List of Lupin III television specials

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The Lupin III cast as they appear on the DVD cover of the 14th television special.

This is a list of television specials of the Japanese media franchise Lupin III, based on the manga series by Monkey Punch that debuted in 1967. In a tradition that began in 1989 with the television special Bye Bye Liberty Crisis, every year since has featured a new 90 minute Lupin III television special that airs on NTV at 9:03 on Friday evening.

Each television special features its own plot, but the general theme centers on the adventures of Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc's series of novels. He is joined by Daisuke Jigen, crack-shot and Lupin's closest ally; Fujiko Mine, the femme fatale and Lupin's love interest who works against Lupin more often than with him; and Goemon Ishikawa XIII, a master swordsman and the descendant of Ishikawa Goemon, the legendary Japanese bandit. Lupin is often chased by Inspector Koichi Zenigata, the rather cynical detective who has made it his life mission to catch Lupin. The 2009 Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan special is, as the title suggests, a crossover between Lupin III and Detective Conan and as such features characters from both series.

Manga Entertainment released the first special on VHS in the United Kingdom and Australia in 1996 as Goodbye Lady Liberty, using an English dub that they had created.[1] Funimation Entertainment purchased the North American distribution rights to specials five through twelve in 2002, in a package that also included the two theatrical films Farewell to Nostradamus and Dead or Alive. They re-titled several of the animations for their release.[2] North American distributor Discotek Media released Episode 0: First Contact in 2010,[3] and the first and second television specials in 2014.[4][5]

Specials[edit]

# Translated title / English title
Japanese title (Kanji)
Director Original airdate
1 "Bye-Bye Liberty - Close Call! / Bye Bye, Lady Liberty (US)/Goodbye Lady Liberty (UK/AUS)"
"Bai Bai Ribatī – Kiki Ippatsu!" (バイバイ·リバティー危機一発!) 
Osamu Dezaki 1989-04-01
Lupin is forced to give up his life of crime when he discovers police computers are able to predict his every move. His retirement is short-lived when his colleague Jigen inherits the secret location of a stolen giant diamond called the "Super Egg", which is hidden in the Statue of Liberty; Lupin helps recover the diamond by stealing the entire Statue. Meanwhile, Goemon becomes bodyguard to a beautiful woman who is on the run from a sinister secret society which is also seeking the Super Egg. 
2 "The Mystery of the Hemingway Papers / The Hemingway Papers"
"Heminguwei Pēpā no Nazo" (ヘミングウェイペーパーの謎!) 
Osamu Dezaki 1990-07-20

Lupin heads to the Mediterranean island of Colcaca in pursuit of a box said to contain a draft of Ernest Hemingway's final, unfinished novel which supposedly describes the author's last journey and his discovery of great riches. Unfortunately, the island has been under siege by would-be treasure hunters for ten years. These are divided into two factions, led by self-appointed president Carlos and his rival, the warlord Consano. They do not take kindly to intruders, and have turned the island into one big battle zone.


Lupin discovers that Goemon and Jigen have, for their own reasons, teamed up with respectively Carlos and Consano, who intend to use them as their trump cards in battle. The arrival of gun runner Marcess and his beautiful, busty secretary could further inflame the situation.


With the help of local barkeep Maria, Lupin tries to reunite his gang and uncover the treasure before the conflict of the commanders gets totally out of hand. Preferably in time to stop his friends from having to kill each other... 
3 "Steal Napoleon's Dictionary!"
"Naporeon no Jisho o Ubae" (ナポレオンの辞書を奪え) 
Osamu Dezaki 1991-08-09

Lupin decides to participate in a classic car race because he wants the first prize – the dictionary that once belonged to Napoleon. It may not contain the word "impossible", but it DOES contain directions to Lupin's grandfather's treasure – a treasure literally sought by the whole world, since the G7 nations want it in order to rebuild the world economy after the Gulf war. No one knows where or what it is, but it's said to be worth trillions of dollars – and Lupin, being the rightful heir, is assumed to be the one to ask.


