Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)
ルパン三世 セブンデイズ・ラプソディ (TV Special)
Rupan Sansei Seven Days Rhapsody

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Zenigata is waiting at a New York horse racing track for an expected robbery by Lupin. No robbery occurs but a number of jockeys end up falling unconscious off their horses, resulting in an extreme long shot horse winning. Jigen has the ticket on that horse and having bet $100,000, he cleans house. Jigen drives away alone, which is observed by Zenigata. As such, Zenigata goes to the jockey locker room to confront a jockey there. It is Lupin but before Lupin can take off his mask, Zenigata summons the bomb disposal team, who take care of the booby trapped mask.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Now to be outdone, Lupin summons his horse Washington and away he goes. Lupin promises the stallion some Texas fillies if the horse can pour on the speed. Washington does more than that, managing to clear a path through police cars. Zenigata is in pursuit, but at the Brooklyn Bridge, Lupin leaps off into a waiting boat driven by Jigen and they are off. One of the NYPD reports that more helicopters are in route as one passes over head. Zenigata tells the officers it is too late and sure enough, the helicopter explodes, letting Lupin and Jigen get away.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Making it to the cheap hotel Lupin has reserved, Jigen and Lupin are going to celebrate with some bourbon but unfortunately, the room’s fridge is out of order so Lupin has no ice. While Jigen prefers his bourbon neat, he goes with Lupin to a nearby convenience store to pick up some ice. On the way there, Jigen hears a shotgun shell and parts company with Lupin, telling his partner that he has something to take care of. Lupin gets to the store to find a final bag of Down South Ice. Before he can make the purchase, a couple of robbers try to hold the place up, only to be thwarted by the store owner. This results in the sacrifice of Lupin’s ice.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Outside the store, a 16-year old blonde girl hides behind Lupin and asks for his help as three well-dressed thugs approach to take the girl. They advise Lupin to stay out of it, but he’s pissed about losing his bag of ice and instead rescues the girl. Making it to the Waldorf Astoria, the girl presents a Black Card to the desk clerk, who immediately secures her an $8000/night suite. Michelle is not impressed with the suite, but Lupin thinks it is pretty spiffy. The girl, Michelle, wants to hire Lupin for a job to stop her father from doing something, having determined his identity from his gun and his plans to take down another horse race (which fell out of his pocket). Lupin ends up accepting since the job will be done before Saturday.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Meanwhile, Jigen’s departure from Lupin was due to him recognizing the sounds from his old mercenary comrade, Riat. Jigen holds Riat responsible for allowing the adult daughter of a South African ruler (Jenny) killed before she could be evacuated from the war-torn country. Jigen was Jenny’s bodyguard and the two appear to have been romantically involved. Riat wants to put the past behind them and when Jigen declines to shoot the man, Riat has a job offer to help with things. Since the job will be done before Saturday, he accepts and calls Lupin to let him know.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Lupin pays Fujiko a visit at Madison Square Garden, where a gem expose is going on. With Goemon in her employ, Fujiko is posing as a diamond buyer working with a man named Danon. However, she’s really interested in stealing the huge diamond called the Goddess Tear Drop. After getting the details from Goemon, Lupin convinces Goemon to come with him back to the Waldorf Astoria. Unfortunately, the three thugs who’d tried to snag Michelle earlier are back and have her again. The leader, named Fire for his incendiary devices, escapes with Michelle after tossing several incendiary spheres.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)As Fire leads his men and Michelle to the roof to take a helicopter, Goemon slices the chopper in half, ending that route of escape. With Lupin using a fire extinguisher to put out Fire’s toys, it seems that there is a stalemate until Fire produces a remote control which allows him and the others to escape on a crane. Not to be outdone, Lupin and Goemon take a window washers platform on a rapid decent down the side of the building. As they go down, Zenigata pursues them in another helicopter but ends up crashing it into another building’s roof. Lupin finds a “helpful” patron at a nearby bar, where he learns that Fire and company have gone to Thailand with Michelle.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Lupin and Goemon take a flight to Thailand where Goemon notes a Buddhist priest and a beggar aren’t what they appear to be. Sure enough, the two men give chase after Goemon and Lupin board a 3-wheeled taxi. With RPG’s and bullets flying all around, Goemon receives a call from an angry Fujiko, who demands he return to New York immediate as he’s working for her, not Lupin. Goemon literally cuts himself free, the taxi wrecks, and Lupin is taken captive. Lupin meets Fire’s boss (Michelle’s father) who has Lupin tossed into a cell. Lupin escapes and learns that the group plans on grabbing the Goddess Tear Drop, which is what Fujiko wants.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Michelle’s father ends up hiring Riat to deal with Lupin but expresses concern that Riat has Jigen working for him. Riat figures that since Lupin and Jigen are so hard to kill, it is best to fight fire with fire. The following day, Lupin takes a helicopter to scout out Michelle’s father’s estate (which is seen by Zenigata) where he discovers that Jigen is working for the other side, complicating things. Riat introduces Jigen to Michelle’s father and over dinner, Jigen reluctantly signs a contract to work for the man despite knowing he’ll be going up against Lupin.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Lupin manages to infiltrate the estate (which is more like a compound) just as Michelle’s father demonstrates to Riat and Jigen the weapon they are developing — Nitro Diamond Weapons (NDW). As such, Lupin gets to witness up close how powerful these NDW’s are. Taking compressed nitroglycerin and packing it within cultured diamonds, they have the means to have powerful explosives. The plan is to switch the Goddess Tear Drop (which the President of the United States has purchased) with an NDW copy that could destroy the White House.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Lupin makes it to Michelle’s room where they escape. Michelle’s father learns of the escape and has his people sent out to catch them, including Riat and Jigen. Jigen is forced to shoot Lupin, who returns the favor but instead ends up shooting down all of Lupin’s bullets. Lupin manages to escape with Michelle and take the helicopter to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol, which Zenigata discovers at the airport control tower. Michelle knows that her father has a factory here. Lupin determines there are underground buildings, which means they have to find the entrance.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Riat and Jigen head to Wat Yai Chai Mongkol where Jigen is not happy to have been set up. He tells Riat that he’ll kill Lupin as his contract demands, but that Riat won’t live either. Meanwhile, Lupin has found a way inside the plant where they discover that the facility is making land mines in addition to NDW’s. Lupin steals the faux Goddess Tear Drop and attempts to make his escape with Michelle. Unfortunately, Zenigata takes that moment to show up to arrest Lupin, allowing Riat to capture Michelle again. Jigen shows up to kill Lupin, which stuns Zenigata. As the two engage in a firefight, Riat decides that Jigen needs to die as well and tosses some NDW’s down, causing the plant to explode.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Riat reports to Michelle’s father that he’s taken care of Jigen and Lupin. However, he has another surprise for the man. Riat has Michelle held prisoner with an NDW around her neck. Riat wants the NDW data so that he can get rich and not have to take these kinds of jobs any more. Michelle’s father attacks Riat and in the struggle, Riat shoots the man with his shotgun. Michelle’s father blows the computer with the NDW data to thwart Riat’s plans.

