DVD Title
 Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo
International Title
 Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo
Movie Length: 102 minutes Original Length: 102 minutes
Company: Discotek Release: 2013
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono), English (5.1 Surround)
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (12)
· Trailers: Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo (Theatrical, International)
· Written History of Mamo (English)
· Written Lupin the 3rd Fimography (English)
· Written Liner notes by Reed Nelson of Lupinthe3rd.com (English)
· Written interview with voice actor Bill Dufris (English)
· "Why Mamo Matters" Essay by Mike Toole (English)
· Written translation of the original movie program (English)
Anthony Romero

It's been a long time since I have reviewed a Discotek release, who first popped on my radar for some of their earlier DVDs such as War in Space. Sadly, the company has mostly moved away from Toho titles, making this 2013 release, some six years after their last release that Toho produced or distributed, a somewhat welcome return to form. Released under their Eastern Star brand, the quality here is about standard for the company, meaning it's nothing stellar for the format, but that video and audio fare well while in this instance the extra features are a little light. Compared to the earlier Pioneer release, this one is a little better, although only marginally.


Although I have never seen Toho's original DVD transfer of this film that they released in 2003, I wager this release probably uses it as the source. I believe that because it has many of the same beats that their releases do: incredible print condition with almost no print discrepancies to speak of, decent picture clarity and, sadly, a muted color scape. The latter is the biggest fault of this release, especially since the earlier Pioneer DVD release of Lupin the 3rd: The Secret of Mamo had deep blacks and a more vibrant array of colors. Granted, the Pioneer release was over saturated, but even that was preferable to how the colors are presented here. On the bright side, the aspect ratio is corrected on this release (it's ever so slightly cropped on the Pioneer release) and the movie is also uncut, meaning this brief scene is still intact on this release that was missing previously. In terms of a head-to-head competition between the video presentation on this release and the 2003 one, both are about equal, although for totally different reasons: this release excels for being the uncut Japanese version, while the Pioneer was treated with more care in its creation in particular with how the colors were done.

Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


The real strength of this release compared with other releases of the film on the market is the audio presentation. The disc includes an extensive five audio track offering for the film, most of which are in a mono format, collecting all of the English dubs for the movie along with presenting the original Japanese audio as well. Quality varies, but all tracks hold up okay. The original Japanese sounds fine, with no distortions and good clarity. The four English dub tracks can all be found under Language Selection. The first is the original 1978 dub that was used for Toho's limited theatrical runs for the movie, which was restored for this release by Bionic Monkey Studios. In terms of quality, this is the worst of the five options, but no doubt a lot of restoration went into making it presentable and the quality is overall still okay and those interested in hearing the dub, which will probably be the most interesting to Toho fans for getting to hear a few familiar voice actors, can still readily enjoy it.

The other three English dub tracks are related to the various home video releases of the film. First up to bat is the 1994 Streamline Pictures dub, which was released to DVD in 1998 by Image Entertainment. This is followed up by the 1995 Manga UK dub, which saw a DVD release in the United Kingdom in 2008. Quality on both of these is okay. Finally, the disc also contains the 2003 dub track created by Geneon/Pioneer for their release. The last is notable as it's a 5.1 surround track, rather than mono like the others. The track also makes a few more changes to the content, such as removing the song that plays at the end in favor of an encore performance of the Lupin theme.

The disc comes with optional English subtitles for the Japanese audio track.

 Extras: Star Rating

By volume, this disc contains about seven extras, which on the surface sounds good... until you realize that six of those are all written based.

Now the star extra for this release is the two trailers, which includes the original Japanese and also the original international trailer, both used by Toho. Quality on both is stellar, although with the Japanese one looking a little better.

The other extras are all written based, with some great information contained in them. The only downside is, let's be honest, reading essays and other longer form work is not just all that enjoyable from a DVD menu screen. Criterion has the right idea in including content of this nature in the booklet, where it's more enjoyable to digest, the fantastic booklet they gave House is just one of many examples. This feels more like the earlier AnimEigo releases, although at least the written content is relevant and worth reading unlike those.

To give the written content it's fair time to shine, to start there is a Written History of Mamo and Written Lupin the 3rd Fimography (which is incomplete enough it could have been left off), both of which are fairly standard. Next up are liner notes by Reed Nelson, of lupinthe3rd.com, who compiles some great notes on the subject, including documenting some of the deleted scenes from the film. A written interview with voice actor Bill Dufris, who does the voice of Lupin the Manga UK dub, is also featured here along with a complete English translation of the original, Japanese theatrical pamphlet. Last is an essay by Anime News Network's Mike Toole on "Why Mamo Matters". The latter of which is sure to rub some the wrong way, as it feels less like a thoughtful critique of the first cartoon Lupin film and more a piece on why people shouldn't enjoy Lupin the 3rd: Castle of Cagliostro (1979) as much as they do because it isn't as faithful to the Lupin character.


Bottom line, although I would miss the concept art included on the Pioneer release, this is the superior release to DVD of any market. What it misses out on, it makes up for in other areas, and beats out everything by a mile on the merits of its audio presentation versus the others.