The Castle of Cagliostro

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Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
Castle of Cagliostro poster.png
Japanese film poster art
Japanese ルパン三世 カリオストロの城
Hepburn Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro no Shiro
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Produced byTetsuo Katayama
Screenplay by
  • Hayao Miyazaki
  • Haruya Yamazaki
Based on Lupin III
by Monkey Punch
Music by Yuji Ohno
CinematographyHirokata Takahashi
Edited byMitsutoshi Tsurubuchi
Distributed by Toho
Release date
  • 15 December 1979 (1979-12-15)
Running time
100 minutes [1] [2]
Budget¥500 million [3]
Box office¥600 million(Japan) [3]

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro(Japanese:ルパン三世 カリオストロの城, Hepburn:Rupan Sansei: Kariosutoro no Shiro) is a 1979 Japanese animated action-adventure comedy film co-written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki as his feature film debut. It is the second feature film featuring Monkey Punch's master thief Arsène Lupin III, from his manga series Lupin III . [2] The film was Miyazaki's first time directing a theatrical feature after having previously worked as an animator for Toei Animation and Telecom Animation Film and directing several television shows including Lupin III and two episodes of Lupin III Part II .

Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions, consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation.

Anime Japanese animation

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.


The Castle of Cagliostro follows gentleman thief Arsène Lupin III, who successfully robs a casino – only to find the money to be counterfeit. He heads to the tiny country of Cagliostro, the rumoured source of the bills, and attempts to save the runaway Clarisse from the Count Cagliostro's men. Lupin enlists his associates, Jigen and Goemon, and sends his calling card to the Count to get Inspector Zenigata, his longtime nemesis, to the castle. After becoming trapped in the dungeon under the castle, Lupin and Zenigata form a pact to escape and foil the Count's counterfeit operation and save Clarisse from her forced marriage to the Count.

A gentleman thief, gentleman burglar, lady thief, or phantom thief is a stock character in fiction. A gentleman or lady thief usually has inherited wealth and is characterised by impeccable manners, charm, courteousness, and the avoidance of physical force or intimidation to steal. As such, they steal not only to gain material wealth but also for the thrill of the act itself, which is often combined in fiction with correcting a moral wrong, selecting wealthy targets, or stealing only particular rare or challenging objects.

Arsène Lupin III imaginary character created by Monkey Punch

Arsène Lupin III is a fictional character created by Monkey Punch as the protagonist for his manga series Lupin III, which debuted in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. According to his creator, Lupin is the grandson of Maurice Leblanc's gentleman thief Arsène Lupin.

Counterfeit copy which is represented as the original (said to be the same as Q1332286)

To counterfeit means to imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value than the real thing. Counterfeit products are fakes or unauthorized replicas of the real product. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product. The word counterfeit frequently describes both the forgeries of currency and documents, as well as the imitations of items such as clothing, handbags, shoes, pharmaceuticals, aviation and automobile parts, watches, electronics, software, works of art, toys, and movies.

The original theatrical release in Japan occurred on 15 December 1979. The American theatrical debut was on 3 April 1991, with the home release following in October 1992. This first dub was produced by Streamline Pictures and released on home video the following year. A new dubbed version was produced by Manga Entertainment in 2000 and has had several releases. Despite initially underperforming at the box office, The Castle of Cagliostro has garnered high praise, with critics and historians noting the film's influence on Miyazaki's later works, and has since become the most popular and well-regarded entry in the entire Lupin III franchise. However, some have disapproved of its depiction of Lupin as a gallant hero instead of his original persona as a ruthless criminal. The film has served as a major influence on animators and directors worldwide, most notably Pixar director John Lasseter.

Streamline Pictures

Streamline Pictures was an American media company that was best known for its distribution of English-dubbed Japanese animation.

Manga Entertainment

Manga Entertainment is a producer, licensee, and distributor of Japanese animation in the United Kingdom. It also co-produces several anime series, including Ghost in the Shell, Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation, Highlander: The Search for Vengeance and Eon Kid, usually through financial contributions toward production costs.

