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Anime / Lupin III: The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasure

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Lupin III: The Pursuit of Harimao's Treasurenote  was the seventh of the Lupin III Yearly Specials, first airing on August 4th, 1995. Like the earliest specials, it was storyboarded and directed by Osamu Dezaki, and is his final entry in the Lupin franchise. It is the first Lupin TV special where Kan'ichi Kurita voices the title character (Yasuo Yamada had died a few months earlier). Funimation dubbed and released this special in 2002 as the second entry in their block of Lupin anime.

The plot centers around three statues, an aging billionaire, and a hidden treasure. So it should come as no surprise that Lupin and his gang are out to claim it for themselves. This time, however, they may have met their match, as Sir Archer and his granddaughter, Diana, also have their sights on the treasure. As does The Neo Himmel, a group of neo-Nazis led by Herr Mafroditte.

It begins with a late night heist of a bronze bear statue, followed by the destruction of the Euro Tunnel, which lands Sir Archer, who underwrote the tunnel, over seven billion pounds in debt to Lloyds of London. Despite this outstanding amount, Archer remains unfazed; convinced he can settle the affair by claiming the legendary Treasure of Harimao - with Diana's assistance. At first foils to each others plans, the Archers eventually agree to team up with Lupin and Co. under a tenuous 70/30 agreement. But as the goal draws nearer, allegiances are changed, and it soon becomes a matter of who's playing who.

Complete spoilers below — don't read further if you don't want to know how this caper turns out!

