The Secret of Twilight Gemini is the eighth of the Lupin III Yearly Specials, first aired on NTV on August 2, 1996. It tells the tale of the titular diamond, a treasure hidden for centuries, and unravels the past of Lupin's old mob boss, Dalune.
It begins when Lupin pays a late night visit to Dalune, at the aging kingpin's request, where he is presented with half of the Twilight. However, Dalune tells Lupin that the diamond itself is not the gift he has for him. It's merely a key to a much bigger prize: a treasure that has remained hidden for more than three hundred years. When Lupin asks where he can find it, Dalune simply answers, "Morocco."
The legendary thief hops a train, unaware that Inspector Zenigata and an army of Interpol agents are also on board to apprehend him. Plus, a Camp Gay assassin and his mook squad who are also after Lupin and the diamond in his possession. After a near miss by both parties, Lupin ditches the train and leaps into another caper
Twilight Gemini was licensed by Funimation and given a DVD release in 2002 (as well as a rerelease in 2006 as part of the "First Haul" boxset). It was their very first Lupin releases, with Harimao's Treasure following a few months afterward. Unusually, Funimation decided to offer this special two ways its original uncut version, and a censored version that edits most of the copious fanservice and tones down the dialogue. The "First Haul" box contains the uncensored version, though some early copies had erronously put the censored version in there.
Complete spoilers below don't read further if you don't want to know how this caper turns out!
The Secret of Twilight Gemini provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Fujiko, as always, and Lara.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: This is one of only two times that Fujiko appears as a blonde. (The other is none other than The Castle of Cagliostro.)
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted in the uncensored version, where all women's nipples are present and accounted for.
- Batman Gambit: When Lupin receives the Twilight from Dalune, he's initially lead to believe that Dalune's after the treasure the gem unlocks. However, in the process of solving the mystery of the Twilight, Lupin learns about Dalune's past, including his relationship with Lorre, and his oath to the Elder to reunite the two halves of the gem. But Dalune's true motive for giving him the Twilight was twofold: to fulfill his vow to the Elder, and so Lupin could discover what happened to Lorre and lead him to Dalune's granddaughter.
- Belly Dancer: Lara's grandmother Lorre was a dancer at the temple during the time of Dalune's youth. An extended version of her dance is shown in the special's credits.
- Big Bad: Hidden within the Police, the villain manipulates Zenigata, the Igo tribe, and the Secret Society of the Gelts. The villain is eventually revealed as Police Commisioner Jean Pierre.
- Big Damn Heroes: Three of 'em.
- First up is Jigen, who saves Lupin's bacon, during his second run-in with Sadachiyo, by nearly running him over (with a jeep!) as he picks up Lupin.
- He comes to Lupin's rescue again during the firefight at the Old Geltic City, by bombarding the villain's forces with mortar shells!
- Goemon pulls an epic one just as Sadichiyo was moments away from killing Lupin. A flute chord is heard, then the camera pans up, revealing Goemon's form silhouetted against the full moon, just before leaping into the fray!
- Finally, there's Fujiko who pulls hers off, via a motorcycle slide, and mows down a couple of Mooks in the process.
- Blush Sticker: Goemon invokes this when he finds Fujiko hanging from the rafters of the villain's hideout in nothing but a thong! He quickly averts his gaze, out of respect, and offers to cut her down.Fujiko: (annoyed) "Goemon, how do you intend to cut me down without looking at me?"
- Boom, Headshot!: How Jean Pierre meets his end, courtesy of the Elder.
- But Now I Must Go: Lupin to Lara at the end.
- Camp Gay: Sadachiyo. Long black hair, makeup, nail polish, overly effeminate tone of voice, you get the idea. It's even lampshaded on more than one occasion.Sadachiyo: (smug) "You've come all this way just to die."
Lupin: (nonchalant) "Sorry I'm not in much of a dying mood. And who are you?"
Sadachiyo: "It would be rude of me to kill you without an introduction. I'm Sadachiyo the Scorpion, darling."
Lupin: *strikes girly pose* "I'll bet you have a big showtunes collection, don't you?"
- The Caper: It's a Lupin movie, what'd you expect? In this case, he's trying to dodge cops and secret organizations while stealing a centuries-old treasure.
- Chekhov's Gun: In the beginning of the film, Lupin mentions that he's heard rumors of Dalune still pulling strings in the underground syndicate, despite his condition. Might wanna keep that in mind.... as seen in the Batman Gambit entry.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Lupin, who else?
