a.k.a. Rupan Sansei: Harimao no Zaiho wo oe!!
Lupin is on the trail of the pirate king Harimao’s treasure, worth more than eighty billion dollars. The secret is guarded by three keys in the shape of statues hidden around the world. Of course, nothing is that simple for Lupin as he finds himself competing for the treasure. His competition are the great British secret agent Archer and his granddaughter Diana, who Lupin has quite an eye for… much to the chagrin of Fujiko. Of course, both groups have bigger problems than one another as a cross-dressing Nazi commander also has his own plans for the money.
summary by Mugs
Highs: Funny on all levels
Lows: Nothing new at all
“Groundbreaking” is something that Harimao’s Treasure will never be called. However, “tons of fun” fits perfectly. In a nut shell, this is Lupin at his complacent best; the show doesn’t strive for much outside of being an entertaining ride and it delivers.
The addition of Archer and his granddaughter are really good for the show. It’s nice to see someone who can compete with Lupin on his level, and everything just seems to play nicely. In particular, Lupin’s (many) advances towards Diana are always entertaining to watch. It’s also nice to see some flares of jealously out of Fujiko.
The comedy in the show is nonstop, extremely over-the-top and also a little raunchy for a Lupin show. Great bits like Lupin reading a martial arts book by Monkey Punch and bribing border guards with various porn videos left me actually physically laughing so much I had to pause the show so I wouldn’t miss what would come next.
If you’ve seen Lupin III before you know pretty much what to expect out of this. However, everything Lupin is known for: comedy, action, gadgets, all are done exceedingly well. Not to mention a few things the franchise isn’t known for such as the animation being up to par with the rest of the show’s elements. Essentially if you like Lupin at any base level you should thoroughly enjoy this anime.
Highs: Genuinely funny throughout; smooth animation
Lows: Weak final thirty minutes
Hunt for Harimao’s Treasure just might be the funniest Lupin production I’ve ever seen. Unlike his cold, death-defying antics in Walther P38, the master thief himself goes for all-out laughs and insanity this time around. And he’s not the only one. Zenigata runs a recurring joke into the ground, and Goemon relives his role as a reluctant sword-for-hire with a tongue-in-cheek approach.
The story is typical Lupin. In fact, one can call Harimao’s Treasurea cookie-cutter for all others in the franchise; Lupin pursues a treasure and a beautiful woman who happens to be after the same prize, Fujiko utilizes her feminine wiles to lure the competition in and a maniacal tyrant with his vast armada of mindless buffoons looks to beat Lupin to the punch. Sound familiar to any of you fans out there? Even the ending was standard fare as everyone storms a castle that holds the secrets that they spent the previous hour fighting for.
What separates this movie from the others, however, is undoubtedly the abundance of comedic elements dispersed from beginning to end. A few examples to show how utterly absurd (and hilarious) the jokes are: Lupin uses his underwear as a parachute in one sequence, and in another he hands porno tapes to a bunch of guards and warns them not to get tennis elbow. How can anyone not find this material funny?
When everything is said and done, I walked away at the end with a big smile on my face. Even as I write this I can’t help but chuckle at some of Lupin’s antics. Oh sure, nothing new came of it all, but what has kept this franchise alive for so long is its entertainment value. And this is one helluva entertaining anime.