Lupin III: Dragon of Doomnote , the sixth entry in the Lupin III Yearly Specials, first aired on Japanese television on July 29th, 1994. It was directed by Masaharu Okuwaki, who worked as a storyboard director on the Pink Jacket series and went on to storyboard other specials in the franchise. It was dubbed into English and released on DVD in the USA by Funimation in 2002 and was re-released as part of the "First Haul" boxset in 2006.
Lupin has his mind set on a small golden dragon statue located in the remains of the sunken Titanic, a treasure that the Chinese crime lord Chin Chin Chow is also after. Once they have their hands on it, though, Goemon, putting honor before his allies, is determined to retrieve the statue from them, with help from his childhood friend Kikyo, to keep his family's honor intact, even if it means killing them both.
This special is noteworthy for being the last one where Yasuo Yamada played the role of the titular character before his death in 1995, after which he would be replaced by Kanichi Kurita from the next chronological entry onwards.note
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: It's about Zantetsuken, and the alloy it's made of. Expect lots of things to be cut into tiny bits. In the climax, it manages to cleave Chin Chin Chow's stealth bomber, covered in the same alloy Zantetsuken's made of, in half.
- Alas, Poor Villain: From Goemon's point of view, Kikyo. She was revealed to be an unsympathetic and unrepentant jerkass after The Reveal, but for someone who had known her in the days of their youth before it all went horribly wrong, it had to sting hard.
- Bloodless Carnage: Many ninjas get sliced in half, but no blood is spilt.
- Childhood Friends: Goemon and Kikyo, though he is a few years older at least. Sadly, she turns out to be Evil All Along.
- Disney Villain Death: Kikyo falls into the sea following her grandfather into the afterlife.
- Famous Ancestor: Goemon (the thirteenth) goes to see an anniversary performance of Kinmon Gosan no Kiri, the famous Kabuki play about Goemon the First's life and death. He is moved and openly weeps Manly Tears.
- Fanservice: Fujiko in the Shower Scene with Nipple and Dimed allowed.
- Foreshadowing: When Lupin, while searching for the dragon on the Titanic, finds the remains of a Japanese sword in a room. It's later revealed that Kikyo's ancestor was on the ship with the dragon.
- Fortune Teller: Genzai disguises himself as one in an attempt to kill Goemon. He fails.
- Hate Plague: Chin Chin Chow attempts to make Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, and Goemon kill each other by exposing them to a gas that makes them berserk and attack anything on sight. While the other three all succumb to it, Lupin holds his breath long enough to keep himself from being affected until they can get out.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the climax, Chin Chin has a heat-seeking missile fired to shoot down Lupin and crew’s plane. Lupin managed to avoid getting hit by it with evasive maneuvers while Goemon attacks the stealth bomber. After Goemon successfully sliced the stealth bomber in half, the heat-seeker from before flew between the halves and detonated, destroying the bomber and everyone in it.
- Karmic Death: For betraying Goemon and her grandfather's memory in exchange for a chance to conquer the world, Kikyo is killed in the explosion of the so-called invincible stealth bomber, the fruit of her betrayal. Kikyo's body and the wrecked bomber end up at the bottom of the sea, the same place her grandfather died.
- Laughing Mad: Jigen, Fujiko, and Goemon after they're exposed to the Hate Plague.
- MacGuffin: The titular (in the English dub at least) Dragon statue, which, along with a secret scroll, can be used to replicate the alloy used to forge Zantetsuken. Oh, and the dragon statue lies somewhere in the sunken Titanic.
- Masquerade Ball: Chin Chin Chow hosts one of some sort on his luxury cruise. Lupin and Jigen (dressed up as a vampire and a cartoon wolf respectively) managed to attend the ball through forged invitation cards, whilst Fujiko (dressed as a cowgirl) really was invited.
- Me's a Crowd: In the movie is highly implied that Genzai's using a ninja clone technique or body doubles, as he repeatedly "dies" only to reappear again unharmed. Midway through the movie, he states (in the original dub) that "Genzai's not one man."
- The Mole: Kikyo was working for Chin Chin Chow all along.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: There's a croc pool trap in Chin Chin Chow's mansion. Genzai and apparently Kikyo falls victim to it.
- Ninja: In abundance, especially at the beginning of the show.
- Out-of-Character Moment: While sneaking into Chin Chin Chow's villa, Kikyo (usually serious) suddenly tries to seduce Goemon and drag him on a bed, and looks very disappointed when he resists. A sign that she's really aiming at the scroll.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Genzai's a recurring victim in this movie.
- Shadow Pin: Genzai and Kikyo use a technique like this to trap Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon when they come to rescue Fujiko.
- Shower Scene: A scene has Fujiko taking a shower when Genzai sneaks in and knocks her out.
- Video Arcade: Lupin and Jigen are at one in their first scene. Lupin tries to win a (suspiciously similar looking) plushie from a claw crane whilst Jigen is solving a Crossword Puzzle.
- Unexplained Recovery: Genzai gets killed off three times, yet he reappears alive and well after both times before he's Killed Off for Real in Lupin's final showdown against him. Possibly hand waved by the fact that he's a Ninja, the dub mentions there isn't just one Genzai, and Lupin figures out which one was the "last" one.