a.k.a. Rupan Sansei: Kutabare! Nosutoradamusu
Lupin and Jigen have just completed a small one-and-a-half-million-dollar diamond heist in Brazil. Unfortunately, their plane back is hijacked along with the diamond and a young girl named Julia. Fujiko claims Julia is worth fifty million dollars. Behind her kidnapping is a sect based on false prophecies attributed to Nostradamus. The cult leader has an ingenious plan to obtain both money and absolute power. Backed by mercenaries and a legion of brainwashed followers the future once again lays in the master thief’s hands.
summary by Mugs
Highs: Animation; extremely high fun factor
Lows: Uncharacteristic Lupin
Arriving as the next theatrical Lupin after Legend of the Gold of Babylon, this movie didn’t have a lot to live up to. Luckily, it far surpasses its less than stellar forefather. This movie does a ton of things right and only one major thing wrong.
First off, the animation and artwork are very good, actual movie quality stuff here. The plot spans assorted locales around the globe and works well but really falls apart a little at the end; things venture so far into the unbelievable that they really detract from one’s immersion into the film. Surprisingly, there was a nice notch up in the emotions and character feelings, which is something unexpected for this series and quite a nice change of pace. The zany, traditional over-the-top action that the Lupin series is famous for is here in spades. Comedy is interspersed throughout.
Lupin has usually been portrayed as a kindhearted thief, but the makers of this movie went way over the limit. If it wasn’t for the opening sequence and Zenigata constantly trying to arrest Lupin, a newcomer could easily mistake Lupin and Jigen for two nice guys who go around helping those in need… much in the same vein as Vash or Kenshin. The pinnacle of this occurs late in the movie; I’ve never known Lupin to give away over a million dollars before, regardless of how nice he is underneath.
Overall, To Hell with Nostradamus! is a good movie and a very entertaining ride with nonstop action and comedy mixed in. However, I could easily see some staunch Lupin purists seeing it as totally out of character for our favorite anti-hero.
Highs: Very creative
Lows: Lupin the philanthropist; some unnecessary scenes
I can see why Monkey Punch didn’t like this movie. Don’t take that comment the wrong way; To Hell with Nostradamus! is a fairly entertaining feature that is loaded to the gills with action… and more action. It just isn’t Monkey Punch’s vision of what Lupin III was meant to be, and I agree with him completely.
While on the surface the characters play the same roles they’ve filled since time eternal, the problem is small details that are glaring to Lupin aficionados. The first detail that bugged me the most? Zenigata using a device that sniffs Lupin’s trail. What in the world… Zenigata might be a fumbling goob, but he is far from incompetent and would never use such a ridiculous contraption to track his old nemesis, instead relying on his uncanny intuition and street smarts. The second detail is Lupin’s sudden and totally unsolicited Mother Teresa impersonation. Lupin has never been absolutely and unequivocally cold-hearted, but money and glory were always higher priorities than other peoples’ well-being. He seems just a bit too willing to give up the riches, especially towards the end.
The settings and situations were very inventive, and that’s saying a lot for this type of anime. Some viewers may scratch their heads and ask “why is there a drainage system conveniently placed 100 stories in the air that Lupin and Jigen must navigate to reach the safe occupying the penthouse suite?” Why not? All of the overly elaborate events must be taken with a grain of salt; those who refuse to let go of realism will find little joy in the illogical. And To Hell with Nostradamus! absolutely relishes the illogical. If you can settle for just that, then you should have no problem handling this anime’s premise.