Rupan Sansei: Cagliostro no Shiro

Title:Rupan Sansei: Cagliostro no Shiro
Castle of Cagliostro
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: INOUE Makio
NAGAI Ichiro
R1 License - Manga Entertainment

The notorious international thief Rupan Sansei (Lupin III) and his ex-yakuza buddy Jigen Daisuke head to the obscure European Duchy of Cagliostro in search of the secret of the mother of all counterfeit money, the legendary "goat bills". But, will they find more than they bargained for when they meet up with a distressed bride on the run from a wicked count? What is the true secret of the Castle of Cagliostro?

[One 100-minute movie.]
[edit] The ↗Lupin III franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 6 7 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:220#1552]
This movie has enough credentials riding on it. It's Hayao Miyazaki's first animated film he directed and depending on who you ask, it's considered either the best of the Lupin III films or a decent movie which is a letdown due to Miyazaki's softened take on the character. This film has been my only exposure to Lupin III so far outside of the second TV series that aired on Adult Swim years ago. And from what I seen of the TV series, I got enough fun out of the show's manic pace as Lupin humiliated criminals + Zenigata and tried getting the attention of Fujiko or other attractive women. But in the case of this movie, I have to be among those who thought of Castle of Cagliostro to be a mixed bag.

I can say that for the most part, the usual fun and antics you would expect out of Lupin's group are still around in this movie. Goemon and Jigen are around to help him out. Fujiko is at the scene where she wants to steal something while in disguise before Lupin shows up. Zenigata is persistant as ever at capturing Lupin. Lupin masterfully sneaks around and makes fools out of those he steals from, Zenigata being his favorite fool to mess with. But with Count Cagliostro's fake money scheme, Zenigata and Lupin set aside their rivalry to deal with the guy. And to add more cards on the table is the presence of Clarise, a young woman forced into a marriage with the Count whom Lupin also has past connections with.

This movie's take on Lupin III is a bit subdued compared to the silliness I seen of the characters in the TV series which was my letdown for Castle of Cagliostro. The movie isn't as manic-paced and over-the-top with its action and comedy. Plus, Lupin's womanizing habits are tamed with the presence of Clarise. As much as I admire Miyazaki's work with Ghibli films, I can't say that I liked his take on Lupin's character for Castle of Cagliostro.

Castle of Cagliostro isn't a bad film. It still has the usual silliness that Lupin, his crew, and Zenigata are involved in which has its laughs. But, the subdued take on the series from Hayao Miyazaki will be a love it or hate it deal depending on your tastes as an anime viewer.

Last updated Saturday, February 28 2009. Created Saturday, February 28 2009.
Buy Stretch [series:220#628]
Speaking as an Otaku who, going in to this movie, knew only what the Cartoon Network had revealed about Lupin III, Castle of Cagliostro definitely has a completely different look and feel than the half-hour episodes I'd previously seen. Lupin seems to be around ten years younger than I was used to; and I kept expecting Fujiko to yank off her blond wig and expose her black hair, but I don't think she ever did. I had just seen my first Hayao Miyazaki work (Spirited Away) recently, and this indeed seemed like a cross between that and the TV episodes. Best of all was the way the plot (except perhaps the way Lupin got into the North Tower) was actually fairly plausible for once! The TV episodes often have absurd, ridiculous plots but are salvaged by Lupin's priceless personality; here we get the best of both worlds.

Last updated Tuesday, November 16 2004. Created Tuesday, November 16 2004.
Buy 8 9 9 10 10 Allaryin [series:220#538]
Cagliostro is by far the most popular Lupin movie out there, and is the only one available on DVD in the US at the time of this writing (and only one of 3 Lupin movies ever released commercially stateside). This is also probably the only Lupin movie where Fujiko (or some other random woman) does not wind up topless.
It is the only anime that I have seen other shows pay overt hommage to. I can only think of Excel Saga and Koko wa Greenwood off of the top of my head, but I am certain that there are more. Heck, Spike from Cowboy Bebop fame is a direct tribute to Lupin.
The originals appeared to have suffered some damage, as there are burn marks on the image in two or three instances, but the music and audio quality are incredible.
You need this movie. If you don't like it, you can't be my friend any more.

Last updated Wednesday, February 12 2003. Created Wednesday, February 12 2003.
Buy 8 8 9 8 10 AstroNerdBoy [series:220#436]

This is without a doubt the BEST Lupin III title period. Considering that the anime master Miyazaki Hayao did this movie, it is also one of the better anime titles in existance!

As one might expect, the movie opens up with Lupin and Jigen comitting a crime. This time they are robbing a casino and making off with TONS of cash. Unfortunately, it is all fake. Not one to let a little thing like that get in his way, Lupin decides to find out who's behind the "goat" bills. Along the way, he meets a beautiful young woman forced to marry against her will and well, that just adds to the fun!

Characters are really treated well in this movie. My girl Fujiko is at the top of her game. She's already on scene trying to make the big score herself when Lupin shows up. She's smart (vs. being a dumb slut as she is often portrayed) and knows to let Lupin do his thing (assisting him as well), but taking the score for herself if possible. Jigen is fun to watch as his skills are put to great use. Goemon also has a good role and his reason for being there is simple -- Lupin summoned him.