So Lupin must not only win the race, he also has to avoid several intelligence agencies and Inspector Zenigata, all set on capturing him to get the location of the treasure. Luckily, his friends are there to back him up, but are they enough against the combined military forces of the allied nations? 
4 "From Russia With Love"
"Roshia yori Ai o Komete" (ロシアより愛をこめて) 
Osamu Dezaki 1992-07-24
A horde of lost Romanov gold has turned up in San Antonio, and Lupin aims to add it to his collection. Aiding him in his larceny is Jigen, Fujiko, and Judy Scott, an expert on the Romanov family. Unfortunately for Lupin, Rasputon, the descendant of legendary mystic Rasputin, is also seeking the gold and has convinced Goemon to do his bidding. Can Lupin outwit Rasputon, Rasputon's henchmen, Goemon, and the New York mafia to claim the gold? 
5 "Orders to Assassinate Lupin / Voyage to Danger"
"Rupan Ansatsu Shirei" (ルパン暗殺指令) 
Masaaki Osumi 1993-07-23

Inspector Zenigata has been taken off the Lupin case due to his inability to capture him, and been replaced with a much more ruthless agent, Keith, who will gladly take Lupin dead if he cannot take him alive. This does not sit well with Zenigata, who has always had a respect for Lupin. He goes against his orders and gives this information to the master thief, giving Lupin and his gang the edge they need to stay alive.


Meanwhile, Zenigata has been transferred to investigating a terrorist group, Shot Shell. In order to gain the organization's interest, Lupin steals a nuclear submarine from Russia and kidnaps a Russian physicist, Karen, to help him run it. Karen has a link to Jigen's past and seems bent on revenge on him for her father. Shot Shell takes the bait and forms something of a partnership, but little do Lupin and his gang realize that the illegal arms dealers are also partners with Keith. 
6 "Burn, Zantetsuken! / Dragon of Doom"
"Moeyo Zantetsuken" (燃えよ斬鉄剣) 
Masaharu Okuwaki 1994-07-29

Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko are contacted by a Hong Kong gangster, Chen Zhenzhong, to steal a metal statue of a dragon lost when the Titanic sank. Lupin refuses to work for Chen, but retains in interest in the statue; his grandfather Arsène Lupin attempted and failed to steal it on that fateful voyage. The three decide to go after it on their own.


Unknown to them, the statue also contains the secret of making an impenetrable alloy that surpasses Goemon's fantastic katana, Zantetsuken. Goemon himself has also received word of the statue's location, and vows to retrieve it to keep his family's honor intact, even if his rival is his old ally Lupin. A childhood friend, Kikyo, assists him in his mission. When the statue is retrieved from the wreckage by Lupin, the three groups collide in a chaotic attempt to keep the statue for themselves. 
7 "The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasure"
"Harimao no Zaihō o Oe!!" (ハリマオの財宝を追え!!) 
Osamu Dezaki 1995-08-04
Lupin searches for three statues that are keys to the legendary treasure of Harimao, a thief who stole billions during World War II. Lupin succeeds in acquiring one of the statues, but then, much to his surprise, Lupin is forced to ally himself with Lord Archer and his daughter Diana to obtain the remaining two. However, Neo-Himmel, a group of neo-Nazis led by Herr Maphrodite, are also after the fantastic treasure and will stop at nothing to get it. 
8 "The Secret of Twilight Gemini"
"Towairaito Jemini no Himitsu" (トワイライト☆ジェミニの秘密) 
Gisaburō Sugii 1996-08-02

Don Dolune, a former associate of Lupin, gives Lupin half of a diamond called the Twilight. By finding the other half of the diamond, it will allow Lupin to access a fantastic treasure. Lupin and Jigen travel to Morocco with some interference from Inspector Zenigata.


