Everything Must Return to the Soil
A yakuza boss hires Goemon Ishikawa, a modern day samurai, to protect him aboard his cruise ship casino. Everything goes sideways however when a terrifyingly powerful man— the so called “Ghost of Bermuda”— shows up to put world-famous thief Lupin in the ground… right when Lupin’s trying to rob the very same ship! With his employer dead in the ensuing chaos, Goemon’s honor is at stake, and the only way to preserve it is with blood.
But this opponent is like no other, and to make things right, Goemon may need to sharpen not only his sword, but himself as well! With a little help from Lupin and Jigen, of course. It’s crimson and steel in Takeshi Koike’s newest Lupin film, Goemon’s Bloodspray!
Warning: Even though this is a spoiler-free review, I might mention moments from the first film Jigen’s Gravestone. Throughout the review, I am going to assume you watched that movie.
Second film featuring the swordsman
Released in 2017 (released three years after Jigen’s Gravestone), Takeshi Koike returns and directs the second film of Lupin the IIIrd movie titled Goemon’s Blood Spray. This is the second Goemon made an appearance in the IIIrd Universe which the first is being in the anime series A Woman Called Fujiko Mine. I did a review on Jigen’s Gravestone if you want to know what’s my opinion on it and that’s where I briefly mention about Takeshi Koike. Koike is well-known for the character design of the Lupin IIIrd series and he also worked on the movie Redline. For this review, I am going to be talking about Lupin’s samurai friend, Goemon.
Story: A swordsman versus a ghost
The movie begins with Goemon serving as a bodyguard for a yakuza boss at a cruise ship casino. Joining the ride, we have Lupin and Jigen making a heist to steal the casino’s money and also Fujiko with the same plan. However, the casino ship gets attacked by a lumberjack assassin named Hawk, also known as “The Ghost of Bermuda”. After failing to stop Hawk and unable to protect the yakuza boss, Goemon vows to get revenge on the Ghost of Bermuda. The plot thickens when it turns out Hawk has a mission in mind in which he is assigned to kill the Lupin party: Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko. Making a surprise appearance, Inspector Zenigata appears in this movie in not only to arrest Lupin, but he also intends to catch Hawks and learn about why is he here. While Lupin and his friends avoid trying to get killed, Goemon must harness the power and skills to defeat this goliath and restore his honor as a swordsman.
Review: There will be blood
Just like Jigen’s Gravestone and A Woman Called Fujiko Mine, we get a dark and gritty tale focusing on Goemon Ishikawa XIII. If you are familiar with the Lupin IIIrd’s world and story, get ready for another intense, but exciting adventure. The animation is still great and we get the return of iconic voices for the characters. Returning to voice Goemon, we have Lex Lang from the TV series version of Lupin the Third. Voicing as the Ghost of Bermuda. we have Kirk Thornton who is well-known for voicing Kisame from Naruto and Klein from Sword Art Online. Overall, besides these two I mentioned, the rest of the English Dub was great. For the rest of the movie’s plot and action, everything was hardcore and much more intense than Jigen’s Gravestone movie. What makes this movie stand out is the violence, hence the title “Blood Spray”. I won’t go into details, but this movie gave us a lot of blood spills and some gorey moments. Unlike moments from the TV series where Goemon sometimes slices people’s clothes for humor or actually does kill, but not intensely, the kill count in this movie goes far and above. It’s definitely different, but I like it because it shows us more of the difference between the Lupin the Third and Lupin IIIrd. Like mentioned, Zenigata does make an appearance in this movie and while he may not be humorous like the show, we get the cool, lawful good aesthetic from him. Based on the post credits scene from the first movie, we get to see Zenigata investigate and try to learn what will happen to Lupin and the gang and who is pulling the strings. Goemon in this movie got more of the spotlight than Lupin and that’s good. We got to see the internal struggle of his character and learn about the pain of losing.
While the movie does make some big improvements, there was some set backs that could have taken more opportunities. Like mentioned, we get to see more of Goemon’s character and the burdens he carries as he struggles to regain something what was lost during his fight with Hawk. There is scenes in the movie where he is training and the only ones who witness it all is Lupin and Jigen. As viewers watching this, we don’t get an explanation until we hear from Lupin; he serves as exposition. Unlike the other movie, there isn’t a major treasure for Lupin to steal and just like the title says, it’s all about Goemon. This movie feels like a samurai revenge tale and if you’re not a fan of blood and gore, this will be too much for a weak stomach fan. Without trying to spoil the plot of this movie, I do wish we got more on the client or organization that brings Hawk into the picture. It would better explain why Zenigata was involved in the movie in the first place. In short, while we did get some vague clues from the first movie, it feels like more questions are piling up for us.
Taking advantage of the mature rating, Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray shows off the uncut brutality of Goemon’s sword skills. If you enjoyed this swordsman from the TV anime, get ready to see some intense action from him. This anime is ultra violent and dedicated to Goemon fans. Rather than focusing on the antics of Lupin and his heists, you can focus on the action of Goemon. It’s a good movie if you want to see some screen time on his character and see the difficult challenges he has to face for himself. It’s another simple story plot, but questions from the first movie has yet to be answered. If you enjoyed Jigen’s Gravestone, this movie will be greater in your experience. What do you guys think about this movie?
The next movie I am going to review is Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko Lies.
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