Lupin Sansei vs Meitantei Conan TV Special

Lupin III vs. Detective Conan Review
ルパン三世 vs 名探偵コナン

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Prince Gill and Queen Sakura of Vespania are killed in what is described as a hunting accident, leaving Princess Mira in line to become queen. On a trip to Japan, an attempt is made on Mira’s life during a reception which is thwarted by EDOGAWA Conan, a young amateur detective. Mira feels the need to escape and so leaves the hotel where she encounters MOURI Ran, who despite being a couple of years younger than Mira looks a lot like her. Ran saves Mira from what she thinks is a bad guy (its Mira’s body guard) and Mira takes advantage of Ran’s dreamy thoughts about being a princess to convince Ran to take her place for the night.

Conan detects the switch and is out to find Mira while Mira is picked up by MINE Fujiko, who keeps Mira out of the hands of those who would take her back. As Fujiko supervises Mira’s night on the town playing arcade games, eating sushi and the like, Ran agrees to pretend to be Mira for the time being. Fujiko and Mira elude Conan’s pursuits until the morning when Ran is drugged and taken on board the royal jet to Vespania. Conan manages to hitch a ride in the wheel well and is rescued when he causes a sensor to go off.

In Japan, Detective Zenigata agrees to take private detective MOURI Kogoro to Vespania as his official assistant since Zenigata has jurisdiction to go anywhere after the notorious thief, Lupin III. Lupin III is planning a caper in Vespania with Jigen, helped by the fact that Jigen used to be an instructor to fighter pilots. Meanwhile, Fujiko gets Mira to an aircraft carrier where she’s allowed to take a 2-seater on a flight to Vespania. Fujiko take Mira to Lupin’s hotel and ends up kicking him out.

Keith, who’s in charge of Mira, lets Ran, Conan, and her father know what’s going on and that with Mira’s uncle moving up the coronation, Keith wants to make sure no one can assassinate Mira when she returns. Conan goes out with Jigen to scout around while Lupin drives Mira and Fujiko. Conan ends up going for a beverage at the same time that Mira demands a beverage. Lupin arrives at the vending machine but it takes his money. So with Conan watching, Lupin causes the vending machine to cough up money and beverages. Conan guilts Lupin about stealing so Lupin not only doesn’t steal but leaves money for a second beverage as well.

With all parties now gathers, Conan decides to do some investigating and discovers some interesting things. Lupin ducks Zenigata to attempt to steal the crown, only to discover that Fujiko beat him to it. However, Fujiko is unable to make a get away as there are too many police surrounding the palace. Jigen drops Goemon off, who slices through to the vault to free Lupin before the two take off. Lupin disguises himself as Kogoro as Conan gathers everyone. Conan accidentally knocks out Zenigata and hiding nearby, uses his bowtie to disguise his voice as Zenigata and hides nearby to try to announce his findings.

When Zenigata comes to very early, Conan decides to use Kogoro-Lupin, knowing that this isn’t the real Kogoro. Conan is frustrated in that Lupin often interjects things but in the end, it is revealed that Gerald is the killer, having been foiled by Queen Sakura to mine a very valuable mineral. With the case solved, Lupin gives the crown to Mira, then he and his gang sneak Conan to the coast, disguised as police officers, where a sub awaits he and Fujiko. Since Conan is in the country illegally, this is his means of leaving without question.


I put off watching this for a long time and I’m not sure why. I guess it was partially due to the fact that though I am well aware of the Detective Conan franchise and its huge popularity in Japan, it has never been a title I’ve been interested in watching. After seeing this movie, I can’t say that I’m inspired to watch any more, except under a certain circumstance, which I’ll go into later.

The biggest problem with this title is that Detective Conan and Lupin III are not opponents despite what the title says. Instead, Lupin has his attempted theft which has him involved with Vespania and Conan is simply interested in saving Ran, who’s been kidnapped. The two characters don’t even meet until half-way through the special, and that’s at a vending machine. I will admit that the scene is rather humorous, especially with Lupin not stealing all the soda or the money that came out of the machine after Conan said something to him.

