Lupin III: Dead or Alive

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Lupin III: Dead or Alive
Lupin III Dead or Alive.jpg
North American DVD cover
Directed by Monkey Punch
Produced by Chuji Nakajima
Hidehiko Takei
Screenplay by Hiroshi Sakakibara
Based on Lupin the Third
by Monkey Punch
Starring Kanichi Kurita
Eiko Masuyama
Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Makio Inoue
Gorō Naya
Music by Takayuki Negishi
Yuji Ohno
Cinematography Hajime Hasegawa
Edited by Takeshi Seyama
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • April 20, 1996 (1996-04-20)
Running time
97 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Lupin III: Dead or Alive (ルパン三世 DEAD OR ALIVE, Rupan Sansei: Deddo oa Araibu) is a 1996 Japanese animated film directed by Monkey Punch. It is the fifth feature film in the Lupin III franchise.[1] The North American release was done by Funimation; the film is available both individually and as part of their "First Haul" box set.


Lupin has set his sights on the national treasure of the country of Zufu, placed for safe-keeping on a mysterious floating island by the country's late king. The island's super-intelligent defense mechanism, however, proves to be too much for Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon to handle by themselves. The key seems to be linked to the prince of Zufu, the only surviving member of the royal family. He is in hiding from Zufu's current ruler, General Headhunter, who recently acquired rule over the country when he secretly pulled a coup d'etat and executed the country's king.

Lupin's gang 'kidnap' the general's daughter to get hold of the key, but in reality turn out to be a Zufu police agent named Olèander. But the general not only want to kill Lupin but the agent as well as a kind of 'swift justice'. Meanwhile, Fujiko, pretending to be a secretary, is ordered to protect the general's daughter who turn out to be the daughter of a scientist that is held prisoner by Headhunter. As Lupin and his friends escape the police Olèander learns that the prince is alive and that she is a pawn to the ruthless dictator.

As Lupin learns that the key is around Olèander's neck he comes up with an idea. The general and Olèander arrive at the island and to their surprise the prince as well. He asked Olèander to give him the key. So she did and the door open to a large laboratory. Headhunter has all the power to control but is almost shot by the prince who is really Lupin in disguise. He is about to be finish from the general when he place a bullet in a broken wire and use a knife to activate the firing pin. He did and the bullet went into the head killing him. Lupin and his friend escape the crumbling island and that all things are back to normal. When Inspector Zenagata shows up and put the handcuffs on Lupin but he escape with a fake hand. So Lupin's gang go their different ways: Jigen:east, Goemon:west, Fujiko:south, and Lupin: north.


Monkey Punch, the original creator of Lupin III, was the director of the film.[2] However, he claims it was not something he wanted to do. The production had a short deadline and as there was no director, he accepted the role. He said the experience was too demanding and claimed that it was the other people involved that "saved" the film, and added that he never wants to direct again.[2]

Monkey Punch originally turned down the offer to direct the movie, however he felt pressured to accept. He designed the opening and ending, but screenwriter Hiroshi Sakakibara filled in the rest. Additionally, the assistant director made the computers look like Apple Macintoshs because Monkey Punch likes them.[3]


Character Japanese English
Arsène Lupin III Kanichi Kurita Sonny Strait
Fujiko Mine Eiko Masuyama Meredith McCoy
Daisuke Jigen Kiyoshi Kobayashi Christopher Sabat
Goemon Ishikawa XIII Makio Inoue Mike McFarland
Inspector Zenigata Gorō Naya Phillip Wilburn
Ole Minami Takayama Colleen Clinkenbeard
Prince Panish Tōru Furuya Sonny Strait
Headhunting General Banjō Ginga Bill Townsley
Crisis Nachi Nozawa Chris Patton
Emera Chisa Yokoyama Colleen Clinkenbeard
Spunky Shigeru Chiba Chris Rager



  1. ^ Anime and Manga - Page 927 Films Because the pilot anime film was never released in theaters, the first Lupin III theatrical feature was a live-action movie produced in 1974 during the hiatus between the first and second television series. ... in April 1995. The fifth anime feature film, Dead or Alive, was directed by the creator of the series, Monkey Punch, and released in Japanese theaters on April 20, 1996
  2. ^ a b "Interview: Monkey Punch". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ Interview with Monkey Punch. Lupin The Third Dead or Alive (DVD). Funimation. 

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