Happy Chinese New Year! Pioneer Films brings us Lupin III:
The First as the first anime film to be shown in the Philippine theatres this 2020. This is not your ordinary anime film because it’s in full 3DCG (3D Computer Graphics). For a classic series, would this be worth to see on the big screen?83523573_811963059276770_6709756664687362048_o

Let’s start this with a brief introduction for this slick and sly gentleman thief: Arsène Lupin III is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the late Monkey Punch (died April 11, 2019 due to pneumonia). Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin, is a famous master thief of Maurice Leblanc’s series of novels. The series debuted way back August 10, 1967 in Weekly Manga Action.Lupin00

The Technicalities

If you have seen its trailer when it was announced that the series would get a movie, it’s basically a “What you see is what you get” kind of trailer. Everything was smooth– the movements, details, action scenes and other visual aspects were all fluid! I enjoyed every bit of it, from the expressions up to the good old slapstick comedy Lupin III gave us ever since. As I would say, it’s like being a kid all over again while watching classic Lupin III in full 4k resolution. 

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One of the simple yet fun moments were each character’s details in full 3D. We could see the details like Jigen’s signature cigarette, Goemon’s epic slashes, Fujiko’s sexy teases, and Inspector Zenigata’s raised shoulders as he screams out his lungs calling Lupin while he chases him.  

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As for the soundtrack, the jazzy tune of his theme brings me back to when I was watching the dubbed local series. The music itself during chase scenes and action scenes were a trip down memory lane.

The Plot

The movie brings back Lupin III, Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko, and Inspector Zenigata in their usual cat and mouse chase, but this time it’s mixed with adventure and fantasy. Lupin III teams up with a girl named Laetitia who happens to be an archaeologist, to steal the so-called Bresson Diary. This leads them to a rollercoaster ride of adventure as the diary is linked to the legacy of his great grandfather Arsène Lupin.Lupin07

Seeing everyone again with their usual antics was fun to see and reminisce as you watch them in your seat. The movie is a mix of Lupin III’s actions and Indiana Jones adventure due to the treasure hunt, mysteries and puzzles Lupin and the gang solved involving the diary.

Overall Verdict

You do not need to be a Lupin III geek to watch this movie. This is a stand-alone storyline that can be enjoyed by anyone– you don’t really need to rewatch the whole series. Just knowing who he is, and a bit of recollection of you’d known him already from your childhood are enough. As Zachary (my ACPH co-staff) would say during the first 20 minutes of the film, it’s like watching a 3D western cartoon action movie.  Lupin08Lupin09

The fluidity of the animation would be on par with Pixars and Dreamworks animations. As expected from Takahashi Yamazaki, who was also the director of “Stand by Me Doraemon” has pulled rebooting Lupin III in full 3D CG very well. 

If only Monkey Punch would see the movie in full 3D CG on the big screen, he would have been proud and smile as his masterpiece gets a successful reboot and how far it has reached.

 

Catch Lupin III – The First in the following PH cinemas starting this 29th of January, 2020:

SM AURA
SM BACOLOD
SM BAGUIO
SM BATANGAS
SM BF PARAÑAQUE
SM BICUTAN
SM CABANATUAN
SM CABANATUAN MEGA CENTER
SM CAGAYAN DE ORO
SM CALAMBA
SM CAUAYAN
SM DAVAO
SM DAVAO LANANG
SM GENERAL SANTOS
SM ILOILO
SM LEGAZPI
SM LIPA
SM MANILA
SM MASINAG
SM MEGAMALL
SM MOLINO
SM NAGA
SM OLONGAPO CENTRAL
SM ORMOC
SM PAMPANGA CLARK
SM PUERTO PRINCESA
SM ROSALES
SM SAN JOSE DEL MONTE
SM SAN MATEO
SM SAN PABLO
SM SANGANDAAN
SM STA. ROSA
SM SUCAT
SM TARLAC
SM TELABASTAGAN
SM TRECE MARTIRES
SM VALENZUELA

 

SetsuAni would like to thank Pioneer Films and Anime Movies Philippines for the opportunity and invitation to be one of the first to watch Lupin III – The First here in the Philippines through the fan-screening held in SM Cinemas Megamall in Mandaluyong City on the 25th of January 2020.

-Franz Rivera