on May 9, 2003
Hayao Miyazaki has been called the Akira Kurosawa of Animation, and the Disney of Japan. Neither term is sufficient to describe his genius. Among his many fans, there is much debate as to which of his movies is the greatest. Some people say Castle in the Sky. Some say Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. And many feel that this film is his best. Hard to say, but I would definteily say it's one of the best movies ever made, to say nothing of one of the best animated films ever.
Lupin the Third is big series in Japan. You might say he has a following like that of James Bond in the United States. But that would be a serious understatement. There is Lupin Manga, Lupin OAVs, Lupin movies, Lupin games, a Lupin TV show. And that's just what I've heard of. But despite the fact that Lupin is a huge phenomenon spanning a huge variety of media, everyone seems to agree that the crowning achievement as far as Lupin goes is the castle of Cagliostro. And the best part is, you don't have to know anything about Lupin to enjoy it!
The animation is old, more than 20 years. But like all of Miyazaki's animation, it looks better than much of what passes for animated films today. The backgrounds and mechanical devices in his films in particular are always amazing. The film transfer on this DVD isn't exactly the greatest. At times, it shows scratches and metal flecks on the print. At one or two points in the film it looks a little dim and washed out. But in the good parts, the use of color and detail is truly awesome.
The characters in this film are great. Lupin himself comes across like a combination of Jim Carey and James Bond (in the best possible way), and his many sidekicks (from his heavy firepower loving right hand man to the serious samurai and sometime love interest Fujiko) all are just great. The villain is pretty evil, making the great escape and showdown at the end of the movie that much better. But the real stars of the show are Lupin and the beautiful young girl he has sworn to rescue. Both of them are just PERFECT.
This film also features great action sequences (the great car chase, a gyrocopter getaway, and steel-clawed assasins come to mind). And let's not forget about the music. From the opening credits to the ending of the film, the score does not disappoint. Speaking of sound, the Japanese dub features the same perfect voice acting you will find in every Japanese version of a Miyazaki film. And this dvd features a great English dub too. People with young children should take note, though. The English dub has more harsh language than the Subtited version. I'd say about the difference between a PG and a PG-13 rating).
What makes this movie for me is it's wonderful sense of BALANCE, something Miyazaki has mastered absolutely. There is adventure. There is action. There is comedy. But most of all there is the infectious idealism and beauty of the human spirit that makes all of Miyazaki's films absolute classics. Everyone should see this movie. Any animation fan should buy it.
on April 20, 2003
Made in 1979, but you won't be disappointed.
Lupin the 3rd was a very popular T.V. series during 1970s and 80s. Lupin is a master thief, grand son of French "Ar sene Lupin." He has very characteristic companies:
Jigen: a master gunman who can shot anything he wants.
Goemon: a samurai, who can cut any object with his sword.
Fujiko: Lupin's enemy and lover.
Zenigata: a inspector from Tokyo police who has been pursuing Lupin, but never succeed.
"Castle of Cagliostro," was made in 1979 by a famous director Hayao Minazaki, and this was his first movie.
I've watched this movie in Japan when I was a little kid, and I never forgot about it. I recently purchased DVD and watched in English dubbed. The translation is little different from the original, but I think they did pretty good job. I can tell they tried to make it easier language.
The most exciting thing in this movie is Lupin's character: a thief who is skillful, gentle, kind, and having sense of humor. Lupin was manage to steal princes' heart in the story, but had to leave her at the end. It was Lupin's dandyism which takes your breath away.
Scenario is also well written. There are some intelligence conversations with political background. Lupin was pursuing the secret of counterfeit in a small nation, Duchy of Cagliostro, and run into a princess who was forced to be a bride against her will.
This movie, there are some similarity to "Shrek.": To rescue a princess locked in a tower, unmanned camera pictured Lupin when he tried to get into the castle, and Lupin breaking into princes' wedding ceremony and said "I object!."
This is still enjoyable to those who are not familiar to the T.V. series. Animation looks old compare to today's one. But I don't think you will be disappointed. One of my friends who never knew Lupin, watched this movie, and said "You can call me Lupin, if you want."
This is still one of my favorite.
on January 28, 2003
I was asked to describe Lupin once. Here's what I came up with, "He's like James Bond, Batman, Jackie Chan, and Indiana Jones, but he's a cat-burglar."
I'm a huge fan of the Lupin III series. I'll be the first to admit that the series itself isn't that good and that many of the TV movies aren't that good either. However, the two episodes and the movie which Myazaki directed are hands down some of the best things I have ever seen.
