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Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Castle of Cagliostro" DVD review, as promised.

I finally got the time to actually sit and watch the new release of Hiyao Miyazaki's movie directorial debut. Miyazaki-san was a series director in the original "Green jacket" series "Lupin III" - or"Rupan sansei", but cut his teeth on the glass-beaded screen with "Cagliostro", which he both wrote and directed.

Arsene Lupin III is a third-generation master thief; perhaps THE master thief. Aided by crack-shot Jigen, Goemon, the samurai, as well as by sexiful Fujiko (when she is not double-dealing) Lupin (the Wolf) schmoozes and robs his way amongst the glitterati of the world, with Inspector Kouichi Zenigata hot on his trail.

Lupin and Jigen rob the National Casino, only to find that their loot is in fact counterfeit. Almost perfect "goat money", virtually undetectable- though Lupin has reason to recognise it.
This leads him to the tiny country of Cagliostro, where his search for a world-economy-ruining plot, and the source of the bogus bills, introduces him to a runaway bride, whom he rescues from well-armed and lethal louts in a physics-shattering car chase.

I shan't do any spoilers. Suffice to say that the movie is a MAJOR bit of fun, and well worth the meagre price. As one who is NEVER impressed by "DVD extras" (hey, I buy it for the movie!), I find that this little jewel has an amazing goodie, the complete animatic, set to the complete soundtrack of the film. Wikipaedia says "An animatic typically consists of pictures of the storyboard synchronized with the soundtrack." On this DVD, you can see Miyazaki-san's storyboard sketches brought to life. It is delightfully good.

Buy "Castle of Cagliostro". Buy several. Christmas is coming!

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