Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by droosan » June 20th, 2020, 2:53 am

Ben wrote:
June 19th, 2020, 8:51 pm
Well, now, that’s certainly a step up from the Ghibli, though, in terms of texture, lighting, direction and most importantly, design. I don’t think I knew about this — looks awesome, did it ever get an English language release as the trailer implies?
GKids announced plans to release Lupin the Third: The First in theaters back in March .. but that's since had to be 'pushed back', obviously. :|

Not sure of any announced date for North American home video, either. The movie is currently available on DVD & Blu-ray in Japan .. but in japanese language, only.

I agree that it looks excellent, and likewise very much look forward to seeing it. :)

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The newest Lupin the Third TV series -- Part IV: Lupin's Italian Adventure (2015) and Part V: Lupin's French Adventure (2018) -- are also very enjoyable, and obviously made by a crew who were ardent fans of the classic series ..



Discotek Media released Lupin's Italian Adventure on North American DVD/Blu last year (but, be warned: in separate sets -- one in dubbed-english-dialogue only, and another in japanese with english subtitles only). Hopefully, Lupin's French Adventure will be coming to North American home video, soon.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Ben » June 20th, 2020, 4:52 am

Interesting! Pretty cool how they’ve kept the same look. :)

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Randall » June 20th, 2020, 9:16 am

I've been eager to hear word on being able to see The First. I'd seen the trailer a while ago, and was impressed. Another victim of coronavirus, obviously, if GKids wants to go theatrical before a home release. I haven't watched much Lupin III beyond Cagliostro and a couple of episodes of the original show, but would like to get into it more.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by droosan » June 20th, 2020, 10:39 am

There, again .. Discotek Media has been doing yeoman's work on making the early Lupin the Third TV series (along with literally dozens of other 'classic/obscure' anime titles) available in english.

The downside is that the company is known for low print runs (which means their titles tend to go 'out-of-print' quickly) .. and also for rather high prices, compared to more-mainstream anime DVD sets. :|

Discotek released the first 23-episode Lupin the Third TV series (1971) as a 4-disc DVD set. It's where the series began (obviously), but is not as refined/sophisticated as it would later become.

Discotek has also just finally completed its release of the second 155-episode Lupin the Third TV series (1977-1980) -- across four 4/5-disc DVD sets -- a monumental effort, which took them a few years..! This is the series that cemented the 'formula' for everything that's followed .. and is still considered the 'gold standard' that all of those follow-ups are measured against. Hayao Miyazaki did some planning/story work on the second half of this series .. and even directed a couple of episodes (including the series finale). If you're interested in just those episodes, volume 4 of this 'Part II' series is the one to get. :mrgreen:

It's also worth noting that both of the above-mentioned Lupin the Third TV series DVD sets by Discotek are available in japanese with subtitles, only .. no english dubs.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by EricJ » June 20th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Randall wrote:
June 20th, 2020, 9:16 am
I haven't watched much Lupin III beyond Cagliostro and a couple of episodes of the original show, but would like to get into it more.
Agreed, the first Lupin (for those who don't know, the various series are color-coded by Lupin's jacket--The first was "Green Jacket", the classic second series was "Red Jacket", and the third and fourth are Pink and Blue) is not refined animation, doesn't get into its groove until the later episodes, and doesn't even have his cool jazzy signature theme yet that we heard in Cagliostro, but it's got some good plots, and an early TV-era Hayao Miyazaki directing some of the episodes.
They're both FWA on Crunchyroll, along with the later series: https://www.crunchyroll.com/lupin-the-third-part-1

I'm guessing the "couple of episodes" were the two guest episodes Miyazaki did for the red-jacket Second season (that Streamline Pictures dubbed on VHS to cash in on their Cagliostro dub).
The TV Lupin is degrees away from Cagliostro--the animation is more comic-style, Lupin is more of a libidinous girl-chaser, Fujiko is a nasty gold-digging femme-fatale who constantly double-crosses him, not a spunky girl-spy, and Zenigata isn't quite such a commanding, competent old bulldog--but Ep. 145, "Albatross, Wings of Death", and #155, "Farewell, Lovely Lupin" are more traditionally more in Miyazaki's cute, cuddly Cagliostro-verse for those new to the TV version:
https://www.crunchyroll.com/lupin-the-t ... ace-685769
droosan wrote:
June 20th, 2020, 10:39 am
It's also worth noting that both of the above-mentioned Lupin the Third TV series DVD sets by Discotek are available in japanese with subtitles, only .. no english dubs.
But, considering the snarky "hipster" dub Pioneer/Geneon put on it in the hopes of a CN Adult Swim sale, that's a good thing.
Pioneer only got a third of the way through Series 2, and you can hear that dub on Crunchyroll's stream of the series as far as they got, if you're morbidly curious, but the remaining episodes on the site are sub-only.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by droosan » June 20th, 2020, 7:01 pm

It's true that the classic 1970s/80s Lupin the Third TV series are a bit 'harder-edged' than what fans who've only seen the Miyazaki-directed episodes and The Castle of Cagliostro film may expect.

