Rupan III: The Fuma Conspiracy
Ah, there's nothing quite like a good Rupan III flick (or Lupin III, if you prefer). These things are so much fun, they should be used for therapy.
The plot was fairly straightforward, without any major twists and turns. Goemon has decided to settle down and get married. However, during the wedding a group of ninjas show up attempting to steal a sacred vase. Naturally, Rupan and Co. attempt to thwart them, but this backfires when they kidnap Goemon's fiancée, Murasaki. Now it's up to them to rescue her and uncover the secret behind the kidnappers. A rather strong Indiana Jones feel seemed to permeate most of the movie. You know the style: lost treasure, mysterious caverns, and lots of traps. Things progress in a logical and somewhat predictable manner, but it really doesn't matter in this case. I doubt anyone would watch this movie for its intellectual content.
Be prepared to leave your sense of disbelief behind when you start watching. The action is completely off-the-wall, with exciting car chases, death-defying stunts, and some really nifty sword-fights. The excitement level runs pretty high, especially during the car chase with Rupan and Inspector Zenigata.
The whole Rupan gang shows up here: Jigen, Fujiko, Goemon, Inspector Zenigata, and the master thief himself, Rupan. They're simply loads of fun, whether listening to Rupan's witty banter, or watching Murasaki and Goemon's relationship. The baddies are a little one-dimensional, but the focus is mainly on the good guys.
Visually, things were pretty good. The background art was nice and detailed, and conveyed the various settings rather nicely. The character art was a bit plain, but the animation was quite smooth. The visuals weren't overly spectacular, but certainly didn't hinder my enjoyment.
Basically, watch this movie if you want a really good time. It's exciting, fun, and thoroughly entertaining.
The Verdict: * * * * (good)
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