This TV Movie contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Diana. She's an experienced archaeologist, an Ace Pilot, and a crack shot with a shotgun. She even nabs one of the statues before Lupin does, moments before he arrives, and escapes via jet pack.
  • Adorably Precocious Child:
    • Seen among the tour group in Amsterdam. We get this exchange:
    Tour Guide: {chipper} "You enjoying yourself, kiddo?"
    *kid lifts the tour guide's skirt, revealing her panties, garters, and stockings underneath*
    Kid: {deadpan} "Yeah."
    • We see them again, during the boat jump sequence. If you pause, at just the right time, during the closeup, you'll see his hands are under her skirt, grabbing her ass.
  • All Men Are Perverts:
    • It should come as no surprise that Lupin is the main offender, especially where Archer's granddaughter is concerned.
    • For all his style and sophistication, Archer is no better than Lupin. He constantly flirts with Fujiko the entire film, especially in the pool scene.
    • Goering isn't above perving either. When he decides to take one of Archer's "women", his subordinate asks, which one. His answer?
    • And, later in the film, Lupin clears a heavily guarded checkpoint by supplying the soldiers with porn!
  • Animation Bump: This special features possibly the smoothest animation of any Lupin III related feature. Not a shock considering it was directed by the late, great Osamu Dezaki. (early in his long career, he was a storyboard artist on "Green Jacket")
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Lupin and Jigen, during the snowmobile chase sequence, at the beginning. They trade places, amidst casual conversation, while taking turns shaking their pursuers.
  • Badass Longcoat: Goering wears his draped around his shoulders.
  • Big Bad: Hermann Von Diett, responsible for the destruction of the Euro Tunnel and Archer nearly going into bankruptcy.
  • Blatant Lies: When Diana asks Fujiko if she's knows how to use a gun, Fujiko replies she's never touched one, 'cuz they're too noisy. Right.
  • The Brute: Goering fills this role in addition to being The Dragon. He's certainly built like one, and the way he manhandles Lupin, each time, definitely fits the description.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Zenigata. This time 'round, he's more of a bumbling inspector, and mainly serves as comic relief.
    • Lupin suffers a bit of this, himself; between being forced to accept a 30/70 split (ouch!) and being made to do all the legwork while Archer calls shots. Not to mention, both times Goering cleans his clock.
    • Fujiko ends up on this too. Usually whenever Archer requests her for something, it's presented as a build up to something dramatic, only to deflate to a small favor. Goering does the same with her about her not being "the pretty one".
  • Camp Gay: Hermann Von Diett dresses in makeup, is clearly effeminate and flamboyant, and even uses a voice chip to modify his voice to sound like a woman's. He's also clearly bound towards guys and hates women. He's very much a caricature of gay men in Japanese media.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Take a wild guess... it begins with "F" and ends in "Ujiko".
  • Content Warnings: The Discotek Media rerelease put a disclaimer concerning the work's homophobic content due to the main villain Hermann Von Diett being a homophobic stereotype, ranging from him being a cross-dressing misogynistic Neo-Nazi cult leader, to his name being a pun on the word hermaphrodite (considered to be a slur towards intersex people and even transgender people) to the several gay panic-style jokes towards his subordinates.
  • Continuity Nod: When Zenigata searches through the apartment where Lupin was hiding, he opens the wardrobe, revealing both a green jacket and a pink one among his clothing.
  • Cool Old Guy: Sir Archer, who owns a private museum of spy memorabilia, which were inspired by his actual exploits, during his time as an agent of British Intelligence!
  • Creepy Crossdresser: The (genderless?) Hermann Von Diett who's really Russell. He even uses a soundchip to alter his voice to sound like a woman's.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Poor Lupin ends up on the receiving end nearly every time he fights Goering.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Diana, toward Lupin.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: From the moment he sees her, Lupin turns on the charm and does his damnedest to win Diana over. By the end, she agrees to dinner, but makes it clear that's as far as it goes.
  • Dirty Old Man: Archer is a mild example, but still dirty.
    • Near the beginning, Diana warns Fujiko about her grandfather, citing that "he's quick with his women." He spends his time during the pool scene with his head in Fujiko's lap, while nuzzling his cheek against her thighs; complete with lecherous grin.
    • Then there was another time when he called Fujiko into his office, solely because he wanted to look at her.
    • Also shown, in the flashback between him and Fujiko, before they depart for Bangkok. She gives him a peck on the cheek, causing Archer to blush and smile lecherously again.
  • Discretion Shot: The scene shifts to the outside of the building when Russell makes out with one of his male subordinates. Fujiko's expression likely mirrored most fans.
  • The Dragon: Goering, to Hermann Von Diett.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: Hermann Von Diett in this film. The mere touch of a woman repulses him. He openly states that he hates women, and when Fujiko kisses him he has a shit fit, claiming he's been dirtied.
  • The Faceless: Harimao. In each of Archer's flashbacks, excluding the last, he's either shown from behind, or with his face cast in shadow.
  • Fanservice: Not as present as in most Lupin films, but it's there; particularly during the pool scene, where Sir Archer has his head in Fujiko's lap, nuzzling her thighs (and where Diana wears a blue swimsuit). Plus, the porn vids Lupin uses to bribe his way past the border patrol in Bangkok.
  • 15 Puzzle: A 15-block puzzle (incorporated into the wall) is part of the security that Lupin must get past to retrieve the second statue.
