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Lupin III vs. Detective Conan – A Boring Combination

It’s been a while since I updated. Life has been very demanding. I haven’t even watched any summer anime *whines* >A<. Anyway, there are also some plans of this blog merging with nihonwatch, which is owned by my good friend Selphie. We’re having some problems with the maintenance and updating of that site, so for now I’m still stalled here :D.

I’ve recently watched that long-awaited special: Lupin III vs. Detective Conan. It was shown last March 27, 2009, but the subs were released just a few days/weeks ago. I had been waiting for it since it was announced. Even my longing for Kaito Kid was expected to be quenched.

After watching, I kind of feel rather disappointed :(. The waiting was not worth it, in my opinion.

The title is misleading since the special is not really about Conan trying to catch Lupin. Instead, they worked together. The special is supposedly an original story apart from both series (see more of that below). The setting, aside from Tokyo, was a small country called Vespania. The royal family was in despair because of the death of their Queen and Crown Prince in an shooting accident while they were hunting. The next one in line to the throne was young Princess Mira (CV: Horie Yui) who, aside from looking entirely like Ran, doesn’t want to succeed the throne for reasons I did not really understand.

Princess Mira crossed paths with Mouri Ran (CV: Yamazaki Wakana) when she went to Japan as a special guest to a hotel opening. Seizing the opportunity, she ran away, leaving Ran with the princess clothes (don’t ask how it happened -_-). Keith Stinger (CV: Midorikawa Hikaru), Mira’s bodyguard and assistant, persuaded Ran to act as the princess and come with them to Vespania while waiting for the princess’ return. Mouri (Kamiya Akira) and Conan (Takayama Minami) of course wouldn’t take that sitting down. They followed Ran to Vespania and found out about the hunting incident. Thus began a series of investigations to unravel the truth about the queen’s and prince’s deaths.

At the far side of the story, Lupin (Kurita Kanichi) had set his sights on the Queen’s crown, which is the symbol of the country’s royal family. Apparently, he had tried to steal it once before and failed and now he’s back again. With him was his trusty friend Jigen (Kobayashi Kiyoshi) and Mine Fujiko (Masuyama Eiko), who had been just a bother for the whole special. Goemon (Inoue Makino) was there, too, for about 30 seconds.

And so, Conan and Lupin met in Vespania. Surprisingly, Jigen helped Conan find out the truth about the incident which is dun dun dun…actually a murder! Lupin was most of the time in hiding or whining about Fujiko because Zenigata was in the castle and he cannot actually go exploring.

After some confusing scene-tossing and random running, random discoveries and stuff which are all Fujiko’s or Mira’s faults, the crown has been stolen and Lupin found himself trapped in a locked safe. Also, the murder is solved, the criminal has been arrested and the princess came back without anyone getting angry with her even though she’s such a brat. The end.

No, really. That is just what happened aside from some random stuff.

My summary made it seem like I hated the special. I didn’t. I actually enjoyed it. But after watching 200+ episodes of Conan (still around 300 to go for me, huh?), I was expecting a more action packed, Kaito Kid special-like plot from the special. It’s good and is a note-worthy crossover, yes, but some of the scenes in the special are just lame.

[SPOILERS ABOUND]

Pros:
1. Crossovers are a bitch when you try to do it in canon. Even CLAMP confuse me with their crossovers. Lupin III vs. Detective Conan managed to seamlessly make the characters meet, which is something to feel good about.

2. The character designs aren’t off, even though each series has a distinct style. Well, aside from the Queen, no one else looked weird.

3. Lupin’s recognition for Conan in the end was not strained. In fact, he could’ve known about Kudou Shinichi a long time ago and was merely confirming that Conan = Shinichi.

4. Goemon slashed a building. ‘Nuff said.

5. Fujiko strips in an elevator. I don’t know if it’s a good thing but I’m pretty used to Fujiko’s antics in Lupin III series, and I’m sure the guys loved it.

6. Zenigata’s short but precise deduction was funny and great XD;. Outwitting Lupin outright even though for a short time was amazing, especially since all he did at first was wander around and eat lunch.

7. They used all the original seiyuu from both series. Lupin and the gang sounded a little old, but that doesn’t matter because their voices hardly changed aside from that. I really appreciated it.

Cons:
1. The beginning was really boring. Had it not been for the gunshot, I would’ve slept my way to the credits. Also, pink-haired queen, cherry blossoms. I’m just amused.

2. I don’t know what the problem with the princess was. She didn’t want to succeed the throne. She didn’t want to be a princess. She wanted her dead brother to succeed the throne. She runs away by tricking a very daft girl into wearing her clothes. She trusted Fujiko and ran away with her. Then, she’s back in Vespania and asking people if they are angry at her. Suddenly, she announces that she wanted to be queen after leaning who the criminal was. Honestly, I did not understand her character at all. Sure, I get the hesitation and the sudden acceptance of the role of a queen but wow. Her people were rallying and she was locked up in her room, so I thought she was a bit of a coward who didn’t want to face the world. Then, she ran away to enjoy the Tokyo nightlife and depending her life on a probable kidnapper. Why?

