a.k.a. Rupan Sansei: Roshia yori Ai wo Komete
Five hundred tons of gold are being held in an underground reserve in Texas. Not ones to pass up the opportunity to make a quick buck (or in this case, Five-and-a-half billion quick bucks), Lupin and Jigen must first trace the origin of the gold: Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. History tells that the gold was confiscated during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Unbeknownst to most is that a sizable chunk of that gold was imported to the United States by a royalist sympathizer. Fujiko has a nose for money herself and quickly joins the two in the quest of unfathomable riches. The secret’s out, however, and dark forces deep in the Russian hierarchy are interested in returning their treasure to the Motherland.
summary by Kain
Highs: Creative situations; high “chuckle” factor
Lows: Not enough Zenigata; what role does Goemon actually play?
To say that a Lupin production is high on the “cheese” is really saying a lot. Known especially for its off-the-wall, zany sendoffs of James Bond flicks, From Russia With Love somehow manages to give new meaning to the word “ludicrous”. It’s a shame the other aspects of this movie had to suffer in the meantime.
Let’s start off with the reasons to watch this movie: it’s fun. It’s fast-paced. It’s never boring. For a Lupin movie, the animation was actually quite good.
Well, that was quick. Now for the bad parts: Unfortunately, Lupin movies don’t exactly set the standard for art and animation excellence, so saying From Russia With Love is quite good in these aspects is purely relative. You’d think a franchise nearly three decades in the making and with such an immense fan base could do better… or maybe that’s exactly the problem; not striving for more because less has been working thus far. Role definition was also an issue. Zenigata and Goemon could have been left out completely from this movie and nothing essential would have changed. This wasn’t as obvious for Zenigata since his screen time was kept to an unfortunate minimum, but Goemon is given little to work with but a lot of time to work it. His very actions were such non-factors in the grand scheme of things that he was relegated to filler status.
If you are a Lupin fan and need another notch in your belt to complete your collection, by all means give this anime a try. For the more casual viewer, there are better ways to spend ninety minutes of your life.
Lupin III: From Russia With Love can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.