Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo – Another Page (TV Special) Review

Lupin III: Touhou Kenbunroku ~Another Page~
ルパン三世 東方見聞録~アナザーページ~
Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo – Another Page

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageIn Genoa, Italy, Lupin is caught in a cell standing over the body of a dead professor. He escapes and finds some black suited guys making off with the stone “Last Page” to a nearby boat. Lupin gets it from them but is soon surrounded by more suited men. However, the stone lights up and the men bursts into flames to nothing. Lupin escapes through a nearby sewer, where he observes a man gathering up the tablet. Because of the dead professor, Lupin is accused of the murder, though Inspector Zenigata is convinced this is a lie, but he’s thrown out of a press conference on the subject.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageZenigata meets up with Lisa Argento, granddaughter of the professor, and the professor’s assistant, Claudio Berardi and the professor’s grave. Their conversation is interrupted by an attack from three more suited thugs attempting to grab Lisa, but they are stopped by Zenigata.  Elsewhere, Lupin and Jigen discuss the situation, including Lisa, where the two decide to go after treasure from Marco Polo. Jigen figures Fujiko is involved with Lupin’s enthusiasm for the case, but before he can leave, he ends up saving Lisa from more mafia types in a light tank. Lupin tells Lisa they are ICPO members since Lupin is accused of murder. Jigen uses special bullets to remove the tank threat.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageStill elsewhere, Fujiko tells Bernado Vilar, who’s been trying to get Lisa, that she’ll secure the young woman. Back with Lupin, he cheers Lisa up. She sees Zenigata and Claudio running up, but Fujiko drives up. Lupin has Lisa get into the car, but Fujiko drives off. The two are forced to flee when Zenigata. Bernado is pleased with Fujiko’s results. At Fujiko’s question, he explains that he needs Lisa due to the hidden legacy in Last Page. Bernado’s men have captured Lupin, but Fujiko thinks something is wrong. She discovers that this is actually Zenigata as Jigen gets Lisa back. However, as Fujiko and Bernado leave to get Lisa back, Zenigata is actually Lupin, who steals back Last Page and gets information on Lomardo Industries onto a flash drive.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageLupin, Jigen, and Lisa make their way through the complex, where it is revealed that Bernado is producing weapons for Lomardo. They steal an SUV before making good their escape.  As they travel, Lupin studies the stone for clues. When Lisa wakes up, she wants to come with them, so they agree. They travel to Iran, where Lisa calls Claudio to let him know where they are. Lisa shows Lupin a whistle from her grandfather, which is supposed to be linked to Marco Polo. Lupin decides they need to go to Peking (Beijing) and returns the whistle to Lisa.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageIn Japan, Goemon meets an old man who brings him home for training. The old man’s three  granddaughters, Hiromi, Rumi, and Ami observe this. Rumi and Ami convince Hiromi to help them deal with Goemon. Hiromi sends a letter to Goemon to have him come to where they’ve set up a log trap. When they spring it, she regrets it and warns him. He easily grabs her and ends up using Zantetsuken to split a log. Hiromi apologizes as Rumi and Ami discover Hiromi has feelings for Goemon. As such, they set up an encounter for the two in the giant, onsen-style bath. As a result of this, the old man reveals the Seven Tools of Musashibo Benkei that they are guarding through any generations.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageIn China, Zenigata has the police waiting for Lupin, who gives himself up. However in prison, he manages to escape, taking Chinese mafia boss Bao Long with him. Coming to Bao Long’s hidden casino, Lupin makes a deal with the boss, leaving him the flash drive of info as payment. However, they come under attack from another tank, arranged by Bernado. The foursome flee in their de-roofed SUV, where crossing a bridge, the tank collapses part of the bridge. However, their escape is stopped from a satellite attack from Bernado, which vaporizes the bridge section in front of them. They escape via the water, where Bao Long gives Lisa some advice before she, Lupin, and Jigen leave for Japan.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageZenigata arrives in Japan, intent on arresting Lupin and saving Lisa. Lupin, Jigen, and Lisa also arrive in Japan and investigate a Japanese temple in the country before encountering Goemon and the old man. Their discussion leads to seeing a connection between Marco Polio and Musashibo Benkei. The shrine comes under attack, where Hiromi gets taken instead of Lisa. Lupin tosses Lisa his gun. She eventually runs into Claudia, who accuses Lupin of murdering her grandfather. When Lupin arrives, Claudia tries to get Lisa to kill him, but she ends up not doing so, where she learns that her grandfather was going to destroy his notes, but was stopped by Claudia and ended up dying by detonating a grenade.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another PageZenigata arrives to arrest Claudia, having heard the conversation. Bernado arrives in his hover aircraft to grab Lisa. Claudia escorts her to the craft and it takes off. Lupin manages to sneak aboard. Bernado is displeased that Fujiko is still alive and has freed Lisa and Hiromi. Meawhile, the old man launches Goemon to the craft, where he saves the girls and destroys the craft. Lupin escapes and is saved by the old man. After taking care of Bernado for the last time, the group discovers the treasure is a toothpick-sized gold sword. The old man is revealed to be Musashibo Benkei XXII, who frees his granddaughters from carrying on the legacy. Goemon destroys the satellite, so Bao Long is thwarted. Zenigata arrives to arrest Lupin.

