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Lupin III: The Plot of the Fuma Clan ( ルパン三世 風魔一族の陰謀 Rupan Sansei: Fūma Ichizoku no Inbō?) , more commonly known as The Fuma Conspiracy is the first Original Video Animation (OVA) of the Lupin III franchise. Released in late 1987, this is the first Lupin animated project to not feature Yasuo Yamada as Lupin III, who is instead voiced by Toshio Furukawa, and the only one to not feature Kiyoshi Kobayashi as Daisuke Jigen.

Production

Yasuo Ōtsuka who was working at Telecom Animation Film was the supervisor of this film. Since he was in charge of the OVA, it was his decision to focus on Murasaki and to use his Green Jacket character design as used in Lupin the Third Part I and The Castle of Cagliostro. Like the Castle of Cagliostro, Lupin's car is the Fiat 500 that was owned by Yasuo Ōtsuka and it was used as a reference during animation.

The animation staff decided to focus more on theatrical style animation with expressions rather than limited animation with mouth flaps.

The production team travelled to the Gifu Prefecture for inspiration, Mt. Shakujo was used as the mountain with the treasure cave while the outdoor soaking pool was used during the car chase.

There were production issues regarding the OVA after the animation was completed. TMS was poorly managed at the time and had money issues, one reason was the development hell of Little Nemo in Slumberland and started to rely on doing outsourced animation for income. According to Monkey Punch who was told by the production team, Yasuo Yamada and the other voice actors were expensive and they needed to reduce production costs. [1] Some staff members at the time were not keen on Yasuo Yamada's over comical performance of the character and found him "too light". [2]

The decision was that the usual voice acting cast as well as the sound staff were all replaced. Yuji Ohno was replaced by Kiyoshi Miyaura for the same reason. Apart from Seizo Kato who played Zenigata, all of the other cast members were younger.

Toshio Furukawa who played Lupin III in the OVA at first refused the offer due to the strong image of Yasuo Yamada however the producers asked "Unable to do Lupin's performance?". He then accepted the offer but was forbidden to talk about it, he was worried that it might have gone off the record. The other voice actors felt sorry for the regular cast who were not informed and were unaware of their performances. [3] Despite not being involved regarding production, Monkey Punch did ask the voice actors their approval regarding the change.

When it was broken out to Yasuo Yamada after its release, he complained to Monkey Punch as he was furious regarding Toshio Furukawa's performance. Monkey Punch replied back, "You've allowed this (voice actor change)!" The next day, Monkey Punch contacted TMS and the people involved with the decision had left, it caused him to lose trust in the anime industry.

While the usual voice cast returned for Bye-Bye Liberty - Close Call! due to the outcry from the fans, the relationship between Monkey Punch and Yasuo Yamada became awkward until Yamada's death even though Monkey Punch did apologize to Yamada when they next met. [4] When Yasuo Yamada died, Monkey Punch cried without the misunderstanding being resolved.[1]

Voice Cast

Japanese voice cast:

Italian voice cast:

English voice cast:

  • Robin Robertson as Rupan (Lupin III)
  • Sean P. O'Connell as Jigen
  • Mark Franklin as Goemon
  • Michele Seidman as Fujiko Mine
  • Marc Matney as Inspector Zenigata
  • Amanda Spivey as Murasaki

Trivia

  • In its initial release in the US as well as the English dub, it was known as Rupan III: The Fuma Conspiracy due to copyright reasons regarding the Lupin name. Unusually this did not extend to the UK where this was the first Lupin related video released keeping the original name while later VHS releases such as The Castle of Cagliostro and The Secret of Mamo called the thief Wolf.
  • Despite officially classed and produced as an OVA, The Plot of the Fuma Clan did receive a limited theatrical run by Toho. The Theater Ikebukuro in Tokyo and Tamatsukuri Toho in Osaka were two of the theaters that were known to show the OVA.
  • When the OVA was released in Japan, there were complaints from fans due to the different voice actors chosen. The fans even directly asked TMS, "Why did you change the cast?"
  • During the scene where the hallucinogenic gas is released, Lupin changes his character designs as a gag. He switches between The Mystery of Mamo, Lupin the Third Part II, and Lupin the Third Part III (episodes 13-34 design).

Releases

Japan

  • Laserdisc (TLL2120, Toho)
  • Laserdisc Lupin the Third Theater Box (TLL2199-4, Toho) [custom cover of Goemon sitting with three woman while Lupin looks]
  • Laserdisc (TLL2270, Toho)
  • VHS (Toho)
  • DVD October 24, 2003 (TDV2738D, Toho)

USA

  • Laserdisc 1994 Rupan III: The Fuma Conspiracy (AnimEgo) [Japanese with English subtitles]
  • DVD June 10, 2003 Rupan III: The Fuma Conspiracy (AnimEgo)
  • DVD October 30, 2007 (Discotek Media) [This was Discotek's first Lupin release and is OOP]

Italy

  • VHS 1993 (Bim Bum Bam Video) [Custom cover, similar except Lupin does not have a weapon or a helmet]
  • DVD 2002 Lupin III: La cospirazione dei Fuma (VD-0115 Yamato Video) [Custom Lupin III logo]
  • DVD 2002 Lupin the 3rd: La cospirazione dei Fuma (Yamato Video) [Lupin the 3rd Gold Bar logo]
  • DVD 2005 Lupin the 3rd Special DVD Collection (1LUP01, DeAGOSTINI/Yamato Video)
  • DVD Lupin III Film DVD Collection (Yamato Video)

United Kingdom

  • VHS ? (WEST 027, Western Connection) [Japanese with English subtitles]

Videos

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Fujiko Fetish Club Compliation "ルパンも知らなかった !, Mystery of Fujiko Mine" Shodensha, 1999, pg. 239-240"
  2. "Lupin the Third, Forever—Yamada Yasuo Memorial (Tokuma Shoten, 1995)"
  3. "The Plot of the Fuma Clan brochure"
  4. "The Friday Roadshow that aired with The Mystery of the Hemingway Papers, both Monkey Punch and Yasuo Yamada appeared in guest appearances"
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