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Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon


a.k.a. Rupan Sansei: Babiron no Ogon Densetsu

Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: Toho
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 7/13/1985

Mysterious tablets of Babylonian origin have been buried under Manhattan for thousands of years. Who better than Lupin and his gang to find out what they are and what bounty they lead to. A crime lord also has his eyes set on the treasure of Babylon and whoever finds it first is in for the surprise of his life. Interpol Inspector Zenigata is still out fishing for Lupin but has an ace up his sleeve, as participants of the police force beauty contest are at his side luring our suave master thief into more trouble… if that is even possible.

summary by Kjeldoran


Reviewed: 03/12/2002 by
Grade: 38% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Same Lupin formula and voice actors; action rarely takes a breather

Lows: Ridiculous storyline; artwork is well below the bar; drags interminably

What do Halley’s comet, a tower made of gold, Babylon, Manhattan, God, the Polish Mafia and aliens have in common? Well, usually nothing, but the creators of Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon felt the need to bring all those elements together in a two-hour long movie that only picks up in the last thirty minutes or so.

Yes, even a fan of The Wolf such as I can humbly admit his disappointment when witnessing a movie of this caliber. Keep in mind all Lupin III movies and OVAs were directed and animated independently and what Gold of Babylon exemplarily demonstrates is that it takes more than lovable characters to make a good anime. Suzuki Seijun may be a famous filmmaker but he is no Miyazaki, and anime is evidently not his area of expertise. This is especially true when it comes to finding crafty yet sensible ways of getting Lupin out of predicaments.

Solid gold statues held with one hand, lightning being cut in half, a motorcycle racing on a giant mechanical face; they all put to shame any inane stunt ever performed in Bugs Bunny. All the fundamentals are there, though: treasures, chases, Goemon kicking butt… yet the crude artwork and intangible plot cripples this anime to the point of being dreadful.

I always thought it went without saying that horrendous art and fan service do not mix. It would be understandable for a fan of the absurd to appreciate this movie but anyone looking for a dose of Lupin III goodness needs to look elsewhere. Watch Castle of Cagliostro instead.


Lupin III: Legend of the Gold of Babylon can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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