As we come close to the end of the year, I want to touch upon the Lupin III franchise again, this time covering something actually good. The theatrical anime, Dead or Alive, is hardly the greatest Lupin adventure, but it's certainly one of the better ones, especially compared to the last one I reviewed, Farewell to Nostradamus. Monkey Punch himself directed this one! Well, kind of. He mostly just worked on the opening sequence and probably consulted through the rest of it, leaving the bulk of the work to the Chief Director, Hiroyujki Yano, and the rest. But it certainly has that somewhat darker, sharper Monkey Punch Lupin touch to it.
Episode 06, "The Imperial City Dreams of Thieves (Part 6)"
Synopsis: Lupin is still pursuing the mystery of the Mongolian clock as several parties converge to decipher its secrets and try to control its power. Ruriko and Sarantuya are kidnapped by the nefarious Daidoji and Goemon looks to get them back, but will Lupin get to them first and solve the riddle of the clock? And what is the nature of the Showa Era Japan that Lupin finds himself in? It's a race against the clock as Lupin reveals not everything is as it seems!
Ah, Samurai Champloo, Shinchiro Watanabe's OTHER mash up of a genre (this time, samurai period piece) and a music type (hiphop). It lives in the shadow of Cowboy Bebop, but what doesn't? It's still a pretty solid show with colorful characters and great action. It doesn't need to surpass Bebop to be good.
Episode 04, "The Killers in the Diner"
Synopsis: Two mysterious strangers walk into the White Elephant diner, a place that has become occupied by waiting hired guns. They come there as the others, looking for a man that everyone intends to kill. Which one of these scheming assassins will go home with the prize? It's anything but a movable feast when these killers let loose!
Episode 03, "Adventure Along the (Bogus) Transcontinental Railroad"
Synopsis: Lord Marquess, eccentric millionaire, posesses both a large play train that encircles his property of realistic world environments and the first ticket ever distributed in England. Disguised as the South Ahud Republic's President Arackney, Lupin looks to fool the old train fan while Fujiko infiltrates his property. However, Marquess' butler Morton has his own designs on the ticket and Zenigata's interference even further complicates matters. Can Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon avoid being arrested and save Fujiko from a gruesome fate? All aboard this fun little caper that has more detectives than sense!
What is the appeal of the furry aesthetic? I watch this Mamoru Hosoda film, The Boy and the Beast, a light and fluffy, but emotionally resonant isekai adventure, and wonder. Is there something I'm missing here? I grew up watching anthropomorphic characters, but I never really got into some kind of hardcore fandom or sexual kink for them. Furries and fursonas, they're not as taboo as they used to be, but I still don't quite "get" it. Can I come to some kind of understanding? I hope so, or this video was pointless!
Episode 02, "Detective and Crook"
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is not amused by the antics of Lupin III in London! While Lupin looks to uncover the mystery of the movie poster and its connection to the Raven organization, law enforcement investigates him. But Holmes takes it upon himself to narrow down where the Lupin gang's hideout is and confronts every member of them as they scramble to stop him. It's a confrontation between the greatest thief and the legendary detective!
Ruin Explorers is not a great anime. There wasn't a whole lot to say about it, either, so it's not one of those "so bad it's good" or "so bad it's interestingly bad" kind of anime, it's just a generic fantasy OVA that was thankfully, mercifully, short. The so-called main characters don't even end up being that important in the long run, they're just there to help the real hero get to where he needs to go. But these bland fantasy anime are a dime a dozen, anime is rife with this stuff, and I might as well cover at least one of them to represent titles like it.
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