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Thread: Leadup to Kizuna Week 3- Lupin the 3rd Part 4

  1. #1

    Leadup to Kizuna Week 3- Lupin the 3rd Part 4

    This time we have something much more actiony and a bit newer.

    Lupin the 3rd Part 4!

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    Some fanservice, violence, etc. for this one.

    Lupin the 3rd Part 4 might mean a bit more (and have a few things) if you've seen prior Lupin, but it honestly isn't needed. If you're completely unfamiliar with Lupin this is a great place to start, so no worries on that.

    The entire show can be watched on the following officially:
    Subbed on Crunchyroll
    Dubbed on Funimation

    This one we will say is 'officially' one we will do for 2 weeks and it'll be the full 26 episode run, although Week 4 will get a movie or other short content for those who end up not interested in Lupin (or who just have the time.)

    For reasons of disclosure, I worked a bit on this show.

    Due to the way this specific series was produced, the sub and dub are different. It originally aired in Italy with an Italian soundtrack, and then later aired in Japan with a soundtrack by Lupin's normal composer. In addition, the episodes "Venice of the Dead" and Nonstop Rendezvous" didn't air on Japanese TV, but were included as bonus episodes on DVD/Blu-ray later. Those 2 episodes are included in the lineup on Crunchyroll, but at the end of the series.

    Lupin the 3rd Part 4 also feels like it's where we started to get some longer term cast consistency for the 'primary' type Lupin content, as it brings back the popular English cast from Lupin the 3rd Part 2 (dubbed over 15 years prior), who have continued to be the English cast in most dubbed Lupin content since then. The dub uses the Italian episode order and soundtrack.

    This is the Lupin series that was sort of a return to form for Lupin. After Part 3 Lupin stopped getting TV shows, got a handful of standard films, but was mostly just TV specials. After the spinoff "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine" series went for a slightly more mature and darker take (which still continues on through a series of films with different branding) it was decided to try doing another mainline Lupin TV series for the first time in 30 years, and it was not only very good, it was received insanely well.

    The show feels like it really lit a fire under a sort of Lupin renaissance that (at least to me) feels like it began a few years earlier with the special Blood Seal of the Eternal Mermaid. That renaissance has continued on with the 'darker' "Lupin the IIIrd" content that continued on from the Fujiko series, more TV specials, a recent 5th TV series (currently in the midst of it's run on Toonami, after Part 4 had a successful run awhile back), and even an upcoming and very nice looking CGI film in Japan.

    Lupin is fun, and while the most common comparison is probably something like James Bond, Lupin tends to be looser and more aimed at 'fun' in most cases.

    There are so many Digimon connections with Lupin Part 4 I had to skip over quite a few prominent ones just to keep it reasonably short.

    Daisuke Namikawa is the Japanese voice of Goemon in Lupin Part 4. Digimon fans will recognize him as Daigo in tri.

    As for English, just some of the more major characters in the show are all Digimon cast members... (and many of them played many more roles than listed, but chose to pick prominent ones to again keep it somewhat brief.)

    Doug Erholtz is Zenigata in Lupin. In Digimon he was Chuumon and MetalSeadramon in Adventure, TK in 02, Dinohumon in the Frontier movie, and Daigo in tri. (Both Daigos are in Lupin!)
    Jamieson Price plays Leonardo da Vinci in Lupin! in Digimon he also had many roles... including... Oikawa in 02, Janyu Wong in Tamers, Seraphimon in Frontier, Sampson in Data Squad, and later in tri. took over the role of Angemon and his higher forms.
    Lex Lang is Goemon in Lupin! (in fact, all the main Lupin gang minus one have prominent Digimon roles.) In Digimon he was WarGreymon in Adventure and 02 and Cyberdramon in Tamers, plus the Locomon in the 2nd Tamers movie.
    Michelle Ruff is Fujiko in Lupin. In Digimon she was Lopmon in Tamers, Zoe in Frontier, and Sparrowmon in Fusion.
    And Richard Epcar directed the dub and played Jigen. His Digimon roles included Etemon and Myotismon in Adventure, Mephistomon in the Tamers movie, Merukimon in Data Squad, and Tuwarmon in Fusion.

