In this second video in Otaku Evolution's first 80s Month, I examine a... complicated Lupin III feature, Legend of the Gold of Babylon. Complicated because, by most metrics, it's really pretty terrible. But it's terrible in an academic sense. You should see it at least once. And you should watch THIS at least three times. I could use the hits.
So, yeah, Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy is a noteworthy feature. A single, long-formed OVA, basically a movie, it follows the Lupin gang's scramble to get to a family's hidden treasure before a group of ninjas do, all while Zenigata pursues them. Not very unlike your average Lupin feature in that regard, but very well constructed in terms of production values, settings, the chase scenes, and some of the action and comedy. I call it a spiritual successor to Castle of Cagliostro, because it shares a few of the same visual and emotional touchstones. Too bad the English dub is substandard, but I'll get into that at the end of the year. Just enjoy a short rundown and some highlights that illustrate why I think so highly of this title.
Episode 20, "Viva Lupin III"
Synopsis: Shake Hands is in turmoil as governments of the world clamp down on PeopleLog to prevent leaks of classified information. This is the perfect time for Lupin, with allies past and present, to strike at their HQ once again. The plan is complicated by the US military doing some striking of their own, so our favorite felon has to be fleet to uncage Fujiko before everything collapses. Albert, meanwhile, has his own designs on PeopleLog's resources, and Fujiko demands the answer to her important question. A mask flies off as the clock winds down for this fantastic Lupin series with one last hurrah!
Episode 23, "Just Then, An Old Buddy Said Something"
Episode 22, "Answer Me, Zantetsuken"
Synopsis: Fujiko is a prisoner of Enzo, the head of the Shake Hands group responsible for PeopleLog and Lupin's current professional woes. Our sideburned swindler storms the headquarters with Jigen, Goemon, and Ami, to save Fujiko and take apart the pernicious program. However, incensed about being referred to as merely "Lupin's underling", and egged on by Enzo, Goemon makes a startling decision that halts the entire operation. How will Lupin answer Goemon's wavering blade? No matter how you slice it, the ending of this entry is unforgettable!
Episode 21, "An Outdated Master Thief"
Synopsis: Enzo, the president of Shake Hands, unveils his new app, PeopleLog, which compiles information about any person within moments, and supposedly blocks inaccurate information. While attempting to steal a statue, Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon are repelled by a public incident involving the app. While discussing the new phenomenon, the three are identified by a restaurant patron, and have difficulty escaping from the law and crowds. Beset on all sides by the police and old enemies looking to settle grudges, they decide to contact Ami for her expertise. Inspector Zenigata passes along to Lupin that Fujiko has been captured by Enzo, who sees the Lupin crew as outdated.
Episode 20, "Zenigata, Gentleman Thief"
Synopsis: Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon return to small town in Russia where they'd previously pulled a heist, with the intention of grabbing more loot. However, every attempt they make is interrupted by three other thieves, and one is Inspector Zenigata! Apparently Pops, suffering amnesia, is going under the name Monety, and pulling capers to get closer to his lost memories. Is Lupin more concerned with returning his enemy to his normal state or rather outraged by the new competition? It's a trip down memory lane in this competition to be the superior stealer!