Pixar computer-animation studio

Pixar Animation Studios is an American computer animation film studio based in Emeryville, California, that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, owned by The Walt Disney Company. Pixar began in 1979 as the Graphics Group, part of the Lucasfilm computer division, before its spin-out as a corporation in 1986, with funding by Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, who became the majority shareholder. Disney purchased Pixar in 2006 at a valuation of $7.4 billion by converting each share of Pixar stock to 2.3 shares of Disney stock, a transaction that resulted in Jobs becoming Disney's largest single shareholder at the time. Pixar is best known for CGI-animated feature films created with RenderMan, Pixar's own implementation of the industry-standard RenderMan image-rendering application programming interface, used to generate high-quality images.


In September 1968, master thief Arsène Lupin III and his colleague, Daisuke Jigen, flee the Monte Carlo Casino with huge quantities of stolen money. They escape in Lupin's Fiat 500, but Lupin recognizes the bills as distinctively high-quality counterfeits. [lower-alpha 1] Deciding to seek out the source, they head to the Grand Duchy of Cagliostro, the alleged wellspring of the counterfeits.

Daisuke Jigen fictional human

Daisuke Jigen is a fictional character created by Monkey Punch for his manga series Lupin III, which debuted in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. Jigen is the marksman, aide-de-camp and close friend of Arsène Lupin III. Along with colleague Goemon Ishikawa XIII, he joins Lupin in pursuit of riches acquired typically by theft. Traveling across the globe, Jigen has garnered fame as a gunman with a wildly capable speed and accuracy.

Monte Carlo Casino gambling and entertainment complex located in Monte Carlo, Monaco

The Monte Carlo Casino, officially named Casino de Monte-Carlo, is a gambling and entertainment complex located in Monaco. It includes a casino, the Grand Théâtre de Monte Carlo, and the office of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is a rear-engined, four-seat, small city car that was manufactured and marketed by Fiat Automobiles from 1957 to 1975 over a single generation in two-door saloon and two-door station wagon bodystyles.

Shortly after arriving, they rescue a young woman being pursued by a gang of thugs, with her and Lupin falling off a cliff while escaping. Lupin is knocked unconscious, and the woman captured, but she leaves him a signet ring. Lupin recognizes the woman as Clarisse, the princess of Cagliostro, who will soon be married to Count Cagliostro, the country's regent. The Count's arranged marriage will cement his power and recover the fabled ancient treasure of Cagliostro, for which he needs both his and Clarisse's ancestral rings.

Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by individuals other than the couple themselves, particularly by family members such as the parents. In some cultures a professional matchmaker may be used to find a spouse for a young person.

A squad of assassins attack Lupin and Jigen at their inn but fail to kill them or recover the ring. Lupin leaves his calling card on the back of Jodot, the Count's butler and chief assassin, announcing he is going to steal Clarisse. Lupin summons Goemon Ishikawa XIII to aid their quest to rescue the princess and tips off his longtime pursuer, Inspector Koichi Zenigata, to his whereabouts to provide a distraction. Zenigata's presence and a party give Lupin enough time to sneak into the castle. There he finds his on-off lover, Fujiko Mine, posing as Clarisse's lady-in-waiting, who tells him where the princess is being held. Lupin makes his way to Clarisse and returns her ring, vowing to help her to escape. Before he can act, the Count drops Lupin down a trapdoor into the castle's catacombs, as Lupin had planned. Lupin mocks the Count through the ring he gave to Clarisse – a fake containing a transmitter – and the Count sends three assassins to retrieve the real ring.

Goemon Ishikawa XIII

Goemon Ishikawa XIII is a fictional character created by Monkey Punch for his manga series Lupin III, which debuted in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. Goemon is a thirteenth generation descendant of the renegade samurai Ishikawa Goemon. He is famous for a reticent personality coupled by apparent unlimited skill in martial arts and swordsmanship with his sword Ryusei, known in the anime as Zantetsuken (斬鉄剣). A partner with Arsène Lupin III and Daisuke Jigen, he tends to join their exploits only on a when-interested basis.

Koichi Zenigata Fictional human from Lupin III

Koichi Zenigata, usually called Inspector Zenigata, is a fictional character created by Monkey Punch for his manga series Lupin III, which debuted in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. He is named after the famous fictional Japanese detective Zenigata Heiji, whose descendant he is implied to be.

