknown)
Fujiko - Amy Adams
Zenigata - Vince Vaughan
The villain (whoever he may be) Will Ferrell
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12545

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:17 am Reply with quote
Barciad: Well, as the article noted, Dead or Alive is a good one. I also like Walther P-38/Island of Assassins, Fuma, Mamo, and Gemini.
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MIBlackburn_d6



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:48 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Theory: Manga's Goodbye Liberty Crisis is likely only available on OOP VHS.

Not a theory, it's only been available on VHS in the UK and is definitely OOP, I've got a copy of it and the UK release of The Secret of Mamo with it's own dub.

A few copies of it are available for about £10 on ebay and Amazon UK marketplace and I've seen a couple of copies in charity shops (which are great for finding rare Manga VHS tapes for less than a pound).

There was a DVD released by Pathe in France of it but if you haven't guessed already, no English language options.
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DRWii



Joined: 16 May 2007
Posts: 402

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:16 am Reply with quote
I've only seen a little of "Lupin," the first 23 episode series and 2 OVAs ("Red vs. Green" and "Return of Pycal"). I'm kind of lukewarm to it so far, since the first series doesn't make me feel like I'd want to return to it in the future (despite being pretty fun), and the OVAs were overly serious in my opinion. "Red vs Green" in particular wasn't just serious, but also confusing. I don't know about anyone else, but when I think "Lupin III," I don't think of a long questioning piece on what it means to be "the real Lupin" (although, I was pretty tired when I watched that, so maybe my drowsiness is what made it all so confusing). Here's hoping some of the other "Lupin" stuff is a bit more up my alley.

So most of the same actors have been playing these characters for the past few decades? Well, that certainly explains why Zenigata sounded so lame in the OVAs.
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