Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro no Shiro) was released in 1979 by the then unknown Studio Ghibli. This full-length animated feature was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki later came to fame for creating the anime blockbuster Princess Mononoke. The movies spawned from the Lupin series, which became very popular over in Japan. There are currently six movies to the Lupin movie series.
Meet Arsène Lupin III, affectionately known as Lupin. Lupin is a master thief who is wanted around the world for various thieveries. Lupin is a very strange character. Sometimes he will steal whatever he wants, other time he will stop other thieves from stealing things. He sometimes appears like he is a fool, but it is generally an act to keep people from suspecting how intelligent he really is. Lupin has a family history of thievery, as his grandfather was a world famous thief.
In The Castle of Cagliostro, Lupin finds himself in a country known as the Duchy of Cagliostro. Lupin and his friend and team mate, Daisuke Jigen, end up getting a huge payload of money, only to discover that it is all counterfeit. Lupin recognizes the bills as “goat bills”. They are almost perfect and have caused trouble for Lupin before. When he first started out, he ran into some goat bills and decided to try to find out who created them. The adventure almost ended his life. Lupin decides that it has been awhile since he went searching for the elusive creator of the goat bills, and that it is time to try again.
On their trip they end up saving a girl who turns out to be Lady Clarisse d’Cagliostro, the late Duke’s daughter. Lady Clarisse is engaged to be married to a Count. The Count ends up getting Clairisse in his clutches and takes her off to his castle. It turns out that he is after an old family treasure and needs Lady Clarisse’s ring in order to get it. Lupin, being the humanitarian that he is, heads off to rescue her.
But, of course, Lupin can not rescue her alone. Along for the ride is Fujiko Mine. Fujiko is one of the few women that is equal to Lupin. She has all the same skills he does and is even cockier. Lupin and Fujiko care for each other, but hardly ever let it slip, instead preferring to taunt and annoy each other mercilessly. Goemon Ishikawa XIII, a friend of Lupin’s and master swordsman, is also called in to help storm the castle, and even Inspector Koichi Zenigata, Lupin’s arch-nemesis, winds up helping Lupin to rescue Lady Clarisse from the clutches of the evil Count.
The Catslo of Cagliostro is hilarity from beginning to end. The antics of Lupin and Daisuke keep the viewer laughing. The audience will also find themselves on the edge of their seats waiting for the comical exchanges between Lupin and his lady-love, Fujiko.