Everyone rejoice — Lupin III: The First is being given a US release! Isn’t that amazing news?? ……What do you mean you don’t know who “Lu-pawn” is?
Lupin the Third is an iconic cartoon character in Japan, first drawn onto the pages of manga by artist Monkey Punch (recently deceased). He is the world’s slickest thief, pulling off comedic capers with his posse and evading the clutches of Inspector Zenigata. Lupin has appeared in all sorts of media over the last few decades, though mostly in his home country. The series has never taken off anywhere else, and if you ever get the chance to see it in America, it’s usually on Adult Swim at 1 AM or close to it.
An all-CG Lupin movie was announced last year, and that’s the kind of thing that can go awry quickly in the wrong hands…but not this time. The first trailers were released in 2019 and look incredible, successfully translating Monkey Punch’s designs to 3D without appearing flat or lifeless. Lupin looks like he’s always been a CG character.
Lupin is certainly no stranger to cinema; his 1979 classic The Castle of Cagliostro was an early directing effort from Hayao Miyazaki and remains one of the most important anime films of all time. Lupin III: The First probably isn’t going to top THAT (because come on), but it looks very good in its own right.
GKids, the American distributor of Lupin III: The First, has not set a release date yet, but it’s early. A theatrical run HAS been confirmed. We expect to learn more about the US version of this movie in the coming months.