- City of Adventure: Morocco is complete with beautiful women, shady characters, and all the thrills, chases, mystery, and intrigue of an Indy flick.
- Coitus Ensues: After Lupin accidentally reveals why he's come to Morocco, to Fujiko, its implied that they have sex.
- Cool Old Guy:
- Inspector Zenigata. Seriously, anyone who can keep up with Lupin for as many years, and come as close to slapping the cuffs on him as many times he has, has earned the distinction. Hell, Lupin has even said so himself!
- Special mention goes to Bultokari for working in a hostile work environment with the Igo while secretly being a Gelt for so long without being found out!
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The war between the Gelts and the Igo Tribe, who had been supplied with tanks and guns by British merchants. Naturally, guns and military weaponry trump swords and camels, so it's no surprise the Gelts lost badly.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Jean Pierre tries to uncover the secret of the Geltic treasure by posing as the Elder's son, Galoux.
- Death by Irony: A Camp Gay assassin dies by being pierced from behind by another man's sword.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Goemon may have his principals and all, but it seems pretty unreasonable to want to kill Sadachiyo, just because he's made a career out of his skills, rather than HOW he's chosen to use those skills. Not to mention hypocritical when you remember that Goemon was also a Professional Killer before joining Lupin. Perhaps he found his past job shameful? Sadachiyo even calls him out on it.
- The Dragon: Sadachiyo leads the "ninja" mooks against Lupin, starting on the train in France, and reports directly to the Big Bad.
- Dynamic Entry: Both Goemon and Fujiko, during their respective Big Damn Heroes moments, are blasting into the scene.
- Enemy Mine: Zenigata with Bultokari, who ends up being the only one to offer Zenigata genuine assistance in tracking Lupin. Of course, his motives weren't entirely altruistic. The guy is actually a Gelt after all. Since Lupin (and Lara) were headed for the Ancient Geltic City, it stood to reason that, by helping Zenigata, he was also helping himself.
- Effeminate Misogynistic Guy:
- Sadachiyo, because on top of being Camp Gay, he has neither time, respect, or patience for women. From the moment he learns of Lupin's interest in Lara, he uses her as a means to get to him. Especially during their fifth confrontation, where he holds her at swordpoint both to draw Lupin into a fight and to ensure he wouldn't flee the scene.Lupin: (angrily) "Let her go! She's got nothing to do with this!"
Sadachiyo: (ominously) "But of course she does. She's the bait."
*presses blade against Lara's throat, drawing blood*
Sadachiyo: "And we both know what happens to the bait once the fish is caught."
- Sadachiyo was just as cruel, if not moreso, where Fujiko was concerned. He initially dismissed her, after he and his assassins crashed their hotel room. However, he wasn't as kind when he caught her snooping around his hideout, having witnessed Zora's murder. Following her capture and subsequent questioning, the Big Bad gives Sadachiyo the go ahead to torture her.*Sadachiyo cracks whip, ripping Fujiko's top and exposing her breast*
Fujiko: (defiant) "You think ripping my clothes off will get me to talk?!"
Sadachiyo: (ominously) "No, darling. I'm getting it out of the way because I believe ripping through that beautiful skin will get you to talk."
Fujiko: (incredulous) "You psycho!!"
Jean Pierre: "Sadachiyo, do whatever you want with her. Make her tell you EVERYTHING! Just don't kill her!"
Sadachiyo: (wicked grin) "Yes sir."
*tigthens whip menacingly*
Sadachiyo: "We're going to have SUCH a good time..."
Fujiko: (deadpan) "I'll bet."
- Sadachiyo, because on top of being Camp Gay, he has neither time, respect, or patience for women. From the moment he learns of Lupin's interest in Lara, he uses her as a means to get to him. Especially during their fifth confrontation, where he holds her at swordpoint both to draw Lupin into a fight and to ensure he wouldn't flee the scene.
- Fantastic Racism: The Igo Tribe towards the Gelts, which is a central plot point of the film.
- Fanservice: The most of any Lupin III-related feature. In addition to several topless scenes, there's two Sexy Discretion Shots, and three instances of near-full-frontal nudity: twice with Fujiko, the other with Lara.
- Gainaxing: You'll see Lara's breasts bouncing independently during both of her chase scenes, since the camera stays focused on her boobs. Also seen near the end, when Bultokari saves her with his pick-up truck.
