Author Topic: The Generic Era  (Read 608 times)

ehh123

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The Generic Era
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:14:51 PM »
I consider the era from Alcatraz Connection (2001) to The Last Job (2010) to be the "The Generic Era" of Lupin III. I don't really mean in terms of story but rather in art style. Most of the projects of this time period use the exact same character designs and those designs are so bland.

Am I the only one who feels this way?

Thief in a Red Jacket

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Re: The Generic Era
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 04:06:29 PM »
I kind of feel the same way. I don't dislike the designs, but they are basically just slightly modified but uninspired rehashes of the Part 2 character designs.

It's also the era that starts to lose me in regard to the TV specials. It kicks off with a run of five great/solid specials, in my opinion. Alcatraz Connection, First Contact, and Operation: Return the Treasure!! are the standouts, but I also had a lot of fun with Stolen Lupin and Angel Tactics. Despite the same character designs, what makes those specials so entertaining are the stories, the chemistry of the cast, and some of the animation. For me, they start to hit rock bottom with Seven Days Rhapsody in terms of both story and animation. That's when it starts to feel like the "Generic Era" has become the "Generic and Very Boring Era" at least with Seven Days and Elusiveness of the Fog. I haven't seen The Last Job yet, but I will at some point. Although I'm a bit hesitant after to those two very weak specials.

I'm not sure what era the last two specials would fit into. I'd say it's the ever-so brief "Hit and Miss Era". I enjoyed Blood Seal - Eternal Mermaid despite some of its flaws, but I still haven't been able to finish Princess of the Breeze. Man, that special is lame.

SolHerald

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Re: The Generic Era
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 06:27:21 PM »
Totally agree the movies in the 2000's after Return the Treasure feel really bland and generic. One of my favorite aspects of the earlier TV specials was that the animation always changed (minus the first few). My thoughts are that those TV specials were just TMS going through the motions, like they HAD to make a TV special, not that they wanted to. Which is why I'm glad they replaced the TV specials with Part 4/Takeshi Koike movies.

At least during that time Yuji Ohno still produced some stellar music, so not all was lost.

Lupus Zeniga

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Re: The Generic Era
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 12:15:45 PM »
I have to agree. I think Lupin's capers around 2000 had started to stagnate IMO and needed a new and much-needed revival, which came thanks to the 2012 show.

Lupin had been a trickster child-hero for too long, it was time he had returned to being a serious anti-hero. The same for Zenigata, who had been too much of an idiot, he needed to return to being a capable police officer. Thankfully the Fujiko Mine show and spinoffs and the Blue Jacket show did a good job of updating Lupin (and Zenigata) to be a figure who could be noirish and also fun.

I love the classic Fujiko/Goemon cast of Makou Inoue and Eiko Masuyama but I feel their age was starting to really show around that time, so they had to leave and the younger actors Miyuki sawashiro and Daisuke Namikawa got their due, and have done very well since. Goro Naya (classic Zenigata) had also become semi-retired and was doing less of Zenigata, so Koichi Yamadera took over from him too (IMO not as good, but just okay).




Red Dear

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Re: The Generic Era
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 08:27:05 PM »
I would say the reason this period of Lupin III specials during the 2000's was so generic/boring/always the same,
is because that's what was working for the audience at the time. You must remember that for most anime projects,
the foreign audience doesn't count unless they are actively collaborating (like Italy for Lupin III part IV). The producers
opted for a red jacket style for the chara design because it was the most popular and longer TV series and they probably
tried to recreate that popularity.

As for the specials themselves, they are not all bad or boring but pretty uneven, which to be fair is completely understandable
when it comes to produce an animated movie every year.

First Contact, Return the Treasure and Stolen Lupin are definitely the best and rank in my top 10 of TV specials. Seven Days Rhapsody,
Angel Tactics and Elusiveness of the Fog are pretty uneven but still have good elements. The Last Job had some interesting points, mainly
for its meta-commentary (it was a send-off for three voice-actors from the team) but was god-awful in terms of villains, generic to non-sensical
when it came to the plot, but decent in terms of animation.

Then we have what I like to call the experimental period. Blood of Mermaid was very interesting because of its Ghibli-inspired design and the beautiful Studio Telecom Animation, some good character moments and though the plot wasn't terribly original, it was compelling. Another Page is one of my favorites but Princess of the Breaze if certainly one of the worst Lupin III-related things I ever had the displeasure of watching. It was an over-complicated, emotionally manipulative, terribly unfocused remake of Castle of Cagliostro.
Time to play the game, time to get a chance !

Thief in a Red Jacket

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Re: The Generic Era
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2017, 12:38:02 PM »
Then we have what I like to call the experimental period. Blood of Mermaid was very interesting because of its Ghibli-inspired design and the beautiful Studio Telecom Animation, some good character moments and though the plot wasn't terribly original, it was compelling. Another Page is one of my favorites...

While it seems the TV specials have been left behind in exchange for Part 4 and the Koike movies, I wouldn't mind to see more "Experimental Era" specials. Eternal Mermaid and Another Page were some of the strongest specials since Operation: Return the Treasure, and I'd like to see artistic chances taken with future specials (if they make more, that is).

...but Princess of the Breaze if certainly one of the worst Lupin III-related things I ever had the displeasure of watching. It was an over-complicated, emotionally manipulative, terribly unfocused remake of Castle of Cagliostro.

Which is an utter shame, because I quite like the art style and character designs. As of now, it's the only Lupin special I've stopped watching and have yet to finish. The fact that they even tried to do a semi-remake of Cagliostro is annoying in itself.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 02:16:54 PM by Thief in a Red Jacket »

Psycho_Kenshin

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Re: The Generic Era
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2017, 12:54:09 PM »
I disagree, a lot of Lupin's best stuff was from those 2000s specials. There were a couple I found weaker, but many I really liked. Compared to various episodes of part 2, a lot of these compare very favorably. And overall a more solid selection of specials than the 90s ones or ones from this decade.

2000 - Missed by a Dollar - this is awesome.
2001 - Alcatraz Connection - this is awesome.
2002 - Episode 0: The First Contact - very awesome, one of the best specials ever.
2003 - "Operation: Return the Treasure - this rocks.
2004 - Stolen Lupin - This also rocks.
2005 - An Angel's Tactics - Very cool, one of my favs.
2006 - Seven Days Rhapsody" - another one of my favs
2007 - Elusiveness of the Fog - Not a fan of this one, first boring one of the lot for me.
2008 - Sweet Lost Night - Possibly the best Lupin special ever.
2009 - Lupin III vs. Detective Conan" - Surprisingly entertaining, never watched Conan.
2010 - The Last Job - This was okay, had it's moments, but not one of my favs.

I reviewed most of those on myanimelist, for the record. https://myanimelist.net/profile/Psycho_Kenshin/reviews

But since the OP is about art style, I'll just say to me that's some of the best Lupin has looked aesthetically. Compared to other anime it's surely not generic, and for me it's a better style than the one Fujiko or the more recent series had.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 12:58:41 PM by Psycho_Kenshin »