Fujiko Mine Lupin III universe character

Fujiko Mine is a fictional character created by Monkey Punch for his manga series Lupin III, which debuted in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. She is a professional criminal and burglar that regularly uses her attractiveness to fool her targets. Unlike the rest of the Lupin III cast, Fujiko's physical appearance changes for most installments in the franchise. Her name means "mountain peaks of Fuji" in Japanese, a pun on the size of her breasts, which is usually the only thing consistent in her various designs.

Lupin encounters Zenigata, who was accidentally dropped down earlier, and they form a pact to help each other escape. After overpowering the assassins, they escape into a room full of printing presses — the source of the counterfeits. Zenigata wants to collect evidence, but Lupin points out they must escape the castle first. They start a fire as a distraction and steal the Count's autogyro. However, as they attempt to rescue Clarisse, Lupin is shot. Clarisse offers the ring to the Count in exchange for Lupin's life. After securing the ring, the Count's attempt at betrayal is foiled when Fujiko's actions allow her, Lupin, and Zenigata to flee. As Lupin recovers from his injuries, Zenigata attempts to convince his superiors at Interpol to prosecute the Count for counterfeiting, but fearing political repercussions, they halt the investigation and remove him from the case. Meanwhile, Lupin intends to stop the wedding and rescue the princess. He also reveals his reasons for rescuing Clarisse to Jigen, Goemon and her family's former gardener — as a young girl, she had saved his life during his unsuccessful first attempt to find the treasure of Cagliostro Castle ten years earlier. Fujiko tips off Lupin on a way to sneak into the castle, and forms a plan with Zenigata to publicly reveal the counterfeiting operation under the cover of pursuing Lupin.

The wedding with a drugged Clarisse appears to go as planned, until Lupin disrupts the ceremony and, despite the Count's precautions, makes off with both Clarisse and the Count's rings. Meanwhile, Zenigata and his squadron arrive in the chaos, and the inspector leads Fujiko, posing as a television reporter, to the Count's counterfeiting facility to expose the operation to the world. The Count pursues Lupin and Clarisse to the face of the castle's clock tower. Lupin is forced to surrender the rings to save Clarisse, and they are both knocked into the lake surrounding the tower. After using the rings to reveal the secret of Cagliostro, the Count is killed by the mechanism unveiling the treasure. Lupin and Clarisse watch as the lake around the castle drains to reveal exquisite ancient Roman ruins — the true treasure of Cagliostro. Lupin and his friends bid farewell to Clarisse, now the rightful ruler of Cagliostro. With Zenigata pursuing them again (for the crime of "stealing Clarisse's heart") and Fujiko fleeing with the plates from counterfeit printing presses, Lupin and the gang drive out of Cagliostro, with the police close behind them.


Character nameJapanese voice actorEnglish voice actor
(Streamline Pictures, 1992)
English voice actor
(Animaze/Manga Entertainment, 2000) [5]
Arsène Lupin III Yasuo Yamada Bob Bergen as The Wolf Sean Barker
Lady Clarisse d'Cagliostro Sumi Shimamoto Joan-Carol O'Connell
Barbara Goodson as Young Clarisse
Ruby Marlowe
Count Lazare d'Cagliostro Tarō Ishida Michael McConnohie Sparky Thornton
Chief Inspector Koichi Zenigata Gorō Naya David Povall as Inspector Keibu Zenigata Dougary Grant
Daisuke Jigen Kiyoshi Kobayashi Steve Bulen Ivan Buckley
Fujiko Mine Eiko Masuyama Edie Mirman Dorothy Melendrez
Jodot Ichirō Nagai Jeff Winkless as Jodo Richard Barnes as Jodo
Goemon Ishikawa XIII Makio Inoue Steve Kramer Michael Gregory (uncredited)
Gardener Kōhei Miyauchi Mike Reynolds as Walter Gil Starberry as Christopher
GustavTadamichi Tsuneizumi Kirk Thornton Marlon Mann
Interpol ChairmanShōzō Hirabayashi Jeff Winkless G. Gordon Baer
Riot Squad LeaderJuji Matsuda Kerrigan Mahan as Captain Sam James Lyon
Archbishop Kinpei Azusa Kirk Thornton Alfred Thor
WaitressYoko Yamaoka Julie Donald Bambi Darro


