The Plot of the Fuma Clan

The Plot of the Fuma Clan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy[1] is a superbly paced short movie or long OAV[2], and one that still has to rank as one of the best instalments in the Lupin III franchise.

When I reviewed The Castle of Cagliostro I noted that the Lupin III franchise is something of an anime equivalent to the James Bond franchise, both in longevity and in having a fixed character roster supplemented by what are effectively Bond Girls.

And so it is here in The Fuma Conspiracy, with the variation that this time it is Goemon who gets the Bond Girl. Sort of.

The film starts with Goemon’s wedding ceremony to Murasaki Suminawa. This is immediately interrupted by ninjas from the Fuma clan attempting to steal the vase that is the Suminawa family heirloom[3].

Although the ninjas don’t get the urn this time, they do manage to kidnap Murasaki instead.

From here the film runs at a breakneck pace with twists and turns aplenty that ultimately leads to a labryinth in the mountains filled with traps, sabotage, and a fabulous treasure.

Lupin III has always had great chase scenes that balance comedy and action. The Fuma Conspiracy has one of the best of these: Zenigata chasing Lupin through a traditional bathhouse. You can see some of this in the trailer below.

The patrons are not impressed, but this scene is still hilarious after all these years.

I should also note that although Murasaki is essentially a Bond Girl who will never be seen again[4], that she is a surprisingly well realised character.

Feisty, intelligent, capable, with more than a dash of determination to help out however she can, Murasaki is a very likeable character indeed.

I don’t want to spoil too much of The Fuma Conspiracy. This film is simply a lot of fun to watch, so if you haven’t seen it go track it down. You won’t be disappointed.

[1] Also known as The Plot of the Fuma Clan, and hilariously as Rupan III: The Fuma Conspiracy. Animeigo had some copyright issues that it dealt with via a slightly, ah, creative translation.

[2] 73 minutes and apparently there’s some argument over whether it should be considered a movie or an OAV.

[3] The Fuma Clan wants the vase because [SPOILER DELETED].

[4] The usual reset button applies, and the film ends with a separation for predictable reasons.

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