The two find a great deal of civil unrest in Morocco as a tribe known as the Gelts are seeking to restore themselves to power. Things become complicated when Lupin falls for Lara, one of the Gelt rebel leaders. Lupin is followed by a group of assassins, headed by the twisted male whip-wielding Sadachiyo, who is seeking the treasure of the Twilight for the head of a secret society. 
9 "Walther P-38 (In Memory of the Walther P38) / Island of Assassins"
"Warusā P38 ~In Gedenken an die Walther P38~" (ワルサーP38) 
Toshiya Shinohara
Hiroyuki Yano
1997-08-01

Lupin investigates the news of a fake version of one of his trademark calling cards during a high-class party. A group of assassins, the Tarantula, crash the party and murder the host. Zenigata, investigating the card, chases Lupin but ends up shot and injured by a silver Walther P38. Lupin, catching a glimpse of the familiar gun, is determined to avenge not only Zenigata, but an episode of his past.


He and Fujiko infiltrate the island by joining Tarantula, while Jigen and Goemon hide in the underground. Lupin also befriends Elen, an assassin who is disillusioned with Tarantula following the death of her younger brother who was also with the organization. Prevented from leaving by an ingenious poison and also interested in Tarantula's large stock of gold, Lupin and his gang work to bring down the assassins and find the bearer of the silver Walther. 
10 "Memories of the Flame: Tokyo Crisis / Crisis in Tokyo"
"Honō no Kioku ~Tokyo Crisis~" (炎の記憶 ~TOKYO CRISIS~) 
Toshiya Shinohara 1998-07-24

Lupin attempts and fails to steal a valuable set of Japanese photographic plates. The rightful owner of the plates, Michael Suzuki, is a multimillionaire who is preparing to open a huge water park in Tokyo. Lupin attempts to enlist the help of his steadfast comrades Jigen and Goemon but find them less than reliable; Jigen is suffering from a toothache that throws off his legendary aim, and Goemon has shamefully had his sword, Zantetsuken, stolen by a woman and given to Suzuki to display in his art collection. The group works on a plan with Fujiko to get both the plates and Zantetsuken.


Meanwhile, Inspector Zenigata has a journalist named Maria following him around, reporting on his job; however, she'd much rather be investigating Suzuki. However, she, Lupin, and Zenigata eventually discover she has a connection to a dark part of Suzuki's past, one that he will go to any lengths to eliminate. 
11 "Da Capo of Love: Fujiko's Unlucky Days / The Columbus Files"
"Ai no Da Kāpo – Fujiko's Unlucky Days" (愛のダ·カーポ ~ FUJIKO's Unlucky Days) 
Shinichi Watanabe 1999-07-30

During a romantic dinner with Lupin, Fujiko tells him about the Columbus Files, information that leads to a legendary treasure called the Columbus Egg. Before she can let Lupin in on the information, the rascally Nazaroff and his men attack. Chasing the two through the woods, Lupin and Fujiko find themselves cornered and hanging off of a cliff. Lupin cannot save Fujiko, who plummets to the ground below when a bullet severs the rope.


Fujiko finds herself in the care of treasure hunter Rosaria, but unable to remember her name or anything about her past. Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon manage to track Fujiko down and try to help her remember who she is, but she is kidnapped by Nazaoff and his employer, who want the secrets of the Columbus Files and the Columbus Egg, which involve the mysterious Orgone energy. The film becomes a race to get hold of Fujiko, the information, and the treasure itself. 
12 "$1 Money Wars / Missed by a Dollar"
"1 Doru Manē Wōzu" (1$マネーウォーズ) 
Hideki Tonokatsu 2000-07-28

Lupin tries to acquire a quite plain ring at an auction, but is outbid by one dollar. Thus thwarted, he decides to steal it instead, and enlists the help of Jigen and Goemon. Cynthia, head of the Bank of the World, is the auction winner and their target. The ring is the key to locating a lengendary brooch – Lupin's true objective. The robbery goes well until the getaway, when Lupin is shot out of a helicopter, falling towards his death. His comrades bury him and swears to finish what he started, and Inspector Zenigata resigns in grief.