Lupin III began as a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Monkey Punch. The title character, Arsène Lupin III, was inspired by (and is claimed in the series to be the grandson of) Maurice Leblanc's fictional character Arsène Lupin, a gallant and famous outlaw able to outsmart even Sherlock Holmes. [6] Lupin III is a gentleman thief and announces his intentions to steal valuable objects by sending a calling card to the owners of the desired items. The manga's popularity led to two anime series, titled Lupin III and Lupin III Part II . [6] The first film, The Mystery of Mamo , was released on 16 December 1978. Cagliostro followed the year later following the financial success of that film. This is marked as the first feature length film to be directed by Miyazaki, who had previously co-directed episodes of the first Lupin anime series with Isao Takahata and the two directors along with Toshio Suzuki will give birth to Studio Ghibli in 1985. He was also a writer and director of two episodes in the second series under the pseudonym "Telecom", both produced a year after Cagliostro. [6] In works other than Castle of Cagliostro and the series episodes directed by Miyazaki and Takahata, Lupin III is portrayed as a scheming and lecherous thief, sometimes supported by his former enemies Jigen and Goemon. Miyazaki's film conflicts with the typical behavior and personality of the characters, a change that has been described as Lupin "growing up". [6] [7]

Castle of Cagliostro marked Miyazaki's debut as a theatrical movie director, but he also was a writer, a designer, and a storyboardist on the movie. [7] The production for the film began in May 1979 with the writing of the story and storyboarding for the film. [8] Miyazaki began by drawing a bird's eye view of the setting before creating the story to completion. After the first draft scenario was returned to Miyazaki without change, he began the storyboards. The story was divided into four parts, but after reaching the third part changes had to be made at the storyboard phase in order to not exceed the decided running time. [9] Animation work began in July while the storyboards were only a quarter complete; Miyazaki had to complete them during the animation production. Production wrapped up at the end of November and the film's premier on December 15, 1979 was a short seven and a half months from the project's undertaking, with only five months of production time. [8]

The film draws upon many sources of inspiration that were important in the production of the film. McCarthy writes that a research trip was not specifically undertaken for the film, but says Miyazaki's Heidi sketchbooks were useful for the scenery. [8] Miyazaki would cite Italian Mountain Cities and the Tiber Estuary from Kagoshima Publishing as influencing the production of the film. [8] The film included elements that were seen in other Arsène Lupin works, including La Justice d'Arsène Lupin by Boileau-Narcejac, involving the discovery of a tremendous stash of forged franc notes with which World War I–era Germany had planned to destabilize the French economy. [10] Maurice Leblanc's The Green-eyed Lady also featured a secret treasure hidden at the bottom of a lake. [11] The castle is visually influenced by that of the original 1952 unfinished release of The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep . [12] Greenberg writes, "Cagliostro also borrowed many narrative and visual elements from Grimault's film: the basic plotline of disrupting the wedding of an evil tyrant and a beautiful innocent girl, the tyrant's luxuriously-decorated palace that is also full of traps, and a gang of henchmen serving the tyrant – both oversized goons and ninja-like assassins..." [13] The staff added personal touches to the film, the most iconic being Lupin's car, the Fiat 500, was the car of head animator Yasuo Ōtsuka. [11] Clarisse's car in the chase scene is a Citroen 2CV, which is Miyazaki's first car. [11]

McCarthy describes the summery color palette of the film as matching the scenery and the characters, but notes the use of dark and light colors are used to emphasize the subplot of the dark and light sides of the Cagliostros. [8] The film's score was composed by series regular Yuji Ohno, and varies between jazz, romance and orchestral music. Notably, it includes a variation of Lupin III's iconic TV theme. [8] The music was performed by You & The Explosion Band, who had previously worked on the second television series. The main vocal song "Fire Treasure" was performed by Bobby (aka Toshie Kihara) and saw release as an LP single. [14] The first release of the soundtrack was Lupin the 3rd The Castle of Cagliostro Original Soundtrack BGM Collection, an album containing extended versions of select cues from the film. It was originally sold on vinyl and cassette tape in 1983, but later saw release on CD in 1985 with several additional prints runs. [15] In 2003, the entire score was finally released on a newly commissioned album entitled Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro – Music File and also contained 13 unused cues. [16]

