I just found this amazing item on Ebay last night, selling for the oh-so affordable price of $200. This is Lupin the 3rd: The First TV Series on Laserdisc. Dubbed the "TV Perfection Box," this impressive box set contains all 23 episodes of the original 1971-72 television anime series on six discs, each packaged with a fully illustrated cover, all presented in a solid gold box. "Perfection," indeed.
The six disc covers feature reproductions of classic scenes from the original TV series, and some of the series' best moments. Interestingly, five out of the six highlight the later Takahata/Miyazaki directed episodes; the earlier, grittier Masaaki Osuumi directed episodes are given the short shrift. That's really too bad, because I always admired his vision for Lupin (after all, Osuumi and Yasuo Otsuka were the creators of Lupin anime). He just needed a little more time for everything to gel. Takahata and Miyazaki, in many ways, benefited from all the early prep work, making middle episodes of Lupin Series One, in my opinion, the best.
I am especially a fan of the series finale, which feels entirely like Miyazaki's work. You have the crazy car chases, a hidden hanger packed with obscure aircraft, and various bits of slapstick comedy. There are even two cameos of Yasuo Otsuka and Miyazaki which always make me chuckle. The climax, where the Lupin gang is cornered in a junkyard, has a fitting sense of closure, and their final escape...well, I shouldn't spoil what happens. You'll have to watch and find out for yourselves.
I'll bet Discotek Media wishes they could get their hands on this. The packaging design is nothing less than spectacular, a perfect reminder of what makes LaserDisc so cool. And, as we can safely guess, this box set must be extremely rare. Goodness knows it commands a high enough price.
A few more photos of the Lupin the 3rd TV Perfection Box appear after the jump break. Pay special attention to the group photo on the back page of the booklet, featuring a cast of characters throughout the entire series run. It's a great touch: