The Castle Of Cagliostro


Hayao Miyazaki's debut feature

Hayao Miyazaki's first feature The Castle Of Cagliostro, is an accomplished 1979 big-screen spin-off of the long-running Lupin III animated TV series.

A four-month production gig, whose popping colour palette is now as vivid as its gunfights, this exhilarating continental counterfeiting caper is propelled by the hurtling pace of its vertiginous action sequences.

It’s easy to overlook the crammed plotting for the movie’s sheer charm and kineticism. Especially when watching Lupin’s car shoot up a vertical cliff-face after a runaway bride (years before Bekmambetov’s Daywatch), or seeing him skitter down a giddying roof slope.

You can spot Miyazaki’s personal touches in the dastardly Count’s swooping gyrocopter, and the exuberantly bizarre Bavarian-Italian-Roman architecture.

But use the vapid American soundtrack at your peril. Opt for the sub-titled original, equal parts Japanese courtesy and kick-ass threats, for that genuine Monkey Punch manga feel.

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