The Lovecraftian Lupin: How to Make an Accidental Horror Movie

“Of course he bleeds green and flies off in a giant robot! What else were you expecting?”


I spent ages trying to think of how to sum up Green vs. Red, the 2008 OVA meant to celebrate 20 years of Lupin III TV specials. I tried out quite a few false starts: it is a Lupin movie that does not strictly feature the thief as the audience knows him, and features a truly bafflingly placed diatribe against nuclear power; it wants to be a meta-narrative about Lupin’s enduring popularity, a loving homage to over 30 years of content, and a cool heist movie, but does all of those things very badly; and it is as pretty and brimming with poor decisions as a college freshman during Rush week.

All of those are true, but they failed to really sum up the experience. The quote up there came in around the time I enlisted Film Friend’s help, and succeeded only in making a fairly casual Lupin fan really angry. It seemed to have beaten me. And then, suddenly, like a human mind attempting to absorb the Necronomicon, it began to make sense to me. Green vs Red isn’t a heist movie at all. It’s a horror movie. In that light, it’s a strangely warped and fascinating journey through the looking glass of a collective cultural love for that being known as Lupin III.


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