Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Remember two years ago when I reviewed the Lupin vs Conan special? It was one of the first reviews I ever did and the first review to receive a poor grade. The idea of taking two anime icons one being a master thief and the other a brilliant detective and having them face off against each other was a great idea and one everyone would have enjoyed. Yet somehow they got it wrong and instead gave us a Conan special with barely any Lupin in it and the two never really challenging each other. Well TMS must have realized they screwed up because they made another Lupin vs Conan and this one is even bigger than the first one. This time around it’s not a special but instead an actual movie which was released in Japanese theaters December 2013 and raked in 4.061 billion yen (approximately 39.69 million US dollars). Can the movie do what the special failed to do? Let’s get ready to rumble in round 2 and take a look at Lupin III vs Dectective Conan: The Movie.
So the movie opens up in Japan where the police have cornered Kaito Kid (or The Kid as I like to call him) who has just stolen a priceless diamond. He jumps from the building but the police activate their trap which is powerful fans that blow The Kid into a construction yard where they have a net waiting to catch but The Kid does something the police never would have expected him to do. He uses an actual gun to scare the construction workers. This allows The Kid to land on a speed boat and escape via river but we see Conan arrive on the scene to chase after him. We get a pretty good chase scene between the two which ends on the highway with Goemon coming out of nowhere and slicing Conan’s skateboard in two (nothing in this world is safe from Goemon is it?) and we see that The Kid is actually Lupin in disguised (I would call that a twist but it was obviously Lupin. The Kid is good but he’s no Lupin). After getting to a safe spot Lupin calls some mystery man who tells Lupin that he passed his test and is now ready for the real test. The mystery man wants Lupin to steal a jewel known as the Cherry Sapphire or he’ll detonate a bomb he’s strapped to Fujiko. Lupin hears him and heads off dropping the stolen diamond into a fisherman’s bucket (well that’s a keeper). The next day Lupin announces that he’s going to steal the Cherry Sapphire and Zenigata is on the scene with Takagi and Satou. Satou in particular is very excited to be on the Lupin case because Lupin is her first love (ah yes, nothing speaks true love than capturing your first love and locking them in a prison cell. Truly we should all follow her way of thinking). Lupin manages to get the sapphire disguised as Takagi and takes out Satou and Zenigata with a powerful stun sticker (sounds like something out of that South Park RPG game) and escapes into the streets having a funny chase scene (two great scenes and it hasn’t even been half an hour yet. So far so good). He escapes into the subway where Satou is there waiting for him still feeling the effects of the stun sticker (love can shock a person). After saving her from being run over by a train Lupin makes his escape.
We then shift the story to Conan going to a hotel with Ran, Sonoko, and Meguro to see the famous idol Emilio (you know for such a flamboyant male idol you sure have a girly sounding name). Conan is anxious to go because he saw Jigen in the background on TV being Emilio’s bodyguard and thinks Jigen will lead him to Lupin. Once in the hotel they get called up to a conference where Emilio, his hot manager, head of security, and police are all waiting for them. Conan finds Jigen relaxing in a lounge and hangs out with him just like in the special (we now return to the Conan and Jigen special sponsored by TMS). Back with Emilio it turns out he’s received a threatening letter telling him to cancel the concert or he’ll die (Justin Bieber wants to protect his throne as most ridiculous singer of all time). Emilio says that they should cancel the concert (well that just shows how much you care about your fans) but everyone says no and thinks Lupin is behind it (Lupin doesn’t kill people. Actually wait he does kill people. Well the green one does, the red one is more of a pacifist). Speaking of Lupin he gives the sapphire to the mystery man where we find out that Fujiko was playing him all this time (saw that coming. Seriously Lupin is she really worth banging?) but she in turn gets double-crossed by the mystery man. After getting within a safe distance they deactivate the bomb around Fujiko’s neck and she goes after them ditching Lupin (call me). Returning to Conan, Emilio has snuck out of the hotel with Ran and Sonoko and are at the famous Tokyo Tower taking in the sights. He sneaks his way to the top of the tower where the strong winds blows him off the tower and he gets saved by Ran who also falls off the tower and gets saved by Conan and Jigen working together (okay seriously why don’t we just rename this the Conan and Jigen power hour. Once again we have yet to see Lupin and Conan face each other and we’re almost halfway done with the movie. Once again the title of this movie has betrayed me). After saving him, Emilio opens up to them saying that during his concert there’s going be a black market deal between the Italian mafia (oh~ the original gangsters of the world. They were making gangs before making gangs became cool). Conan promises to stop the deal from going down and they return to the hotel where Emilio receives a slap for worrying everyone.