Castle of Cagliostro's portrayal of the characters was changed to better identify with Miyazaki's concept of a "hero" and to remove a sense of apathy in the story. [7] This resulted in Lupin being a happy-go-lucky and upbeat thief who drives and lives out of a Fiat 500; a sharp contrast to the scheming and lecherous Lupin who drives expensive cars like the Mercedes-Benz SSK because it was "Hitler's favorite". [7] The changes would also impact secondary characters like Jigen and Goemon, changing their serious and cold personalities into friendly and humorous; even the erotic elements involving the femme-fatale Fujiko were dropped. [7]

Fred Patten, who worked at Streamline Pictures was involved in the English adaptation of the film and was involved in the choice of title for the English release,

The Japanese title is Lupin III: Cagliostro no Shiro, which is literally Lupin III: Cagliostro of Castle[ sic ]. [lower-alpha 2] So which would be better in English; Cagliostro Castle, Cagliostro's Castle, or The Castle of Cagliostro? It was my argument that The Castle of Cagliostro sounded the most sinister. Cagliostro Castle is just a castle's name, like Windsor Castle, but the Castle of Cagliostro emphasizes that it is the evil Count's lair! [17]

Critical analysis

In his first feature length directorial role, Miyazaki deploys numerous examples of his style to great effect. Dani Cavallaro highlights the signature details of Miyazaki's style and form being displayed in this work and how it impacts the portrayal of the story. [6] Cagliostro, the country and setting, is depicted in meticulous detail and unconstrained by limitations of architecture, geography and culture, which can be described as "akogare no Paris" (Paris of our dreams), which is a fantastical view of Europe through Eastern eyes. The use of unexpected and unique camera angles and attention to individual movement of the characters are distinctive signatures of Miyazaki's style, including the opening heist scene which provides characterization and spirit to understanding the character of Lupin. [6] The changes made to the portrayal of the cast, depicting a heroic and selfless Lupin, a friendly Jigen, funny Goemon, and un-sexualized Fujiko, were initially not well received by fans. Otaku USA's Surat described compared this shift to "a James Bond movie where [James Bond] stayed at Motel 6 and his "Bond mobile" was a Toyota Camry!" [7]


The film's Japanese theatrical release was on 15 December 1979. [8] A year later, Tokyo Movie Shinsha began screen testing the film in North America and it was notably shown at the World Science Fiction Convention in Boston for a marketing survey. It was later screened at other festivals during the 1980s, including FILMEX 82 in Los Angeles. [18] Despite resounding acclaim from the screenings, many of them were unsuccessful. According to Fred Patten, the primary reason was that, "most people did not bother to come to it since it was "only" an animated-cartoon feature, not a "serious" live-action movie." [19]

English releases

The American theatrical debut was on 3 April 1991 in New York City by Carl Macek's Streamline Pictures, with the home release following in October 1992. [8] Streamline's dub contains several deviations from the original Japanese script. Due to copyright issues with Maurice LeBlanc's estate, Lupin is referred to as "the Wolf." Inspector Koichi Zenigata is erroneously named "Keibu Zenigata," likely due to a translation error (keibu being the Japanese title for a police inspector). The UK release followed on 10 June 1996 by Manga Video. [20] Optimum Releasing re-released Cagliostro in the UK after Manga Entertainment lost its license in the UK. [21] The new DVD features an anamorphic widescreen print with the original Japanese audio track as well as the Streamline dub, both in stereo. [21] [22]

In 2000, Manga released the film on home video in the United States with a newly commissioned dub that adhered closer to the original script with the correct names restored. The DVD preserves the film in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen and is non-anamorphic. It additionally features remastered audio and picture, but contains no extras. The same company later released a new special edition DVD of Cagliostro in 2006. [23] [24] The disc is double-sided with the film on side A and the extras on side B. It includes a new digital transfer; Manga's English dub in 2.0 and 5.1 surround plus Japanese, Spanish, and French language tracks in mono; the complete film in storyboard format, accompanied by Japanese audio with English subtitles; an original Japanese trailer; a sketch and still gallery; a 26-minute interview with animation director Yasuo Ōtsuka, and animated menus. [23] The film is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen; however, the opening credits have been heavily re-edited to remove the Japanese credits, instead using selected still-frames of scenes that appear without Japanese writing. The English-translated names are superimposed over these stills. This change was negatively received by fans of the film. [24] Both DVD releases are out-of-print, with Manga no longer owning the U.S. film rights. [25]

