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Anime: Lupin III: Operation: Return the Treasure

Operation: Return the Treasurenote  is the fifteenth Lupin III Made-for-TV Movie. It was originally shown on August 1, 2003, and has yet to have an English language release.

Famous thief Mark Williams has passed on, but still asks one favor of his longtime rival Lupin III. Using Fujiko as a proxy, he wants his peer to return six priceless treasures he stole to their original places within seven days. If Lupin does so, he will be told the hiding place of the Trick Diamond, a mysterious meteorite with ties to the Sagrida Familia in Barcelona; combined, the two are said to be the key to an unimaginable treasure.

Naturally, Lupin is not the only interested party. Ruthless Russian mafioso Ian "Rats" Krochvich is also interested in acquiring the Trick Diamond and its secrets. His gang, lead by his violent and ruthless girlfriend Misha and The Dragon Tokarev, follow Lupinís every move, hoping to stop the thief from succeeding in snagging the diamond first. As time runs down, Lupin is deprived of his allies and his enemies become more desperate. Will the master thief survive long enough to get his hands on the Trick Diamond, let alone the fantastic treasure it hides?

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:

  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Markís test to see if Lupin is the one accessing the location of the Trick Diamond. The question is what treasure did Lupin and Mark once compete to steal in New York. The choices are A) Cash, B) Gold bars, and C) Toilet paper. The correct answer is the two raced to steal the toilet paper from Donald Trumpís penthouse. Mark won.
  • A-Team Firing: All of Kelnís shots miss the completely still Misha. She picks him off with Boom, Headshot.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mishaís solution to almost any problem? Kill Ďem.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After Jigen is beaten and interrogated by Tokarev.
  • Bottled Heroic Resolve: Goemon calls on this to finish off Misha. Afterwards, heís so weak Jigen has to help him out of the cathedral.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: Each time Lupin uses his explosion to escape. The first two times, it falls around Zenigata. The third time, Totssan triggered the explosion early, and both Zenigata and Lupin will be crushed. Both think their luck will save them. Lupin is luckier.
  • Camera Spoofing: Of the Slice and Dice variety at the beginning; Lupinís gang takes advantage of the power blink to run footage of an untampered safe while Lupin works on the real one. Zenigata eventually finds an error, but naturally itís too late.
  • Dark Action Girl: Misha lives for violence and guns.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Anita seems to have lost her passion for creating innovative architectural designs and is fired. Sheís wondering what to do with her life when Lupin comes along, and her encounter with the gang inspires her to try again.
  • Disguised in Drag: Lupinís plan to return the original gowns to the Moulin Rouge is to have Jigen, Goemon, and him simply wear them in. It rather disturbingly works.
  • The Door Slams You: Fujiko does this to Goemon when she storms into Lupinís hotel room.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In the end, Rats takes a bullet for the dying Misha.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Goemonís up to his usual tricks until his injury forces him into using his left hand instead of his right. Heís not as good with it, but heís still ridiculously superhuman.
  • The Mafiya: It is implied Rats is part of this.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Trick Diamond, a specially cut meteorite that absorbs light but never lets it escape. This special property is needed to unlock the treasure of Sagrida Familia.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Averted; after Goemon is shot, he nearly bleeds to death and his right arm and shoulder are rendered essentially useless for the rest of the film.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Anitaís teddy bear from Mark, given after her parents' deaths, turns out to hide a very important secret.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Justified example of a gun becoming useless after a jam. Jigen shoots his opponent to deliberately cause the jam, then kills the guy before he has the chance to clear the jam.
  • Shoot the Rope: Jigen does this one better by shooting through a power cable.
  • Stolen Good, Returned Better: For everything Mark asks Lupin to return, he left a replica, probably to prevent his targets from noticing the theft before he got away. The replicas Mark left after his thefts were good enough to fool most folks, but imagine how thrilled his former targets are to get the real things back! Poor Zenigata, however, is very confused at first.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Anita didnít know her beloved "uncle" was a world-class thief, and has no clue as to what he left her.

Lupin III Episode 0 First ContactAnime/Lupin III Yearly SpecialsLupin III vs. Detective Conan
The Cheetah GirlsTelevision Movie IndexThe Five People You Meet in Heaven
Lupin III Episode 0 First ContactRecap/Lupin IIIGreen vs. Red
Last ExileAnime of the 2000sMaburaho

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