Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)

PG-13   |    |  Animation, Action, Adventure

Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978) Poster

While attempting to win the affections of a beautiful rival, a master thief risks death to learn the secret intentions of a wealthy and seemingly immortal, but certainly ruthless, recluse.




  • Gorô Naya in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)
  • Eiko Masuyama in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)
  • Gorô Naya and Yasuo Yamada in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)
  • Eiko Masuyama and Kô Nishimura in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)
  • Eiko Masuyama and Shôzô Îzuka in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)
  • Makio Inoue in Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (1978)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Sôji Yoshikawa , Yasuo Ôtsuka


Monkey Punch (comic), Atsushi Yamatoya (scripts), Sôji Yoshikawa (scripts), Ardwight Chamberlain (dialogue), Grant Moran (dialogue)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

18 September 2007 | Muldwych
| Proper animation at its finest
The first film version of the long-running successful manga series 'Lupin III', 'The Mystery Of Mamo' is non-stop action, adventure, and humour, brought to life with some brilliant animation, an excellent script, and some very good voice acting.

Lupin is the greatest thief since his grandfather Arsene Lupin, but his lifestyle never affords him a moment's peace, especially with maniacally-determined Interpol Inspector Zenigata pursuing him anywhere and everywhere across the globe. Aided by his two friends, Jigen, who prefers a quiet life, sombre samurai warrior Goemon, and on-again-off again girlfriend and equally-skilled thief Fujiko, Lupin finds himself drawn into the world of Mamo, a mysterious billionaire, intent on achieving immortality. But is Mamo exactly what he appears? And how does the fabled Philosopher's Stone fit in?

Now *this* is what animation is *really* about. It's about as far removed from the billion dollar cgi rubbish one usually sees in cinemas as it's possible to be. Every frame in 'Mamo' exudes genuine artistry, whether it's a peaceful Parisian cafe scene, or frenetic car chase through a sewer - yes, a sewer. Every musical motif creates genuine atmosphere, and every line of dialogue is there because it should be - it's not just a collection of lame one-liners for a cynical audience. If you find yourself on the edge of your seat, it's not because you're trying to fend off sleep from Disney-drawn dreck, but because you really find yourself wanting to see what happens next.

There are imperfections within the story - certain plot points that are not entirely followed up, but nothing that ruins the central story. There is also a certain trade-off between characterisation and action, but Lupin III stories are not meant to be deeply introspective character pieces, just a lot of first class fun. They are also an ongoing series, so further revelations are to be had elsewhere.

Probably the most well-known Lupin outing is 'The Castle Of Cagliostro', in many ways a more straightforward adventure with a more traditional action film-type ending. I think they're both excellent, but they're different beasts in temperament. 'The Mystery Of Mamo' takes a left-turn into the surreal, but it's still a cracking film that shouldn't disappoint - and definitely accessible to a Lupin novice.

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Did You Know?


In the trailer, there's a brief clip of a formula 1 race car crashing that doesn't appear in the film. That clip was from the first episode of Lupin III (1971-1972).


Mamo: The process has its limitations.
Fujiko Mine: Limits?
Mamo: The transfer of the chromosomal data is never accomplished with complete fidelity. There are... anomalies, infinitesimally small in each case, but the cumulative effect of such - chaotic - pollution... can be...


When Lupin tells Goemon and Jigen that they should travel towards the ocean, his lips don't move at all, despite his face being clearly visible throughout. This error was repeated in the Toho and Manga dubs, but was corrected for the Streamline and Geneon dubs - Lupin does not say anything in the Streamline dub, while a related line is given to Goemon in the Geneon dub.

Crazy Credits

The opening credits set up the film's theme of cloning by depicting the growth of an embryo.

Alternate Versions

The masters for this film provided by TMS for Pioneer Entertainment to release on US DVD in 2003 were edited to remove certain product logos, such as real-world cigarette brands. The earlier VHS release by Streamline Pictures in 1995 did not have such alterations.

  • Among the deleted items for the Pioneer DVD release include a shot of Stuckey, the US government representative, reading a "Lupin" comic book, with an ad that shows Lupin with DC Comics characters Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batmanm and Robin. The ad itself was a real 1978 "Clark Bar" promotion ad that ran in DC and Marvel comics of the time, but the film's producers pasted Lupin onto it.


Rupan Ondo
Music by
Yûji Ôno
Lyrics by Monkey Punch
Lyrical complement by Daizaburô Nakayama
Performed by Haruo Minami
Arranged by Yûji Ôno
Published by Teichiku Records
(Heard only in the original Japanese version, as well as the 1995 Streamline and 1996 Manga UK English versions)


Plot Summary


Animation | Action | Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

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