Shortly thereafter, Lupin reappears in disguise to save the gang from a deadly trap. His tricks have once again saved him, and now he's after Cynthia, who trusts the brooch will give her the same fortune as its previous owners Napoleon and Hitler. Her henchman/admirer Nabikov is helping her with a plan for world domination, and is also the man who shot Lupin. 
13 "Alcatraz Connection"
"Arukatorazu Konekushon" (アルカトラズコネクション) 
Hideki Tonokatsu 2001-08-03
Somewhere off the coast of San Francisco lies a sunken ship filled with gold ingots, and Lupin has just stolen some data to help him track it down. What Lupin and the gang does not know is that a crime syndicate known only as the "Secret Seven" is also after the sunken gold. Zenigata and his SFPD counterpart are hot on Lupin's trail, and mysterious men in black seem to shadow Lupin's every move. Who will win the race to the gold, and what connection does the gold have to Alcatraz and John F. Kennedy? 
14 "Episode 0: First Contact / Episode 0: The First Contact"
"Episode: 0 Fāsuto Kontakuto" (EPISODE:0(ゼロ) ファーストコンタクト) 
Minoru Ohara 2002-07-26

Jigen is asked by a reporter to tell the story of how he met Lupin and the rest of the gang. He tells about the time he was hired by a millionaire named Galves to help guard the Clam of Hermes, a green cylinder made of unbreakable metal. The cylinder contained instructions on how to forge a metal similar to the one that composed it. The Clam has also gained the attentions of both Lupin, a fellow thief named Brad, and Brad's partner, Fujiko.


Brad manages to steal the Clam, but is murdered by Galves' henchman, Shade. Lupin and Fujiko now have possession of it, but no means to open it. Meanwhile, Inspector Zenigata has been dispatched by the Japanese police to hunt down and arrest Fujiko. He is paired with George McFly, an American detective who is his only resource. And on the other side of the world, Goemon is seeking a sword worthy of his skills.


The key to opening the Clam of Mermes is now the focus of everyone's efforts, but who will come across it first? And, more importantly, how much of Jigen's story is the truth? 
15 "Operation: Return the Treasure"
"Otakara Henkyaku Dai-sakusen!!" (お宝返却大作戦!!) 
Jun Kawagoe 2003-08-01

The last will of master thief Mark Williams is for his old friend Lupin to return to their rightful places several famous objects, including La Bocca della Verita (or Mouth of Truth), a coffee maker from the first bottega da caffe in the Plaza San Marco, the speedboat/hovercraft gondola that 007 used in the movie Moonraker, original can-can dresses from the Moulin Rouge, a car custom-made for the king of a Middle East country – which is actually a Mercedes-Benz 300SLR, and lastly a statue of The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark, all of which Mark stole in his lifetime.


Doing so within a certain time limit will reveal to Lupin the location of the Trick Diamond, a jewel thought to be worthless because its only ability is to catch and retain light. Lupin, however, is certain that the stone holds more than meets the eye, as it is connected with both the Tunguska incident and the construction of La Sagrada Família in Barcelona.


A Russian mobster and his cohorts are also after the diamond, as it is rumoured to be able to reveal an incredible treasure. As Lupin and his gang attempt to return the artifacts, they run into more trouble than they expected when the mob crosses paths with them. Lupin ends up on his own when Jigen captured and Goemon is injured and unable to use his sword. Lupin must now put the pieces together if he wants to uncover the fantastic treasure in time. 
16 "Stolen Lupin ~ The Copy Cat is a Midsummer's Butterfly~"
"Nusumareta Rupan ~Copī Kyatto wa Manatsu no Chō~" (盗まれたルパン ~コピーキャットは真夏の蝶~) 
Hidehito Ueda 2004-07-30

After another daring heist, Lupin finds himself stolen; he is kidnapped by the crime lord Malchovich, and is forced to agree to steal the infamous 'Bull's Eye' jewel – or Fujiko will be killed by a bomb strapped around her neck. However, Lupin's progress is hindered by a young woman named Becky, who is out to prove herself by outdoing him in the field of thievery. She turns out to be the daughter of Cat, Lupin's first partner in crime...and her father's identity is anyone's guess.


