Amazon currently has a listing for Lupin the 3rd Episode 0: First Contact, which is slated for release on March 20th, 2010.  The 92-minute TV Special, which aired in Japan in 2002, will be available from Discotek Media for $24.95.  This is the first Lupin DVD out in North America since Geneon stopped the release of the Lupin the 3rd TV show (many episodes of which were directed by Miyazaki), and Funimation finished with the eight TV specials that it licensed in 2002.  Unlike the Geneon and Funimation releases, the Discotek DVD won’t have an English dub track, just English subtitles.


Based on the seinen manga created by Monkey Punch, Lupin the 3rd is the saga of a team of super thieves led by Arsene Lupin III, the grandson of the fictional French cat burglar created by Maurice LeBlanc.  Hundreds of episodes of various Lupin the 3rd anime series were produced in the 1970s and 1980s along with six theatrical films including a certified classic, Miyazaki’s Castle of Cagliostro, as well as 21 movie-length TV specials that have remained a fixture on Japanese TV right up to the present day.  Although Lupin the 3rd has developed a cult of admirers here in North America, its old school late-20th Century character design and anime style has apparently limited its appeal.