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Rupan Sansei: Kiri no Elusive
Elusiveness of the Fog was meant to celebrate the Lupin III franchise's then 40th anniversary by rehashing the plot of one of the Lupin III first series' episodic plots when Lupin and his gang deal with time traveler from the future, Mamou. While Mamou was convincingly threatening from utilizing his time machine's abilities from the mentioned episode, he is less effective in this TV special and doesn't contribute much to the plot for much of its run outside of whisking Lupin and the main men 500 years in the past, who get caught up in a conflict between two warring clans, and attempting to stir chaos up in the TV special's climax. This leads to much of the story being focused on Lupin and pals dealing with the conflict between the mentioned clans that isn't too interesting and Lupin coming across a young thief girl, whom he discovers is an ancient ancestor of Fujiko. Lupin, Goemon, and Jigen each get something to do throughout the film in some capacity, but Zenigata regrettably gets the shaft being confined to prisons for much of this TV special's runtime and Fujiko's only seen in the opening and final scenes of the film. In short, this is perhaps one of the more mediocre entries of the Lupin franchise as its attempts to rehash a past episodic plot from the first Lupin anime doesn't feel so compelling to see compared to its original depiction from decades earlier.
Last updated Saturday, August 28 2021. Created Saturday, August 28 2021.
Rupan Sansei: Kiri no Elusive
This latest adventure sees the return of another old Lupin III villain, this time Mamo, who last appeared in the 13th episode of the first TV series. Why bring back an old villain? Because it has been 40-years since Monkey Punch started the manga. However, one doesn't have to have seen the original episode to view this special as the two aren't linked. If anything, while the premise of Mamo is the same, this is a new story with Lupin and Mamo not having met before.
While there have been some minor sci-fi elements before in Lupin III, I don't recall one quite like this. I found I rather enjoyed having Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon sent to the past. I would have preferred something among the locals to reflect the oddity of Lupin's and Jigen's clothing as the people seemed to just accept things. I thought it rather strange that Jigen only had the bullets in the chamber of his revolver. I can't believe that someone like him wouldn't have a whole lot of other bullets besides. Never fear, because the writers have him make new bullets to place into the spent casings. Yeah, so where's the gunpowder is what I want to know?
Goemon, who has always had his heart back in the past as a samurai, got to become a samurai bodyguard for the female leader of the Shine clan which I thought was most appropriate. He didn't get to do a great deal though, which was a little bit disappointing to me. Zenigata coming back to the past was a complete waste though. When he wasn't in prison yelling his name and Interpol, he was a useless idiot. Instead of having him refuse to believe that they'd gone back into the past, I would have enjoyed seeing him accept that and work with Lupin to return them to the present.
There's almost no Fujiko in this special, and I hate to say it, but it wasn't a bad thing. Fujiko's ancestor Ofumi (voices by a different seiyuu) was good and in my mind how Fujiko should be -- a brilliant thief who uses cunning rather than sex to get what she wants. I suspect that may be the main reason the writers left Fujiko behind. She's become so one-dimensional most of the time. Where is the Fujiko of Castle of Cagliostro? I miss her.
As to the story, it is pretty simple and the treasure is pretty predictable as was the issue Mamo had in the story. With a quest of getting back to the present amidst a war between two clans, I was never bored, but I saw a lot of lost opportunity (such as with Goemon and Zenigata). There are a lot of things that go on which mostly keeps the pace of the story up, but there's just not a lot of depth to anything.Bottom line: Not a bad story, but not one I'll likely want to watch again. Still, considering the level of enjoyment I received from the viewing, I'll give it a "Rent."
Last updated Monday, August 27 2007. Created Monday, August 27 2007.