Back at the remains of the plant, Lupin & Jigen bring an Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)unconscious Zenigata out of a metal box. Lupin remarks on their close call with death, leading Jigen to reply that maybe they did die. Lupin sees the bullet hole in Jigen’s hat and realizes that this is Jigen’s way of saying that the contract is now void, meaning the two are partners again. Meanwhile, Riat, Fire, and fellow thugs return to New York where they are met by “Front Man” (an unnamed company executive). Figuring Michelle’s father for dead, Front Man gives Riat an opportunity to take over the company (called Mix) but Riat declines, meaning Front Man will take over.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Danon contacts Fujiko and makes a deal with her to split the profits on the theft of the real Goddess Tear Drop. They go over the plan when Goemon receives a text message on his cell phone and leaves. He meets up with Lupin and Jigen and requests Lupin not text him using female names and with that, Lupin puts his plan into action. That night, Goemon and Fujiko make it into Madison Square Garden and put all the guards to sleep. Goemon is cleaning up the gems while Fujiko attempts to snare the Goddess Tear Drop. However Danon has double-crossed her and as such, the NYPD arrive on scene forcing Fujiko and Goemon to retreat, thereby allowing Danon to take the Goddess Tear Drop and swap it with a fake.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Fujiko has lost not only the Goddess Tear Drop, but the other gems as well while Lupin has managed to score the real Goddess Tear Drop thanks to some clever pre-swapping of his own. Lupin is in a parachute enjoying his prize when Zenigata jumps out of a police helicopter to catch Lupin. This causes Lupin to lose the diamond and the only way to ditch Zenigata is to lose his pants, so Lupin takes off his belt and ditches his slacks. In doing so, Lupin gives up his plans for Saturday as well.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Outside of Mix’s HQ, Fire and his boys see Jigen and decide to greet him properly. However, an angry Fujiko arrives on the scene and turns one of Fire’s devices back on him. Goemon arrives to finish taking them out. Lupin arrives, meaning the gang is all here to take care of everything at once (including Danon, who works for Mix). They confront Danon and Riat, who then produce Michelle as a bargaining chip. Since Lupin and company’s way out is blocked, Danon and Riat move into a special bomb shelter, but with some fancy gunplay aided by Goemon’s sword skills, Lupin and Jigen remove the NDW from Michelle’s neck and Fujiko gets her to safety before it explodes.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Via closed circuit camera, Lupin tells Danon and Riat that he has the real Goddess Tear Drop, meaning that what they think is the Goddess Tear Drop is actually an NDW, which then goes off. Michelle and Fujiko embrace Lupin but Fujiko gets upset when he learns that Lupin lost the real diamond. Fujiko is going to take Michelle on her bike. Michelle is sad to leave Lupin and since he has no computer or other such technology, she won’t be able to contact him. She vows that in 10-years he’ll regret it and that at the end of that time, she’ll offer herself to him. Fujiko takes off with Michelle as Goemon realizes that Michelle’s Black Card is in serious danger.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Come Sunday, Lupin’s plans to score at the track are foiled by a hurricane. As he stands in the rain, Zenigata comes up and slaps three sets of cuffs on him. Zenigata expresses concern for Lupin’s welfare, inviting him to eat some katsudon with Zenigata inside a warm interrogation room. Lupin naturally declines and flees with Zenigata in pursuit. From the stans, Goemon and Jigen observe the “race” for a bit before taking off, leaving Lupin to deal with Zenigata alone.

