a.k.a.Rupan Sansei: Green Vs Red
After a thief suspiciously looking like Lupin III is arrested for petty shoplifting, all of a sudden the area is literally crawling with copycat “Lupins” trying to clear the master thief’s name. A few of the doppelgangers, however, are more skilled than others, and while the police are arresting most of them, two remain who could both be the real deal. One wears a red jacket, one a green jacket, both are after a precious jewel called the Ice Cube, and not even Zenigata can tell the original from the fake. Only a duel between the two of them can determine the real Lupin III…
summary by Taleweaver
Highs: All the action you love; plot unlike any other; wonderful tip-of-the-hat to entire Lupin IIIseries
Lows: Most side characters ignored; too short
Wow. I’ve always been a fan of the Lupin III series ever since I was introduced to it by Episode 0 First Contact, but never before has an installment of the franchise actually made me think the way Green vs. Red did. For the very first time, our master thief starts to reflect upon himself – with hilarious results.
Make no mistake – this movie is a blood, flesh and bone Lupin III original. Everything you love about the series is there – the outrageous action sequences, the wacky humor, the tried-and-true formula of precious objects that aren’t what they seem – but this time, there’s much more to it than you’d expect. The plot is unlike any Lupin plot you’ve seen so far, going beyond the usual clichés and covering surprisingly serious themes between the lines. Often, the action is taken back a little for quiet, introspective scenes – and these are the scenes that have the strongest impact.
Should you now fear that Green vs. Red could be a little heavy-handed – fear not, the entire movie is filled to the brim with the sort of entertainment you’re used to – and the more you’ve already seen of the series, the better this movie gets. There are countless little hints at other installments of Lupin III the most obvious being thatall of Lupin’s copycats are drawn like versions of Lupin from earlier movies. There are many other, more subtle allusions hidden in the music, the background, the dialogue, and it’s pure joy to discover them all.
If there’s one downside to Green vs. Red, it’s its strong focus at Lupin and Lupin alone – a necessary evil for the sort of plot that’s woven here, but one that sets aside Jigen, Goemon and Fujiko to the point of ignoring them. Zenigata’s role is improved a little (he is even given some long-deserved dignity), but aside from that, don’t expect anything fancy coming from anybody but our master thief. Maybe this problem wouldn’t exist if the movie weren’t just 75 minutes long – fifteen more minutes would have kicked this production up to usual full feature length and also would have provided plenty of space for more action from the support cast.
Still, Green vs. Red is one of the greatest, most memorable Lupin III movies ever, coming close in quality to to Miyazaki‘s legendary Castle of Cagliostro and easily surpassing almost all other TV specials with sheer ingenuity, creativity and love for its own franchise. Arséne Lupin III tickling your intellect – what could possibly be better?
Lupin III: Green vs. Red can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.