Culture

Sgathaich: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro

SgathaichNow some people may be asking the question, “why this movie?” as well as “who are you?” “are you mentally stable? and “can I have your babies?”. The answers are, this movie allows me a good gateway into Both the Lupin the Third franchise and the works of Hayao Miyazaki (his is kind of thought of as the Japanese Disney). And to answer your other ones, not telling you, amazingly yes, and of course.

Lupin the Third is a long running franchise starring the titular character Lupin, in fact the series goes all the way back to the 60s and has had many anime series of him and his band of thieves adventures.

Hayao Miyazaki  is the co founder of Studio Ghibli which has made many classic anime films that were brought over to the west even before anime began to fully break through in the late 90s and 2000s. If you have ever heard of  Nausicaä and the Valley of the Winds, Laputa:Castle in the Sky and Grave of the Fireflies (NEVER GOING TO REVIEW THAT, I PREFER NOT BEING HUGELY DEPRESSED). The Castle of Cagliostro is before the founding of studio Ghibli so it’s a bit like his equivalent of the ‘Beast from 20000 Fathoms.’

The film starts right at the end of no doubt one of Lupin and his best bud (kind of) Jigen have pulled off the heist of their life and gotten an insane sum from a casino. Sadly the joy is short lived as Lupin soon finds the money is a forgery and thus begins a tale of a Princess, international conspiracy and corruption, unlikely allies and a strange weird European country (that sadly isn’t Latveria, I doubt Lupin could deal with the likes of the magnificent Dr Doom… not the crappy movie versions) which some how has ninjas.

The good news is you can leap into the film without ever having seen or heard of Lupin as it’s all fairly self contained and characters with pasts together are fairly easy to work out as they are presented well. However my sources tell me that Miyazaki took some liberties with Lupin’s personality so fans of the franchise may find him less womanizing than he was in the series. As for designs I can assure fans that Lupin Jigen, Zenigata and Goemon all seems fairly unchanged from a design aspect and are instantly recognizable, that said all other characters including recurring female character Fujiko (my editor is going to sooo love the amount of checking on the names) all very much feel like a Miyazaki character in appearance (fortunately this was before his odd obsession with blob slime monsters… when you work out how to do it well can’t really blame you for using it that much).

At no point did I feel the movie dragged its feet and don’t worry people the bad guy has an appropriate gruesome (to Disney level, no really Disney villains have some horrific deaths you just don’t see the actual death part) death in the end. because it’s less magical and whimsical it does feel a lot more, welcoming than some of the studio Ghibli films that came later. It’s actually a very good first entry for people who want to get into anime as a whole. Think of it as an animated heist movie with clear good guys and bad so those that have never experienced anime won’t find it too weird (and then slowly lead them into to giant robots fighting in space and aliens that can blow up planets with their fingers, let them in slowly though, don’t want to scare them away).

Rating: spear  spear spear spear

 

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