Castle of Cagliostro (1978)

CastlePlot: Renowned master thief Wolf and his partner Jigen have just escaped from the biggest heists of their lives, robbing a casino and taking billions of dollars with them. Wolf is realizes that all the money they’ve stolen is actually counterfeit, really good counterfeit. As a great theif he feels it’s his job to go out and find out where these forged notes are coming from. On his travels he saves a young woman called Clarice, although after Wolf some how manages to knock himself out, he awakes to realize the girl has been taken away on a ship.

He and his group of misfits (Ishikawa; a samurai warrior and Jigen; cigarette smoking sniper) discover the great Castle of Cagliostro and find out that Clarice is being held their, Wolf makes it’s his own personal mission to rescue this damsel in distress. But he soon learns that it’s a lot harder than it sounds.

Review: Hayao Miyazaki directs this pre-Studio Ghibli flick of action and adventure and it is a surprisingly fun film. When renting the movie I kept leaving it to last amongst my other movies until I decided to sit back and watch, it wasn’t half bad, rather funny too! It is also known as the first Anime movie ever to shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

The lead character Wolf (originally known as Lupin III) is based on Novels by the French author, Maurice LeBlanc (no I don’t think he’s related to Matt) whose turn-of-the-century series of Arsene Lupin novels inspired the “Lupin III” movies and television series in Japan.

The animations in this film aren’t as stunning or as beautiful as Miyazaki’s award winning Spirited Away but you have to remember this film was made in 1979, I wasn’t even born until 6 years after and this dude was still churning out amazing films that can still be appreciated today.

The film has a great cast of characters such as Wolf’s sidekicks Jigen and Ishikawa. Ishi is just pretty damn cool with his samurai sword. There is also Inspector Zenigata whose only mission is to lock up the notorious thieve Wolf, but finds himself teaming up with him to help bring down the Count. There is also another master thieve the disguise wearing Fujiko Mine, to whom was a love of Wolf’s at one point.

Final thought, a nice piece of work from Hayao Miyazaki it’s also a nice way to spend the afternoon. Enjoy!

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