Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~

ルパン三世 sweet lost night~魔法のランプは悪夢の予感~
Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Lupin is out looking to steal a “magic lamp,” having been “talked” into it by Fujiko. Meanwhile in the Arabian city where the lamp is, Inspector Zenigata is waiting and pays a visit to one Dr. Jordan regarding the theft. Dr. Jordan is Lupin in disguise, but Zenigata was already onto Lupin despite Lupin having grabbed the lamp. Lupin thinks he has Zenigata trapped, but Zenigata was prepared for that too and easily escapes. In fact no matter what Lupin pulls out of his tricks for escape, Zenigata is right with him, stopping each escape attempt including Lupin’s favorite disguise — dressing up as Zenigata. Lupin is getting frustrated and uses a rocket sled in the elevator to try to escape but Zenigata is still with him. Finally as the sled is about to crash, Zenigata falls to the jungle below and Lupin crashes where he wasn’t supposed to be — on a beach near Phuket.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Lupin checks out his prize and a female genie emerges from the lamp, calling herself the fairy of the lamp. She promises to grant Lupin any wish in exchange for half his life. Lupin decides he wants to start with a kiss and the lamp starts flashing before shooting him with something. Just as his watch strikes seven, he suddenly finds himself in Singapore in the middle of traffic and on the phone with Jigen who’s asking about the woman. Lupin is confused and gets hit by a car, driven by Fujiko. An ambulance carries Lupin away with Fujiko accusing Lupin of working with “that” woman.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Fujiko demands to know where the lamp is, which Lupin doesn’t have. Lupin is shocked to discover Zenigata in the next bed, but Zenigata has amnesia. Lupin escapes from the hospital and is hitching a ride on top of a bus trying to figure things out when he’s attacked by a large, armored military vehicle. The commander inside is Colonel Garlic and he wants the lamp too and doesn’t hesitate to blow up a fuel truck to prove how serious he is. Jigen rescues Lupin in a car and the chase is on. The giant armored vehicle causes major mayhem and damage, but Lupin and Jigen elude it, only to end up trapped in an alleyway.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Lupin is disguised as Dr. Jordan again and Jigen is amazed that Lupin seems to have forgotten the last 12 hours. Jigen explains that Garlic and his men were waiting for Lupin in Fujiko’s room, a chase ensued, and Fujiko ended up rescuing Lupin on a boat. The next time Jigen heard from Lupin was the next morning at breakfast when Lupin called about a woman. About that time, Colonel Garlic makes an announcement on all the TV’s in the restaurant demanding Lupin bring the lamp in exchange for Fujiko. Despite knowing it is a trap, Lupin cannot let Fujiko be harmed, so he loses the disguise follows instructions and boards the last car of a train, which is a luxury car. It is empty, save for a red-haired woman that Lupin had noticed before.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Lupin has the woman come with him but he has no memory of her, which seems to insult the woman. Lupin tries to play it off, hoping for a score but then his car suddenly is not attached to the train any longer. Garlic’s armored beast is on the tracks and attaches itself to the car. Garlic and his soldiers enter, followed by Fujiko who’s working with Garlic. She recognizes the woman as “Drew” and since Drew clearly wanted Lupin’s help, it is time for an escape, courtesy of Goemon. Goemon’s actions cause the armored vehicle to fall into the water, but it is equipped for that. When Drew takes off the gas mask Lupin had given her, Drew’s wig is removed and Lupin recognizes her as the “fairy” from the night before. She runs away and Lupin gives chase.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Lupin catches her in a nearby woods and they talk. Lupin learns that the lamp is not magical but technology — Laser Automatic Memory Program — L.A.M.P. Lupin had been tagged with a chip and it causes him to lose 12-hours of his memories from 7pm to 7am every day. One of Garlic’s helicopters is searching for them, so they board a passing train. The helicopter finds them just the same, but Goemon again comes to the rescue. Garlic is amazed that the samurai can deflect bullets. Drew continues to tell Lupin her story of her brother Adam and her coming from war-torn regions and loving the Aladdin and the Magic Lamp story. Then they started working with a Dr. Eichmann on a memory project. Somehow, she has lost three years of her own memories.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~They make it back to the city, but Colonel Garlic’s armored behemoth is again in pursuit. Goemon and Jigen do what they can to put it off. When Goemon spots Drew across the river bank, he leaps over, only to see the LAMP emerge and shot him. Despite using Zantetsuken, he is captured by a sub that emerges, all of which is seen by Drew. Lupin finds Drew and they hide on a river boat, where Lupin assures her that he doesn’t believe she did anything bad (which she’s afraid she did during her three years) because he has a feel for these things. Since it is now after 7pm, Lupin is writing stuff all over his body so he won’t forget.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~The following morning, Lupin awakes in a hotel with love-heart decor but has no memory and a clean body. Drew emerges from the bathroom only in a towel, meaning Lupin has forgotten an incredible night. She seems disappointed that Lupin has forgotten and Lupin is mad that he’s forgotten. This is interrupted when an attack helicopter carrying Fujiko and Garlic shows up outside the window and they attack. Lupin and Drew escape, though Drew only has Lupin’s jacket to wear. In the sewers, Lupin takes a call from Jigen, who is warning him about Drew. Drew pulls a gun on Lupin and Goemon, now apparently free of desires, is helping her.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Elsewhere, Garlic and Fujiko find that Garlic’s men have all been taken control of by Dr. Eichmann and that Fujiko has double crossed Garlic. Garlic barely escapes back to the helicopter while Lupin is lead inside the facility and secured with rope. Dr. Eichmann’s holographic image greets him and while Lupin tries every ploy in his bag of escape tricks, sadly Goemon has prepared for them all and Lupin is still trapped to his frustration. Drew ends up giving Lupin a gun as Jigen attacks with a high-powered .50 caliber sniper rifle. Lupin and Drew escape to where Jigen is waiting. Jigen isn’t sure about Drew, but seeing as how Drew kept Lupin’s phone so Jigen could track it combined with the note in his underwear telling him to trust Drew, Lupin knew Drew was OK.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Drew warns Lupin that he can’t afford another memory wipe as monkeys in the memory experiments lost all their memories on the third wipe. So it is off to the converted prison where Dr. Eichmann’s lab is. That is where Fujiko is, where she sees the results of Dr. Eichmann’s work — hardened criminals now all passive and working with flowers and the like. After Dr. Eichmann leaves, Fujiko suspects that she may also be a test subject and discovers that her luxury room is actually a cell. Meanwhile Lupin, Jigen, and Drew arrive on the island but are attacked. Drew escapes but Jigen and Lupin are captured, Dr. Eichmann seeing that Drew is heading off someplace. The troops bring in Lupin and Jigen, so Dr. Eichmann orders them to wait so he can take care of something and he’s off to find Drew.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Lupin is in fact disguised as one of the soldiers and one of the real soldiers is dressed to appear like Lupin. Now free, Jigen is going to follow Drew’s instructions to return Lupin’s memories. Goemon comes to interfere but is tricked by Jigen and knocked out. Lupin then sees Dr. Eichmann in the monitor going after Drew, so he leaves as well, promising to return before the deadline. Dr. Eichmann turns out to be Drew’s missing brother Adam, who’d taken Dr. Eichmann’s place after Dr. Eichmann died of a disease, using Dr. Eichmann memories. He’d had Drew’s memories erased so as to protect her from bad memories since she objected to what they were doing.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Jigen restores Goemon’s missing mental parts to him, but Goemon has lost his memories of recent events in exchange. Outside, Garlic attacks with his helicopter, planning to kill everyone. He somehow binds Fujiko with rope and attaches her under his helicopter before attacking the facility. Goemon tries to free her, but ends up only shredding her clothing. He gets it right on the 2nd time though. Lupin helps Drew back to the lab and has her memories returned to her even though she’ll forget recent times including Lupin. Then with no time to spare and the facility being destroyed, Lupin has his own memories returned, though with no apparent side-effects. Adam is ready to die at the hands of Garlic when Goemon saves him, causing the helicopter to be destroyed.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~After the adventure is over, Lupin and Jigen are back in town. They see Drew drive past, but she doesn’t acknowledge them since she doesn’t know them now. Jigen kids Lupin about this, but Lupin isnt worried, having decided that she really didn’t forget, she’s just to busy to remember. It is then that they see a bearded Zenigata approach them, still having no memories. He is clothed as a beggar, so Lupin has pity and gives Zenigata Lupin’s jacket. Zenigata slips on a banana peel but that doesn’t jog his memory. When Lupin’s cell phone accidentally hits him on the head, Zenigata remembers and the age-old chase is back on again.

