Thursday, May 20, 2010
LUPIN III: ISLAND OF ASSASSINS (1997)
Originally known as IN MEMORY OF THE WALTHER P-38 when first aired in Japan, this is the tenth of the made-foe television LUPIN III specials and is of a markedly different and dark tone than the rest of the lot thanks to its uncharacteristically graphic violence. The LUPIN III series are usually quite light-hearted romps, but this time around, Lupin and his associates are drawn into the world of an international cadre of assassins culled from the cream of the world's murderous crop, and this story is very intriguing for those used to the more breezy Lupin entries, simply so they can see how Lupin's universe is transformed with bloody depictions of poisonings, shooting, stabbings, and an up close and personal throat-slashing, none of which sits at all well with Lupin himself, a man who is by no means a killer. What goes on over the course of this story is stuff that Lupin's gunman buddy Jigen and their crew's master swordsman, Goemon, could handle without blinking an eye, but Lupin's definitely more of a lover and rascal than a fighter, as is made evident through his own approach to combat, which is basically to physically not be where blows, bullets or sharp implements of murder would come into contact with his person. But why do the assassins seek to lure Lupin to their hidden island in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle? What is the island's great secret? And why is Lupin so keen on obtaining the striking silver Walther P-38 pistol used to shoot (and presumably kill) his longtime pursuer and nemesis, Inspector Zenigata? I ain't tellin', so don't ask, but I definitely recommend this to all interested anime junkies.