Photos - Lupin III: Albatross: Wings of Death
I finally managed to see Albatross: Wings of Death in the original Japanese language tonight. Huzzah! I certainly don't wish to say anything bad about the American actors from the '90s Streamline videos, but Yasuo Yamada is the definitive Lupin, and the original cast is by far the best. It's really fun to be able to watch this episode with all its zany comic timing fully intact.
I really do wish we could have had more comedy adventure anime from Miyazaki during this period. If only he and Yasuo Otsuka could have helmed a few more Lupin TV episodes. If only Sherlock Hound was seen to completion. If only Cagliostro was the hit at the box office that it deserved to be. This is the most important lesson Miyazaki fans in the West need to learn - you've only seen the second half of his career, and the first half is completely different. This is the era of the boyish, comic book Miyazaki, the era of Animal Treasure Island and Lupin and Conan. I miss his youthful days.
Albatross: Wings of Death is also packed with Miyazaki riffs. There are a number of nods to Cagliostro, and shots that will be quoted in future anime. As always, half the fun lies in trying to spot them all. This is where the true Ghibli Freaks are revealed. I'll have to write a single post that covers all of this episode's riffs (that is, if my PC and TV aren't locked in a death race to see which breaks first).
Oh, and I also found a fansubbed torrent link for this episode. It's been added to the Downloads section. Now I just need to find Farewell, Beloved Lupin, and I'll be happy. Bonjour!