3. Ran’s the most ignorant woman I’ve ever known. Who would exchange clothes with a stranger? She managed to karate chop a bodyguard but she can’t catch the princess. And there was her whole-hearted willingness to be the princess without even knowing if the real princess would be back. I know she’s kind and all, but…that was too extreme, I think. Also, what’s with all her looks-alike? Didn’t Kaito’s girlfriend also look like Ran? Wow.

4. Fujiko’s more annoying than ever. Just.

5. Goemon did not have enough screentime. Why?

6. I didn’t get the ore thing. Lupin explained it to Jigen somewhere near the beginning because they were trying to steal it and almost got killed. But when Lupin came up with his “invention” with the ore, I didn’t understand how it’s going to be used. What’s more, he used it and I didn’t know why it worked o_o. It prevented an explosion. How?

7. The whole Mouri-Lupin thing was interesting and totally not expected, but Lupin talked too much that I got lost in the middle of his “deduction” thing.

8. Lupin never managed to show his l33t thieving skills because one scene he’s in the room and the next scene he was locked in the safe. I was expecting more action just like other Lupin III episodes but no, Lupin played a stupid on thieving and became Mouri’s replacement instead. Jigen also didn’t manage to show off his guns or something. It’s a good thing Goemon sliced the building or I’m going to be really annoyed at Fujiko.

9. Fujiko-related twist at the end nearly killed me. It was well, as to be expected of Conan and Lupin III but… Just. I don’t know I just went >A< at it. XD

10. Conan, like Lupin, also didn’t do anything worth mentioning at all. He saw stuff. Jigen saw him looking at stuff. Then the mystery is solved. Honestly, I like the roundabout way Conan does when investigating: asking the police and trapping them with questions, studying objects and hinting towards clues. I usually had an idea about what he’s thinking. But this time, he’s all run here, run there, case solved. Then Lupin pitches in with his own theory about things and it gets confusing.

11. Poor Mouri. He even tagged along with Zenigata because he was worried about Ran. I wanted him to have more of the spotlight, at least to show that his efforts for his stupid daughter had paid off. No chances of that since he was sleeping in the toilet >.>.

Most of my CONS are based on my own quirks. If I watched it without being biased against Fujiko/Mira, I would have less complaints. But it cannot be denied that there are certain action-packed and suspense elements missing in the special. It could have been better, I must say.

Just a last note: In the end, there was a flashback of the reason why Lupin was not able to steal the crown for the first time. I thought the queen looked like the princess in Castle of Cagliostro, just with pink hair O_O. It had me wondering for a while.

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  1. ArkNorth
    September 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    You hit the nail on the head there kiddo – Lupin needed more action, and Conan needed a better mystery.

    As for your complaint about what the stone was about – I think they forgot to mention something when Lupin was describing it, and they showed an F117 Stelth Fighter – Was he was referring to was the fact that the Stelthy has a secret material in its body that absorbs radar energy, hence the rock. I believe at the end, it was supposed to be absorbing the radio signal from the bomb’s detonator switch (which in reality, it wouldn’t be able to do – sorry Lupin – physics and all that).

    As for our pink-haired mum, yes, there actually are many Cagliostro references in this special. The first being Jigen and Lupin being chased by the army (the opening sequence in Cagliostro as they are running for their car), the CAR they are running to (yet another Fiat 500 – he must have a pocket full of those little things), and of course the bad-guy Uncle looks a bit like the the bad guy Count from that film. Then there’s the nod to the old series opening, when Lupin breaks the old forth wall and telegraphs the old Fujiko Spring-Loaded Lupin Punch as he tries to get into her bed (they did it better in FLCL).

    Ah well – it was… interesting. I do believe my Lupin-crazed nephew would probably cry out about blasfemy though if he ever saw it. Ah well.

    A-N

  2. September 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for the additional input and for your comment, ArkNorth!

    I believed that the ore was something special since Lupin and Jigen spent half of their lives getting it and processing it into something usable, but yeah, the explanation on what exactly is it and what kind of magic will it do to the whole movie is lacking. The way it was used was a bit anticlimactic too :(. I appreciate your explanation on it.

    I don’t remember much of Castle of Cagliostro aside from the princess. I guess I need to rewatch it to catch the references! That’s cool, though, they managed to insert references here and there without disturbing the story (not that it wasn’t disturbed enough :P).

    Aw, too bad for your nephew. Maybe you can tell him to not take it seriously and just enjoy the special?

  3. October 3, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    i watch this @ http://www.janime.tv… 5-6 parts I think

  4. Mikal
    December 2, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I have a good question . . . during the end credits, Keith says “It’s the king’s orders. We can’t disobey it” when asked if it’s ok that they decieved Zenigata . . .who’s the king? was Lupin given that title by the old queen by some decree or something?

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