a.k.a. Rupan Sansei: Rupan Ansatsu Shirei
Company: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Format: 1 movie
ICPO is finally fed up with Inspector Zenigata’s repeated failed attempts at capturing the elusive Lupin III. When he is taken off the case, Zenigata goes to see his old nemesis with wetbar in jacket to mourn over his sudden lack of employment. In his place is a threat much worse than the old gumshoe: a hired assassin called Kiss. Lupin is too busy plotting his latest scam to worry about such trivial matters, however. His latest target is a nuclear Russian submarine and the beautiful Russian scientist to pilot it. Lupin plans to use both to infiltrate the terrorist group Shot Shell and relieve them of all their excess wealth.
summary by Kain
Highs: Pleasant artwork
Lows: Characters are out of character; cardboard cutout baddies; recycled plot
Well, what can I say? Dark Order of Assassination is just another in a long line of mediocre Lupin spin-offs that tries its best not to rock the boat. By doing so, however, much of what makes its predecessors so entertaining is ultimately lost in this forgettable anime.
In order for an anime to be successful, it must be more than just its artwork (which is admittedly very good in this case, especially considering that this is a television movie). A great anime movie must have a certain glide to its stride that’s as smooth as melted butter. Nothing about Dark Order of Assassination gives any indication of that. The characters seem content to plod along at a comfortable pace from scene to undramatic scene.
Anyone familiar with the series will be put to sleep (as I was. It took two sittings to finish this movie due to boredom) by a plot that wants nothing but to be a running cliché. Such a yawnfest isn’t exactly helped by the fact that there is no conflict among the characters; hell, even Zenigata joins our merry (and overly chummy) band of misfits in their latest escapade.
I’m beginning to wonder about the future of Lupin. The earlier television episodes, movies and OVAs had a hard edge to them that offered a counterbalance to all the zany antics. The newer sequels are, for the most part, as exciting as white bread. Here’s hoping to a revival of the way things once were.