Lupin III: Island of Assassins (1997)

Kan'ichi Kurita, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Makio Inoue, Eiko Masuyama,
Rupan sansei: Walther P38 is a TV movie starring Kan'ichi Kurita, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, and Makio Inoue. Lupin infiltrates the Tarantulas, an elite gang of assassins from a secret island base, over an incident from his past.
  • 7.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2021-01-04 Added:
  • Shinzô Fujita, Monkey Punch, Shôji Yonemura, Writer:
  • Hiroyuki Yano, Toshiya Shinohara, Director:
  • Toshio Nakatani, Producer:
9 / 10

A bit unusual, but excellent nonetheless.

Like any Lupin film, Walther P-38 is completely entertaining, with a wide appeal base. That is to say, anyone can enjoy any film of the Lupin series, be they an otaku or someone not familiar with anime. Unlike others of the series, this film is deadly serious at times, with mature imagery and violence. The slapstick humor is ever present, for that is what endears fans to the Lupin series. For fans, those who find Goeman particularly more entertaining than Jigan (myself certainly NOT included), this film is perfect. The plot centers around an inescapable island on which the greatest cabal of assassins is trained. This fact is certainly reflected in the writing and plot; most of the action take splace on this island and most characters are stoic badasses. Whoever you are watch this movie, but specifically those of you who have watched Lupin, but felt it couldn't complete with more graphic, more adult anime. This one will hopefully have you rethinking that.

7 / 10

Intense thrills with Lupin III.

Walther P-38 (Island of Assassins) is a damn good Lupin III adventure.

A man commits a heinous crime using a Walther P-38 pistol much like the one Lupin has, along with a spooky group of assassins with spider tattoos. This leads Lupin and the gang to the foggy island of assassins.

This is the most serious Lupin special, and also the most violent. It's an intriguing change of pace for Lupin, where he has a serious score to settle from his past. The less known about the plot going in the better, there are some nice twists.

Lupin naturally takes a liking to a female assassin on the island, she turns out to be one of the better guest leading ladies. The scenes between Lupin and her are pretty touching.

The Lupin gang is here as well, with Jigen there to help his partner, Fujiko with a couple nice scenes, and of course Goemon with some great fighting. For the most part they're separate from Lupin in this one, as he is doing his own personal thing, but they do get some decent screen time.

This has a comparatively more serious art style, and is pretty dark looking. The soundtrack by Yuji Ohno is also pretty intense. There's still some good comedy in this though, being Lupin, and Inspector Zenigata provides quite a few of those laughs.

A really good thriller, I recommend giving this one a watch, Lupin fan or not.

7 / 10

"There's one too many Walthers in this world".

Somewhat a change of pace and tone, even in its animation, when compared to the first few bright and lively TV specials. Lupin the Third: Island of Assassins, which I much prefer original title Lupin the Third: Walther P38, had rather a distinctively punchy, somber and violent approach. Sort of mixing together an intriguing whodunnit angle with a ludicrous conspiracy laced adventure sub-plot like out of a James Bond film. The story delves into a past incident of a mysterious figure shooting a familiar looking Walther P38 at Lupin falling out of a plane, well, it's déjà vu, as during a heist, in what looks like a set-up, Lupin's arch nemesis Interpol inspector Zenigata is shot by the same mysterious figure and elegant pistol from Lupin's past. Being framed for the shooting, this leads Lupin to the island of the Tarantula assassins, where he and co go about trying to uncover this shooter from his past, while also stealing the Tarantula's massive gold fortune.

The game plan is set, but it doesn't go so smoothly, as chaos erupts and the revelation to who set it all in motion shows their true self. Action, when it occurs, hits hard and fast with few bang-up scenes in the opening and closing sequences. Once the story hits the island, the operation rarely leaves and it can hit a bit of a bump as it slowly chugs along. In doing so, it felt like it could've been tighter and a little less self-contained, but this opened up a relationship struck between Lupin and one of the assassins, Ellen. The script gave it an opportunity to dig a little deeper into Lupin's psyche, and background showing a serious side whenever he's not being coy. This is powerfully projected in its final melancholy scenes of self-sacrifice and pure reflection - finishing on a beautiful end credits song "Don't Forget My Eyes" by Emi Shinohara, the Japanese voice actress of Ellen and who also did voice work for Sailor Moon and Project A-Ko.

7 / 10

More Dark and violent than the other Lupin anime

This Lupin the 3rd TV movie is different than the other ones.

It has more violence and the plot to it is more dark. Still has some humor in it but not a whole lot.

Lupin has to face the most dangerous group of Assassins ever. Who are trained/savaged killers. Lupin also tries to find his lost famous Wather P38 he use to own.

The animation is very smooth and well done.

Character designs are different than the previous TV movies character designs.

This may very well be the most violent Lupin the 3rd anime ever.

It's still worth seeing. I give it an 8/10