A really good Lupin title for me is one which has a good story and is a lot of fun to boot. That's what makes Castle of Cagliostro so good. Seven Days Rhapsody does manage to get a lot of fun in and some interesting story concepts, but doesn't pull off a really good Lupin title.
Roughly the first half of this 2006 TV special is fun. There are some outlandish things which happen, such as Lupin bribing a horse with the promise of sex with a Texas filly in order to get it to run faster. Zenigata proves surprising, both in competency and in impatience, both of which lead to good laughs. Without giving anything more away, lets just say that this first part of the anime is just a joy to watch. There are lots of laughs and a general sense of fun even as plot is being set.
The writers try to make the core cast of Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko, and Zenigata pretty relevant and that is a nice touch. To accomplish this, the writers have Lupin take a side job, Jigen take another side job, and Fujiko continue to work on scoring a big diamond with Goemon in her employ. This ends up putting Lupin and Jigen on opposite sides as their side jobs end up tying in with the score Fujiko is trying to make. That certainly makes for an interesting concept but it doesn't play as well as it could have. There is a school of thought that says that if Lupin and Jigen were on opposite sides over the course of a TV series, it would work quite well. I'm not 100% convinced of that but that may be what was needed. Regardless, once the story goes into the plot of the Goddess Tear Drop diamond, things began to drag for me. The writers forget the fun and that's the main problem.
As the anime winds down, the writers bring back the humor, starting with Zenigata having some fun with Lupin. There are some other humor moments as well, even as the final plot issues are resolved. As such, the anime ends on a high note. Too bad the whole anime couldn't have stayed on that level because then it would have been a higher mark for me.
The character design for Michelle really struck me as being very similar to Armitage from Armitage III. If you've never seen that OVA, it won't bother you but it kept distracting me at times.
Bottom line: despite the plot being somewhat of a drag in the 2nd half of the anime, I found the fun and humor of the first half of the anime combined with the last few minutes to put this just to the level that were FUNimation to license it, I would buy it.Additional: a detailed plot summary w/ images (and some other thoughts of mine) can be found here.
Last updated Friday, October 10 2008. Created Wednesday, October 08 2008.