Thoughts/Review:

I swear, I always say I’m going to write LESS summary, but I always end up writing long summaries. *sigh*

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

Anyway, this TV special goes through the normal elements expected from a Lupin title — the big escape, running from Zenigata, a mystery, Fujiko betrayal, a damsel in distress of sorts, etc.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

From a plot perspective, I liked linking Marco Polo’s story to Japan. I don’t think he ever went to Japan, but it is a nifty idea.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

The unexpected element to this anime was giving Goemon his own story. Initially, it it was unclear exactly how this would tie in with Lupin’s story, but once the Marco Polo element was revealed to go to China, I figured they’d end up in Japan.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

Since I’m talking about Goemon, I liked the sweet little romance between he and Hiromi. It is unfortunate that this didn’t go very far, though Goemon did rescue her. However, in he end, he left her behind to continue wandering. I know that’s how his character always is, but frankly, it would have been more interesting to me had he stayed and even married Hiromi. He could still be a part of future Lupin adventures.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

Jigen doesn’t get much of a role other than as Lupin’s gun support and sounding board. I do get a kick at his negative reactions to Lupin pursuing Last Page thanks to Fujiko.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

Zenigata gets a good role this time out. He’s not the buffoon he sometimes is portrayed as in other Lupin titles. I loved it when he dispatched three mafia types.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

I also appreciated the moment when Zenigata was disappointed that Lupin gave himself up. Zenigata lives for the pursuit of Lupin, so it is understandable that this would not be the ideal way to capture his nemesis. That’s why I laughed when Zenigata got excited when Lupin escaped his Chinese captors.  I like it when Zenigata is on top of his game.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

Fujiko doesn’t have much to do but prompt Bernado for info at key times, kidnap Lisa, and provide humorous, negative reactions to everything.  However, I had no real complaints there as she served her purpose.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

What I do have a complaint about is her character designs. She barely looked like Fujiko, and not in a good way. I don’t understand why she was redesigned to the degree she was.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

Speaking of character designs, I often had the feeling that we were in the world of Detective Conan. The characters of Hiromi, Rumi, and Ami especially fell into this feeling. I suppose that’s because several of the production team worked on Detective Conan, including character designer SUDOU Masatomo-san.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

As I think back on this TV special, I have to say that it was pretty enjoyable. Things meshed pretty well in terms of story despite it not being too funny (there was some humor, just not a whole lot) and Goemon’s story seeming out of place initially. It was a fun romp, which is what one wants in a Lupin title.

Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo - Another Page

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2 Responses to “Lupin III: Travels of Marco Polo – Another Page (TV Special) Review”

  1. Suleimaan says:

    I’ve been around the Internet to check something. Feel like Ami, Rumi and Hiromi are based on the Tsusaka Hojo Cat’s Eye trio, Ai, Rui and Hitomi. Really like that !

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