Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? 60 years since its inception, the Lupin the Third series is jumping from the second dimension and into the third with its first 3D animated movie, Lupin the Third THE FIRST, courtesy of Dragon Quest: Your Story and Stand by Me: Doraemon director Yamazaki Takashi. Check out the trailer below:
Strangely, the news that Lupin the Third would be getting its first 3D animated movie was initially shared by an early morning Fukuoka region variety show, footage of which then blew up on social media.
But the quality of that footage is quite bad, so it’s only when seeing the official version of the trailer that you’ll begin to appreciate how gorgeous the 3D animation for Lupin the Third THE FIRST truly looks – especially as the trailer invites you to compare the 3D animation with the series’ previous 2D animation with a montage reel of past Lupin movies and anime at the very beginning.
The 3D animation does look very similar to that of Dragon Quest: Your Story, which was in itself a refined version of what we saw in Stand by Me: Doraemon. This isn’t much of a surprise considering that Yamazaki Takashi, who directed both films, is at the head of Lupin the Third THE FIRST.
Whether or not his studio Shirogumi is involved in the production, however, isn’t certain. The film’s website doesn’t list them in the credits – only TMS Entertainment and distributors Toho and Notere – and Shirogumi haven’t yet added the film to its own website.
The official website also lists comments from Yamazaki and, posthumously, from Lupin creator Monkey Punch. In Monkey Punch’s comment, dated October 2018, he says:
“This is the 3DCG Lupin the Third I’ve always wanted. I have seen the story and character work, but since it’s set to be an entirely new Lupin experience, I can’t help but get excited thinking about what kind of film it’ll turn out to be.”
Unfortunately, Monkey Punch never got to see what kind of film Lupin the Third THE FIRST ended up being. As Yamazaki said in his own comment, the studio never got to show him the finished product before his passing earlier this year.
Even so, the best way to honor Monkey Punch’s memory is to continue to push the Lupin series and its characters ever forward. Lupin the Third THE FIRST, as it enters into a literal new dimension for the long-running series, will no doubt help to do so.
Lupin the Third THE FIRST will release December 6 this year.