It’s kind of nice to see more anime movies appearing in legal capacities recently. Either through streaming services, virtual theaters, or even just put on youtube for a while. Seeing films appear on Netflix is good for instance. It is also nice to see anime studios putting shows on youtube legally as well. Take the Gundaminfo youtube channel for instance. They are putting up Gundam films for a limited amount of time which at least allows people to see them more opening. Doing stuff like that does more good then it does harm. You know, besides telling the audience those could have always been up. Movies appearing on youtube is also how I got to watch this one legally. TMS put it up for fans to see for a weekend and it was a blast. I’m sad that it only appeared for a limited amount of time, but it’s nice to know that it was available in the first place. That’s a nice start if anything else. Then again, this is available on Blu-ray so yeah. Whatever, it’s more Lupin material to watch.
You guys who watch Lupin know how Lupin shows usually work right? Lupin and his gang performing massive crimes in interesting and cartoony ways? Anyway, Lupin the Third: Goodbye Partner starts off by breaking the routine of Lupin dynamics in multiple ways. Yes, there is a classic Lupin heist scene with he, Jigen, and Goemon robbing a fancy office building for reasons that aren’t explained to us. Do we really need a reason on why Lupin robs things? Zenigata follows and inadvertently causes more chaos during the crime itself. All of which eventually allows Lupin and his gang to escape after being apart of a seemingly harrowing situation. Immediately after the heist, Zenigata is arrested for conspiracy theories in helping Lupin which is completely ridiculous considering his intentions. But, I can see it.
At the same time, Jigen starts seperating himself from the silence samurai, Goemon and his best friend and gang leader, Lupin. In a very seemingly unrelated note, a girl is kidnapped a week or so before she can take part in the Chopin piano competition. She’s taken to a place that is controlled by multi billionaire Roy Forest whose pockets are vast and reach is nearly infinite in terms of media and government control. Right next to the place she’s held, which she is placed in a very Chopin forward area, is a scientist working on his AI Waifu to help Roy control the world. This is where we learn that the building Lupin was robbing was also a part of Roy Forest’s vast empire of whatever he felt like buying. Plus, he’s dating Fujiko. Of course, he is. Fujiko is always after money and Roy is money. Very on character for that fem fatale.
I think all of this setting up kind of tells you how ridiculous this special could go. I mean, there are all these random parts that do and don’t believe to each other, right? Surely that’s enough to give a plot to a movie lengthed thing. Oh no, this special keep going in ways you wouldn’t expect it to. For now, let’s stick to the normal portion. The first half is the far more normal story where Roy urges Lupin the Third to kidnap the crystal he needs through his news organization by egging him on. Do you think this special is a little on the nose yet? I think so but I think it works because it’s done in a very goofy Lupin way. Lupin even calls into the news organization instantly to respond. The crystal in question is the Time Crystal and Lupin knows exactly where it is. This time, as I’ve said before, Jigen goes rogue with a new weapon.
This portion of the film is focused on Jigen in ways you wouldn’t expect. He’s not only hired by Roy Forest to stop Jigen after he got the time crystal, he also plays the double agent while his daughter is held captive. This is how those seemingly not related things come together. The usual Jigen we know from Lupin isn’t a fan of women, but the newer series has calmed him down a lot and this special gives a softer and more up to date Jigen who actually had a relationship with a woman before. Even if he did give up on his marriage to do crime across the world. He did run away from having a normal life, but that didn’t stop him from going out of the way to save his wife or daughter when the time came. It did.
Lupin is still Lupin though. With Jigen supposedly playing double agent, Lupin does his best to play to take the time crystal in unexpected ways. The opening said something about Lupin and Zenigata’s supposedly relationship that were untrue for the most part, right? What if the two worked together again to take down a rich billionaire again. I mean, that is something the two have done before in different Lupin stories for their own self-interest. I’m not sure Zenigata has much stake in this situation but that’s just how it is I suppose. I’m glad Lupin found a way around all of the plots to save the day. Of course, there was still something at play that everyone ignored. The AI.
One major thing that completely through the plot a little too far, arguably, was the AI receiving the time crystal. All hell broke loose in the first half, but an all new hell emerged underneath the first hell to create even more chaos. This is an AI that is attached to all of Roy Forest’s infinite resources and she causes havoc across the planet by manufacturing an infinite number of drones to fight the US government and save herself from Lupin’s schemes of trying to take her life away. Fair. The Chopin pianos are tied to shutting her down, which the girl and Fujiko whose been a victim of Roy Forest as well play different types of piano sounds to try and calm down the AI in question while the other members just try to survive until the AI is stopped.
If there is a problem with this special, it’s that there is a little too much going on for its own good. I don’t mind crazy Lupin stories. If anything, the Lupin characters are great people that give you a massive, blank canvas for any creator to do whatever they want with them in terms of story and drama. Chaos in Lupin the Third? It’s going to happen no matter what. The problem here is that I feel like this special loses all the meaning it developed in the first half once it went off the rails. The weight of the story with Roy Forest as an antagonist is pushed aside to talk about life and whether the life of an artificial intelligence is valid or not after making a very on the nose commentary on capitalism. That’s my only major complaint really besides some visual aspects. It’s still a great time and is endlessly innovative.
Lupin the Third: Goodbye Partner is a mostly great looking special. Yes, mostly. They have the updated Lupin character designs from the fourth and fifth parts of the franchise with better visuals even from those good-looking series. The special has all sorts of evocative locations with a very functional directional style which allows all traits of the story to work. There is a lot of work in making the backgrounds belong with each other and making this special feel big by having Lupin and his gang travel to many locations across the world. Lupin is a very world traveling series after all. The CG for some of the mechanical devices didn’t bother me at all because they are almost seamlessly blended into the traditional animation. The major thing that gets me, which is a massive nitpick, is the horrible CG used for the hands of the girl and Fujko playing the piano. That’s something that drops me out of the show.
Lupin the Third: Goodbye Partner is a fun time. A very Good watch if I say so myself. It has everything a Lupin story needs from its themes to the insistant chaos of it all. If anything, it might be a little too much of an all of Lupin kind of series in 90 minutes because of how screwy it can get. That and my complaint about CG hands are what hold back this special from being a solid for me. If you know a little bit about Lupin, then this special is for you to watch it when you get the change. It’s not on youtube anymore, but there is a physical release for it. If you haven’t seen anything Lupin before, maybe I point you in the direction of Lupin Part 4 and Part 5 as good starters before jumping into this special and the rest of the long sprawling Lupin the Third franchise.
Thanks for following this blog for 1000 posts, everyone! I couldn’t think of a special way to celebrate this huge thing, so I’m just going to write it right here. On a Lupin post of all things. Lupin posts usually don’t perform as well as other posts on this blog, but I really like writing about Lupin because it’s such a fun franchise that that can do whatever it wants to do.
Anyway, these first 1000 posts have been a journey because it took me a while to figure out what and how to write it on here. When the next big thing happens in January, I plan on actually doing something special. For now, I hope to reach another 1000 posts. It’s a little harder now because I am doing school things. Studying English at the moment. But, I really like blogging and I plan on continuing to do it.