Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Reviews for Rupan sansei: Kariosutoro no shiro (The Castle of Cagliostro) (Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro)
Rupan sansei: Kariosutoro no shiro (The Castle of Cagliostro) (Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro) (1979)
Posted on 5/18/06 06:30 AM
For his first animated feature, Hayao Miyazaki directed this terrific, action-packed comedy about a cunning but lovable thief and his assault on the titular structure. While most of Miyazaki's other movies featured characters of his own creation, the cast of The Castle of Cagliostro--Lupin the thief, his gruff sidekick Jigen, the swordsmaster Goemon, bumbling Inspector Zenigata, and semi-love interest Fujiko--are all the property of comic artist Monkey Punch, the man responsible for the Lupin the Third franchise. However, the fast-paced plot, which involves Lupin and his pals attempting to rescue--you guessed it--a princess from a dastardly monarch, is Miyazaki's own baby through and through, crammed to the bone with twists, turns, and clever surprises. In addition to liberating the "damsel-in-distress" (who is actually not as helpless as you'd expect--Miyazaki is a feminist, by the way), Lupin has to deal with other obstacles, including bad guys with armored claws, the mazelike corridors of the Cagliostro castle itself, and a counterfeiting scheme. Not only is this an action movie, it's also a mystery story, as the pieces of a huge puzzle slowly come together over the course of the movie's 100 minute running time.
The animation is obviously dated, since the film is over 20 years old, but there are elements of Miyazaki's trademarks from his later films to be found in the characterizations of the protagonists and antagonists. The jazz-rock underscore by Yuji Ohno lacks the richness of Joe Hisaishi's scores for Miyazaki's films after this one, but it suits the tone of the film perfectly. Although not as beautiful, meaningful, or powerful as Miyazaki's later films, The Castle of Cagliostro remains a joy to watch, with plenty of action-packed sequences, humor a-plenty, and enough fun to keep one enchanted. (Wait until you see the tools that the hero possesses!)
The film was once dubbed into English by controversial Carl Macek and his company, Streamline Pictures. I have not seen this version, but it has received mixed reactions ranging from praise to disgust (a typical atmosphere with English-dubbed anime). In 2000, however, Manga Entertainment purchased the rights to the movie and commissioned California-based dubbing studio AniMaze to produce a brand-new English track. Having heard this version, I can say that it is of reasonably good quality. The voice cast is well-chosen and sound like they're having a great time hamming it up; Sean Barker plays Lupin, Ivan Buckley is Jigen, Doughary Grant voices Zenigata, Ruby Marlowe speaks for the lonely Clarisse, and Sparky Thornton chews the scenery with devious glee as the villainous Count of Cagliostro. The ADR script, however, while faithful to the original Japanese script, gets points off for shoehorning in profane phrases ("we're rich bastards!") which are not only unnecessary, but pointless as well. Still, it's watchable.