In December 2008, the film was released on Blu-ray in Japan. Its video format is MPEG-4 AVC and its digitally-remastered audio is improved over that of the DVD, but contains no English audio or subtitle options despite being in Region A format. [26] Years later, a new HD digital remaster was produced and Cagliostro was given a limited theatrical re-release in Japan on 9 May 2014. [27] The remaster was released both individually and as part of The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki, a box set containing all of Miyazaki's movies. Both these newer releases were released by Studio Ghibli in conjunction with Disney. [28] StudioCanal released a Blu-ray and DVD bundle of the film on 12 November 2012 in the UK. [29] The StudioCanal release is of superior quality with its new high definition transfer, but the credits for the film are absent. [30]

North American anime distributor Discotek Media announced on 26 March 2014 that they had licensed the film and planned to release it on DVD in 2014, with a Blu-ray release to follow at a then-unspecified future date. [25] The DVD version was eventually delayed to 6 January 2015 and included the Streamline and Animaze/Manga dubs, a "Family Friendly" alternate version of the Animaze/Manga dub with reduced profanity, the original Japanese audio with newly translated English subtitles, an alternate subtitle option based on the subtitles used by TMS in their 1980 screenings of the film, a collection of alternate opening and closing sequences to the film from previous releases, translation notes, two trailers and a fan-made audio commentary by Reed Nelson. [31] The Blu-ray was released on 25 June 2015 and featured the same extras in addition to another alternate subtitle option using a literal translation of the film's screenplay, new interviews with David Hayter and Bob Bergen, an introduction to the film by Hayter, translated past interviews from the French Blu-ray (featuring Yasuo Ōtsuka, Kazuhide Tomonaga and Monkey Punch), an optional storyboard viewing mode, a slideshow gallery of production and promotional art, and a text-based overview of the film's production history. [31] Plans to include an emulated port of Cliff Hanger as an extra feature for the Blu-ray were dropped when the original contracts for the game could not be found. [32] The Castle of Cagliostro was included in Disney's The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki Blu-ray set released on 17 November 2015. This release features only the Streamline dub and the Japanese audio with English subtitles; none of the extras from Discotek's releases are included. [33] [34]


At the Japanese box office, the film grossed ¥600 million [3] ($7.52 million). The film's overseas screenings in 2007 and 2017 later grossed $152,775 in Italy and South Korea, [35] and $142,425 in the United States. [36]

While the film was not initially a box-office success, it gained popularity through numerous re-releases and was even voted as "the best anime in history" by the readers of Animage . [37] [38] Following a July 1992 release by Streamline Pictures, [2] Janet Maslin said she thought the film "should fare nearly as well [as Akira ] with animation fans of any age, provided they are unwavering in their devotion to the form and do not think 100 minutes is an awfully long time." According to Maslin, the film is an "interestingly wild hybrid of visual styles and cultural references" whose "animation is weak when it comes to fluid body movements, but outstanding in its attention to detail." [2] According to Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle , "C of C refrains from the Technicolor ultra-violence that helped make films like Golgo 13 , Akira, and Vampire Hunter D such audience favorites, and instead focuses on broad, almost slapstick humor and chaos to keep viewers riveted. Sometimes it works, and unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't." [1] Review aggregator RottenTomatoes gives the film a 92% approval rating based on reviews from 12 critics, with an average rating of 7/10. [39] Some fans maintain that it is not a "true" Lupin title, due to Miyazaki's altering of the titular character into a bumbling hero, rather than his original ruthless criminal self. [40] Monkey Punch, creator of Lupin III, called Castle of Cagliostro an "excellent" movie, but agreed Miyazaki's vision of Lupin differs from his own. He said, "I wouldn't have had him rescue the girl, I would have had him rape her!" [19]

