|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Rupan Sansei: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~
Outside of some animation issues, this was one of the better Lupin III specials I've seen. For starters, it is pretty clear that the writers wanted Zenigata to not just be a buffoon, but an actual character. Having chased Lupin around for so many years, he should be well prepared for all of Lupin's tricks and indeed he was. That's what made it funny. I've seen Lupin get away with so many of these things in previous specials, movies, OVA's, and TV series. In Seven Days Rhapsody, Zenigata was prepared somewhat and that was funny. Having Zenigata completely prepared for everything and even having some of his own tricks to use against Lupin was pure win! Kudos to the writers there, even if that was the only place Zenigata got time to shine since the rest of the special, he had amnesia and little else to do but cameos.|
Because Zenigata was used quite well at the beginning and his absence is credible, the writers then have Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko to work with. Fujiko is her normal double crossing self, only she's a bit bloodthirsty this time as she participates in some of Garlic's vicious attacks (not pulling a trigger, but she's there). The writers make her pay more than once for her treachery though, which was something interesting and enjoyable. Goemon does his normal thing too, but the writers gave him an interesting twist by having those evil thoughts purged from him for a time. Jigen does his thing, but the twist on him is (1) his gun-shaped lighter and (2) there were jokes about him not being able to light his trademark cigarette. So kudos to the writers for these little things.
As the new Lupin babe that's often in these stories, I liked Drew a lot. The writers played her just mysterious enough to never leave the audience quite sure if she were trustworthy or not. I liked how Drew and Lupin were implied to have spent the night together (something Lupin's always game for) but he had no memory of the event after it happened. That too is a nice little twist to allow Lupin to get the babe but without making it vulgar. While Drew's background and involvement with Dr. Eichmann's work was cliched, in the end that didn't matter. The writers did just enough to keep her interesting and combined with the bits they added everywhere else, they slide on the cliched stuff.
I mentioned some poor animation parts. I should rather say that these are moments when still shots are used rather than animation. For the most part, these stills weren't used but during a few action sequences, it was as if the special had no more money for shots of the giant armored vehicle doing its thing so stills were used with some limited motion stuff and camera movements. Because the special is otherwise animated quite well (including other action sequences), these still shot segments are quite jarring, at least to me.
Bottom line: There were laughs, a great Zenigata in the beginning, good tweaks on well-established characters, an interesting story with the memory loss, and a villain that looked like Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist. Go figure on that one. Regardless, the show had enough entertainment value to warrant a marginal "Buy" recommendation from me, should it ever be licensed in the U.S. (which I doubt).
Last updated Tuesday, February 03 2009. Created Monday, February 02 2009.
|Lupin III Sweet Lost Night Official Site (in Japanese)||http://www.ntv.co.jp/kinro/lineup/20080725/index.html|