    I've embedded a Youtube clip of the opening to the series as a bit of a preview.

    Feel free to post as you wish in this thread. You can post as you are watching, episode by episode, when you finish. Whatever you want. Try and give it a couple days for later spoilers so people have time to try and view stuff without spoilers, while still interacting in the thread (especially if you decide to keep watching past the episode listed as the last one for the leadup.) If you watch one episode and it isn't for you, pop in to explain why. Have fun with it!

    A new show/movie will go up each Sunday night (or early on Monday), but feel free to keep talking about older shows in their threads, or even watching past the listed episode.

    If you want to chat in the Discord you can.

    Hopefully you enjoy. Feel free to make any suggestions or ask an questions regarding the threads or the shows also.

    Prior Leadups:
    Final Leadup to tri.- Gundam Unicorn (with index of tri. Leadup)
    Leadup to Kizuna Week 1- Gundam Build Fighters
    Week 2- Kimagure Orange Road
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  2. #2
    Ain't got no mojo... DaiTigris's Avatar
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    I just watched The Castle of Cagliostro a few weeks back, which is amazing piece (It's currently netflix). Since then I've kinda had an itch for more stories with these characters but wasn't sure where to start. I was also kinda hesitant as I do recall watching one of the earlier serials but was just put off by it for it's more Bond-ish elements. However since then I've also become more interested in the Phantom thief genre due to having more mystery focus than action and itís encouraged me to give the franchise another look at. So thanks for the recommendation Marc, I'll start here and see if I like this one.

    (Below the line are my impressions after watching the first episode, and which version I'd watch based mostly on VA performances. I generally do this to figure which one I'll watch all the way through of the two. There are no spoilers below and I will be vague about plot details)
    The animation and color choice for this episode is wonderful. It strikes a perfect balance between carefully picked pastel colors to reflect the current mood and rough edges for the lines in a way that doesn't conflict. It gives a charming feel to the world while simultaneously reminding the viewer of it's rough and tumble nature. The backgrounds are given the same treatment and the characters feel rather they are part of the environment around them. Even though some shots of a background are only there for a few seconds they are just nice to take in like a fresh breath of air. My only complaint here is that one character has some garish dyed streaks of color in their hair that just donít fit in with the color scheming despite being subdued.

    The animation while stiff at more serious moments will quickly give away to more expressive and dynamic moments particularly as action occurs. Lupin himself seems to get the most love in terms of his character having the most expressive range of animations. In many ways this helps the viewer to gravitate towards his character and form a fondness for him first and foremost. This isnít to say the characters around him donít have as much care in their expression, itís just Lupin steals the show with his expressions and itíll be what youíll most likely remember when you think back on the show.

    Story wise Iím glad to say this hit the mark and beyond. Right out of the gate this is a fun romp that has a questions it wants you to figure out. The characters are quickly presented and even with a vague understanding of who they are you are quickly acquainted with them and their personalities. With these kind of stories what gets me excited is figuring out the truth through the misdirection, before it is unveiled to me. For comparison while I loved Castle of Cagliostro but a lot of itís misdirection way too easy for me to detect. However this time I didnít catch it, and for a loss it was still fun ride which is fitting for the general theme and flow of Lupin the III. For those who feel easily cheated over small details being the crux of the story you might have difficulty with this one. In contrast if the twist was conquered out of thin air without any hint or set up previously that would make me feel cheated due to it circumventing any attempt to solve the mystery.

    The VA work is wonderful and each VA is oozing with their own over the top acting that snaps with every syllable uttered. None of the main cast voices feel too similar to each other and can easily be picked out if you pay attention.

    Opening credits wise the visuals for this whole sequence just pop transitioning through the cast visually and getting you hyped up for the show that is about to unfold before you.

