When Lupin heads to the kingdom of Zufu to pilfer its treasure, he incurs the wrath of its psychotic ruler General Headhunter, who places a dead-or-alive bounty on his head that many intend to collect.
Lupin (referred to as "Rupan" in AnimEigo's translations) must rescue his companion Goemon's bride-to-be after she is kidnapped by a ninja clan intent on stealing her family's ancestral treasure.Written by
Christopher E. Meadows <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the U.S. release, the anime was re-titled "Rupan III" due to legal issues between Maurice Leblanc's estate (owners of the original Arsène Lupin name) and Monkey Punch (Lupin III's creator). Despite the Lupin name going into public domain in the 1990s, AnimEigo retained the Rupan title due to their original licensing contract. See more »
Well, go ahead! Dig to your hearts content! This is government land and any gold you find will be turned over to the treasury department and used to reduce my taxes!
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The fourth Lupin film, 'The Yuma Conspiracy' (or 'The Plot of the Yuma Clan') is most notable for being the first original voice animation based on the manga, also for the original Japanese voice actor for Lupin being replaced and having a different composer.
While no 'The Castle of Cagliostro', my first Lupin film and my personal favourite (also a favourite animated film of mine), and lacking the impressive boldness of 'The Secret of Mamo' (aka 'The Mystery of Mamo'),'The Yuma Conspiracy' is vastly improved over the watchable but disappointing 'Gold of Babylon'. It isn't brilliant, with it suffering from the changes made behind the scenes, but it is good fun with the production values being some of the best of any Lupin film.
It's a little too short, which makes some of the pacing a little too rushed. The music score is neither sumptuous, atmospheric or fitting, lacking the high quality of the rest of the production values and at odds with the action. Yugi Ohno is missed here.
Sadly, the voice acting also disappoints. The changes to Lupin and Jigen's voice actors in the Japanese version were serviceable enough but inferior, but here the English dub is poor with some sounding like they were voicing different characters entirely, they just didn't gel. Jigen in particular is poorly voiced and like the voice actors was not interested.
On the other hand, 'The Yuma Conspiracy' has the best and most polished animation of all the Lupin films. It's great here, with the attention to detail in the chase sequences and backgrounds being particularly impressive. The action is truly exciting with a healthy dose of both suspense and humour. The climax is one of the better ones in a Lupin film (it's actually tense and doesn't descend into weirdness like the ones in 'The Secret of Mamo' and 'Gold of Babylon') and the car chase is terrific.
Writing is humorous, thought-provoking and taut, with a little pathos in the mix. The story has pacing issues every now and again but is very gripping, with the tone always focused and the humour and tension rarely slipping.
Characterisation-wise, 'The Yuma Conspiracy' is largely successful. Would have liked to have seen more of Lupin but he's still fun and it was wonderful to see more development to Goemen. His bride-to-me is more than a damsel-in-distress figure, the villains are a genuine threat and while underused Zenigata hasn't lost his mojo.
All in all, entertaining and well done if lacking in a few areas. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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