These are two big franchise titles from the world of anime – Detective Conan and the master thief Lupin the 3rd.
Even if you’re not an anime fan you may recognise the names. Conan isn’t the barbarian but named, in the series, after Sherlock Holmes. He’s not even a kid. He’s a young adult shrunk down by a weird formula so that he looks like a kid. Lupin the 3rd is a thief who is supposed to be the grandson of Arsene Lupin, the thief of Maurice Leblanc’s novels.
We’ve two heroes – one a thief, one a detective – a clash seems like good fun. But who’ll win? Can the production company TMS Entertainment really afford to annoy one whole bunch of fans?
The action kicks off with one of Conan’s master thief rivals apparently stealing a nice looking diamond. Not all as it seems and really Lupin is behind the heist. This puts Conan and Lupin on a collision course.
The drama escalates quickly from there. I can’t touch it in this review for fear of spoiler but you should expect a sequence of reveals and plot twists.
Expect also plenty of humour, action sequences and all the popular characters from both shows. It can get a little chaotic at time; the plot making sure that all fan favourites get some action and time in the limelight.
The fact that the plot ties together, even roughly, is a great thing. It does. You don’t even need to know anything about either show in order to follow the plot. In the final few minutes with the grandest of grand twists there are some moments when knowing about previous shows or manga would help but an agile mind can keep up without this knowledge. Anyone in the West watching Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie has an agile mind.
I think the other great success of the anime is that it manages to take two shows, both decades old, and do justice to both. I’ve seen some Lupin the 3rd anime before and the characters in this movie feel exactly as they did then. The anime style works. I’ve less experience of Detective Conan but can tell it’s a different animation style. Nevertheless, putting the two together he works. In addition, this movie doesn’t feel like it’s trapped in the past. It doesn’t feel as if the animators wanted to recreate the style of a 60s anime. This feels modern. Just to recap; this anime feels modern and contemporary and yet mixes two different styles while recreating characters created in 1967. Impressive.
Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan: The Movie is a romp. Let’s not pretend that the two main characters don’t end up, roughly, working together but this is held off for the longest possible time. Both stars get the chance to shine. This could have so easily been a disaster and instead it’s a great way to spend 110 minutes. I’d recommend it.
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