Thoughts/Review:

Hmmmm…I really do need to be less wordy on my summaries, eh? ^_^;;;

Regardless, this 2006 TV special is mostly pretty good to me. The beginning gets off to a really good start because it is quite funny. I loved how Zenigata was prepared for Lupin’s exploding mask by having the bomb disposal box already prepared. I laughed out loud when Lupin offered the stallion Washington a sex bribe to run faster. Goemon producing a cell phone was another good laugh because it is so unlike Goemon, as was him telling Fujiko that he couldn’t take down a helicopter at one point (despite taking his normal pose to do so). The scene with the botched robbery is funny as is Lupin’s little puppet show for Jigen. Basically, there is a lot of fun in the first half of the special.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)Things slow down a lot when the writers start working on the three plot threads to their ultimate merger. It is not that the serious aspects to the story are bad, in fact the premise of Jigen and Lupin being enemies is quite interesting. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t play out that well in this anime. Why? I never really believed they were serious opponents. Luis A. Cruz from the Lupin III Encyclopedia mentioned that he would have liked to have seen this scenario played out over several episodes in a TV series. I’m not so sure that would have worked but that may be what the doctor ordered. Still, I give the writers credit for daring to make Jigen and Lupin opponents at all.

Lupin III Seven Days Rhapsody (TV Special)After all the plot threads merge and the anime is winding down, the fun returns with Zenigata rubbing his stubbled face on Lupin, Jigen questioning where Lupin’s pants are, and of course the final Lupin-Zenigata encounter. I actually wish the fun would have stayed throughout the anime rather than the fun being dropped for a while for serious plot.

The character design for Michelle really struck me as being very similar to Armitage from Armitage III. If you’ve never seen that OVA, it won’t bother you but it kept distracting me at times.

Overall, were this to be licensed by FUNimation, I would go ahead and buy it. While the story turning serious did make things seem to go slower, the fact that the writers tried to do new things combines with all the fun in the first half of the anime and the very end of the anime make up for that.

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