Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray (Movie Review)

Lupin the 3rd: Goemon’s Blood Spray
Lupin III Ishikawa Goemon’s Spray of Blood
Goemon Ishikawa’s Fountain of Blood
Lupin the IIIrd Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon

LUPIN THE ⅢRD 血煙の石川五ェ門

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

On a Japanese-styled gambling ship, the yakuza owners employ Goemon as bodyguard. A member of another yukuza group is busted cheating. As such, the boat yakuza beat him, causing the rival yakuza to attempt to intervene. The rival yakuza are defeated, but one gets off a shot at the boss, causing Goemon to save the boss.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Meanwhile, Lupin and Jigen have targeted said gambling ship for the cash. Lupin encounters Fujiko in the vault. Hawk is on the ship and destroys the boilers, causing an explosion. Lupin and Fujiko escape to Jigen’s waiting boat. However, they notice Goemon battling Hawk, who escapes. Lupin and company celebrate their score while Zenigata gets pulled off of the Hawk case.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

At the funeral of the yakuza boss, the new boss gives Goemon three days to take care of Hawk. At the same time, Hawk and his hatchets, crash Lupin’s hideout, forcing them to flee. Goemon inadvertently saves them in his attempts to stop Hawk. However, when Goemon fights Hawk, he loses the fight. Zenigata arrives, giving Lupin and Jigen a window to grab the injured Goemon and flee. Zenigata arrests Hawk, but is then ordered to release him.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Hawk escapes while Goemon tries to train, haunted by his loss. Fujiko soon gives up on Goemon. After some days, Lupin and Jigen do as well, summoning Zenigata. The crushed Goemon returns to the yakuza, who turn on him. However, Goemon is able to foresee their movements and slaughters or maims them all.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Nearby, Hawk stops Zenigata and hunts the fleeing Lupin and Jigen. Goemon arrives for a second encounter and manages to defeat Hawk. Since Lupin didn’t interfere in the fight, Goemon stops Zenigata from arresting Lupin and Jigen.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Thoughts/Review:

A French blog reader noticed that I had blogged Lupin the Third: Jigen’s Gravestone (as named by Discotec’s Blu-ray release, whereas it is streamed as Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen’s Gravestone). Said reader asked if I could do the other two Lupin the IIIrd movies. To be honest, I had forgotten about them, so naturally I said “Yes.” After all, I do want to watch all things Lupin III. So we’ll get started with Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Typical Goemon Plot Element

Sadly, the nature of Goemon’s character is such that he has two paths. First is to be the deus ex machina to get them in or out of a situation. The other is to have him shockingly defeated, whereby he must train. As such, Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray does both, and does them well for the most part. However, it does make me realize how little there is to Goemon beyond Bushido and deus ex machina.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Having this Paul Bunyan lumberjack type be as broken as Goemon is wasn’t an issue for me. If you are going to have a Goemon tale where he’s defeated, his opponent has to be incredibly powerful. But this is where we fall into the typical area of a Goemon story. Hawk defeats Goemon. Everyone is stunned. Goemon has to train and reflect on things. Then Goemon finds an answer and defeats his opponent.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

I did like the post-traumatic stress disorder sequences from Goemon. But at the same time, despite things being well done from the production team, I couldn’t shake the “been here, done that” feeling. And that’s unfortunate.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

The Story Issues

There were three Lupin the IIIrd movies done, each focusing on one of Lupin’s associates and friends. Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray is the second of the movies. What I don’t know is if this is supposed to be part of a serialized trilogy, or if the three movies are unrelated, save for characters. But some mysterious so-and-so wants Lupin and Jigen dead. But apparently not Fujiko nor Goemon. And I guess said so-and-so wanted the yakuza boss dead.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

I know this plot premise is supposed to take a back seat to this notion of Goemon encountering someone who defeats him, then Goemon rising above again. However, I wanted to know about who wanted them dead and why. Don’t raise issues like this, then ignore them ’cause “reasons”.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Next, I realize that the universe of Lupin III is filled with fantastical things, like Lupin Physics and the like. As such, I accept the fantastical things that Goemon can do. That also means that I can accept Hawk as some modified human, based in part on the Bond villain, Jaws.  But in a supposedly serious movie, I draw the line at losing arms and not being affected much.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

It was bad enough when Hawk sliced a significant chunk out of Goemon’s sword arm. (And that says nothing about the other injuries Goemon had, such as the deep gash from a shark attack.) But then Goemon cuts off one of Hawk’s arms and in my head, I’m thinking of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. That’s because the moment had no real impact on Hawk. It should have.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

As usual, I’m running behind, so let me wrap up my review of Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray with some final thoughts.

  • Fujiko didn’t get much screen time. Her new hairstyle seemed more like a wig than her own hair. And, she was a bit more intimate with Lupin without going all out. No gags/jokes either.
  • Also, Fujiko hits a bong. I don’t remember that happening in Lupin III before.
  • Jigen doesn’t get to do much beyond comment and get injured.
  • Speaking of which, Lupin had a large spike in his hand for the entire end of the episode. That’s another of those moments that went a bridge to far for me when it came to suspending my disbelief.
  • Zenigata’s role in the episode may not have been much, but it had meaning. However, another plot thread that was started and dropped was Zenigata’s bosses trying to get him to abandon the Hawk case. Further, I didn’t like that Zenigata had nothing to say after so many cops were butchered by Hawk.
  • If Goemon’s sword could easily cut one of Hawk’s hatchets, then why couldn’t it cut the other one?
  • The animation is the episode was pretty good. The character designs and art style isn’t my favorite, but it works for what it is.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

In the end, Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray was an okay movie. I did enjoy it, despite it being very gory, and having plot threads started, but dropped. However, the movie felt like it could have been even better.

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray

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6 Responses to “Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray (Movie Review)”

  1. The French Lupin III Fan says:

    Thank you for this summary. I hope you’ve pleased many other fans of the Lupin III series with your great summaries.

    I can’t wait to see the review of FUJIKO MINE’S LIE.

    Keep it up, it’s perfect.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      You’re welcome for the summary and thank you for your kind words!

      • The French Lupin III Fan says:

        I should be thanking you instead

        And I have another question for you: could you do summaries on part 1, part 2 and part 3 of Lupin The Third ?

        Otherwise, many thanks for your work.

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