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Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)
"Rupan sansei" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure  |  16 December 1978 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 714 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 9 critic

Lupin risks death to learn the secret and intentions of a wealthy and seemingly immortal, but certainly ruthless, recluse.


, (as Yasuo Otsuka)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yasuo Yamada ...
Eiko Masuyama ...
Fujiko Mine (voice)
Kiyoshi Kobayashi ...
Daisuke Jigen (voice)
Makio Inoue ...
Gorô Naya ...
Tôru Ôhira ...
Stuckey (voice)
Kôsei Tomita ...
Commissioner (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata ...
Special Agent Gordon (voice)
Shôzô Iizuka ...
Flinch (voice)
Ichirô Murakoshi ...
Scientist (voice)
Shunsuke Shima ...
Dietman (voice)
Yûji Mikimoto ...
Police Officer (voice) (as Masaru Miyashita)
Kô Nishimura ...
Mamo (voice)
Haruo Minami ...
Chief Police Officer of Egypt (Special Guest) (voice)
Fujio Akatsuka ...
President (Special Guest) (voice)


In Transylvania, Lupin III, the notorious international thief, is hung and no one is more suprised to learn of that than Lupin III himself, who was alive and well and nowhere near that area at that time. The answer to that mystery, begins to surface when Lupin gets a seemingly ordinary pebble from an Egyptian pyramid for his would-be girlfriend, Fujiko, the mercenary thief, who is in the employ of a mysterious figure known only as Mamo. Intrigued by this bizarre request, Lupin decides to get involved and finds himself in an international chase that has a greater scope and danger than he has ever faced. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The executed Lupin still lives! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 December 1978 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Lupin III  »

Box Office


JPY 500,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


218 colors were used in this movie. See more »


When Lupin arrives at Mamo's temple, a sign bears the name 'Haward Lockewood.' This is a misspelling of Mamo's alter-ego, 'Howard Lockewood.' This error was not rectified in neither the Toho dub, the Manga dub nor the Geneon dub (the Toho and Manga dubs increase the obviousness of the error by changing Mamo's alias to 'Foward Fughes'). However, the error was somewhat rectified in the Streamline dub, where the first name is pronounced in a manner similar to 'Hayward.' See more »


Daisuke Jigen: I have a sinking feeling about this.
Arsene Lupin III: You just gave me a great idea, buddy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, in a corner of the screen Lupin and Zenigata run from the missile barrage; this scene is intercut with previous scenes from the film. See more »


Version of Lupin the Third: A Woman Called Fujiko Mine (2012) See more »


Rupan Ondo
Music by Yûji Ôno
Lyrics by Monkey Punch
Lyrical complement by Daizaburô Nakayama
Performed by Haruo Minami
Arranged by Yûji Ôno
Published by Teichiku Records
(Heard only in the original Japanese version, as well as the 1995 Streamline and 1996 Manga UK English versions)
See more »

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User Reviews

Proper animation at its finest
18 September 2007 | by (South Korea) – See all my reviews

The first film version of the long-running successful manga series 'Lupin III', 'The Mystery Of Mamo' is non-stop action, adventure, and humour, brought to life with some brilliant animation, an excellent script, and some very good voice acting.

Lupin is the greatest thief since his grandfather Arsene Lupin, but his lifestyle never affords him a moment's peace, especially with maniacally-determined Interpol Inspector Zenigata pursuing him anywhere and everywhere across the globe. Aided by his two friends, Jigen, who prefers a quiet life, sombre samurai warrior Goemon, and on-again-off again girlfriend and equally-skilled thief Fujiko, Lupin finds himself drawn into the world of Mamo, a mysterious billionaire, intent on achieving immortality. But is Mamo exactly what he appears? And how does the fabled Philosopher's Stone fit in?

Now *this* is what animation is *really* about. It's about as far removed from the billion dollar cgi rubbish one usually sees in cinemas as it's possible to be. Every frame in 'Mamo' exudes genuine artistry, whether it's a peaceful Parisian cafe scene, or frenetic car chase through a sewer - yes, a sewer. Every musical motif creates genuine atmosphere, and every line of dialogue is there because it should be - it's not just a collection of lame one-liners for a cynical audience. If you find yourself on the edge of your seat, it's not because you're trying to fend off sleep from Disney-drawn dreck, but because you really find yourself wanting to see what happens next.

There are imperfections within the story - certain plot points that are not entirely followed up, but nothing that ruins the central story. There is also a certain trade-off between characterisation and action, but Lupin III stories are not meant to be deeply introspective character pieces, just a lot of first class fun. They are also an ongoing series, so further revelations are to be had elsewhere.

Probably the most well-known Lupin outing is 'The Castle Of Cagliostro', in many ways a more straightforward adventure with a more traditional action film-type ending. I think they're both excellent, but they're different beasts in temperament. 'The Mystery Of Mamo' takes a left-turn into the surreal, but it's still a cracking film that shouldn't disappoint - and definitely accessible to a Lupin novice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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