DVD Title
 Lupin the 3rd: The Secret of Mamo
International Title
 Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo
Movie Length: 102 minutes Original Length: 102 minutes
Company: Pioneer Release: 2003
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 1Discs: 1
Language/Sound: Order
Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (5.1 Surround)
· Menus (English)
· Chapters (18)
· Trailers: Onymoji, WXIII: Patlabor the Movie 3, X (Pioneer), Ai Yori Aoshi (Pioneer), A Little Snow Fairy Sugar (Pioneer), Mahoromatic (Pioneer), Gate Keepers 21 (Pioneer), Lupin the 3rd (Pioneer), Master Keaton (Pioneer), Chobits (Pioneer), Heat Guy J (Pioneer), Haibane-Renmei (Pioneer), L/R (Pioneer)
· Film Promotion Gallery
· Concept Art Gallery
· Original Coroner's Report (Japanese)
· Written translation of the original movie program (English)
· Lupin the 3rd Key Chain
Anthony Romero

For being a fairly hard to find film at one point in the States, this release marks the second time the film would be available in the US on DVD, and not the last either. Though nothing remarkable, the video and audio presentation are both good on this Pioneer release while the extras, although many in number, leave something to be desired.


For this release, Pioneer created a slightly modified version of the film. The biggest change is that the Coroner's Report at the start, which was originally written on screen in Japanese, has been totally replaced with an English typewriter version. In addition, a brief sequence, showing Lupin hanging out with Batman and other DC heroes in a comic book, was edited out and replaced with a still image of the top of the comic so as likely to avoid any possible legal hassle. This brief shot can be found on the Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo release by Discotek, however.

In terms of video quality, there is some oversaturation that is apparent, but the colors pop a bit so it's a fair trade off. The footage doesn't look as sharp as it could, but is none the same a pretty good presentation of the 1978 movie. Sadly, the print is a bit too dark at points. Nothing to obscure details, but is pretty noticeable compared to other releases of the film on DVD, such as through comparing this shot from the Discotek release with the Pioneer release.

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

 Audio: Star Rating

There are a total of two audio tracks for this release, including the introduction of a new English dub created by Geneon and Pioneer. The new English dub is a 5.1 surround version, although the directionality is pretty weak. The voice acting isn't the greatest, and it does cut the ending song title in favor of a repeat of the Lupin the 3rd theme, but provides a passable English language option. The other track is the original Japanese audio, which sounds great without any notable distortions and is presented in its original mono format.

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

 Extras: Star Rating

The disc has quite a few extras, but is notably lacking in the audiovisual supplement department. The DVD does contain quite a few previews, although only two of these are movie trailers versus cheesy Pioneer commercials; however, on the plus side one of those trailers is for the Toho produced Onmyoji (2001). The other video extra is the "original coroner's report", which is basically just the uncut Japanese language one before Pioneer created their English one.

The disc also features two galleries as extras. The first is the Film Promotion extra which is a ten image gallery, showing a Toho Video poster for the movie along with shots from the movie's theatrical pamphlet. The other gallery is a 27 image concept art gallery, which is easily the star extra of this disc, showing off the character concept for all of the main cast and side characters.

Finally, there are some extras found off the disc, such as the written translation of the original movie program that is located in the booklet. Inside the slightly thick DVD case is also a Lupin the 3rd key chain. Oddly enough, the key chain is not mentioned at all on the case, so I'm not sure if every copy shipped with one.


Bottom line, if it's a choice between this release and the Lupin the 3rd: The Mystery of Mamo release by Discotek, go for whatever is cheaper as both are similar in terms of quality. However, if at a comparable price, the Discotek offering is marginally superior, although the Pioneer does have a few unique features to tout and a much different video presentation as well with richer colors.