While I was fairly entertained with Angel Tactics, I do have to admit that this Lupin movie has some major flaws. But before I get to them, I'll get to what I liked with this movie. The movie retains the typical moments of humor and outwitting with Lupin and his gang against Zenigata, which is a treat to see as usual. Poison Sophie's character of the Bloody Angels also got reasonable depth with her motivations in stealing the Original Metal and being with the group. The movie also has some solid action sequences at points, particularly at the start of the movie when Lupin is making off with the Original Metal from Area 51 via UFO. However, it seemed like later scenes were resorting to animation shortcuts with still shots, speed stripes and reused frames, which made me think much of the effort in animation went towards the mentioned scene.
Now for the low points. The rest of the Bloody Angels, compared to Sophie, were rather limited in depth and their motivations with the Original Metal weren't very convincing despite their apparent anti-American stance. In addition, there's a swerve with one character later in the movie that lacked any buildup or foreshadowing and seemed thrown in just for the sake of having a plot twist. While I can suspend some disbelief with many Lupin titles since they normally don't take themselves seriously as an action title, the baddies were quite weak in motives here compared to those I've seen in most other Lupin films I've seen thus far.
Overall, Angel Tactics was decent fare for me thanks to the standard Lupin humor and Sophie's character. But beyond that, the Bloody Angels were really lacking in being convincing foes for this film.
Last updated Wednesday, March 06 2013. Created Sunday, March 03 2013.
I can't say I hated Angel Tactics since I was mildly entertained. However, this special revealed the problem with the Lupin franchise -- its getting very, very old. I noticed that the seiyuu, while trying to disguise it, are sounding old. I've been noticing it for a while, but it seemed more noticeable to me for some reason this time. The story felt old to me, and jumbled at times like someone with memory problems. Characters "magically" appear all over the U.S. and beyond in the blink of an eye with no explanation.
Regarding the villains of the series, the Bloody Angels are set up to be some top-notch, female-only assassin group who take their jobs very seriously and trained hard to remove Lupin and company. When the time came to do it, the four main Angels not only failed to seduce their assigned targets, but could never kill them no matter what. Then when they bring in their entire army of female assassins into the mix, all they are good for is firing machine guns non-stop but couldn't even come close to even scratching Lupin and company. As such, I could never take the villains seriously.
The Bloody Angel's objective in stealing the Original Metal was never clear to me. Sophie's hatred of America because of her soldier boyfriend's death felt real, only because sometimes people who lose loved ones in military conflict experience grief and rage and some do hate their country because of it (needing someone or something to blame). That's understandable. Her personal reasons for wanting to steal the metal were understandable, but the group's were not. After all, if the group was truly anti-American, they'd do all kinds of things to harm the U.S., not just steal some metal.
There really was no Lupin comedy in this title. There were attempts at comedy, such as early on when Lupin is left alone with Fujiko and attempts to have sex with her. However, it wasn't funny, nor were the other weak attempts at humor. It is a shame really. Sometimes, Lupin can be very funny.
Goemon and Jigen get better use in this special. Since there is no male villain, the bisexual Lady Joe is pitted against Fujiko. Skill-wise, Fujiko was outmatched IMO since one of Fujiko's great skills is seduction. This wasn't going to happen here. However, that did allow Fujiko to come off as a bit more intelligent, even if she mainly felt like window dressing.Bottom line: the franchise feels old and tired and this 2005 special shows it. However, die-hard fans of Lupin will want to check it out at least.
Last updated Wednesday, July 25 2007. Created Wednesday, July 25 2007.
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