Riffs - Future Boy Conan, Lupin the 3rd
It's about time I bring back the series on Riffs! This is probably the most fun part about watching Miyazaki and Takahata anime - seeing who can spot all the quotes and recurring sight gags, and knowing where they came from.
Since we're on the topic of pre-Ghibli Miyazaki, let's take a look at some of his classic '70s slapstick comedy. This running gag comes from the third episode of Future Boy Conan, the episode where Conan and Jimsy meet and attempt to endlessly one-up each other. It's funny for me because it captures that competitive spirit that boys have, that need to puff out your chest and always get the last word. It's all played purely for laughs.
A couple examples of this from the Ghibli era would be the slapstick brawl with the townspeople in Castle in the Sky, and the climactic battle between Marco and Curtis in Porco Rosso. Of course, in these films, Miyazaki seems to be mocking the macho behavior of these overgrown boys, of mocking the whole concept of violence. In his directorial movies, he either depicts as a horror or something to be laughed down. At least, that's been my take.
Anyway, back to the Conan running gag. We see this joke riffed again in Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro, in the opening scene. The joke is used a third time in the Lupin III Series Two episode, "Albatross: Wings of Death," again with Lupin and Jigen. The Albatross episode is especially packed with Miyazaki Riffs. Play that one when you're really in the mood for showing off.