    Music wise...is that sweet, sweet, Jazz I hear? Lively, moody, and or debonair? Youíve got it right here sir. Nothing more I can say other than itís a darn good score and fits the show like a glove.

    The opening credits feels strait out of an early 2000ís dub using mostly footage from the show with some effects thrown over them to make them look flashy.(This was most likely done to have to not redo all of the text for the original opening) After that they even go further to throw in character synopses for each of the main cast by their respective VA. Which is a shame cause the original version subbed did fine in letting the story progress and the characters speak for themselves.

    The VA work? Itís fine but a few characters seem to be concentrating so hard that they donít bother to fluctuate their tone at all. Also Iím not quite sure if the audio was properly balanced at some points as thereís moments when itís fine and others where it feels horribly out of balance when compared to other audio elements. All of these small bits added up make it personally rather grating on my end.

    Music wise thereís Jazz but it doesnít pop. It just feels like they pulled the music out of a generic audio library.

    Verdict and thoughts:

    Between the two the story/animation presented is same with no major alterations aside from the opening. That leaves the presentation and performance on behalf of the VAís as the deciding factor on which I want to watch.

    By a long shot itís the sub. The VAís pop in their performance and are a pleasure to listen to. Nothing against Funimations the Dub's choice of VAís but at the end of the day I donít feel satisfied listening to their performance. On top of that the poor sound mixing problems and lack luster music score leaves much to be desired from Funimations the dub.

    Coming off of The Castle of Cagliostro this was everything I was hoping to see in this show. It's intelligent and detail oriented but focused on having a fun romp all the way through. I can say it right here on episode 1, Iím hooked and ready to see more of this. Iíll try posting my thoughts on episode 2 tomorrow. Thanks again for the recommendation Marc!

    Edit: Just striking out some incorrect assumptions on my part, my bad.
    Last edited by DaiTigris; 08-21-2019 at 02:31 AM. Reason: Striking out some incorrect information

  3. #3
    A few small notes regarding the history of the show.

    Funimation did not dub the show, they just licensed it for streaming. I don't remember what studio it was dubbed at in Los Angeles, but the company that commissioned and was 'in charge' for it as far as I'm aware was TMS, the company that made the show.

    According to a tweet made by Discotek awhile back, the English dubbed release has to use the Italian BGM.

    I don't know any history for most of the Italian BGM audio, but there is a bit extra history for the intro...

    The Italian intro was apparently composed by an Italian rapper of some note, while the actual singer apparently does the Italian versions of many anime songs. It used a combination of show footage with overlays (as used in the English intro.)

    The Japanese intro came later, and used entirely new animation, along with a new version of the classic theme by longtime Lupin composer Yuji Ohno.

    The English intro uses a cut down version of the Italian video, along with a more standard BGM track for it's theme, and follows with narrated character details as you mentioned. This was seemingly done since Lupin has a history of not necessary being done consistently in English, and wanting anyone tuning in for the first time to have a better idea what was going on.

    At some point the Italian 'and' English versions switched to a different theme that people seem to like, but I don't remember the actual details of, but it uses mostly the same video...

    This one I like and find better than the BGM English song used originally.

    There's also various end theme song details, but I think I complicated the explanation with the opening enough for one post...

    Because Part 4 began things being done more consistent and clean, I believe everything since has dropped the character info narration, and any attempts at music changes. (The only thing that's been done differently in general is the darker spinoff 'The IIIrd' films, to keep some distance between them.) So the next series in English leaves the new version of the Lupin theme, which is what most people would prefer in almost any case.

    Many people seem to not like other Lupin stuff if they start with Cagliostro, because it's quite different than much of Lupin. I don't remember who I heard say it a long time ago... "Castle of Cagliostro is amazing, but Miyazaki was more interested in the gentleman than the thief."