Eventually, it's revealed that the Malchovich and company have set everything up to acquire the fabled "Lupin Collection" – the valuables Lupin has amassed during his long and successful career. With a couple of highly skilled warriors in his employ, Malchovich is determined to get rid of Lupin once and for all. But there are of course a couple of surprises awaiting for both sides of the conflict... 
17 "An Angel's Tactics – Fragments of a Dream Are the Scent of Murder"
"Tenshi no Takutikusu ~Yume no Kakera wa Koroshi no Kaori~" (天使の策略(タクティクス) ~夢のカケラは殺しの香り~) 
Shigeyuki Miya 2005-07-22
Lupin and his friends are targeted by the all-female terrorist group "Bloody Angels". They are after the "original metal" – a mysterious object Lupin stole from Area 51. Lupin's weakness for women is certainly not going to be any help this time. Neither is Goemon, unless he can find a way to mend the damage made by his overconfidence in his sword. The major question is whether this is just a series of professional assassination attempts or if the Angels have an underlying agenda...or a personal grudge. 
18 "Seven Days Rhapsody"
"Sebun Deizu Rapusodi" (セブンデイズ·ラプソディ) 
Hajime Kamegaki 2006-09-08
Lupin and Jigen have a heist in seven days. But they split up to help friends; Jigen joins up with a mercenary, and Lupin becomes gets involved in the life of a young girl named Michelle. Everything revolves around a gigantic diamond--which Fujiko and Goemon have their sights on too. With no one to turn to and double-crosses galore, can Lupin pull things together in a week? 
19 "Elusiveness of the Fog"
"Kiri no Eryūshivu" (霧のエリューシヴ) 
Masuda Toshihiko 2007-07-27
After receiving a clue from Fujiko, Lupin and his gang go searching for a legendary undersea treasure in Kiritappu, Japan. Quick enough, Inspector Zenigata chases them from the dig site and up the road to a strange lighthouse, where they are met by a strange figure calling himself "Mamou." Mamou clearly has it out for Lupin, and after a bit of a light show, sends Lupin, Goemon and Jigen 500 years into the past, with Zenigata right behind them. Now the trio is caught up in a land war between two ancient tribes, and are forced to solve the mystery of the legendary treasure as the time-traveler Mamou threatens to remove Fujiko from existence by erasing her ancestor! 
20 "Sweet Lost Night ~Magic Lamp's Nightmare Premonition~"
"Sweet Lost Night ~Mahō no Ranpu wa Akumu no Yokan~" (sweet lost night 〜魔法のランプは悪夢の予感〜) 
Tetsuro Amino 2008-07-25
Fujiko sends Lupin and the gang into the desert on the trail of a magic lamp. But everyone wants it, including the warmonger Colonel Garlic and a mysterious woman. It all goes sideways when Lupin is robbed of his memory--and you should never steal from a thief! 
"Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan"
"Rupan Sansei vs Meitantei Konan" (ルパン三世 vs 名探偵コナン) 
Hajime Kamegaki 2009-03-27
Lupin attempts to steal a royal crown from the fictional country of Vespania after its owner, the queen, is assassinated by her son, who then shot himself. Jigen infiltrates the National Guard as a sharpshooting instructor, while Fujiko tails the princess, on holiday in Japan. Meanwhile, Conan Edogawa saves the princess, who looks exactly like his friend Ran, from an assassination attempt. Inspector Zenigata teams up with Kogoro Mori to catch the assassin and foil Lupin's scheme. Fujiko kidnaps the princess while leaving Ran to act as her double. In the end, Conan and Lupin have to team up to find out the truth behind the assassination and save the princess from the same fate. 
21 "The Last Job"
"za Rasuto Jobu" (the Last Job) 
Tetsuro Amino 2010-2-12
