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Lupin III: Bye Bye Lady Liberty Anime DVD Review

5 min read

Lupin the 3rd By Bye Liberty Crisis DVDWhat They Say:
NEW YORK CITY IS IN CRISIS; IS THIS GOODBYE FOR LADY LIBERTY?
Foiled repeatedly by the predictions of Interpol’s supercomputer, professional looter Lupin the Third has quit his life of crime. Howerver, his partner Jigen crawls out of the woodwork, tempting him with one last job recovering the Super Egg, a massive diamond hidden somewhere inside the Statue of Liberty. Suddenly a sinister secret organization and a young computer genius are thrown into the mix, and just whose side is the buxom Fujiko on this time?

The Review:
Audio:
There are two audio tracks present: the original Japanese track and the English dub in Doby 2.0 stereo. Neither had any issues as both sounded good during playback.

Video:
This movie was originally broadcast on Japanese TV in 1989, and looks good here. The cel animation holds up fine and colors are vibrant and steady. The nuances of old-school sketch-line animation are still fun to watch. The subtitles are colored and detailed appropriately, which makes them easy to read as needed.

Packaging:
The front contains a colored painting / drawing of the Lupin Gang with Lupin himself holding the Super Egg and everyone in action poses mixed in with movie-specific characters around the Statue of Liberty and the title masthead in the lower thirds. The rear has a close-up of Lupin and JigenLady Liberty’s head, on the upper right side, and the “what they say” text on the upper left. The features are listed in the middle with a set of screencaps just below. Official data is contained in the lower thirds.

Menu:
The picture from the front cover is mixed with a map-like papyrus-styled backdrop. The masthead and menu options take up the left side and are easy to navigate. The R&B inspired closing theme “Twilight Dawn” loops in the background for a nice ambiance.
Extras: Japanese Language with optional English subtitles, English Language, Feature Commentary with Anime News Network’s Mike Toole, Liner notes written and compiled by Lupinthe3rd.com Staff, Original Television Spot, Image Gallery. Much like the Secret of Mamo release. The liner notes are quite extensive and educational, worthy of much reading time.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One dark stormy night, Inspector Zeningata goes in Interpol to check on the Lupin files… and finds Lupin is there disguised as him, attempting to eliminate all of Interpol’s computer files. The elusive thief escapes from Zeningata’s clutches as the film begins.

Eventually, we see super-shooter Daisuke Jigen put down a few back alley thugs to visit Lupin in the city, where he’s settled down with his current girlfriend and doesn’t want to go against Interpol’s computer (which has been predicting his moves) anymore. Jigen insists on doing one last job though in order to find a huge diamond called the Super Egg, a legendary jewel said to be hidden somewhere within The Statue of Liberty. The pair run off to steal lady liberty so they can have time to examine it at their leisure, but realize this is only the beginning of a much deeper mystery, which a diminutive computer hacker is only too happy to help solve…

Meanwhile, Goemon the Samurai is off being a bodyguard for a beautiful woman and is working hard to adhere to his vow of chastity for this assignment. Meanwhile, the lovely Fujiko Mine is attempting to solve her own mystery with a wealthy gentleman aboard his yacht. Eventually though, her quest takes a turn for the deadly serious ad she accidentally infiltrates a cult with rather nasty intentions. Also in the mix is a super program called the Ultravirus which could possibly help solve Lupin’s troubles.

Now this being a movie, what’re the odds all these elements are related in some way? Probably just a coincidence riiiight?

Yeah, well everything intertwines as you’d expect from the Lupin mystery. Betrayals and thievery ensue at the proper times as secrets are revealed. This was the first of the many feature length TV specials that have been produced over the years. This one in particular was directed by Osamu Dezaki, who feels like an interesting choice for a comedy mystery. His dramatic style had become legendary on works such as Rose of Versailles, Space Adventure Cobra and Golgo 13 by this point of his career. The tropes he’d developed particularly for Golgo 13 seem to apply appropriately here with jazzy background music, well-executed gunfights, upper corner flares to denote the time of day and Dezaki’s famous technique called the Postcard Method, in which he’d stop all the action on a painted sketch for dramatic effect. On the alternative track anime guru Mike Toole talks about Dezaki’s work expertly. I even came away with a few bits I hadn’t thought of before.

The English dub was produced by Manga UK and is generally solid, once you get past the scene where English actors are using really bad French accents. Bill Dufries mad for a zany, competent Lupin and if he’d not been so, the rest of the dub would’ve been for naught. Ditto for the rest of the Lupin mainstays. Personally, I still have trouble with Lupin himself being referred to as Wolf throughout the film, but understand it was due to legal reasons associated with the name and the fact various Lupin films had been taken by different licensors at the time.

In Summary:
The Dezaki elements help the mystery aspect play out nicely, though at times given this is a comedy at times I do wish the film could’ve been funnier, but that’s just a personal preference. Nevertheless, Bye Bye Lady Liberty is one of the most solid of the Lupin specials / movies / etc. and one I’m glad to finally have in the U.S. officially.

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: A+
Video Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: A-
Extras Grade: A+

Released By: Discotek Media
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
MSRP: $24.95
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, 4:3 Full frame

Review Equipment:
Panasonic 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Marantz stereo receiver

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