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Anime / Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo

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Lupin III: Crisis In Tokyo, released in Japan as Memories of the Flame ~Tokyo Crisis~ note , is the tenth of the Lupin III Yearly Specials, and released in 1998. It was directed by Toshiya Shinohara, who also co-directed the previous year's Island of Assassins, making him the first returning director to the specials since Osamu Dezaki. It was released in America by Funimation in 2005 as an individual film, and again in 2006 as part of the "Final Haul" box set. Discotek Media later made a Blu-ray release under its original Tokyo Crisis name.

Days before the opening of the massive new Tokyo theme park, Aquapolis, Zenigata is charged with the safety of two rare photographic plates of the last Tokugawa shogun to be displayed as part of the park's opening exhibit. The plates are rumored to contain the secret to the location of the missing Tokugawa treasure, so naturally Lupin III has taken a vast interest in them. Things are not going to be easy this time, however; the residence of millionaire park and plate owner Michael Suzuki is a tower of frighteningly advanced technology. Complicating things, Jigen is suffering from a toothache that throws off his legendary aim, and Goemon has had his beloved sword stolen by collector Suzuki.

Even worse, Zenigata is taken off the case after blowing a key operation. Desperate to prove he can capture Lupin, he ends up enlisting the help of Maria, a reporter who has been following him as part of a story on ICPO operations. As the caper proceeds, the stakes grow high, and Suzuki proves to have far more up his sleeve than just his millions of dollars. Will Lupin escape with his life, let alone the legendary treasure?

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:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Averted for most of the film; it's been stolen and locked in a vault. And Goemon wants it back.
  • Car Meets House: That's probably not how Jigen wanted to be picked up from his dentist appointment...
  • The Cassandra: Maria in the beginning of the film.
  • Day in the Limelight: One for Zenigata. Even though Lupin is the main character, the narrative puts its focus on Zenigata's investigaion alongside Maria.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Goemon does this to a bunch of guards just after getting Zantetsuken back.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Despite Zenigata's attempts to flirt with Maria, he doesn't get anywhere with her because she fails to realize that he's attracted to her. All she sees is a Cool Old Guy. The inspector lampshades the whole thing at the end of the movie.
  • Faking the Dead: Somewhat. Lupin and Fujiko pretend to be knocked out by sleeping gas after they are captured by Suzuki. They shared Lupin's compressed oxygen tank (which is disguised as a cigarette).
  • False Innocence Trick: Suzuki, who is "kidnapped" during the hostage crisis.
  • Fanfare: It plays whenever the basement entrance is successfully unlocked. Then gets a wonderful call back when Goemon finally retrieves Zantetsuken and Jigen gets his broken tooth knocked out of his gum so they can finally fight back.
  • Fauxtastic Voyage: The movie opens with Zenigata getting onto the plane. Suspicious, he checks the guard by pulling on his face, but he's apparently not wearing a mask. The inspector falls asleep, and wakes up to a disaster-storm! Actually, this trope. It turns out the plane was suspended in a wind tunnel.
  • Follow That Car: Zenigata does this to Maria after Lupin escapes the convoy's trap; she's thrilled since she always wanted to be in a car chase. However, it ends badly...
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Conan and Ran can be briefly seen in a crowd shot. Not the last time they'll be in a TV special together...
  • From Bad to Worse: Lupin fails twice to steal the plates. Jigen's toothache leaves him unable to shoot straight. Goemon has no Zantetsuken. Zenigata's off the case after he, Suzuki's men, and Lupin accidentally cause a 50-car pile-up during the car chase. Suzuki has very powerful connections and burns down Lupin's hideout, Maria's home, and Zenigata's apartment building. It just keeps going downhill...
  • Futureshadowing: Maria is shown to have the skill of precognition, which gives her brief insights on both the consequences of certain actions and future events relevant to the plot. It turns out to be a side-effect of a surgery her father performed on her to cure her from some life-threatening illness.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The movie's villain runs a large complex dedicated to gene splicing animals into bio-weapons and humans into super-soldiers, then selling the results off to the highest bidder. His interest in the photographic plates and Maria is because they hold the secret to gifting his designer soldiers with psychic powers.
  • Girl of the Week: Maria is the designated Love Interest this time, except it's Zenigata who tries to woo her, rather than Lupin.
  • Just Plane Wrong: When Goemon slices the cargo plane's tail and starboard-side engine clean off, the front half of the plane keeps flying on the port-side engine.
  • Luminescent Blush:
    • Goemon blushes after Jigen (correctly) guesses that Zantetsuken was stolen by a woman.
    • Zenigata is embarrassed as Maria hugs him on the cargo plane and Lupin jokingly speculates on their relationship.
  • Manly Tears: Goemon, when he gets Zantetsuken back. Complete with sword cuddle. Awww...
  • Marshmallow Hell: Zenigata accidentally is pushed into a bystander's bustline while chasing Lupin on the train.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: One of the guards punch Jigen in the face… which also knocks out the tooth that has been messing up his aim.
  • Password Slot Machine: Upon encountering a door secured with a numerical passcode and no time for anyone to hack the interface, Goemon concentrates, lets out a yell and brings his hand down on the readout buttons. The correct passcode falls into place, and an impressed Jigen notes they should try their luck at Vegas. The end credits show them doing just that.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Delivered by Jigen after he and Goemon are back to normal.
  • Shout-Out: Case Closed characters, Conan and Ran, can be briefly seen in a crowd shot.
  • Slippery Skid: Lupin uses ball bearings on Zenigata, and later uses them again on the trucks in the security convoy, causing a massive accident.
  • Super-Reflexes: Allows Goemon to open the vault when Jigen can't operate the safe-cracking mechanism. And later nets him a small fortune at the slot machines.
  • Taken Off the Case: Inspector Zenigata is suspended after blowing a key operation. Desperate to prove he can capture Lupin, he ends up enlisting the help of Maria, a reporter who has been following him as part of a story on ICPO operations. This extrajudicial interference results in the two finding out plenty more about Suzuki than about Lupin's heist.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Maria is kidnapped to serve as a genetic "donor" in Suzuki's clone plans. He needs her alive, but isn't above torturing Maria to keep her in line.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Maria keeps having these.
  • Trouser Space: Lupin pulls a yo-yo out of his briefs at one point.
  • Waif Prophet: Maria. She is much shorter than Zenigata, and has tiny flashes into the future she shouldn't be having. Naturally, it all ties into the climax.
  • Weaponized Car: Lupin has one, but he's interrupted before he can use it to its full potential.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Jigen and Goemon, while still helpful, aren't nearly as effective as they would usually be for most of the film. This is thanks to Jigen dealing with a distractingly painful toothache and Zantetsuken getting stolen.