Zenigata is also along for the ride after Lupin called him! It was also nice to see that Zenigata isn't just a short-sighted fool. He's smart enough to know that while his life long goal is to nail Lupin, putting down an international counterfeit is the better move. And when he chases Lupin at the end, it is with a wink and a smile.

The animation is old, but still very nice. The story is outstanding and the character work is great.

A note on the DVD release: Manga did a pretty good job with both the English dub and the English subtitles, though I would have prefered the Japanese honorifics be left in. However, they did a MUCH better job than the previous release of this movie.


Last updated Tuesday, November 16 2004. Created Saturday, January 11 2003.

Watch 8 8 8 8 10 Blackdragon15 [series:220#345]
I really love this Anime! It was fun to watch and it had me laughing to the core. My favorite scene it when Lupin disguise himself as the archbichop at the god it was hilarious! You should have the seen the villian face! :)And the secret of the catsle is unexpected also....
The artwork I must say is a bit...out of date? But at that time of the 70's it was good! Really! And I love the Europeon! This movie is worth your time if you're looking for a decent anime to watch.

Last updated Wednesday, July 10 2002. Created Wednesday, July 10 2002.
Buy 7 7 5 8 Kaitou Juliet [series:220#137]
This is a fabulous romp in the tradition of movies like Charade or Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief. It has action, suspense, humor, mystery, and exotic European locations. Lupin comes off as a more charming rogue in this movie than in some of the other installments in the series. The artwork is unusually good for the time it was made, particularly the backgrounds. Absolutely delightful from beginning to end!

Last updated Monday, February 04 2002. Created Monday, February 04 2002.
Rent 5 6 7 5 7 Courtney [series:220#80]
I think LUPIN is one of those lucky titles that just happens to keep in style despite ever-changing times. Sure you can tell it was made in the 70s and yes the animation is a little below what we are accustomed to these days, but there is still a lot to find entertaining about the notorious Lupin III and his buddy Jigen and I think it will be that way for a while.
What do you expect from the person who gave us PRINCESS MONONOKE?

Last updated Saturday, October 13 2001. Created Saturday, October 13 2001.
Buy 9 5 8 8 0 9 Barry [series:220#122]
Let's turn back the clock, shall we? Let's go back to that magical year, 1979... (okay, 1979 might not have been that magical, but it seems a good way to start a review off, no? ^_^ ) Back before Totoro, Kiki, and Mononoke Hime were around, a man by the name of Miyazaki Hayao was already making name for himself by taking one of anime's most famous and beloved characters, the indomitable Lupin III (Rupan Sansei) and spinning for him and his cohorts one of the most entertaining stories i have ever seen.
This being my first anime review, I'll just stick to a formulaic style for now and take on this wonderful film step by step:
ART: To put it simply, the setting and backgrounds for this anime are totally beautiful. The fields and gardens of the quaint European countryside of Cagliostro a colorful, vibrant and picturesque, like the cahracters have suddenly stepped into some romantic painting. The actual designs of the title castle itself are an interesting mixture of medeival architecture and modern technology, and the rustic look and feel of the vilages fits perfectly. All in all, Lupin and Co. inhabit a world I wouldn't mind taking a week-long sightseeing tour in!
ANIMATION: This is the lowest rated part of my review simply because of the age of this movie. Animation techniques have grown by leaps and bounds since this title was released, so it really can't compare to such heavy hitters like Ghost in the Shell or Cowboy Bebop. It might have been great for it's time, though.
CHARACTER DESIGN: While the cartoony characters may seem a little out of place at first, they only lend to the undeniable charm of this movie. Some may disagree with me, but I'm just able to like these characters more when their designs, like the story of the anime itself, aren't taken too seriously. The designs lend to the overall mood of the piece perfectly. A couple of points are deducted from this score because I know some won't share my opinion.
MUSIC: Another well done piece to this masterful puzzle. Each musical number blends perfectly with the lighthearted tone of the film and a few even stand out, but never distract from what's going on. Admitedly, some of the music played during scenes with the bad guys is a little cheesey, but it just makes me feel like the producers of this movie were simply having fun with the material. Angain, this is probably just my opinion.
STORY: Ah, here's where it all comes together. Now, while the main story might not be all that original by the standards of today (probably becasue it's been copied so much, IMHO), what makes it work is the incredible chemistry between the characters. As you see these people interact with one another so convincingly and with such style, you really feel like they might ne the kind of folks you'd like to just sit down and talk to over a drink someday. With such interesting character development involved, I doubt even a mediocre story (which this certainly doesn't have) would ruin it. Also, there are some great moments which make this worth watching all by themselves. To name a few, the hilarious casino robbery at the beginning, the car chase (which, I've heard, Steven Spielberg called "the greatest car chase scene ever filmed"), and the outrageous wedding scene at the end that must be seen!
CONCLUSION: When taken as a whole, these components add up to a very entertaining adventure suitable for any level of anime fan. Big props go to Miyazaki-sensei for bringing us this classic. My final suggestion is that you just go watch it and see for yourself how much fun it can be to lighten up a little and go on a grand adventure.

Last updated Sunday, July 29 2001. Created Wednesday, January 17 2001.

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