With that out of the way, no, this isn't Myazaki's best work. For every other film he does, the characters are his. He creates his characters specifically to fit a role. However with Lupin III, he had to use characters that were already established in the hearts and minds of thousands of viewers. It's amazing how Myazaki manages to take these characters and make them all shine and yet stay true to their original motivations. There's never a point where the viewer thinks, "Now that's not something I think Lupin would do." This is something that many of the other directors of the Lupin movies could not achieve.
I have seen the Lupin series with a wide range of voice actors, including the Japanese. The cast of this dubbed version of Castle of Cagliostro is the best of the group. They really know how to make the characters shine. The Japanese cast is frightening and unemotional at best, but the English cast of this version certainly makes up for the shortcomings of the Japanese one.
Like many of Myazaki's works, and certainly with all of the Lupin III series, you have to bring your imagination along for the ride. Everything will happen, even if you're not quite ready for it. There's car chases, princesses in tall towers, a counterfeiting scheme, instant noodles, and an exploding archbishop. The Castle of Cagliostro is a wonderfully light-hearted film, and the absolute best of the Lupin III series. I would recommend it to anyone.
on January 26, 2003
Lupin the 3rd is one of my favorite anime characters. My interest in Lupin the 3rd started with The Castle of Cagliostro. For those of you that aren't familiar with Lupin the 3rd, he has been in 6 theatrical films, 10 television films and 2 or 3 television series containing a total of 228 episodes. I have seen about half of his movies, and so far The Castle of Cagliostro is still my favorite. This movie has it all, action and adventure, comedy, romance, and of course the most important thing of all, a master thief as a hero. The story and characters in this movie are very enjoyable to watch. Just keep in mind that the characters and their relationships with each other have been developed in other movies and shows before this movie. So if you feel like you are missing out on how everyone is connected to each other throughout the movie, then that is the reason. In conclusion, if you haven't seen this movie yet, I'd recommend you give it a chance. This is the only DVD in my collection that I have watched over 10 times. I personally think this is a good movie for anyone, even if you aren't a big fan of anime. As long as you enjoy action mixed with some comedy, you'll enjoy this movie.
on December 4, 2002
It's my understanding that the Japanese culture is totally different from American culture in that animation is not exclusively for children, but for adults as well. So keep this in mind that this movie is not made for children, though children will most likely enjoy it and probably the language is no worse than some of the stuff that appears on cable television.
Having said that, I will tell you this is a terrific film and Lupin is a wonderful character - sort of a screwball comedy in the best sense, with James Bond thrown in for good measure. And this movie lends itself well to rewatching it - and I have.
Many other reviewers here have gone into the technical details much better than I'm capable of doing, so for that info please check their reviews. I have seen the subtitled version, so I don't have an opinion of the dubbed version. But I do have an opinion of the content of the movie and that is it's a terrific movie and you _need_ to see this great movie to appreciate Japanese anime'.
on September 8, 2002
Acclaimed Anime genius Hayao Miyazaki scored his first box office hit with this charming, fast-paced, enjoyable tale about a clever thief coming to rescue--you guessed it--a princess from a dastardly monarch who wants to marry the lass for his own purposes. He's accompanied by a loyal gunman and a solemn but cunning ninja and pursued by a Japanese police detective who actually helps him at one point of the story. Along the way, there are a bunch of other obstacles to overcome, including bad guys with armored claws, the mazelike corridors of the Cagliostro castle itself, and a counterfeiting scheme. The animation is obviously dated, since the film is over 20 years old, but there are elements of Miyazaki's characters in his later films to be found in the designs of the protagonists and antagonists--the big, round eyes, wide-opened mouths when laughing and/or shouting, and of course, their everchanging facial expressions. The jazz-rock underscore by Yuji Ohno lacks the richness of Joe Hisaishi's scores for Miyazaki's films after this one, but it suits the tone of the film perfectly. Although not as beautiful, meaningful, or powerful as Miyazaki's later films, CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO is a joy to watch, with plenty of action-packed sequences, humor a-plenty, and enough fun to keep one enchanted. (Wait until you see the tools that the hero posesses!)
The DVD version features a respectably good transfer presented in its 1.85:1 aspect ratio, even if it does show its signs of age, such as occasional film scratches and/or smudges. However, this is probably best to be expected since the film is over 20 years old. The Japanese language track is presented in mono, and sometimes sounds as though it was transferred through, say, a telephone. (A characteristic of the recording techniques of the early years, no doubt.) The English language track, on the other hand, is presented in clear stereo with a full, rich sound. One wonders how they were able to clean up the soundtrack for this dub -- it sounds like it could have been made recently.
