Lupin the 3rd The Castle of Cagliostro: Plot | Influence | Production

Are you a fan of Money Heist, along with a tender corner for anime? Wondering did Alicia catch the professor(Sergio Martinez)? While you wait for another full month to catch Tokyo and Palermo in action, we bring you another mesmerizing and jaw-dropping heist from the golden era of the 1970s. You must be wondering why there was a heist on the movie screen way before Tokyo, and Rio used Defcon 2(The United States Armed Forces use the defense readiness condition (DEFCON) is an alert state)? So our favorite professor and Berlin were preceded by another master thief. Yes, you got it right. I am referring to Arsene Lupin, also known as Lupin the 3rd The Castle of Cagliostro.

Today we bring to you the review of yet another movie of the Lupin Franchise, Lupin the 3rd Castle of Cagliostro. The movie will keep you glued to the TV screens, munching on popcorn and rejuvenating your childhood and 21st century’s most celebrated series.

The movie is also special as it marks the directorial debut of Hayao Miyazaki, the same legendary director who would go on to make movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and many more.

So without further ado, let's jump right into the story.

Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro


The Plot of Lupin the 3rd The Castle of Cagliostro

Living quite a lavish life when the heist is over summed up Lupin’s personality. Being an international racing champion, he spent his free time goofing around attending formal dinners, playing pool, casino gambling and dating.

In this anime featurette, Arsene Lupin III, the world's most dashing, daring and notorious thief, successfully culminates a heist at a Monte Carlo casino only to discover that his haul is nothing more than a pile of counterfeit bills. Lupin then traces the money to a villainous count in the small country of Cagliostro. With his most trusted man, Daisuke Jigen, Lupin embarks on the journey to uncover the secrets of his failed loot only to find a deeper mystery lurking beneath.

The movie mostly plays like one big treasure hunt where Lupin tries to avoid all obstacles in his way, thrown to him by Count Cagliostro in order to uncover the dark counterfeit business in Cagliostro. However, the story doesn't focus on Lupin or the gang's progress to get the loot; it’s actually about the land of Cagliostro itself. 

The characters are set in the area that drives the movie forward to uncover all its mysteries, including its history, its relations to the rest of the world, how the count has so much power, and most importantly, Lupin's relationship with the country.

On this exciting journey full of action and a slight tinge of humor, Lupin finds out that Clarisse, the Princess of Cagliostro, is in distress, being forced into a marriage and the task of saving her takes the role of the main quest, and our beloved Lupin transforms from the thief to an antihero. 

The intense challenges posed to him on this journey forces him to join hands with his long time nemesis Inspector Koichi Zenigata. When these formidable foes find themselves trapped in the catacombs of the Cagliostro palace, they join hands. They are successful in escaping the traps and saving the Princess, and uncover the dangerous business taking place in the castle of Cagliostro.


Influence of Lupin the 3rd The Castle of Cagliostro

This series swayed its way in every big name you could possibly imagine, from 

Indiana Jones films by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, particularly the first film Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), to video games like the arcade game, Cliff Hanger trading on its footage. The Simpsons were also influenced by the Cagliostro plot as it being the start of the night. 

Let's have a look at the Production

Under the pen name Monkey Punch, Japanese manga artist Kazuhiko Kat started the series in 1965. His inspiration for the series was Maurice Leblanc's famous French gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. He read 15 of Leblanc's stories before starting the series. The goal of the Lupin III series was to create a comic adventure show that mirrored Leblanc's personality.

Originally, he intended to keep the blood ties between the two imaginary characters hidden, but he was persuaded otherwise by others.

Monkey Punch developed the character of Lupin III as a “carefree fellow” by combining parts of Arsène Lupin and James Bond. Lupin was given a crimson jacket, which Monkey Punch thinks is a showy and seductive colour.

Wrapping Up

Gadgets that come in handy with witty remarks and disguise master, what girl would not fall in love with a character like Lupin. He is exceptionally clever in his ways of tricking around. A fun fact is that Lupin and his arch-enemy inspector zenigata were plotted to be a “human Tom and Jerry” equivalent in the original Manga. 

It is a never-ending chase, but if it were to culminate in Lupin and Zenigata arriving on an equal footing, it would make Miyazaki’s vision come true.

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