Recap / Lupin IIIS 2 E 67

"Lupin's Big Sayuuki"note , released in English as "Monkey King Business". Released in 2006 by Geneon on Volume 13: All's Fair in Love & Thievery.

In the Himalayas, a group reenacting the journey from the classic Chinese folk-tale Journey to the West is interrupted by Inspector Zenigata, who believes, based on a tip, they are Lupin and his gang. They turn out to be a group of scholars with the International Folk Academy. While an embarrassed Zenigata apologies and offers to escort them, the real Lupin is, in fact, in Kathmandu. He wants to travel past Everest to a hidden kingdom, Kima-sankoku, which has a palace supposedly laden with treasure. The kindgom is closed to all outsiders, but recently announced that they are planning to let a small group of scholars enter for the first time in 1,300 years, the only time outsiders have been allowed in since the previous pilgrimage.

Zenigata accompanies said scholars to the sole entrance to the kingdom, but is shocked when the scholars unmask themselves as Lupin's gang, who managed to abduct the real scholars along the trail and steal their costumes and visa into Kima-sankoku. After trapping Zenigata cliffside in a handicapped jeep, the gang crosses the bridge and Lupin pulls out the visa, which Jigen notes resembles a Shogi pawn. As the gate opens, Zenigata comes after them, and Goemon cuts the bridge behind them so he can't catch them. However, it seems the inspector only wants to warns them that no one who has entered Kima-sankoku has ever been seen again!

The gang (with Fujiko as Sanzo, Jigen as Hakkai, Goemon as Gojo, and Lupin, naturally, as Son Goku) enter the kingdom, where Fujiko is elated to find the ground liberally scattered with gold and as such is completely distracted from the job. Lupin and the others remain focused on the treasure, though, and are soon greeted by a rich carriage sent from the palace which contains the beautiful retainers of Kinkaku and Ginkaku, the maharajahs of the country. They inform Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon that the rulers wish to play a game of shogi with them. When Lupin accepts, the bowl of saki given to the gang by the retainers erupts into knockout gas, taking out all three men. As they are taken to the palace, Fujiko finally realizes she's lost track of her friends and figures they've moved on to the palace to work on taking the treasure for themselves. She takes off for the palace as well.

Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon awaken in the palace to find themselves in a dungeon filled with other criminals and underworld figures. Soon after, they are greeted by the rulers themselves, who turn out to be brothers and gigantic monkey-men. They laughingly inform the gang that along with being knocked out, the gas also shrank them. The brothers inform the gangs that they will be used as pieces in a game of Human Shogi to decide if Kinkaku or Ginkaku will be the next ruler of the country. Each crook is promptly strapped to a giant chess piece and placed on the board. To make things more interesting, Kinkaku and Ginkaku decide to also bet the famous treasure, stolen from Sanzo centuries ago.

The game proceeds to the point where one piece is finally ready to capture another. Rather than just capture, though, the two crooks are forced to fight for the square, and their lives. Another piece panics and tries to run; he is flicked off the table and killed. Eventually, Jigen and Goemon are forced to fight each other. They fake the battle, but the maharajahs see through it; Ginkaku tricks them into answering a question of his and sucks the two of them off the board and into his massive acid-filled gourd. Lupin is distraught, but is then distracted when is forced to fight for his life on the board after being attacked by other pieces. However, Kinkaku and Ginkaku begin arguing, and eventually Ginkaku storms off to take a break. Kinkaku is losing, and he takes advantage to think of a new strategy. While is distracted by his book on shogi, the surviving pieces take advantage to try and climb down from the board. Only Lupin manages to get away to safety, though; the other pieces are crushed underfoot by Kinkaku.

Luckily, Lupin runs into Fujiko, alarmed to see she has also been shrunk. However, she is confused; she snuck into the place on her own and never went through a so-called shrinking process. As Kinkaku storms off, Lupin and Fujiko decide to find the remains of their friends. Sneaking around the gourd, they are interrupted when Kinkaku figures out that Lupin escaped, finds Ginkaku asleep and tries to awaken him. When shaking doesn't work, Kinkaku opens up Ginkaku's eye like a door; the giant brothers are really giant robots! The two giants thunder off to look for Lupin, not realizing he is right behind the nearby gourd!

