robotech_master: (unicorn-dancer)
I've been watching a number of Lupin III TV specials and episodes lately. And you know, it's really interesting how formulaic the series has become, especially the yearly TV special movies. They're usually not bad, but the formula means that what makes them worth watching is not the ground they cover but how stylishly they cover it. Even Castle of Cagliostro uses most of the same formulaic elements.

Here's what that formula looks like to me. This may constitute vague spoilers for, well, all the Lupin movies, but nothing specific.

My rendering of the Lupin III formula. )

There are other formulaic elements that I've no doubt forgotten, but those are the essentials.

But the thing is, despite the formula, the Lupin III shows are by and large ripping good films. And since they're so formulaic, they can get by without relying excessively on backstory that could confuse new viewers; someone who's never seen a Lupin III film can pick up any one of them and start watching it and not have any problems following along.

Thanks to Funimation and fansubs, I have a decent portion of the extant Lupin III animated stuff. All I really lack are some of the early movies (Mystery of Mamo, Gold of Babylon, Plot of the Fuma Clan) and a couple of the OAVs (Napoleon's Dictionary, Seven Days' Rhapsody). And, of course, the entire second and third TV series, but those are not exactly easily obtained at this point in my finances.

What I would really like to see would be a Lupin III TV series that was one continuous story, rather than the half-hour picaresque tales of the prior Lupin series. Wonder if that will ever happen.
robotech_master: (kimkitty)
Well, I received my copy of the much-awaited Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro special-edition movie (or "Lupin the III" if you believe the cover) yesterday; looked it over and was more or less satisfied with it—it had a decent amount of extras and a very nice anamorphic transfer. And then someone asked a question about how the title card had been treated in the opening credits. I hadn't watched those yet, so I went back to the disc and loaded it up, prepared to watch the beautiful, dream-like opening credit sequence, one of my favorite parts of the movie, in anamorphic quality for the first time ever.

And then I watched in ever-growing horror as it became clear that I wasn't going to see that sequence after all. Manga Video replaced the animation, which was overlaid with the Japanese credits for director, producer, etc., with a series of clean stills from that sequence with English-language credits superimposed over them.

I'm left puzzled by why they felt the need to do this. Their old, non-anamorphic version keeps the original credits and just rolls English credits at the end. For that matter, the new DVD also rolls the English credits at the end. Why, then, mangle the movie like that?

Sigh. Anyway, I've updated my Cagliostro fan commentary track to take note of these new changes, and a couple other little things I discovered. For Windows computers, I advise using the ShareCrow player to watch it in sync with a DVD.

EDIT: If anyone does want to purchase either one or both of the Cagliostro DVDs, now's the time to do it—RightStuf is running a sale on all Manga Video titles until August 27; use the coupon code supernatural to reduce the old Cagliostro to $11.99 and the new Spec-Ed to $14.99.

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