Lupin III: Steal Napoleons Dictionary note is the third TV special created for the Lupin III franchise and was released in 1991. Like the previous two specials, it was directed by Osamu Dezaki. It received an English sub release from Discotek Media in 2015.
Lupin hatches a plot to steal Napoleons Dictionary, which is being offered as a prize to the winner of a historic car race from Madrid to Paris. He is after the dictionary not only to see whether it is true that Napoleon excluded the word "Impossible" from his book, but also because the location of the hidden Lupin Empires treasure is written in its pages.
At the same time, the G7 nations of the world are all after Lupin, thinking that if they find him, they can find his family treasure and pay off their economic debts.So begins a global manhunt for the thief, as Lupin and his gang race to find the dictionary and the treasure first.
The TV Special contains examples of the following tropes:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Considering Goemon exists in this franchise, this trope is always going to crop up, however, this special does feature a scene where Goemon cuts open a missile....while standing on it.
- Adaptation Expansion: The special is at least notable for not only giving more characterisation to Lupin's father and grandfather, but showing us Lupin's grandmother as well. His grandmother is actually rather important to the story, as she is the one who hid the family treasure to begin with so Lupin the First wouldn't fritter all the money away on gambling.
- Flying Car: Lupin built in rocket boosters and wings into the Vanguard... unfortunately, this is too much for the poor car after all it's been through and it barely gets off the ground before falling back down again.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Zenigata in one scene hides a Life Magazine in his coat that has Lupins face on it.
- Latex Perfection: At one point, Lupin disguises himself as Zenigata and disguises Zenigata as himself in order to fool the CIA. The disguises are so good Jigen and Goemon end up rescuing Zenigata by accident and only realise he isn't Lupin when they hear his real voice.
- Mistaken for Exhibit: Lupin infiltrates the Museum of Modern Art by disguising himself as a golden dog poo. It manages to fool Zenigata (at least until he notices it has moved) because he mistakes it for some modern art.
- Off-Model: The character animation is inconsistent to say the least and overall, this special is probably one of the weakest in terms of animation quality.
- Pimped-Out Car: The Vanguard car Lupin steals from the museum ends up being pimped out with blades, inflatables, a remotely controlled driving mechanism and even rocket thrusters and wings.
- Plot Hole: Although the treasure was hidden by Lupin's grandmother so Lupin the First wouldn't spend it, the casket the treasure is kept in contains a note written by Lupin the First to his descendants. However, this could also be a case of Fridge Brilliance, as Lupin the First may have found the real treasure, spent it all and then left the fake treasure as a consolation prize of sorts.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Although not a real movie, after Goemon watches a samurai Yakuza film he continually quotes sayings and slogans from it, which only confuses the other characters.
- The Most Wanted: Lupin is chased throughout the film by not only Zenigata, but the armies and agencies of the worlds largest nations.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Since the film ends with the treasure being revealed as useless, the G7 nations are still in enormous debt with no solution to their problem.
- Worthless Treasure Twist: The treasure of the Lupin empire? An old vacuum tube radio and a patent for it. Lupin the First mistakenly thought it would be worth millions in the future and left it as a treasure for his descendants.