A Look at Discotek’s “Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector’s Edition”

A Look at Discotek’s “Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector’s Edition”

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector's EditionLongtime followers of my blog or ramblings on other sites know that Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro is one of the main seeds that was planted in me in during my time in Japan way back in the day. As such, it is the ONLY anime title I’ve owned on VHS, DVD (twice), and now Blu-ray. Since I’ve already reviewed the Castle of Cagliostro story here, I’m going to take the time to review Discotek’s Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray.

I’m not a videophile, so I can’t give any kind of expert opinion on the Blu-ray’s video quality. For me, I found the video quality quite acceptable, more so playing this on an HDTV. Plus, Discotek has the original OP animation restored for their release, which is a massive plus.

I will confess that I only watched this movie again in Japanese with the new Discotek subtitles. I chose the Japanese 5.1 stereo option, which sounded fine to me. Here too, I’m not an audiophile, so I can’t speak to any problems there.

While on the subject of subtitles, Discotek has also included the 1980 theatrical subtitles and then the subtitles for the hearing impaired. For you dub fans, there are three of them. I still need to listen to the commentary track on this, which I’ll do at a later point.

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector's Edition

Because I’ve watched the Manga Video DVD version for several years now, it was immediately apparent when there were changes in the subtitles. For starters, the term Goat has been changed to Goth or Gothic. I never questioned the use of “goat” because the goat imagery is heavy in the movie. Discotek explains why they changed this in the extras, so I’ll accept that.

The subtitles don’t use Japanese honorifics, which is a shame. With all of the other subtitle options, they “could” have included one that used them. Seriously Discotek, toss us hardcore fans a bone, would ya? Not that Japanese honorifics are used that much in this movie. However, I just cringe when Lupin’s use of “Fujiko-chan” becomes “Fujikocakes.” Ugh.

While Discotek may despise Japanese honorifics and try to discount Lupin’s French given name in the extras, they decided a French honorific is awesomely awesome for Clarisse to use. In the Japanese, Clarisse initially addressed Lupin as Torobou-san. This Manga Video translated as Mr. Thief. Discotek decided on Sir Thief. OK, fine. She eventually switches to calling Lupin “Oji-sama”, which Manga Video just changes to Mr. Thief. Obviously, that’s wrong. Discotek’s “solution” is to use the aforementioned French honorific Monsieur. (‘Cause again, Japanese honorifics are for looser weeaboos, but French honorifics are SUPER awesome y’all!)

Clearly, Discotek has serious problems with Japanese stuff in the subtitles of the Japanese audio. The mass majority of folks watching this in Japanese with subtitles are going to be hardcore fans. So when Lupin uses the term “lolicon,” it didn’t need to be changed to “Lolita-loving.” Heck, Discotek felt the need to have a translation note on what “Lolita-loving” meant, so why the heck not use the original lolicon term? (They refused to use the term “lolicon” in the translation notes as well.)

I was REALLY annoyed that Goemon’s sword Zantetsuken HAD to be renamed Steelcleaver. Discotek acknowledges fans probably won’t care for it, but they are giving us the middle finger and coming up with an inane excuse for translating the sword’s bloody name. Thankfully, the sword’s name only comes up once, otherwise I would have been clawing my eyes out.

I’m making it sound as if I absolutely despise the subtitles for the above-mentioned issues. That is not the case. I may cringe at seeing “Fujikocakes” (*shudder*), but the only thing I hated was Zantetsuken being renamed. There were a couple of moments where the Discotek subtitles felt the need to go beyond what was actually said in the Japanese out of fear audiences would be too stupid to understand (and considering today’s absolutely horrible education system in America, maybe that’s not such a stretch).

Overall, I think the current subtitles are the most accurate that have been done. Indeed, compare them to the original theatrical subtitles. Sometimes, those are a laugh, especially when they ignore small lines here and there. That being said, I felt the need to mention what I did.

Discotek goes a lot further than normal on the extras, as seen below.

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector's Edition

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector's Edition

The interviews with the Japanese artists are originally from French sources, so they have hard-coded French subtitles. (The English subtitles overlay this.) The 2004 interview with Monkey Punch was the one I was most keen on, but it is the shortest. Unfortunately, these interviews don’t pose the questions, but instead have the interviewee simply launch into an answers. This makes for more tedious viewing, in my opinion.

In the end, I do not regret my purchase of Diskotek’s Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray. I’m thankful to have a copy that has the original OP restored.

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