Through the off-screen investigation skills of the Junior Detectives they manage to find Lupin’s hideout and face off against Goemon where he drugs their tea putting them to sleep (well give him credit he didn’t slice them up or anything). Fujiko returns the kids in exchange for Ai (oh those two will get along just fine) and Jigen and Conan go their separate with Jigen warning Conan not to get in their way (no need to worry about that he hasn’t done anything this whole movie to stop you like he’s supposed to be doing). The next day the concert begins with Emilio’s promoter Luciano sneaking away from the concert and going to meet the mystery man who we find out is named Allen Smithey (generic name much?) at a hanger. The deal goes south when Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon show up and take whatever Luciano was going to trade but before Lupin can escape Conan shows up and points a gun at him (alright finally a standoff between the two characters). The FBI shows up on the request of Conan (dang Conan’s got ties to the FBI. Outside of your jurisdiction though if you ask me) and as he’s about to use his watch to put Lupin to sleep he sees someone getting ready to shoot Lupin and takes the bullet for him. This of course allows Allen to get the injured Conan and escape on the plane (sorry, no chopper joke) with Conan as his hostage. With the help of Fujiko and Ai, Lupin is able to get on the plane and Luciano somehow is there as well and gets knocked out by Lupin with a wrench. Conan takes out the guards in the plane and before he and Lupin can secure the cockpit, Luciano takes a Gatling gun and shoots up the plane killing everyone in the cockpit and getting sucked out of the plane. Lupin takes the wheel while Conan repairs the radio and radar and we find out what’s really been going on here. It turns out that Lupin was working with Vespania to stop Allen from getting his hands on Vespania’s ores. Allen wanted to use those ores as weapons because his country has been oppressed by a neighboring country however having those ores could upset the balance of military power between all the nations in the world (there must always be a balance between order and chaos). The Cherry Sapphire was originally Lupin’s treasure that he got from the previous queen of Vespania and used the jewel to get Allen to hire him (if it’s hard to follow don’t worry even I’m a little confused by it). After the radar is fixed they see that the Japan Defense Force has sent fighter jets to take the plane down by any means necessary (and by any means necessary I mean bombing the shit until that fucker sinks into the ocean). Using the Vespania ore Lupin and Conan are able to stop the homing missiles but everything breaks in the plane so they have to parachute out of it and into the ocean. The two get saved by Fujiko, Jigen, Goemon, and Ai in Fujiko’s submarine and we end with Lupin and his gang escaping (not even the great Conan can catch Lupin), Emilio’s manager being cleared of all charges and allowed to stay by his side, and we get an obligatory hint of Lupin vs Kaito coming in 2020.
So how was this movie? Not good. While the story this time around is a little more basic the movie still doesn’t deliver on what it promises us. While we do get a little confrontation between Lupin and Conan near the end of the movie it’s very short and late in the game. These two should have been battling each other from the very beginning and then partnering up with each other at the end. Once again the movie makes the same mistake as the special and instead is more concerned with side characters interacting with each other and the main characters. While these interactions aren’t bad, some of them a little amusing it would have been better for the main characters interacting with each other and playing off each better. The villains aren’t really all that interesting or intimidating so don’t bother being impressed by them and it’s just weird that they’re using an idol to hide a black market deal.
The animation seems to be a little better than the one used in the special as you can easily tell which anime characters belong to which series but it will feel a little strange to the eyes seeing a Lupin character in the same screen as a Conan character since the Conan characters are drawn in Conan style and Lupin characters drawn in Lupin style. Once again the music is the best part of this movie as it combines both Lupin and Conan music and composes them both exceptionally well. But despite this good music it still doesn’t distract us from the basic story that’s not really all that interesting and the lack of Lupin vs Conan going on until the end of the movie.
The final score for the Lupin the Third vs Detective Conan movie is sadly a 3.5/10. I really was hoping that they would of learned their lesson from the special and gave us the fans what we wanted. These two characters really do look like they would work off each other so well and on paper this sounded like a great idea but when it came time to execute the idea it backfired on them big time and gave us a lousy movie. While not terrible it’s still a lousy movie not worth your time. I don’t know if they need to get new writers, director, or ask for more fan feedback but they seriously need to take a step back and really think about what they want to do. They got 5 years to get it right and I’ll still be here waiting to see if they deliver. Tilled than, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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