When it comes to manga and anime adaptations, 3D has a bit of a bad rap - sometimes for good measure, when it’s used as a clumsy shorthand around traditional animation. But the latest adventure for Japan’s most iconic gentleman thief (sorry, Joker) wants to buck that trend by being downright bloody gorgeous.
Last night, Toho dropped the first trailer for Lupin III: The First, the latest movie starring the daring thief descendant of Arsene Lupin, first created by Monkey Punch back in 1967.
Lupin, along with his partners in crime Fujiko, Goemon, and Jigen, have spent the past four-plus decades being chased all over the world by Inspector Zenigata as they pull off dazzling heists across manga, various anime, and movies (including the film directorial debut of the likewise legendary Hayao Miyazaki, the incredible The Castle of Cagliostro), even live action! But their biggest caper might be starring in a CG animated movie that... doesn’t just not look bad, but actually looks absolutely goddamn gorgeous?
The First is being directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who is also directing the likewise sumptuous-looking Dragon Quest: Your Story animated movie, set to release in Japan this year. And while it’s not the first time Lupin and his friends have been seen in CG animation - a 2012 box set collection included a short film in a similar style - The First is, well, the first time the franchise will release a full-length feature in CG.
Plot details are sparse so far, but honestly, you don’t really need anything more right now than to just look at it. It’s snappy, it’s bright, it’s evocative of Monkey Punch’s trademark lanky character design, not just adeptly translating it to the 3D realm but crucially retaining all of the comical, boundless energy Lupin is known for. It might be a new medium, but it looks to be an extremely faithful take on the beloved series, and we can’t wait to see more.
Lupin III: The First hits theatres in Japan December 6. Plans for release outside of the country have yet to be confirmed, but given Lupin’s international appeal, don’t be surprised if this beautiful take on the master thief sneaks his way to the West in the future.