- Gentleman Thief: Lupin as always.
- Hotter and Sexier: Compared to most other Lupin III related media (noted in the Fanservice and Sexy Discretion Shot entries).
- Impersonating an Officer: Done twice by Lupin.
- The first happens, near the beginning, where he disguises himself as one of Zenigata's men in an attempt to slip past the inspector. Zenigata doesn't buy it for even a second.
- The other happens about halfway through the film, when he disguises himself as a police officer to infiltrate Morocco's police HQ to dig up information on Galoux. Which leads into a run-in with Fujiko and a night of Sex with the Ex.
- Interrupted Intimacy: Lupin runs into Fujiko while scoping out the night-life in Morocco. After a bit of small talk, and a copious amount of flirting, they retire upstairs to finish their "conversation" in private. The scene shifts to their room, where Lupin is eagerly awaiting Fujiko, in bed. She plays hard to get for a moment longer, before joining him. Right as they're going at it, Sadachiyo and his squad, crash through the window to assassinate Lupin, forcing him to flee the scene in his undies!
- La Résistance: The Geltic Tribe, who have long been oppressed by the Igo Tribe, who have long sought to claim the Geltic treasure for themselves.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Applied directly to the forehead, by the Elder, when Jean Pierre tries to pull his villainous exit.
- MacGuffin: The Twilight Gemini, naturally.
- Memento MacGuffin: Both halves of the Twilight, actually. Lorre kept one half and Dalune kept the other half. Dalune kept it to remind him of Lorre; when Lorre died, her daughter kept her half in memory of her as well. Lupin figuring this out is what allows him to deduce why Dalune sent him to Morocco in the first place; to find Dalune's granddaughter Lara.
- Master of Disguise: Lupin, as per usual. He goes through several of them, including impersonating an officer to infiltrate Morocco's police HQ, and passing himself off as one of the townsfolk to milk Zenigata for information.
- The Mole: There's two.
- The villain, who's not only descended of the Igo Tribe, he's also infiltrated Interpol.
- Bultokari works for the police (who are all Igo tribesmen) even though he's secretly a Gelt.
- Ms. Fanservice: Fujiko provides two thirds of the T&A in the uncut version, with Lara making up the difference between gainaxing and an outdoor bathing scene.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In their final duel, Sadachiyo cuts Goemon's sword in two, sending the broken half into the air. Just as he closes in for the kill, Goemon blocks the attack, right as the broken shard of his sword falls and pierces Sadachiyo in the back, killing him.
- Nipple and Dimed: Fujiko and Lara nipples are very visible in every naked breast scene.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Implied to be how Bultokari has played The Mole for so long.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Fujiko when Sadachiyo crashes her night with Lupin III and is about to use his whip to unfurl the bed sheets.
- Lara when she discovers that Lupin III is watching her naked while in the outdoor bath.
- Outdoor Bath Peeping: After being rescued from the desert and finding himself alone in the Elder's tent, Lupin steps outside to search for Lara. He soon finds her bathing in the oasis, which is when he finally sees she has the other half of the Twilight.
- Plucky Girl: Lara. She's an active member of the Geltic Tribe, who fights against the injustices of the Igo Tribe, in order to restore peace to her people and her homeland.
- Posthumous Character: Galoux is revealed to have been killed before the movie even starts. Every time we see him on-screen, he's actually being impersonated by the Igo Tribe's leader.
- Rebellious Princess: A literal example, since she's the rebel leader of the Geltic guerrillas, who are fighting to reclaim their ancestral homeland from the oppression of the Igo Tribe. However, Lara doesn't learn of her royal lineage, until the night before the film's climatic final battle.
- Red Baron: Sadachiyo "The Scorpion".
- Refuge in Audacity: Interpol's most wanted thief and his on-again off-again girlfriend, who happens to be an international jewel thief herself, sneak into a busy police station to steal the same file, and end up having sex in the file room!
- Retired Badass: We learn from the start that Dalune's an underworld kingpin, but he's even more badass than Lupin thought. While investigating the Geltic treasure, Lupin learns that he used to be a member of the French Foreign Legion, and fought alongside the Gelts during their doomed war with the Igo Tribe. The big surprise to Lupin is Lara being his granddaughter!
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: A rebel leader with royal lineage equals Lara, although she is unaware of her whole past until near the end.