Lupin sends a letter to Zenigata announcing he will steal their cargo, the Buddha's statue. Lupin succeeds and Zenigata gives chase. A villain named Morgana intervenes the chase, stealing the statue and killing Zenigata in the process. After Zenigata's funeral, Lupin reveals to his comrades he was after the secret inside the Buddha statue. Asuka, revealing she is part of the Fuma Ninja clan and explains the statue's secret leads to a device known as the Fujin and her clan had left her to protect its secrets. Lupin, Asuka, and Morgana confront each other three times attempting to steal a sword that opens up the Buddha statue, the Hexagonal crystal that leads to the Fujin, and the Fujin itself. Asuka is taken hostage by Morganna who also happens to gain possession of the Fujin and coaxes Lupin to confront him once final time. Morganna is able to activate the Fujin when Asuka's Shiba Inu howls and reveals the Fujin is a black hole generator and attempts to kill Lupin and his comrades. Lupin manages to steal the Fujin and redirects the black hole towards Morganna. In the end, Zenigata, revealed to have been put in a death like state by Asuka to protect him from Morganna, re-hires Asuka and attempts to apprehend Lupin. 
22 "Blood Seal - Eternal Mermaid"
"Chi no Kokuin - Eien no Māmeido" (血の刻印 〜永遠のMermaid〜) 
Teiichi Takiguchi 2011-12-2
A pair of jewels hold the secret to an even greater treasure, but there are so many obstacles in Lupin's way. The smallest one is Maki, a precocious fourteen year old girl who wants Lupin to teach her to be a thief. But what is her tie to the treasure and the mysterious girl Misa, a girl who cannot die? The secrets behind the treasure reach back even into Lupin's past; will the Blood Seal be opened?! 
23 "Record of Observations of the East - Another Page"
"Tōhō kenbunroku - Anazā Pēji" (東方見聞録 〜アナザーページ〜) 
Hajime Kamegaki 2012-11-2
The special revolves around a long-lost page of Marco Polo's Record of Observations of the East travel journal (known in French as Livres des merveilles du monde and in English as Books of the Marvels of the World). Theo Argent, a professor who found this missing page, has been murdered, and Lupin is suspected as the killer. As Lupin is being chased by the police, he receives unexpected help from Argent's granddaughter Lisa. 
24 "Princess of the Breeze - Hidden City in the Sky"
"Purinsesu obu za Burizu - Kakusareta Kūchū Toshi" (princess of the breeze ~隠された空中都市~) 
Takaomi Kanasaki 2013-11-1
After a chaotic heist, Lupin and Jigen find themselves becoming caretakers of a baby boy, while a young sky pirate called Yutika is after their loot. Yutika is an inhabitant of the city-state of Shahalta, which has recently fallen to a shady minister. Soon, Lupin's gang and Yutika join forces to uncover one of Shahalta's greatest treasures, facing off against both Shahaltan authorities and Zenigata. 

Production notes[edit]

  • While recording Orders to Assassinate Lupin in 1993, Lupin's voice actor, Yasuo Yamada, took a sudden illness, and his standing became unstable. By the last part of the recording, Yasuo recorded his voice while he was in a chair. Yamada went on to reprise the role one last time in Burn, Zantetsuken! the following year, however, his health continued to decline during the recording.[citation needed] He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1995, at the age of 62. Kanichi Kurita took over the role of Lupin that same year.[6]
  • 2007's Elusiveness of the Fog, as well as being one of the annual Lupin TV specials, also aired as a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Lupin III manga. Just as the OVA Return of the Magician brought back an old villain in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the anime, the character of Mamou had previously appeared in both a story in the original Lupin III manga and the thirteenth episode of the first anime series. It should be noted he is treated in this special as if Lupin's gang had never met him before.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific

External links[edit]