In Dani Cavallaro's The Anime Art of Hayao Miyazaki, the film was said to have received the "Award for Best Animated Feature". [6] The actual award was from the 1979 Mainichi Film Concours, where the film received the Ōfuji Noburō Award. [41] No concrete evidence for this claim has even been put forward and the misinformation in the releases serves to cement its decades-long persistence. [7]

The film was the best selling anime DVD in May 2001, and the third best selling in June. [42] [43] Both of Manga Entertainment's releases of The Castle of Cagliostro received DVD Talk Collector Series recommendation status, the highest status given by the review website [44] [45] Chris Beveridge of gave the film a grade of "A+", although he disliked Manga Entertainment's use of PG-13 level language in the English dub. [46] The Castle of Cagliostro placed in 5th place on Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs's list of best anime. [47]


The film has itself been an influence in a range of other productions. There is an unconfirmed rumor that film director Steven Spielberg saw a screening of The Castle of Cagliostro in the early 80's. From that rumor, one would assume that Spielberg was so impressed with the film that it later influenced the action sequences in his Indiana Jones films and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn . There is no evidence of Spielberg quoting the film, but Manga Entertainment's DVD release quotes him saying: "one of the greatest adventure movies of all time." [23] Another unverified statement has Spielberg calling the film's car chase "one of the greatest chase sequences ever filmed". Some sources claim that Spielberg saw the film at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival, [7] but, according to official Cannes sources, Castle of Cagliostro was not shown that year. [48]

The character of Clarisse has also been cited as a potential ancestral example of moe character design, [49] a trend Miyazaki would later criticize as leading to the promotion of unhealthy lolicon fetishism. [50] In 1983, TMS with Stern Electronics wanted to capitalize on the success of animated Laserdisc video games at the time. They released the arcade game, Cliff Hanger , which used footage from this film, along with the previous Lupin film The Mystery of Mamo . [7] Even though the films themselves weren't available in North America at the time, the Cliff Hanger game was featured in an episode of the game show Starcade .

Cagliostro deeply influenced Pixar co-founder John Lasseter, along with Miyazaki's later films; in October 2014, Lasseter delivered a keynote address to the Tokyo International Film Festival describing how Miyazaki's influence upon his own life and work began when he first saw a clip from Cagliostro. [51] Walt Disney Animation Studios' 1986 film The Great Mouse Detective , co-directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, paid homage to Cagliostro with the film's climactic Big Ben sequence. [12] Another reference to the clock-tower fight is in "The Clock King" episode of Batman: The Animated Series . [12] Gary Trousdale, co-director of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire , admitted that a scene at the end of Atlantis, where the waters recede from the sunken city, was directly inspired from the ending in Cagliostro. [52] One of the sequence directors of The Simpsons Movie also mentioned Cagliostro as an influence; a brief shot where Bart Simpson rolls down the roof of the family house was inspired by Lupin running down the castle roof during his rescue attempt. [53]

Also in OVA Here is Greenwood students set a spectacle where scene of saving Clarisse on clock tower was parodied.

See also


  1. In the Japanese dialogue, the counterfeit bills are called "Gōto-satsu" (ゴート札), which is written as "Ghoto bills" in the heavily-simplified TMS subtitled version. The Streamline dub, which used TMS' subtitles as its primary translation source, explains that "Ghoto" was the name of the person responsible for the creation of Cagliostro's counterfeiting ring. The Animaze/Manga dub interprets "Gōto" as a transliteration of goat - the Japanese word for which is "yagi" (ヤギ) - in part due to the abundant goat and ram-related imagery present in the film, and thus refers to the counterfeits as "Goat bills". However, in the Japanese version, Lupin describes the writing on Clarisse's ring as being "Gōto-moji" (ゴート文字), or Gothic characters, which implies that the houses of Cagliostro are descended from the ancient Goths. The Animaze/Manga dub describes the writing as "Capran", furthering the film's symbolic use of goats. When preparing the English subtitles for Discotek Media's DVD and Blu-ray, translators Shoko Oono and Reed Nelson chose to name the counterfeits "Gothic bills" instead of "Goat bills". [3] [4]
  2. Cagliostro no Shiro actually translates to "Castle of Cagliostro"

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