Shin Lupin III: "Wings of Death — Albatross", sometimes seen as "Albatross: Wings of Death"
Released as Lupin III: Tales of the Wolf.
Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon are all preparing sukiyaki in a small motorhome. As the gang quarrels over preparing and serving the food, Lupin wonders where Fujiko is. He soon gets his answer when she bursts in, firing a machine gun out the door at an unseen pursuer. She flees, and the rest of the gang follows her when two grenades are tossed into the caravan. The gang barely escapes the ensuing explosion, Lupin absentmindedly still holding on to the sukiyaki pot. Fujiko leaps in Lupin's car and drives off, leaving the men behind; they are nearly run down by her pursuers. Shortly after, an explosion in the distance means Fujiko's likely capture (and the ruin of Lupin's car yet again.) Poking in the pot, Jigen finds a tiny device of some sort, tied with a pink ribbon. Figuring Fujiko dropped it, the gang leaves. Meanwhile, Fujiko has been strip searched by the guards of an older man. He tells them not to worry when they can't find what Fujiko stole; after all, Lupin will bring it to them eventually.
The gang has taken refuge on a boat, where Lupin determines that the device is the detonator for a compact atomic bomb. Wondering who would create such a thing, they determine that there's only one place someone could hide such a device without attracting attention: the Lonebach Aircraft Museum.
The next day, a plane from ICPO arrives; Zenigata exits and meets with the museum owner, Lonebach himself. As they go to the office, Zenigata finds that in the gigantic hanger of the museum is an equally massive airplane. Lonebach explains that it is a fifty year-old aircraft that he is restoring, called the Albatross. His office, as it turns out, is in the nose of the airplane. There, Lonebach quickly reveals that he is aware Zenigata is really Lupin in disguise. Lupin presents him with a rubber fake of the detonator and Lonebach offers to exchange the real thing for Fujiko, chained and imprisoned in a hatch nearby. Lupin turns him down and makes fun of her just before sirens sound outside. Lonebach laughs; he called the real Zenigata, and rather unceremoniously dumps Lupin out of the office with a tipping seat, right in front of Zenigata's car. Fleeing as Zenigata rips off pieces of his disguise, Lupin leaps for the plane he arrived in. Jigen takes off, Lupin grabs the tail, and the two thieves escape.
After informing Fujiko any attempts to escape are futile, Lonebach gloats to her over his collection of small nuclear weapons, manufactured in the Albatross itself, which he plans to fly around the world and sell bombs to any interested and wealthy party. He also plans to keep Fujiko as his first wife.
Later, Lupin and Jigen (sans Goemon, for fear of viewing an undressed Fujiko) meet with Lonebach's ship in the bay to trade the girl for the stolen detonator. On the count of three, Lupin drops the detonator in a net just as Fujiko, wrapped in a blanket, leaps aboard his boat. Except Fujiko is actually Zenigata! On his command, police jump from every hatch on Lonebach's ship and swamp Lupin and Jigen in cops. When Lupin tries to explain just what Zenigata helped Lonebach obtain, he dismisses it as a piece from the Albatross, and when Lupin adds Fujiko is Lonebach's hostage, the cop tells the thief he just received a call from Fujiko in Tokyo.
Back ashore, Zenigata and the police lock Lupin and Jigen in an armored van, chain them, and strip them to ensure Lupin his no tricks up his sleeves, or any sleeves to hide them in. Zenigata double-checks, finding a fake foot on Lupin's real one, but also a bomb hidden in the wig Lupin was wearing. It goes off, blowing the van doors open and giving a chained and leaping Lupin and Jigen a chance to escape. Bounding for freedom, they make for the dock, where Goemon waits. He cuts off their chains; they steal a boat and zoom off while he deals with the pursing Zenigata and cops. The same cut has sliced through the dock, so when Zenigata and the police step on it, they fall into the water.
Lupin and Jigen race back to the museum, only to find that Lonebach and his crew have finished repairing the Albatross and it is preparing to take off. Failing to catch it in their stolen motorboat, they backtrack to the museum and find an old plane that can still fly. As they take off, however, Zenigata follows in a police car and manages to grab the wing just as the plane takes flight.
In the Albatross's lounge, Lonebach attempts to wine and dine a chained Fujiko when he gets a signal from the bridge that Lupin is in pursuit. Leaving Fujiko to command his men, he orders missiles fired at the thieves. Zenigata is aghast to see the weapons while Lupin pilots the plane to avoid the incoming bombs. Jigen steals Zenigata's gun and shoots some of the missiles down, but when he runs out of bullets, the plane is defenseless. Machine gun fire finally strikes one wing, draining the fuel tank.
As she watches Lupin's plane flounder, one of Lonebach's men comes to take Fujiko up to the bridge. She cons him into coming close enough to deal a kick that knocks him out. Shooting off her chains with his gun and improvising a skirt from a tablecloth, she tears through the Albatross, knocking out many of Lonebach's men and making her way to the hatch on top. There, she signals Lupin. Lonebach has noticed the sudden lack of fire and makes his own way to the back, only to find Fujiko has control of the machine gun there, which she quite happily fires in his direction. Lupin's plane descends, and she grabs hold of the wheel, only to be forced to let go when Lonebach and one guard fire away from another hatch. Lonebach throws a grenade at her, but she manages to throw it back. It explodes under one of the Albatross's engines, causing it to break away. Furious she has damaged his precious plane, he tries to throw a bundle of grenades at her, but she shoots them apart; they tumble down the wing of the Albatross and explode, peeling away the skin and revealing the nuclear bomb plant.
