Anime: Lupin the 3rd: The Columbus Files

Chimaera

The Lupin series is a long running anime and manga series, and it is fairly understandable why after watching this movie. As the Columbus Files movie opens, noted thief Lupin the 3rd is doing his best to seduce on-again/off-again partner Fujiko, but it appears she has other plans. Fujiko’s after the Columbus Egg, but before she can get too far into her plans, the pair find themselves squared off against Nazalloff. Because Nazalloff is a most annoying villain and intends to use the egg for evil purposes, Fujiko reveals to Lupin that she has memorized the files she collected and then promptly destroys them. In a fit of bad timing she also manages to get caught in the mess and loses her memory. This kicks off a rather prolonged game during the movie of Fujiko-ball as she is promptly bounced back and forth between Lupin’s crew and Nazalloff in a series of rescues and re-kidnappings. Additionally, a treasure hunter named Rosaria who’s “in it for the money” (or so she claims at first) gets into the fray when she finds Fujiko.

Once it appears Fujiko is going to stay with Lupin, his gang and Rosaria (she joins up temporarily because the alternative is clearly worse) for more than five minutes, we finally get into why the egg is “all that and then some”. Apart from being the key to untold riches, this wonder egg apparently controls the weather, help cures cancer, and the list probably would go on if the writers thought they could get away with it – but there is nothing remarkable that this egg cannot do. There are smaller subplots, but not very interesting ones.

Through the movie they’re followed around by an inept inspector (Zenigata) who could very easily be an Inspector Clouseau type figure – although in this film there isn’t enough to go on to make that call with absolute certainty, the hints are there.

The crew does pretty well looking for the egg based on very thin flashes of Fujiko’s memory, and although she spends 90% of the movie as a passive creature, she is much more entertaining once she gets her memory back.

Technical/Extras
Not elegant and definitely a low budget feel, but not atrocious either, the colors are vivid and sharp.

Rating: 6

Entertainment
The hero is crass, not suave, the action is slapstick, not sleek and stylish, and while the plot is simplistic, some of the gags are repeated far too often (the disguise trick is far too overused), it doesn’t fail to entertain but doesn’t entirely hold my attention, either. The fun part about Lupin the 3rd is that there are no real “good guys”. There are just various degrees of “bad guys”. Almost everyone involved is a thief, a shady treasure hunter, conspiring with one of these elements, or just an outright villain.

Rating: 7

Overall

Part James Bond parody mixed with a dash of Pink Panther and a series of wholly forgettable detective movies, Lupin the 3rd: The Columbus Files is a silly, cheesy, adventurous romp that merits a look for the casual fan; devotees to the series will probably love it.

Rating: 7

Features: History Book: Who Was Columbus, Character Profiles, Photo Album, Mr. Stain on Junk Alley, Trailers: Fullmetal Alchemist, Burst Angel, Case Closed, Dragon Ball, Baki the Grappler, Dragon Ball Z

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