  • First Kiss: Though not explicitly stated, the manner in which Diana caresses the area of her cheek, where Lupin kissed her, and the way she smiles, afterward, seems to imply it was her first. Remember, this is far more significant in Japan than in the West.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Pause at just the right moment, during the close-up of the boat jump sequence, just as Lupin and Jigen clear the ferry. You'll see the kid in the tour group has his hands under the tour guide's skirt, grabbing her ass.
  • Freudian Slip: Zenigata gives off his trademark catchphrase of "You're under arrest, Lupin!"... while arresting Hermann Von Diett. When Lupin calls him out on this, Zenigata sheepishly admits that it was sheer force of habit.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin: Diana has striking pale blue eyes, a pronounced British accent, a tall, nubile figure, and a beautiful pair of legs. Naturally, Lupin can't help himself when he sees her and spends almost as much of the film trying to win her affections as he does searching for the fabled treasure.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Fujiko exhibits a mild case of jealousy once she sees that Lupin's developing an interest in Diana, and makes it clear that Diana isn't part of the treasure they're after.
  • Left Hanging: Okay, so Neo Himmel's defeated and Hermann Von Diett's arrested, but what about the £7,000,000,000 debt that's waiting for Diana back home? How's she supposed to pay it off when the eighty billion plus Harimao treasure is resting on the ocean floor, since dear old granddad decided to take it with him? Somebody's gotta foot the bill for the reconstruction of the Euro Tunnel, and they aren't likely to get it from Russell.
    • Diana's cameo in Part 5 seems to indicate that she eventually got the golden submarine and Harimao's treasure back.
  • Meaningful Name: Harimao means, "tiger", in Malaysian.
  • The Mole:
    • Fujiko is the obvious one, since she's really working with Lupin, while pretending to be Sir Archer's personal aide. At least, until she spies a chance to get a better deal for herself by teaming up with Hermann Von Diett.
    • Hermann Von Diett also counts, since he's really Russell in drag; which explains how he knows so much about Archer's activities, and the Harimao treasure.
  • Mr. Exposition: Lupin and Archer take turns filling this spot, to clue the viewer in on details concerning the statues, the Loyd Insurance Co., and Harimao himself.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Lupin delivers a brutal one to Hermann Von Diett when he fatally shoots Sir Archer.
  • Non-Action Girl: Fujiko, making it a rare instance where she plays a passive role. Justified, since it's part of her cover. She does clock a mook with a champagne bottle though.
  • Oh, Crap!: Goering's expression when Hermann Von Diett cites his failure to protect the eagle statue, and for allowing Lupin to escape with it. You can also hear it in his voice, and the way he was trembling, right before Hermann Von Diett punishes him for it.
  • Orifice Evacuation: Played for Laughs. After Lupin and Jigen emerge from falling into the Amsterdam Canal during a boat chase, Jigen spits out a fish. Lupin is amused at first until a small octopus exits his mouth, which he throws at a laughing Jigen.
  • Pimped Out Submarine: Lupin and the gang (with Archer) use one in the climax. This is the fabled Harimao's Treasure – a gold submarine with platinum covered portholes. According to Archer, it was Harimao's "gift" to him.
  • Plucky Girl: Diana, as seen in the Action Girl entry above.
  • Porn Stash: Lupin brings a stash of Hentai VHS tapes along to bribe the security guards into letting them pass. Lupin holds onto one for Diana too!
  • Priceless Paperweight: When Zenigata finds the bronze bear statue lying around Lupin's apartment, he isn't sure what to make of it. So what does he do? He uses it to weigh down the lid of his ramen noodles, while they steam!
  • Punny Name: Herr Mafroditte/Hermann Von Diett. Hermaphrodite, except feminine.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Neo Himmel.
  • Running Gag: Zenigata's love of ramen noodles. The train conductor chews him out, near the beginning of the film, for having an open flame onboard, to heat his noodles. Later, he even serves some to Lupin and Diana, while en route to Paris to have them incarcerated, in genuinely good natured fashion. And, near the end, after reading him his rights, Zenigata can be heard asking Hermann Von Diett if he'd like some ramen noodles. He politely declines.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Sir Archer invokes the "monk's tower" variation as he explains his history with Harimao to Lupin. He ends the story right when Harimao is about to tell Archer the secret to the treasure, leaving Lupin hanging and understandably frustrated.
  • Sissy Villain: Nail polish, lipstick, a voice chip to make him sound like a woman. Yep. Hermann Von Diett, all the way.
  • Spy Cat Suit: Lupin dons one, in the beginning, complete with night-vision goggles, when he swipes the bear statue. Fujiko wears hers to tail Russell back to his suite, which how she learns he's Hermann Von Diett.
  • Toon Physics: Lupin and Jigen fall from over thirty stories on a washer trolley and crash land through the roof of a paddy wagon without injury. And during their second bout, aboard his private chopper, Goering kicks Lupin, causing him to ricochet around the cockpit like a pinball.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Happens when Fujiko gets her revenge on Hermann Von Diett by kissing him… and it wasn't even a real kiss, it was just a peck!
  • Visual Pun: In the scene where Georing shreds Lupin's hang glider, Lupin saves himself by quickly stripping down to his boxers, then pulls them off just as a parachute deploys from between his ass cheeks.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Subverted. While it's true that Lupin decks Hermann Von Diett for threatening to shoot Diana, Hermann Von Diett is Russel in drag, not a woman. Not that Lupin knew this at the time.

Alternative Title(s): The Pursuit Of Harimaos Treasure