We don’t hear about Japanese anime movies very often here at The A.V. Club (though if you want to hear about Gundam, we’ve got you covered), but it’s somewhat rare that an anime movie comes along that looks as amazing as Lupin III: The First—and we don’t mean that it seems like it’ll be an amazing movie, we mean it literally looks amazing. The movie is coming to Japanese theaters later this year, but it’s newly relevant to us in the U.S. because Gkids has just picked up the distribution rights for North America. That means it’ll get released here, and Deadline says Lupin III: The First will even get an English dub (if you’re the sort of person who prefers dubs, which is a completely acceptable way to enjoy anime and anyone who says otherwise is wrong). The movie, as Deadline explains, is about the world’s greatest gentleman thief trying to solve a mystery tied to a secret organization’s attempt to “resurrect the Third Reich”—all while goofing around with his thief buddies and dodging a hapless detective.
But seriously, just look at what director Takashi Yamazaki has done here:
Look at it. Obviously it would be hyperbolic to say that CG animation has never looked better, but… has it? These don’t look like glorified video game cutscenes, the characters don’t look like soulless puppets, and everything just moves with a bit of cartoonish vibrancy.
By comparison, here’s 1979's Lupin III movie The Castle Of Cagliostro, which was directed by legendary anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and features hand-drawn animation—a format that is traditionally much more lively and less sterile. The CG version looks similarly good!
Anyway, we don’t know when Lupin III: The First will gets its North American release, but if Gkids just finalized the deal now and it’s going to do an English dub, it probably won’t be coming any time soon.