Anime Film Review: Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie

Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie is a crossover film for both the Lupin III franchise and the Detective Conan (aka Case Closed) franchise that was released in Japanese theaters in 2013.

Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie
Directed by: Hajime Kamegaki
Written by: Atsushi MaekawaStarring: Kappei Yamaguchi, Kanichi Kurita, Minami Takayama, Wakana Yamazaki, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Rikiya Koyama, Daisuke Namikawa, Miyuki Sawashiro, Koichi Yamadera, Megumi Hayashibara, Yukiko Iwai, Ikue Otani, Wataru Takagi, Naoko Matsui, Kenichi Ogata, Iemasa Kayumi, Kazuhiko Inoue, Atsuko Yuya, Unsho Ishizuka, Rie Tanaka, Yu Sugimoto, Hikaru Midorikawa, Miyu Irino, Tetsuo Kanao, Natsuna, Seiyo Uchino, Joji Yanami, and Chafurin

The film opens with Kaito Kid going after a famous diamond… except for the fact that it’s not really Kaito Kid. We see the real Kaito Kid among the spectators watching the events unfolding. It turns out that the Kaito Kid we see committing the crime is actually Lupin III in disguise. This really trips up the police when “Kaito Kid” doesn’t act the way they expect. Conan pursues after “Kaito Kid” and discovers it’s really Lupin when Goemon uses his sword to slice Conan’s skateboard in two.

It turns out that Fujiko Mine, Lupin’s love interest, is being held hostage with an explosive collar around her neck. If Lupin doesn’t do what the kidnapper demands, then the collar will detonate. It turns out this heist was just a test of Lupin’s abilities. The kidnapper, who goes by the name of Alan Smithee, wants Lupin to go after the jewel that Alan really wants: the Cherry Sapphire.

The Tokyo Police consult with Lupin’s nemesis, Inspector Zenigata, because they are confused by Lupin’s actions. They determine that he’s going to go after the Cherry Sapphire, and Zenigata, Officer Sato, and Detective Takagi try to guard the jewel. Unfortunately, Lupin manages to disguise himself as Takagi and successfully steal the gem. It was kind of funny to see Sato eagerly volunteer for the assignment of arresting Lupin, and it became even more so when she admitted that Lupin III had been her first crush. Amazingly, this didn’t faze Zenigata one bit. Fortunately, Lupin is able to rescue Fujiko by giving Alan Smithee the Cherry Sapphire.

Meanwhile, a famous young Italian pop singer named Emilio Baretti is coming to Japan for a concert tour. In the news coverage, Conan notices that Daisuke Jigen is among the singer’s entourage. Sonoko arranges for a pre-concert meeting with Emilio and drags Ran along with her. Kogoro goes as an adult chaperone, and Conan also tags along in the hopes of locating Jigen. They find that Inspector Megure and the police are at Emilio’s suite. In the suite are Emilio, his manager, Claudia Belucci, and his producer, Luciano Carnevale. The police are there because of a threatening letter: if Emilio doesn’t cancel his concert, he will be killed. Carnevale insists that the show must go on. Ran and Sonoko leave, but Conan stays behind to look for Jigen.

Ran and Sonoko get a surprise when Emilio joins them for a tour of the Tokyo Skytree. But when he gets there, he goes up to a high rampant in a desperate attempt to cancel the concert. Ran scolds Emilio, thinking he’s going to commit suicide. A wind blast nearly blows both of them off the tower, but they are saved by the combined efforts of Conan, Jigen, and Sonoko. After this event, Emilio admits that Luciano uses his concerts as a cover to conduct illegal dealings.

This is the point where everything comes together. It turns out that Jigen and Goemon were the middlemen that arranged the deal between Luciano and Alan Smithee. Lupin has been hired by the Vespanian government to retrieve a rare piece of ore stolen by Luciano. At the climax of the film, Alan uses his heavily armed reinforcements to try to escape and takes Conan as a hostage. It’s up to Lupin to rescue Conan and bring an end to this situation.

It has been said that this film is a follow-up to Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Special. While there are references made to the special in this film, it’s not entirely necessary to watch the special before seeing the film. For most of the references, there is usually a quick explanation given for them. However, I would recommend watching the special to get a fuller understanding of the references.

Since I had watched the special before the film, I already had a good idea of what to expect from this crossover. I loved how the “papa” gag between Jigen and Conan returned for the film, and it didn’t feel forced or overused. I was also happy to see that Kaito Kid managed to make a brief appearance in the film as well. Too bad there isn’t some kind of crossover out there between Lupin III and Kaito Kid, because that could be interesting.

The animation quality was a little higher than it was for the television special. However, since Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie was a theatrical release, it’s not surprising that the studio wanted the best quality animation they could get for the release. This is especially true because this film was made to commemorate several entities’ anniversaries. I can’t remember them all, but I remember there was a small list at the beginning of the film.

Like the special, the film also has a different tone when compared to films in the Case Closed franchise. Because of the inclusion of the Lupin III characters, there are chances for more “mature” (for lack of a better term) scenes. Overall, I don’t think there was as much of that in the film when compared to the television special, but the interplay between Lupin and Fujiko is something you wouldn’t see in a regular Case Closed film.

I think that the crossover between these two properties worked just as well in the film as it did in the television special. The idea of crossing these two properties together is an interesting one, and I’m glad to see that the execution of the crossover was done in a way that felt realistic and not forced.

If you’re a fan of either Lupin III or Case Closed, I would recommend that you watch both Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Special and Lupin III vs. Detective Conan The Movie. I think that fans of both of these properties will find something they can enjoy in these releases.

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