Lupin ties a rope to himself and answers his own question, getting sucked into the gourd, but not falling in all the way because of the line. Amazingly, he finds Jigen and Goemon still alive inside, propped up on their stolen Saiyuki weapons. However, Fujiko, holding Lupin's rope outside, is discovered by Kinkaku and Ginkaku. Ginkaku breaks the line, and three splashes are heard inside the gourd. Tipping the gourd over, the three shogi pieces that Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon were strapped to tumble out, empty. However, one of the pieces begins whistling, and the maharajahs and Fujiko are shocked to discover that the gang survived! Goemon cut a hole in each piece just big enough for the gang member attached it to seal themselves inside; in turn, the pieces, immune to the acid, kept them safe. As the giants stand around, baffled, Lupin tricks Ginkaku into answering a question, pulling the villain out of his robot and into his own gourd! Furious at his little brother's murder, Kinkaku goes after them; they manage to steal a carriage that Fujiko has conveniently already put the treasure on and stay ahead of the furious maharajah. Jigen is forced to jettison Fujiko's gold to keep them ahead, and Goemon slices the fingers of the robot away when they get too close. With a couple of carefully placed shots, Lupin manages to hit Kinkaku in the eye...and the real Kinkaku behind it! The robot falls to the ground and explodes, causing the sole entrance to Kima-sankoku to collapse just as the gang passes through it.

Now safe, the gang decides to open the treasure chest. Zenigata also pops up, but as a New Year's present to Lupin, he decides to hold off on arresting him. Inside the ornate box is a huge quantity of salt...a quite valuable commodity in the salt-free kingdom. Zenigata chews them out for risking their lives for something so pointless as the gang makes their getaway, their carriage flying across the gorge on a flying cloud.

This episode features examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Zantetsuken cuts apart the only bridge into (and out of) Kima-sankoku.
  • Acid Pool: Inside the gourd.
  • Blade Brake: How Jigen and Goemon keep themselves out of the acid.
  • Dramatic Unmask: And it's not Lupin! And is Lupin!
  • Foreshadowing: The Kima-sankoku visa is a pawn in shogi. The palace towers are also shaped like shogi pieces.
    • The seemingly pointless conversation about the bad prison food should also make the treasure chest's contents no surprise at all.
  • Friendly Enemy: Zenigata gives Lupin a present for New Year's Day...he doesn't arrest him! Lupin, touched, kindly offers Zenigata a cut of the treasure, but the By-the-Book Cop naturally refuses.
  • Homage: Not just of the Journey to the West, but also the TV series Monkey which debuted shortly before this episode aired.
  • Human Chess: The English dub uses this term, while the Japanese sticks with the more precise Human Shogi.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Goemon, in a split second, slices all three shogi pieces so they are just big enough for a person to hide inside the piece itself before they hit the acid.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Jigen and Goemon.
  • Knockout Gas: Used on Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon after Lupin accepts the maharajas' invitation.
  • Large Ham: Kinkaku and Ginkaku. Also meant in the literal sense.
  • Literal Cliff Hanger: For poor Zenigata after the wheels of his jeep fall off.
  • Not a Mask: One of the retainers asks Lupin to remove his Monkey King mask. Lupin is rather annoyed, as he isn't actually wearing one.
  • Qipao: Fujiko wears one at the beginning of the episode, presumably as they had to pack all of her sexy in at the beginning before she dons the much less alluring Sanzo costume.
  • Rope Bridge: The only way into Kima-sankoku. Goemon cuts it, and Zenigata does the holding on and slamming into the side of the cliff part.
  • Shrink Ray: Or, as the maharajas claim, shrink gas. Later averted; it's all trickery.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The citizens of Kima-sankoku; Lupin effectively takes out their only means of contact with the outside world. Then again, the only ones ever shown are the retainers, and the brothers are big (hah!) tricksters.