Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini
At the behest of an old friend, Lupin III goes to Morocco to solve the mystery of a pink diamond known as the Twilight, which is said to be the key to a hoard of treasure. Of course, the Twilight is also at the center of a Moroccan racial conflict between the Gelts and the Igo - and apparently there is another Twilight, a twin to the gem Lupin holds. Can Lupin, his friends, and the Gelt girl Lara survive long enough to learn the secret of the Twilight Gemini?
If you're expecting another Castle of Cagliostro, I suggest you go get your DVD of that title and watch it again. However, if you're looking for another fun, wild ride with your favorite treasure-seeking adventurers, then Twilight Gemini is right up your alley.
Decently animated and well-paced, this first FUNimation release of a Lupin III feature is a good example of what these films stand for: a humorously exciting ride through exotic locales, punctuated here and there by ridiculously bad revisionist history and, more importantly, the exposure of naked female flesh. Whee, fan service!
It bodes well for a male audience when the creators of this film hire a Moroccan dancer to serve as a model for the fan service sequences.
(Editor's Note: We will return to your regularly scheduled review momentarily after the review writer has finished wiping away the drool from his face.)
Storywise, Twilight Gemini is a cut above the previously reviewed Columbus Files, though we are again treated to preposterous revisionist history that even the least studious of scholars can dismiss as hogwash. What do the English have to do with Morocco, anyway? (At least it's not Crystal Triangle.) Still, for those of you more interested in a general plot than its details, this movie is quickly paced, and only lets a couple of cliches slip into the action.
Of course, it wouldn't be Lupin without the colorful characters, and they are all here. The obligatory Lupin Girl, Lara, is a real cutie, and holds her own fairly well, and while you figure out the true villain relatively quickly, at least he comes to an appropriate end. And the requisite underling, the "gay blade" Sadachiyo, isn't your normal ninja opponent, either - though his characterization is about as stereotypically effeminate as it gets. (Gah.)
Apart from a few quibbles and occasional slow spots, Twilight Gemini remains quite entertaining, with all the action sequences and zingy one-liners that you'd expect from this venerable franchise. While not the best of the best, it's cheeky, action-packed, and fun in all the right places.
Enjoyable, solid fare from the Lupin gang. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Older teens and up, since there's non-casual nudity and sexual innuendo everywhere. (Mine Fujiko IS sexual innuendo personified.) There is some violence, and several off-screen deaths, but not too much actual blood as far as I could tell. Also, Lupin does resort to several epithets when referring to Sadachiyo, which may not sit well with some members of the audience.
Version(s) Viewed: Convention preview, Japanese with English subtitles (San Diego Comic Con 2002)
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini © 1996 Monkey Punch / Nippon Television Network / Tokyo Movie Shinsha
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