DVD Title
  Lupin the 3rd: Dead or Alive
International Title
 Lupin the 3rd: Dead or Alive
Movie Length: 95 minutes Original Length: 95 minutes
Company: Funimation Release: 2005
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: No
Region: 1Discs: 1
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Stereo)
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (21)
· Trailers: Case Closed (English), Fullmetal Alchemist (English), Yu Yu Hakusho (English), Dragonball Z (English)
· Monkey Punch Interview (15 Minutes)
· Character Profiles
Anthony Romero

This is my second Lupin title from Funimation, the first being their Lupin the 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus disc. Sadly, as before, I was left strictly unimpressed by the firm's offering. This release is fairly lackluster across the board, although really suffers in regards to its video quality, while the audio and extra presentations do little to elevate the DVD's overall worth.

 Video: Star Rating

Another Funimation title, another lackluster video presentation. The biggest problem is simply that the video track has been horribly compressed. This has caused for the video to look blurred, instead of sharp, while color,s such as deep reds, look smudged. The video also contains ample signs of artifacting in the form of pixilation, something that is incredibly overt, even to the untrained eye, in shots such as these. Part of the reason for all this compression is the fact that the company included two different video tracks for the same movie, one being their own US version of the film (with the altered title and credits) and the other being the Japanese one with the original titles, as seen here. In reality, the differences between the two versions are so minor that it's really a disservice to the viewer, more than anything else, to include both of them considering the needless compression it brings to the table. As for comparing the two tracks head-to-head, one can see a scene from the US "version" and the same scene in the Japanese "version". Suffice to say, they are pretty much the same, although the Japanese one has been compressed more and it's generally recommended to watch it with the English titles, changing the audio options through the remote so one can still watch it in Japanese.

As for the print used in the transfer, there are some signs of damage, although they are fairly isolated cases and, overall, the print appears to be in pretty good shape.

Dead or Alive is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Unfortunately, the video track is not anamorphic, as it has been encoded at full screen with black bars to maintain the widescreen aspect.


Like the firm's DVD release of Lupin the 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus, this disc contains three audio tracks in total. Also like the Farewell to Nostradamus disc, most of the care here seems to have been placed in the English tracks rather than the lone Japanese one. To be fair, all three tracks are devoid of inconsistencies, although, sadly, only the two English ones have any speaker range to boast, which in this case is a 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo presentations respectively. In terms of the dubbing, it's fairly dreadful, with a lot of "artistic license" being used on the characters' lines. However, it's certainly better than nothing for those who dislike the alternative.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English subtitles that correspond to the Japanese track or the English dub.

 Extras: Star Rating

This disc includes an interview conducted with Lupin the 3rd creator Monkey Punch at an anime convention in Texas. The interview covers general information on the franchise, before diving into details specifically related to Lupin the 3rd: Dead or Alive. The segment is informative overall, although sadly is a little slow in places. This extra aside, though, the disc is fairly barebones. There are some trailers included, although all of them are in English and work more like commercials than something most will busy themselves with. The last supplement is also a throwaway feature in the form of some "Character Profiles" for the movie's cast of characters.

 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, this is a fairly unimpressive release. The real insult here is the fact that Funimation charges a premium price for the title, something that had kept me away for some time. Luckily, by the time I purchased this, I ended up locating a discounted copy selling for $8. In the end, I would extend that line of thinking to anyone interested in picking up the title: search out the bargain bins, as really this is a budget effort at best.