I only spotchecked the Japanese language track, but the acting is decent, from what I heard. The film was originally dubbed in English by Carl Mecak of Streamline Pictures. I have not seen this dub, but I heard it received mixed opinions; it has its fans while others detested it. However, I DID enjoy this "new" dub created by Manga Entertainment, which follows the script closely, despite some questionable inclusions of profanity in the dialogue ("We're rich bastards!"). The voice cast is well chosen and sound like they are having a great time hamming it up.
On the downside, the DVD contains no special features other than trailers for MANGA releases, rather lame menu selections, second-rate packaging, and not enough chapter selections for advancing. A film this wonderful deserves a better treatment. A "Making-Of" documentary, please?
Don't let the drawbacks hold you back, though, CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO is ***** material, as can be expected from the master of Japanese animation. I recommend it very highly.
on July 27, 2002
I first saw this movie in Japan and while I didn't understand a word being said, I found that I was very interested in the goings on. A few years later, I purchased this movie on VHS when it was released in the US. So when I saw the DVD was out, I took a chance and purchased it.
Having watched the VHS version so many times, I was immediately struck at some translation differences (in English). While the story was the same, there were parts that were very differently translated so that certain parts were almost like a different movie. I was annoyed until I did some checking (and watched the original Japanses version which is also on this DVD). As a result, I've come to the conclusion that the DVD contains a much better translation than the VHS version.
If you like your DVD's to have tons of extras, you may be dissappointed with the lack of goodies in this one. However, if you are a fan of Lupin III, this is a must-have DVD. The story, characters, anime style (though dated), and humor are what make this DVD so special. Of all the Lupin III's I've seen (TV or movie), this one is the best.
on June 24, 2002
When I visited "Jafax" I bought four DVD's: Ronin warriors vol.1, Tenchi the movie tenchi muyou in love, Ghost in the shell and of course thte castle of cagliostro. All of which were good (except Ronin warriors. Don't even bother) But The Castle Of Cagliostro was definately the best of the pick.
The Castle Of Cagliostro is a non-stop action-comedy-thriller. It's about a professional (and geeky) theif who accidentally saves a princess. The princess runs away from Lupin. (the theif dude) but drops her ring on the way. Lupin uses his detective skills to trace her back to the castle of Cagliostro with the help of the ring. He then finds out she is being forced to marry against her own free will. It's lupins job to save her.
Everything about this movie is well done. The animation is actually good despite the cover. The dub is excellent. Perhaps the greatest feature of this DVD. And with every turn lupin takes you'll find yourself keeling over with laughter.
You can't beat The castle of Cagliostro.
on April 23, 2002
I made the mistake of avoiding "The Castle of Cagliostro" for many years. I never really liked the Lupin III character, and I was not sold by the box cover. Yet, it kept appearing on "Best All-time Anime" lists, and I could not deny that it must have some merit.
I finally watched it, and now I know. It deserves to be on any "Best All-time Anime" lists. This is like a Miyazaki movie with Lupin III running around in it. (Hey! What do you know. It IS a Miyazaki movie with Lupin III running around in it.) Although this was one of Miyazaki's first films, it shows his quality in every aspect. The animation and story are not dated at all. Lot's of time spent flying.
This is one of the few Miyazaki films aimed at a teenage audience, rather than children. It is definitely more "adventure" orientated. Also, it is rare in that it has a male hero. Lady Clarisse de Cagliostro is a strong character and the romance between her and Lupin is touching.
on February 14, 2002
Miyazaki demonstrates his early mastery of the movie world in his first film, "Castle of Cagliostro". I have never seen any other Lupin movies, but in this movie, the characters are fun and beautifully designed, as is standard for Miyazaki films. The plot is excellent, with moments that are funny, dark, solemn, and cover just about every single mood possible. Fujiko may very well be my favorite Miyazaki girl.
Lupin robs a casino with his buddy Jigen, only to discover that the money he has stolen is fake. In order to uncover the funny money's origin, he and Jigen travel to Cagliostro. On the way, they rescue Clarisse, who is being chased by some strange men. She is later taken by these men, but she accidentally leaves behind a ring bearing the crest of the royal family. In an attempt to return the ring, Lupin, Jigen, their comrade Goemon and their archrival Inspector Zenigata uncover a huge plot that could shake the foundations of the nation.
Some previous reviewers gave this video a low rating because of things such as language. I think that's fairly stupid. There *is* a warning on the back saying "Parental Guidance Suggested", you know. It was never advertised as a children's movie. But all in all, this is a great movie!