Lupin the Third - Green Vs Red DVD Review
Lupin the Third: Green Versus Red is
an unusual entry in the
long-running Lupin franchise. The film
continues in the tradition of other Lupin entries in being a film
world-famous Lupin, who is considered a master thief with style that
apart from the rest. Of course, Lupin doesn't really steel for money,
but as a
"art" as he deals with messing with royalty that over-extends their
riches and he stops dastardly plans from evil-doers all the time. But
he has disappeared
from the world within the frame-work of this Green Versus Red storyline
and it becomes apparent that he's being imitated by countless criminals
the entire globe. As everything begins to unfold, the question is: Who
is the "real"
Lupin and can everyone stop imitating him? So to speak.
title of this OVA is mainly used
as a reference to the fact that there have been different
"incarnations" of Lupin within the series and films over the years.
One version of the Lupin character is known to wear a green jacket
other wears a red one. In this storyline, countless "Lupin"
characters appear in both green and red jackets. There were distinct
notable differences between the two incarnations of the character. This
film plays abundantly with that concept, even if it doesn't fully know
do with the characters.
green jacket Lupin (which
heralded from famed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, who directed several of
episodes in the first two seasons and the feature-length masterpiece
know as The
Castle of Cagliostro) was a free-spirited, chivalrous, charming,
player (if also a troublemaker). The
Miyazaki "green-jacket" Lupin was lovable and charming in spades.
red jacket Lupin, which
appeared in the anime following the departure of Miyazaki's involvement
the series and films, was a bit more intense as a character at times,
not as lovable or enjoyable for a true "Green Jacket" Lupin fan, such
as myself. Although I suppose it's open to debate amongst die-hard
I have always found preference for the Green Jacket Lupin. However,
incarnations have their moments to creatively shine.
special was created as part
of a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Lupin character. It was
produced as a special OVA release. The reaction from fans in Japan and
United States has been mixed. This is in part because the storyline is
a convoluted manner. It seems to also focus more on telling it's story
dramatic and pseudo-philosophical or metaphorical manner. This sets it
from most Lupin stories, which tend to be filled with comedy, action,
adventure. While it's nice to see an experimental Lupin film, the
as mixed as the responses to the film would seem to indicate: you won't
classic masterpiece or grand Lupin adventure in Green Versus Red.
of the things that impressed
me the most about the special was the way in which it set out to honor
series and the character with many nods to previous incarnations. As
such, it throws
in many (and I do mean MANY) references that only serious fans
will ever notice. These references range from the types of vehicles
art-work handing on the walls within the buildings in the OVA, to the
used, and key-references spoken or otherwise hinted at. It truly amaze
see such an abundance of love thrown towards the Lupin character and
various incarnations. If you are a serious Lupin fan, this is easily
thing about Green Versus Red, which works more as a 40th
Special honoring the series than as a standalone story.
by Shigeyuki Miya, the
film has an abundance of style that keeps things visually interesting.
are some neat sequences where the animation style and direction seem
in synch. There is even a sequence with black and white sketch-style
demonstrating with precision how a standout sequence can benefit a film
creatively. The character-based approach was unique and really quite
contributed from Toshimichi Ookawa was a convoluted mess. I'm not quite
it: something was off in the writing. It wasn't ever a bore and there
neat ideas to creatively keep it interesting, but I found the film
confusing. I'm not sure what was going on throughout much of the film.
Seriously, what was the plot about? There's some sub-plot about
that is referred to as the Ice Cube and there are sequences in the film
made no sense.
are many scenes that seem
to be randomly pieced together through the poor writing. While seeing
characters from the Lupin franchise was fun, and I like the dramatic
character-based approach that seemed to mostly be contributed by the
the writing was weak on this special. I mean,
I'm still not sure about the approach to having so many
"Lupin" characters within one special. It made me have a headache
just thinking about it.
much potential existed for
this 40th anniversary OVA special, but Green Versus Red isn't
in reaching its lofty goals. Despite solid direction, countless smart
altogether lovable references to the previous Lupin incarnations, when
time for this OVA to be original with its own plotline and story it
Versus Red is a
convoluted mess that neither the writer nor
director can manage to make into a successful film. Yet I didn't mind
all that much as there's an abundance to like in this beautifully
ambitious Lupin special, even when it falters. The OVA tries to succeed
lot of areas even if it can't muster up enough uniqueness to reach it's
line. Lupin fans will want to take the journey at least once, even if
some nice reminiscing about better specials and most especially the
Miyazaki once brought to the franchise.
1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer isn't a total stunner, but it
decent job of presenting the lush animation with a clean, modern look
the art. The bit-rates reasonably demonstrate the OVA with a nice
encoding and the
colors look as good as can reasonably be expected. Fans won't be
the moderately good transfer.
Dolby Digital Japanese language audio isn't much to write-home about as
it 's a
fairly flat and uninvolving sound mix. The clarity and depth isn't too
either. It certainly does present the dialogue with reasonable
the music occasionally adds to the 2.0 presentation, but don't expect
this fairly standard audio presentation and mix.
subtitles are provided.
extra on this release is the excellent liner notes written and compiled
Nelson of LupintheThird.com. These notes are a great resource of
an intelligent and resourceful writer who
is an expert on all things Lupin.
Treasure of the Flame song
lyrics are also included.
the Third: Green Versus Red isn't
perfect. In fact, it's
pretty far from perfection with its convoluted mess of a
storyline and it's "too-many-Lupin's-to-count"
approach. Yet it's a creatively ambitious project with a lot of love
Lupin series and fans will want to experience it's tribute despite many
It's not a OVA worth revisiting, but a seriously diehard fan should
this a reasonable title to check out at least once. It definitely
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.