Lupin III: Voyage to Danger, originally released as Orders to Assassinate Lupin note , is the fifth entry in the Lupin III Yearly Specials, a series of Made For TV Movies produced by TMS Entertainment and NTV. Released in 1994, it was the first special not to be directed by Osamu Dezaki; duties were instead handed over to Masaaki Osumi, who directed the first seven episodes of the first TV series before it was revamped to be Lighter and Softer in tone.
The inevitable has happened. After losing so much to Lupin, Zenigata has been taken off the Lupin case by ICPO. Feeling bad for the poor man, Lupin decides to help Zenigata on his latest case to capture a terrorist group known as Shot Shell, in hopes of him getting back on the case. To lure them out, Lupin gets his crew together to steal a Russian submarine. They also kidnap a scientist named Karen Korinsky to operate the sub, who has a mysterious connection to Jigen's past.
The crew better be careful, though. Keith Haydan, the new guy in charge of the Lupin case, is hot on their tail, and unlike Zenigata, he's more than happy to kill all of them.
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:
- Brick Joke: The Middle Eastern arms dealer pranks Lupin with a prosthetic hand. At the very end, Lupin uses that same prosthetic hand to escape when Zenigata tries to arrest him.
- Cartwright Curse: Karen develops feelings for Jigen in spite of herself. So naturally, the climax sees her dying in Jigen's arms.
- Coming in Hot: Lupin begins the final assault on Shell Shot by dropping homemade bombs from a cargo plane. When the plane runs out of fuel (presumably because he used all the fuel to make bombs) he just parachutes out and lets the plane crash into a weapons factory.
- Chekhov's Gun: The explosive bubblegum introduced by the Middle Eastern arms dealer shows up later, when Lupin uses it to escape from a bunch of Shot Shell mooks.
- Dating Catwoman: Karen quickly develops feelings for Jigen, which conflicts with her plan to kill him to avenge her father. Jigen apparently feels for Karen as well, so much that he's willing to let her kill him.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Jean-Claude, the head of Shot Shell, is very much a villain the James Bond style. He's got a secret base on a remote Pacific island, a small army of mooks, and advanced hologram technology.
- Dirty Cop: Turns out Keith is in league with the arms dealers.
- Drowning My Sorrows: The movie opens with Zenigata meeting Lupin and Jigen alone to tell them he's been taken off the case. Utterly forlorn, he pulls several bottles of hard liquor out of his coat and starts drinking, then invites Lupin and Jigen to join in.
- Enemy Mine: Lupin decides to help Zenigata take down Shot Shell—partly because he sees an opportunity to rob Shot Shell blind, and partly because he wants Zenigata to get his old job back (since his replacement is much more dangerous).
- False Flag Operation: Jean-Claude confesses to Fujiko that Shot Shell's agents are embedded all over the world, in order to provoke more conflicts and wars, ensuring Shot Shell always has more customers.
- Friendly Enemy: Zenigata views Lupin as this in the beginning of the movie. After overhearing Lupin telling Jigen how he plans to help in his case on Shot Shell, Zenigata gets emotionally moved to the point of tears that he bawls on him, with Lupin telling him he's trying to drive.
- Hologram: When Jean-Claude pulls his sudden but inevitable betrayal, Lupin tries to escape from the Shot Shell mooks by pointing a gun at Jean-Claude. But he just laughs and encourages Lupin to shoot—because he isn't in the room at all. Lupin had been talking to a hologram for the whole scene.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Twice, Karen has Jigen in her gunsights, prepared to kill him—only for Keith Haydan to show up, guns a-blazing, and distract Karen long enough for Jigen to escape.
- No Man Should Have This Power: Karen insists on disarming all the nuclear warheads in the Russian sub, and Lupin's gang readily agrees with her. At the climax, the whole gang agrees to blow up the sub just to make sure those nukes never fall into the wrong hands, even though they think the money from the heist is still aboard.
- Once More, with Clarity!: First, a flashback shows Karen's memory of the time Jigen gunned down her father. Later, Jigen explains his side of the story, prompting a more detailed flashback: the elder Korinsky was Jigen's partner, who betrayed him after completing a job. Jigen killed him in self-defense.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Karen argues with Keith that she should get to kill Jigen, in order to avenge her father.
- Rasputinian Death: Keith Hayden gets shot by Jigen and appears to die. Then he gets back up, at which point Jigen, Lupin, and Karen all shoot him multiple times. Even after that, he tries to get up again, only for Lupin to finally kill him with a headshot.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Goemon and Jigen both apparently get killed by Keith: Goemon was stabbed and fell into the ocean, while Jigen was trapped in an exploding hut. Naturally, both of them actually survive. Goemon deflected the knife so it was Only a Flesh Wound, and Jigen escaped through a tunnel just before the explosion.
- Villainous Crush: As part of Lupin's scheme, Fujiko puts the moves on Jean-Claude, and the guy completely falls for her.
- You Killed My Father: Years ago, Jigen killed Karen Korinsky's father (to be fair, it was in self-defense). Naturally, she wants to kill Jigen as revenge.