Lupin and Conan encounter each other again with the climax with Lupin in disguise as Mouri, allowing both he and Conan to take turns wrapping everything up. They are together at the very end with Lupin helping Conan get out of the country since he’s there illegally anyway. It is here where Conan tells Lupin that he’d catch Lupin if Lupin stole something again. Frankly, that’s what I wish this had been about — Conan and Lupin pitted against each other even if they came together in the end for a common cause.

Instead, with the separate stories that are meshed together Frankenstein-style. I say “Frankenstein” because things just don’t flow that well but rather characters are made to do certain things because that’s what those characters do and then those moments are strung together for what passes as a plot. I can’t speak for the Detective Conan side so much (though the feeling was there for me as well), but that’s certainly how Lupin’s crew was. Lupin goes through some loosely connected items to steal the crown, but it never feels like he’s really serious about doing it. Conan does feel serious about saving Ran, but again, things just don’t mesh well.

Strangely enough, while we saw Fujiko with a sub-machine gun blazing away, I don’t remember either Lupin nor Jigen brandishing their trademark weapons. Goemon is reduced to a large cameo role at the end of the anime. Fujiko and Lupin have a traditional hotel encounter that resulted in one of the rare funny moments in the anime. However, the idea of Jigen teaching in a military school about bombing techniques was dumb, though the results with he and Lupin being on the run from the military was one of the other rare humorous moments.

The whole “anti-princess” element in the story made no sense to me at all other than to just have Mira or Ran in a bit of danger. Why only an anti-princess movement and not an anti-monarch movement? Unless this was all staged by Mira’s uncle, though that wasn’t spelled out from what I saw.

I was pleasantly surprised that the princess and the pauper element wasn’t played as I feared it would be. Instead, all parties knew of the switch and the direction things went from there was rather interesting.

I’ve mentioned this before and likely I’ll mention this again, but the Lupin cast is really sounding old, save for Lupin’s seiyuu, and he’s a replacement after the original passed away. It may not matter to most, but I noticed the aging voices from time to time.

On the other hand, hearing Conan speak was an experience since his seiyuu is the same one who voices the villain Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

I could have done without the environmental preaching at the end of the anime when the motive for the crime was explained. The Japanese get so hung up on these things that I seriously think that a good many of them will have their heads explode if we go into a mini-ice age thanks to a serious lack of sun spot activity (last time the sun was this quiet, we had a mini-ice age from what I understand).

One final note — your Engrish lesson for the day. ^_^

In the end, this was a mildly entertaining anime that promised a lot with the title and delivered none of that. While I am all in favor of crossovers, I’m more in favor of good stories and a good story would have had Lupin matching wits with Conan.

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11 Responses to “Lupin Sansei vs Meitantei Conan TV Special”

  1. McKertis says:

    “After seeing this movie, I can’t say that I’m inspired to watch any more”

    Yeah, like you ever saw a movie that made you want to see the actual TV series. Get real, it works the other way around.

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    That’s where you are wrong. It was my watching of “Castle of Cagliostro” that made me start watching the Lupin III TV series. It was my watching of the Monty Python movies that made me want to watch the TV series. ^_~

  3. Anonymous says:

    hahaha gotta love engrish for sure

  4. Gyt Kaliba says:

    Definitely disappointed that this isn’t as much of a ‘versus’ as we’d hoped, bleh. As a decent Lupin fan, and a minor Conan fan both, this is sad for me.

    That and, it would have been so easy to have Fujiko play Kogoro with her ‘talents’. It’s like…so obvious that that’s how that would happen.

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I doubt there will be another crossover, but if there were, I would hope the writers would really buckle down and hammer out a good tale.

  6. O-chan says:

    Sigh. Well I’m downloading it anyway. I don’t care how crappy it is being a fan of both I’m OBLIGATED to watch it!

  7. SL from MH says:

    Seen the latest Conan and Lupin crossover movie (was out last year December, but proper subs have been out only for about a 2-3 months).

    It is sort of a sequel to this one.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Thanks for telling me about this. I had completely forgotten about that AND the other couple of Lupin III titles that came out. I’ve got to try to watch them.

  8. […] I watched the Lupin III vs. Detective Conan Special for TV, I remember being disappointed in what we got. There was no “vs” to […]

  9. […] The two powerhouse franchises had an official anime crossover back in 2009 (which I subsequently watched and reviewed), but I guess some fan wanted even more.  In light of the current Lupin III: A Woman Named MINE […]

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