    I would generally say Lupin Part 4 is the best place to start based on what is available to us (which is a lot), so I'm glad you've enjoyed it early on.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator TMS's Avatar
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    I did get this series (and Redline) finished within the appointed time, but I've had a busy work schedule this weekend, so I haven't been able to post my comments before now. As most people would expect, I watched the subbed version.

    I really, really liked this show! Lupin III is one of those things that I've always thought might be interesting, but there's so much of a backlog to it that I probably wouldn't have gotten around to watching it on my own initiative. This is the first Lupin III thing that I've watched (or read), and, yeah, it was easy to jump in at Part 4, especially with a supplemented glance at the franchise's Wikipedia overview. Thanks to pop culture osmosis, I already knew both Zenigata and Lupin himself by reputation, and the other main characters are pretty straightforward. The show is pretty much just fun all around. I can't point to a single episode of this series that bored me. Good action, good humor, and some good drama too in places. Some suspension of disbelief is naturally required, but the series as a whole is too much fun to pick at its plot logic.

    There was a lot of variety in it, too. Lupin, like any long-running franchise (James Bond and Batman come to mind), has seen a lot of different characterizations and narrative tones, and one thing I read on Wikipedia that I thought was interesting was that Part 4 is kind of a synthesis of the various styles of Lupin III that had gone before. Of anime I've previously watched, it reminded me most strongly of Watanabe Shinichiro's series Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop. There are the same roguish protagonists, and the same variation between episodes as far as tone, genre, and which of the main characters is in focus. I wasn't surprised to learn tonight that Watanabe was involved with the Mine Fujiko spinoff series, even if only as music producer.

    And now, as usual, I'd like to bore everyone by talking about literary connections. I wasn't expecting (and rightly so, as it turns out) for there to be many references to Maurice Leblanc's Arsene Lupin. The Japanese Lupin needs to be his own character first and foremost, and not just the grandson of another character (and consequently stuck in the original Lupin's shadow). So the anime's Lupin is more of a modern reimagining of Leblanc's character than his biological descendant. Any connections I noticed (so far I've read four of the Leblanc books: Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Thief; Arsene Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes; Arsene Lupin; and The Hollow Needle) thus depended on parallelism instead of outright references. Zenigata in particular reminds me of Leblanc's Ganimard - not brilliant, but competent (surprisingly so in Zenigata's case, considering his aforementioned reputation) - although Zenigata isn't as easily discouraged as we see Ganimard become in the course of the novels. Lupin's personality, while similar to his namesake's, does have a few notable differences. His modus operandi is more or less the same, using calling cards to warn people beforehand that he's coming for their treasures, although unlike the literary Lupin he maintains a standard look and name except for brief periods when disguise is required. His mannerisms aren't quite as polished either. He is, at least in this series, rather more likeable than his grandfather, in my opinion. Both of them have a childish streak, but Lupin III is never petulant, the way Leblanc's Lupin is in those rare instances when things don't go his way. Lupin III's plans seem to hit snags like that slightly more often too, which helps to humanize him.

    Now that I've been introduced to the franchise (and know that Crunchyroll has all five parts of the television show available for streaming), I'm eager to see more. It will be interesting to see if there are any overt references made to Lupin's namesake and his career, rare though I expect them to be. Maybe in Part 5, which, as the synopsis points out, takes place in Arsene Lupin's homeland. I expect that the upcoming movie, The First, is a safe bet for it, both because of the title and because the poster shows Lupin posing with a top hat and cane, items associated with the the original character's image in the popular consciousness. The Castle of Cagliostro is very reminiscent, title-wise, of Leblanc's novel The Countess of Cagliostro - though, funny enough, the movie's Wikipedia page compares it to two other Lupin stories instead.

    I know there are a lot of Lupin movies (and/or "specials," as My Anime List would have it), and I plan to watch some. Is it a case kind of like the Tenchi Muyo franchise, where as long as you know the main characters and premise it doesn't really matter what order you watch stuff in? That is to say, it's all loosely interconnected, rather than there being a strict timeline?
    Last edited by TMS; 09-02-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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