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Lupin III: Legend of the Twilight Gemini

a.k.a. Rupan Sansei: Towairaito Jemini no Himitsu

lupingem-1
Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: NTV/Lupin 3 Producing Committee
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 8/2/1996

A dying man sees a lot of his youthful self in Lupin III. His last request to Lupin is to take a diamond known as the Twilight Gemini to Morocco. Apparently this diamond is the key to an ancient treasure, a portion of which is to be used to give the old man a proper sendoff. Paired with his always-reliable partner in crime Jigen, the two set off for distant lands and untold riches. Of course, they run across a couple stumbling blocks: a whip-wielding assassin (who longs for a showdown with the Legendary Lupin) and Inspector Zenigata (who longs to finally put the notorious thief in jail).

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 04/24/2004 by
Grade: 70% av-Kain

Highs: Surprisingly entertaining; has a Raiders of the Lost Ark feel

Lows: Animation outdated; several plot holes; little Lupin/Zenigata interaction

You know, it’s really unfair to compare every Lupin movie to Castle of Cagliostro. And while Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, Goemon and Zenigata are all unique and frantically odd in their own, special way, Castle of Cagliostro wrung every last drop of entertainment out of them as humanly possible. Legend of the Twilight Gemini tries to recapture some of that same magic but with varied results.

An intrepid treasure-seeker in search of legendary riches hidden deep in the desert… Indiana Lupin treks across barren lands and encounters colorful town folk. While not necessarily the most original of scenarios, this movie nevertheless does manage to rekindle some old flames (albeit not starting any new ones). And while Fujiko now features more curves than a five-mile racetrack, the other main cast members have gone the way of Austin Powers and are stuck in a perpetual time warp. Hey Lupin and Jigen, the lounge lizard look is about as “in” as the Village People. The animation is akin to a ’70s relic itself; even considering that this is a television movie, one would expect much more from a contemporary anime.

In some ways, though, change isn’t necessarily a good thing. One of my favorite things about Lupin anime is watching the debonair Lupin outthinking and outmaneuvering the bungling Inspector Zenigata. Unfortunately, the two share little screen time together, forcing side characters to carry more of the story than I felt comfortable with.

Looking over what I have just said, I did exactly what I lambasted others for doing: pitting this movie against Miyazaki’s Castle of Cagliostro. It can be said I derived a good chunk of entertainment out of this title, but when compared to the best it pales like the rest.


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