Review: LUPIN III: The First
April 16, 2022
The most famous master thief of all time is back! Lupine's latest cinematic adventure is about nothing less than preventing the end of the world… Lupine III: The First was shown in select theaters as part of KAZÉ Anime Nights on October 26, 2021. Let's see if the master thief also cuts a good figure in CGI. Lisa Murauer
ATTENTION: Any statements in this review only reflect the personal opinion of the author and not (!) those of ITweakIT and its partners.
Arsene Lupine III. has chosen a very special target for his next coup: the diary of the famous archeology professor Bresson. Not even his grandfather managed to get his hands on this book, and it has been thought to have been lost since World War II. But now this very diary has turned up again and is being presented as part of a special exhibition commemorating Professor Bresson. The book is the key to the unimaginable treasure Eclipse.
However, when trying to steal the book, things go awry when Lupine gets in the way of archeology student Laetitia Lambert, who has her own interest in the book. Lupine is first arrested, but he manages to escape not much later. After he pays a visit to Laetitia to take Bresson's book, the two realize they must team up to solve all of the diary's mysteries. Also, since not only the police, but also the Ahnenerbe group, led by the Nazi Gerard, are hot on their heels and are doing everything they can to take over Eclipse. But what exactly this treasure is all about and what danger the whole world is in because of it, not even Lupine could have guessed at the beginning of his coup…
image and animation
Lupine III: The First is directed by Takashi Yamazaki at Marza Animation Planet and TMS Entertainment studios and is part of the Lupine III franchise. franchise that started in 1967 as a manga series by author Monkey Punch. The film was released in Japanese cinemas in 2019 and was broadcast in German-speaking countries with a slight delay on October 26, 2021 as part of the KAZÉ Anime Nights. Disc release by KAZÉ Anime was on December 2, 2021.
It is not often possible to capture the 2D charm and implement it adequately using CGI, but this is exactly where it is proven that it can very well work. Not only is this film faithful to the original, it strikes just the right balance between realism and cartoon. Realistic enough that even small facial movements and different textures in the costumes can be seen, but not too real that the manga's special charm is lost and the characters seem more creepy than appealing. On top of that, the film is so bursting with attention to detail that you just can't get enough of it, and the animation is also more than smooth.
German translation and music
The dubbing company Oxygen Sound Studios GmbH in Berlin was commissioned with the German implementation. Karin Lehmann was responsible for both the dialogue book and the dialogue direction. The entire German cast is not only chosen appropriately, but also convinces with its performance. In particular, Peter Flechtner as Lupin fits like a glove. He brings exactly the right lightness that characterizes the character, but can also show that Lupine can also be serious and is rightly the most notorious thief in this series universe. A few other characters get less screen time, but that doesn't detract from the voice actors' performance.
The music is by Yuji Ohno, who can justifiably be called a Lupine veteran. The special musical style that characterizes the series works then as it does today. She's somewhat reminiscent of James Bond , only a little more playful, which isn't out of place for the thieving title character. The individual tracks are always well incorporated into the plot, without distracting too much from what is happening, and yet prominent enough that the songs stand out.
In his first 3D CGI adventure, Lupine not only cuts a good figure, but a very good one. While the plot itself isn't the deepest or most original – and is a bit too predictable at times – Lupine III: The First is still entertaining.
The biggest plus point is definitely the animation, because there is nothing to criticize here. Everything was done right. The same applies to the German version, since all the characters have been well cast and the dialogue book is also coherent. The music also fits, is always set perfectly and creates the ideal atmosphere.
All this ensures that time flies by and you never get bored. In addition, Lupine III.: The First is perfectly suitable for newcomers and also offers something for old fans. In short: a coherent film that just looks good!
Whether you're a Lupine fan old or new, Lupine III: The First has something for everyone, not least pure entertainment. In addition, the 3D CG movie also looks incredibly good.
Images: © Monkey Punch / 2019 LUPIN THE 3rd Film Partners Produced by LUPIN THE 3rd Film Partners All Rights Reserved. Under License to CRUNCHYROLL SA Produced by TMS ENTERTAINMENT Co., LTD.