Anime: Lupin III Island Of Assassins

aka: Island Of Assassins

Island of Assassins, with the original Japanese title In Memory of the Walther P-38, is the ninth of the Lupin III Yearly Specials, and was released in 1997. It has been released in English by FUNimation as a single disc in 2005 and as part of the "Final Haul" boxset in 2006.

Inspector Zenigata has been called to a millionaire's elaborate birthday affair by one of Lupin's infamous calling cards, but when the titular thief arrives and is surrounded, he claims he didn't send it! As he attempts to escape, the mansion is suddenly raided by unknown assailants, the guards murdered, and the host assassinated. Zenigata eventually corners his longtime rival in the chaos, but ends up shot by someone wielding an elaborately decorated Walther P-38.

Furious at Zenigata's shooting and recognizing the gun that did it as one once belonging to him, Lupin finds out the identity of the mystery assailants: Tarantula, a network of world-renowned assassins. They live on an unmarked island together, kept in check by a special tarantula tattoo; if an assassin is away from the special gases native to the island for too long, they will slowly be poisoned by it. He and Fujiko go there and are branded by the assassins, becoming part of their organization. They, along with the behind-the-scenes Jigen and Goemon, become entwined with an impending island rebellion, the complex scheme of Tarantula's mastermind, and, most importantly, the mystery wielder of the gun from Lupin's past. With help from Elen, an assassin seeking revenge for the death of her brother, Lupin and his gang must find a way to stop Tarantula for good.

Complete spoilers below — don't read further if you don't want to know how this caper turns out!

This TV Movie features examples of:

  • Acrofatic: One of the assassins, Bomber, is very fat but also extremely fast, capable of covering a person in explosive mines in a second.
  • Arm Cannon: Gordeau has one.
  • Art Shift: Lupin's initial flashbacks are shown in negative.
  • Blinded by the Light: Lupin uses a flashbomb to escape Zenigata and his cops.
  • Calling Card: Tarantula forges one of Lupin's to get him involved in their organization.
  • Carrying the Antidote: Using the taunting-the-hero version, Doc has the antidote to the island gas on him during the final confrontation.
  • Continuity Nod: ICPO files on Lupin include a profile on Count Cagliostro and a photo of his famous castle.
  • Darker and Edgier: One of the most violent entries in the Lupin canon.
  • The Determinator: Zenigata comes back from death after Lupin's name is mentioned.
  • Downer Ending: Everyone, except for the main cast members, die. No guest character survives for the credits.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: One during the opening raid causes Lupin and Elena to spot each other in the chaos.
  • Femme Fatale: Fujiko plays this, though in a switch it's to the assassins instead of Lupin. After all, she's trapped as well.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: As the movie focuses on deadly assassins, they're all over the place.
  • Handgun: Lupin's trademark Walther P-38 serves as a plot point.
  • Noble Demon: Many of the rebel assassins, who are trained to kill but do feel guilty about it and want to stop being forced to do so.
  • Odd Friendship: Between Jigen and Bomber.
  • Picky Eater: Averted by Goemon, who eats beans like a trooper while he's protecting Fujiko in secret. Though, he is really, really happy to see the Japanese food Jigen brings.
  • Pocket Protector: Zenigata's ICPO badge slows the bullet enough to prevent the shot to his chest from being lethal.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Elen and Lupin give Doc one.
  • Smoke Bomb: Used by the assassins during the opening mansion raid.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At the end of the movie, Lupin and Fujiko leave the island, but still have their poison tattoos. It's never explained how they remove them.
  • Wire Dilemma: Faced by Jigen, Fujiko, and Goemon. Solved by Goemon, who cuts the red wire. Why?
    Jigen: Okay, now how the hell did you know it was red?
    Goemon: It reminded me of...pickled plums.
    (Jigen groans, Fujiko faints.)

Alternative Title(s):

Island Of Assassins