Lupin III: The First

Title:Lupin III: The First
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: Animation - TMS Entertainment
Original Concept - Monkey Punch
R1 License - GKIDS
The film's story centers on Lupin teaming up with a woman named Leticia to steal the Bresson Diary, a treasure that even the first generation Arsène Lupin could not steal.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

92-minute CG-animated film released on December 6, 2019.
Animated by TMS Entertainment and Marza Animation Planet.
Licensed by GKids.
[edit] The ↗Lupin III franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 10 10 8 6 7 Ggultra2764 [series:4326#1552]
Lupin III: The First is notable for being the first entry in the Lupin III franchise to be fully CG-animated. Your mileage may certainly vary with the use of CG animation considering its hit and miss quality with a number of recent anime titles. But at least for this film, The First provides Lupin III with more lifelike settings, nicely rendered vehicles, and fluid movement with CG animation that you otherwise wouldn't typically get with many of the movies, OVAs, and TV specials that have been out for the Lupin franchise over the past 40 years. There are some subtle changes to the designs of some of the well-known characters like Jigen and Goemon fans may notice, but isn't too jarring to take you out of the viewing experience of this film if you can get used to the CG animation.

As far as the storytelling goes, The First still plays out the typical plot structure and formulas you can find with many Lupin movies and TV specials with Lupin and his gang trying to snatch up a valuable item connected to a criminal group with larger plans in mind and a female character exclusive to said title serving to aid Lupin in his adventure, so this is pretty much "red jacket" territory. Lupin's back to crossing paths with Nazis in this film for the valuable item in question, with movie-exclusive girl Laeticia serving as solid support to Lupin with her archeological knowledge and learning of her grandfather's involvement with the Nazi remnants. The film creates solid suspense out of Lupin's encounters with the Nazis and venturing through the "trials" of the ruins they discover in the second half of the film. The rest of Lupin's gang and Zenigata help aid Lupin later in the film to deal with the Nazis, with each helping to contribute something in the adventure and having their usual comical moments they contribute, a plus considering a number of TV specials often struggle with giving all the main Lupin characters something to do.

In short, Lupin III's first CG-animated venture offers a unique spectacle for the franchise with more fluid animation and retaining the franchise's light-hearted mix of comical and serious moments following prior "red jacket" entries of the series. The storytelling for The First is nothing groundbreaking dabbling into typical territory for many movies and TV specials within the franchise and is more there to make the film accessible to long-time fans of the Lupin III franchise. But if you've enjoyed many prior entries in the Lupin III franchise and can tolerate CG animation, The First should make for solid entertainment.

Last updated Saturday, June 12 2021. Created Saturday, June 12 2021.

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