Thoughts/Review:

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Outside of some animation issues, this was one of the better Lupin III specials I’ve seen. For starters, it is pretty clear that the writers wanted Zenigata to not just be a buffoon, but an actual character. Having chased Lupin around for so many years, he should be well prepared for all of Lupin’s tricks and indeed he was. That’s what made it funny. I’ve seen Lupin get away with so many of these things in previous specials, movies, OVA’s, and TV series. In Seven Days Rhapsody, Zenigata was prepared somewhat and that was funny. Having Zenigata completely prepared for everything and even having some of his own tricks to use against Lupin was pure win! Kudos to the writers there, even if that was the only place Zenigata got time to shine since the rest of the special, he had amnesia and little else to do but cameos.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~Because Zenigata was used quite well at the beginning and his absence is credible, the writers then have Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko to work with. Fujiko is her normal double crossing self, only she’s a bit bloodthirsty this time as she participates in some of Garlic’s vicious attacks (not pulling a trigger, but she’s there). The writers make her pay more than once for her treachery though, which was something interesting and enjoyable. Goemon does his normal thing too, but the writers gave him an interesting twist by having those evil thoughts purged from him for a time. Jigen does his thing, but the twist on him is (1) his gun-shaped lighter and (2) there were jokes about him not being able to light his trademark cigarette. So kudos to the writers for these little things.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~As the new Lupin babe that’s often in these stories, I liked Drew a lot. The writers played her just mysterious enough to never leave the audience quite sure if she were trustworthy or not. I liked how Drew and Lupin were implied to have spent the night together (something Lupin’s always game for) but he had no memory of the event after it happened. That too is a nice little twist to allow Lupin to get the babe but without making it vulgar. While Drew’s background and involvement with Dr. Eichmann’s work was cliched, in the end that didn’t matter. The writers did just enough to keep her interesting and combined with the bits they added everywhere else, they slide on the cliched stuff.

Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~I mentioned some poor animation parts. I should rather say that these are moments when still shots are used rather than animation. For the most part, these stills weren’t used but during a few action sequences, it was as if the special had no more money for shots of the giant armored vehicle doing its thing so stills were used with some limited motion stuff and camera movements. Because the special is otherwise animated quite well (including other action sequences), these still shot segments are quite jarring, at least to me.
Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night ~Mahou no Lamp wa Akumu no Yokan~
So, there were laughs, a great Zenigata in the beginning, good tweaks on well-established characters, an interesting story with the memory loss, and a villain that looked like Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist. Go figure on that one. Regardless, the show had enough entertainment value to warren t a marginal purchase recommendation from me, should it ever be licensed in the U.S. (which I doubt).

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