(Watch for free on Hulu)
It is rather hard to believe that we have only recently seen an official team-up of Detective Conan and Lupin the 3rd considering both have been mega-franchises for so long. Detective Conan movies are already known for their splashy, high-stakes situations and a penchant for putting in as many characters from the Conan universe as they can. So doubling up by adding the all-star cast of Lupin the 3rd just sounds so right.
Despite the obvious love that Japan has for these characters, they have both only had middling success stateside with the exception of something like The Castle of Cagliostro. To say that seeing the Lupin the 3rd VS. Detective Conan: The Movie streaming was a shock would be a huge understatement. This film is not licensed by an American company and probably won’t be. Plus, unlike TV series, theatrical anime is still a lot less likely to be streamed so we are constantly missing out on titles.
If you pay attention to any sort of comic book news you will notice people endlessly debating the merits of a Batman VS. Superman movie. I mostly bring that up not so the comments can be a quagmire of angry nerds but because it shows a desire for fans to see their favorite characters interact. That is the reason that comics crossovers sell so well, people makes games like Super Robot Wars, and odd things like a SuperWhoLock fandom exists. Anime and manga is no exception. CLAMP and Go Nagai have often done this with their own series. One Piece and Toriko as well as Fairy Tail and Yankee-kun to Megane-chan have had joint adventures. There was even a Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA crossover but the less you think about that the better. The characters of Nisekoi and My Love Story!! have even officially met at one point in time. And this is all outside of fan-fiction which breaks any and all barriers.
But rarely have two properties has an almost gravitational pull like that of Lupin the 3rd and Detective Conan. They are practically designed to fit together seamlessly. Lupin is the world’s most notorious thief and Conan is secretly the world’s greatest detective. Ever since Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late there has been a rivalry phantom thieves and detectives so it is only natural for them to clash. While Conan already has Magic Kaito (or considering the order in which they were created maybe I should say Magic Kaito already has Conan) it hardly diminishes the excitement over this clash. Like the old saw of who would win in a fight between Superman and Goku I think fans of either franchise would be curious to see who would come out on top.
Is Conan smarter than the thief with many-colored jackets or is the Lupin’s Walther P38 more dangerous than the boy detective’s wit?
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