Seeing the plant, Lupin hurls his tiny plane at the larger one. He hits two more engines with his own plane's wings, knocking them loose, but also damaging the wings beyond repair; they fall off as Lupin noses the plane into a steep climb, and the small aircraft, with Lupin, Jigen, and Zenigata, ends up falling straight down into the Albatross's fuselage. The giant airplane starts to fall, and Lonebach's men bail out; what's worse, the plane is no longer over open sea, but has blundered into a mountain range, making a safe landing impossible. Lupin, taking control of the plane, orders the others to throw everything heavy out of the plane they can to keep aloft. While ripping off a large steel panel, Jigen and Zenigata discover Lonebach still aboard, trying to make off with his precious bombs. Furious at his defeat, he threatens to make them explode as he makes his way for the exit, but at the last second, Zenigata grabs the man and flies out of the plane with him. Luckily, Lonebach's parachute deploys and the two make a safe landing.
Lightened, the plane makes it over the mountains and towards a large lake. As Fujiko embraces Lupin in joy, Lupin discovers the plans for the bombs she managed to hide in her hair. Jigen takes them and gleefully tears them to pieces as the Albatross makes its way towards a safe landing.
One of two episodes of Shin Lupin III the legend Hayao Miyazaki directed, in addition to his past work on the franchise.
This episode features examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Handcuffs and a dock are sliced apart by Zantetsuken.
- Action Girl: Fujiko's best showing EVER! See Damsel out of Distress.
- Affably Evil: Aside from the fact that Lumbach wants to manufacture and sell portable nuclear bombs, he really isn't that "bad" a guy.
- Cassandra Truth: When Lupin tries to tell Zengata that Lumbach's "sparkplug" is really a detonator, Zenigata doesn't buy it. Then when he tells him Lumbach's lying and that he's holding Fujiko hostage, Zenigata replies he'd already spoken to Fujiko, who said Lupin wouldn't leave her alone. And even when Lupin has him convinced of at least the existence of the detonator in the middle of a strip search, his priorities are still somewhat skewed until the climax.
- Creator Thumbprint: Miyazaki's love of aircraft and planes are well-demonstrated here.
- Damsel out of Distress: Lupin and Co. attempt to rescue Fujiko, after she's been kidnapped and held hostage by Prof. Lumbach. She not only saves them the trouble, she ends up saving them, by single-handedly taking over the plane! It has to be seen to be believed (7:21-8:47)!
- Everyone Has Standards: Zenigata gets a little disturbed when his men remove Lupin and Jigen's underwear while strip-searching them.
- Expy: More than a few fans have noted Lumbach's resemblance to Dr. Eggman (seen in the comments section of the link in the preceding entry).
- Fanservice: Lots of naked and half-naked characters abound; including two closeups of Fujiko's fanny.
- Food Porn: The opening scene features the gang chowing down on some noodles-and-unidentifiable-meat.
- Going Commando: Fujiko spends most of the episode without underwear on (or anything else, really). All the more notable because its quite possibly the most Fanservicey thing Miyazaki's ever done.
- Impersonating an Officer: Lupin poses as Zenigata again; he uses the disguise to try to get Prof. Lumbach to tell him about his bomb manufacturing plant. Lumbach stalls by pretending to fall for it, to buy time for the real Zenigata to show up!
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Downplayed, but definitely present. Lumbach seems in no hurry to get Fujiko a new pair of pants after having her strip-searched, but he would like to have her join him for lunch.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Goemon + handcuffs and chains = no damage and broken handcuffs and chains.
- Indy Ploy: Gets lampshaded twice, first by Jigen when he and Lupin narrowly escape from Zenigata near the beginning. The other, is when Lupin admits chasing a plane in a boat is stupid.
- Latex Perfection: Lupin's favorite one, Zenigata. And, disturbingly, Zenigata as Fujiko!
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: More like "Nice Job Blowing Up Your Own Plane Villain".
- One-Woman Army: Fujiko, as noted in the Damsel out of Distress entry. She frees herself, then proceeds to take out Lumbach's men and take over the plane!
- Rescue Reversal: See the Damsel out of Distress entry.
- Toon Physics: In order to gain altitude, the gang starts chucking couches, control panels, refrigerators, and other miscellaneous objects that are far bigger than the doorway they're pushing them through. Also, Zenigata and Jigen pry a steel wall section free with their barehands, as though it were aluminum foil.
- Truth in Television: The Albatross is often mistaken for Howard Hughes's legendary Spruce Goose. It's closer to a slightly modified (no pusher engines) Dornier Do X
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Averted; while it looks like Lonebach got away with the bombs, remember this: he didn't take the all-important detonators with him! So fear not; Zenigata is not in danger of getting nuked (which is a Foregone Conclusion, anyway).