I didn't even get into the various other theatrical/DTV Lupin the Third adventures .. which also vary widely in animation/storytelling quality, and some of which push Monkey Punch's 'stylized' character designs further than others.

Of those, The Castle of Cagliostro (1979) is certainly the 'standout' -- but personally, I also very much enjoy Mystery of Mamo (1978 .. aka Lupin vs The Clone, in some releases) and Legend of the Gold of Babylon (1985).

There is also a live-action Lupin the Third movie -- Strange Psychokinetic Strategy (1974) -- which is pure 'cheese'; informed more by the likes of Our Man Flint or Dr. Goldfoot than by Monkey Punch's manga, or the 1971 animated series which preceded it. I only recommend that one for laughs .. of which, it has a few!

In its way, the Lupin the Third franchise is a bit like Scooby Doo .. originating in the late-60s/early-70s, and going through numerous iterations over the ensuing years -- in a variety of styles and storytelling approaches -- some of which are successful, and some of which suffer from trying to do things a bit too cheaply. :lol:

------------------------

The more-recent Part IV: Lupin's Italian Adventure (the trailer I'd linked above) is actually a fairly close cousin of the 'Miyazaki-esque' Lupin the Third universe. Anyone who is only familiar with Cagliostro/Albatross/Aloha will find much to enjoy here. :)

Nearly all of the episodes are 'stand-alone' stories .. and each of the main cast gets a few episodes to 'showcase' & explore their character. The series also introduces a couple of new characters to the mix that add new dynamics to the core group: mischievous supermodel Rebecca Rosselini (who gets herself married to Lupin, in the first episode) .. and an 'intense' british MI6 agent codenamed Nyx (with an uncanny resemblance to Daniel Craig 8) ).

There is also a main 'arc' plot which underpins the series -- coming to the forefront mainly in the last few climactic episodes. Also -- at just 26 episodes -- it's a tidy little foray into Lupin's world; not too long, not too short. :mrgreen:


Apologies for straying from the Ghibli topic, a bit .. :oops:

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Randall » June 21st, 2020, 12:11 am

Not at all! I'm glad for the lupin primer. I do have Cagliostro, of course, as well as the first series (which I've barely started on). I was curious as to what else to check out, so thanks to you both!

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Ben » June 21st, 2020, 5:14 am

Kind of with Rand here: I’m well aware of the "franchise" as a whole, but otherwise a Lupin virgin, other than Cagliostro, which I saw as a teen and thought was crazy good because it so was so different. Can totally see these as live-action stories, but the new CG looks pretty awesome.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by droosan » June 21st, 2020, 10:25 am

That's probably mostly because -- for a long time -- Lupin the Third was a difficult series to see, outside of Japan .. due to the fact that Lupin is the purported 'grandson' of the french literary character, Arsene Lupin -- whose stories were not yet in the 'public domain' when Monkey Punch began his manga in the late 1960s.

The estate of Maurice LeBlanc (the author of the original Arsene Lupin novels) posed a legal challenge to anime importers throughout the 1980s and into the 90s. That's why -- when Streamline Pictures created their original 1980s dubs of The Castle of Cagliostro, Albatross: Wings of Death and Aloha, Lupin -- they went out of their way not to have him referred to as "Lupin" by the other characters .. who, instead, mostly called him "The Wolf." Early translation efforts of other movies referred to him as "Rupan" (a literal romanization of the japanese pronunciation of the characters' name) to get around the lawyers.

Eventually, I believe, 'public domain' finally won the day .. but it still took many years to see those first couple of TV series get a complete english-language release!

-----------------------------

To turn back toward Ghibli (or, at least, toward Miyazaki) .. it's amazing how the Lupin the Third episodes & movie he'd directed stand so far above the rest of the series, in both storytelling & animation/design quality. Which is no 'knock' on the rest of the series; there are certainly other good episodes & movies .. but Miyazaki's are simply on another level.

There's even a good bit of 'foreshadowing' of his later works, in them; the massive Albatross plane evokes some of the hulking aircraft seen in Nausicaä or Castle in the Sky .. while the flying robot featured in Aloha, Lupin -- ostensibly inspired by the bank-robbing robots in the Fleischer Superman cartoon The Mechanical Monsters -- can itself be viewed as a direct ancestor of Castle in the Sky's 'robot guardians' of Laputa. :mrgreen:

This is also true of the charming 1984 TV series Sherlock Hound -- called Meitantei Holmes (literally "Great Detective Holmes") in Japan. This TV series was exactly what its english title implies: the adventures of Sherlock Holmes; but all the characters are cartoon dogs. :mrgreen: Miyazaki directed six of that series' 26-episode run .. and those episodes stand apart, every bit as much as his Lupin episodes. :o

Here, again, can be seen 'foreshadowed' traces of more improbable aircraft and character archetypes which later appear in Ghibli films .. including one episode (The White Cliffs of Dover) which transforms Holmes' otherwise demure housekeeper -- Mrs. Hudson -- into a supremely confident and 'take-control' heroine, in the Nausicaä mold..!
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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Randall » June 21st, 2020, 11:21 am

I knew some of the story with Lupin's literary origins, but that's interesting about the initial dubbing.

