The Artistry of Miyazaki 320 Chase scenes guns explosions villains and a damsel in distress all of which we have come to familiarize with when it comes to some actionpacked adventures like James Bond and Indiana Jones. Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro is exactly that but it sets itself astray from its established set of characters choosing to portray Lupin and his gang in a more heroic and less mature way. Does that mean that this film is bad? No because it was given the touch of a maestro and it further introduced us to the artistry of Hayao Miyazaki. Story: The story starts off with Lupin and Jigen doing what they do best stealing. This time they successfully rob a casino of all its money only to later find out that what they had stolen is counterfeit money. Lupin and Jigen then head to the Grand Duchy of Cagliostro in an attempt to track down the counterfeiter and steal the legendary treasure that lies within the Castle of Cagliostro. On the way to the castle Lupin and Jigen get involved in a car chase where in they save a a girl named Clarisse. Clarisse however gets taken away and awhile later in the castle Lupin finds the damsel in distress which he had saved earlier. This time Lupin fails to rescue her. Lupins failure leaves him with the decision to be a hero and save Clarisse from the clutches of the evil Count but Zenigata and the police are hot on his trail and know where he is. 320 Whilst the story may seem average and basic it is well crafted and well paced. Its careful pace helps in the various tone shifts that occur and the story never seems to drag. It always feels like its engaging the viewers in the actionpacked adventure which is what makes it enjoyable. Despite it being actionpacked there are moments of brief silence when the camera just pans over the scenery giving us a momentary break and breath of refreshment. The film also does a good job in terms of audience perspective using deceit to hide the hints of foreshadowing which can only be seen if you observe carefully. Art and Animation: With its westerncartoonish style and physicdefying scenes some may not like the visuals because of its simplicity but that is what makes it timeless. Going for a more lighthearted tone the visuals were actually quite ahead of time. Production time however was only 7 months and 4 months were spent on the animation process An incredible amount of attention went into the animation process. Castle of Cagliostro makes for an artistically inspiring film using distinct camera angles brilliant individual moments dynamic display of motions and incredible sceneries. Theres a castle and flying machines which would later become prominent in later Miyazaki films and heck even the cars were carefully chosen. 320 The most iconic scene in the film is without a doubt the car chase. It captures the emotions of the characters and the movement of the cars so well that it adds a sense of realism. It is as if the film is telling us to buckle up cause its gonna be one heck of a ride. There are physicdefying moments throughout the film and for the car chase going up and down the hill is one of them. But the cars become extensions of the characters movements which is why it feels so engaging and real. The same can be said for other physicdefying moments in this film. They are not meant to be taken seriously but meant to be engaging and fun. Throughout the car chase bits and pieces of the cars also fall apart as they navigate and turn through the roads making use of perspective and distinct camera angles. Its incredible how they managed to do all this in just 4 months considering that vehicles alone are hard to animate because you need to know the mechanics and how they work. And the castle incredible as well. The castle feels immense just as it is supposed to be. It makes for an amazing setting making good use of space which gives it the believability factor. Sound and Music: Nothing much to say here. From jazzy tunes to soft and mellow ones the music in the film was nothing short of good perhaps Yuji Ohnos best. It just simply fits well with the narrative and art. 320 Characters: Castle of Cagliostro did not get a a good reception from fans of the original series because compared to this adaption the original characters in Lupin III were quite mature. This is not the perfect introduction to the Lupin III franchise but it does give a general overview of the characters and adds an extra dimension to them that other adaptions do not have. Lupin as a master thief Jigen as a sharpshooter Zenigata as a detective who is constantly chasing down Lupin Goemon as a badass samurai and Fujiko as a cat burglar. 320 The thing with all the characters in this film is that they are meant to be basic as to make them likable to the audience. With this type of film you are not supposed to see much complexity. You are just simply meant to enjoy it. Lupin is portrayed as a sort of Knight in Shining Armor while Clarisse is the damsel in distress and the Count is the evil villain. Sure theyre basic archetypes but Clarisse and the Count both have an aspect to them that can later be seen in later Miyazaki films. Take a look at the Counts character and you can see a hint of Colonel Muska from Laputa: Castle in the Sky. They are both suave and cunning. Now take a look at Clarisse who has a gutsy attitude. Its the type of character that you can see in the likes of Nausica from Nausica of the Valley of the Wind and San from Princess Mononoke
60 /100
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