- Schmuck Bait: How does Zenigata lure Lupin into his trap at the start of the film? With a woman, of course. Speaking of which
- Sex with the Ex: Lupin, twice with Fujiko. Sorta. See directly below for details.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: Two of 'em.
- The first occurs moments before Lupin and Fujiko get started in their hotel room. After she strips down, the scene shifts to the balcony outside, allowing the viewer to hear the remainder of their conversation and the sounds coming from inside once they get around to doing the deed. When Sadachiyo crashes the scene, the motion beneath the covers and Fujiko's moaning makes it blatantly obvious what was going on.
- The second one occurs when Lupin sneaks into a Morrocan police station, disguised as an officer, in order to dig up information on Galoux. Fujiko was carrying out a job of her own and was after the same file. They swap notes on what they know so far, during which he accidentally spills the beans about the treasure he's after. So she returns the favor by giving him her treasure. The camera pans to the wall next them, just as they get started.Lupin: (whispering) "We can't! We're in a police station!"
Fujiko: (seductively) "I doubt anyone'll catch us. Now kiss me."
*smooches, followed by sexophone as scene fades to black*
Lupin: *sighs happily* "Fujiko... Fu-ji-ko-ho..."
- Shoot the Hostage Taker: Invoked by the Elder, when Jean Pierre attempts to pull his villainous exit, by taking Lara hostage, along with her half of the Twilight as leverage, to ensure no one got the Geltic treasure. It didn't work.
- Sissy Villain: Sadachiyo. As mentioned previously, this guy is simply fabulous. If the long hair and makeup aren't enough to convince you, the sheer number of honeys, darlings, and big boys that permeate his speech pattern ought to do it.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Dalune and Lorre. He was a former member of the Foreign Legion, she was a dancer at the royal palace. They met during a time when there was fierce battle between the Gelts and the Igo Tribe. The day the Gelts were forced to flee their ancestral home was the last time they saw each other.
- Tears of Joy: Dalune is overcome with such emotion when Lupin tells him about his granddaughter that he sheds tears, and thanks him for it.
- Tempting Fate: You'd think that if someone murdered another man's son, that they'd have sense enough to NOT brag about it much less treat it like a joke while the victim's father is standing RIGHT THERE with a loaded gun and can hear them. Way to go, Jean.
- Tomboy Princess: Lara has the look of a desert bandit and, due to having been raised by Geltic guerrillas, she's a crackshot with a rifle and accustomed to fighting on the front lines.
- Two Halves Make a Plot: The plot centers around the search for both halves of the eponymous diamond. Lupin receives the first half from his old mob boss Dalune, who tasks him with finding the other half. It is eventually revealed to be held by Lara, Dalune's granddaughter.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Jean Pierre tries pulling one, after Lupin exposes him and foils his scheme. He even takes Lara and her half of the Twilight as leverage to ensure no one got the Geltic treasure. The Elder wasn't playing that shit.
- Whip It Good: Sadachiyo's method of choice, whether carrying out assassinations or torturing women. At one point, the guy even shreds a boulder Lupin was using for cover, in a matter of seconds!
- Worthless Treasure Twist: Subverted. In the end, Lupin and Lara, along with Zenigata and the others, gather to unearth the long-hidden Geltic treasure. It turns out to be an empty storeroom with an inscription stating that the heart of a people is a treasure unto itself. Lara is overjoyed, taking this to mean that they must unify the Geltic tribe and restore their homeland. Fujiko isn't as idealistic and vents her frustration by kicking the wall which crumbles, revealing a massive cache of diamonds! While the others stare, slackjawed, Lara quietly shares the moment with Lupin.
- You Are Worth Hell: At one point, Lara gets stuck in quicksand whilst searching for water in the desert. After Lupin's attempts to save her fail, she pleads with him to keep searching for the Gelts without her. He refuses, and instead chooses to join her. Before they are completely dragged under, Lupin reveals to her that he's also looking for the Geltic treasure, but says he's perfectly happy with sinking into the quicksand because at least he'll be with her.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
- This becomes the fate of Zora and his friends once Jean Pierre realizes they know nothing about the Geltic treasure. He almost says it verbatim before fatally shooting each of them.
- Though it isn't shown, he also explains that he killed the Elder's son, Galoux, after being told about the Geltic treasure. This occurs prior to the start of the film, which allowed him to impersonate Galoux the entire time.