The animation in the first TV series is obviously cruder, but I did enjoy the episodes I've seen so far, which certainly skew more adult.

The new CGI films looks so good that I am so very tempted to get the pricey Japanese Blu-ray just to see it, though I don't speak Japanese at all. But I'm sure it will get an English-friendly release at some point, so I'll be patient.

Back to Ghibli, The Wind Rises is getting its GKids release this September, and it looks like it basically ports over all the features from the Disney disc.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Ben » June 21st, 2020, 12:28 pm

Used to love Sherlock Hound...in the wake of The Great Mouse Detective over here, they released at least two if not four volumes on VHS of this, and I had the first two, which had I think three episodes apiece on them. I believe between the two tapes, these were the six Miyazaki shows, which turned out to be my first exposure to him, and Japanese animation in general, even if these aren’t really a good indication of that whole ethos, along with the Dr Doolittle show also previously spoken about here.

Although they were made in Japan, by Japanese creators, they’re not exactly what you think of when you think of Miyazaki, Ghibli or even the wider anime! That didn’t come until a few years later, when Nausicaä and the like started getting English dubs and being shown here, like with Cagliostro, and then obviously Mononoke and onwards after that, which by then was the early-mid 90s and saw the beginnings of wider western exposure.

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by droosan » June 21st, 2020, 1:39 pm

Even long before he became a director, Hayao Miyazaki's genius shone through the films on which he'd worked. My favorite of his early 'proto-Ghibli' movies is Toei's Puss 'N Boots (1969). Miyazaki was a key animator for the film, and provided many ideas for it -- particularly, for its incredible third act.

The first hour or so is a fairly straightforward retelling of the Perrault fairytale: a young boy is cheated of his inheritance by his cruel older brothers, left only with a cat. The cat uses his wits and cunning to present the boy to the king, and helps him win the heart of a princess. The princess is kidnapped by an ogre, who can change into a variety of fearsome animals. The cat tricks the ogre into turning into a mouse ..

But then, a 'twist' occurs -- resulting in a fantastic 20-minute climactic duel between Pero (Puss) and the shape-shifting ogre. This madcap chase/fight takes place in the dizzying heights of a castle riddled with trap-doors and booby-traps. If you're a fan of The Castle of Cagliostro's clock-tower showdown .. well, this was the 'prototype' for that! :mrgreen:



This movie is among those rare anime 'gems' released by Discotek Media (on DVD with english subtitles), several years back .. but, by now, is likely out-of-print. :( Even so -- IMHO -- it is well-worth seeking out!

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by EricJ » June 21st, 2020, 2:31 pm

Ben wrote:
June 21st, 2020, 12:28 pm
Used to love Sherlock Hound...in the wake of The Great Mouse Detective over here, they released at least two if not four volumes on VHS of this, and I had the first two, which had I think three episodes apiece on them. I believe between the two tapes, these were the six Miyazaki shows, which turned out to be my first exposure to him, and Japanese animation in general, even if these aren’t really a good indication of that whole ethos, along with the Dr Doolittle show also previously spoken about here.
The other twenty Great Detective Holmes episodes used to stream on Crunchyroll (don't now, though), and while Miyazaki didn't direct those, the suspicious Cagliostro-era references--Mrs. Hudson's sudden action "snap" in the Dover episode was more Fujiko than Nausicaa--are still there:

In one later Hound episode, we see an enigmatic "Japanese university-exchange student" in Victorian London, who bears an awful darn resemblance to a certain stoic samurai...
The hair over Sherlock's eyes and his habit of lazily putting feet up on desks seems oddly familiar as well, and let's not even discuss Insp. Lestrade's dogged chases and endless supply of policemen.

And as for Cagliostro, I still say that one fan-made 007 mashup is a better trailer for the movie than any real one it ever got. :mrgreen:

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by droosan » September 28th, 2020, 8:37 am

GKids has released an english-dubbed trailer for Lupin The Third: The First ..



"coming soon" (though, it doesn't specify to where)

scuttlebutt seems to say: AMC Theaters, on October 18th ..

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Re: Favorite And Least Favorite Studio Ghibli Movie?

Post by Randall » September 28th, 2020, 11:10 pm

Looks good! Can't wait - for the Blu-ray!

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