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Made to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Lupin III franchise on television, the special brought a number of changes to Lupin. The first notable one is the major art style changes to the Lupin characters; past specials for the last decade had relied on designs largely derived from Shin Lupin III, the second TV series. TMS Entertainment (originally Telecom), who was involved with the early days of Lupin, was brought back to do the animation for Blood Seal, and accordingly the designs were redone to evoke the early years of the first "green jacket" Lupin series and the proto-Studio Ghibli designs used in The Castleof Cagliostro.
The second change was the first major changes to the Lupin cast since Kanichi Kurita took over the role of Lupin in Farewell to Nostradamus, following death of original seiyuu Yasuo Yamada. It was announced with this special that the long-time voice actors for Zenigata (Goro Naya), Fujiko (Eiko Masuyama), and Goemon (Makio Inoue) were retiring; they were replaced with Koichi Yamadera, Miyuki Sawashiro, and Daisuke Namikawa, respectively. With this cast change, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, who plays Jigen, is the only original Lupin voice actor remaining.
The movie opens with Lupin being ordered at gunpoint by crime boss Toudou to steal a precious gem, the Mermaid's Scale, at an upcoming black market auction. Although he succeeds, things go badly wrong when a bomb goes off shortly after he departs. In addition, a perky and persistant 14 year-old popcorn vendor and would-be thief, Maki, begs Lupin to make her his apprentice in crime. Combined with another gem, the Dragon Scale, owned by the sinister head of a medtech company, a mysterious waif of a girl who seems to defy death, and a treasure that Lupin's own grandfather seemingly failed to steal, the gang becomes tangled in a dark and mysterious plot for the treasure of mythological figure Yao Bikuni...and possibly the secret of immortality itself.
This TV movie features examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Goemon goes about cutting impossible things into tiny pieces with his usual aplomb.
- Alcoholic Parent: How Maki ends up in a children's home.
- Arms Dealer: Himura, who plans to use the secret of Bikuni's descendants to make immortal soldiers.
- Big Bad: Toudou is ordering Lupin around as the introduction of the movie. She is quickly killed off, though, and the real big bad is shown to be Himuro.
- Biker Babe: Fujiko spends the last half of the film on her motorcycle.
- Bloodless Carnage: Averted hard. This is easily the bloodiest entry in the Lupin franchise.
- Blood Magic: It's there in the title.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Fujiko switches sides at least four different times.
- Complete Monster: Himuro. He experiments on and kills innocent men in attempting to gain the secret of Misa's superactive cells, has no issues with sending Mooks to their death, uses a fourteen year-old girl as a shield, and wants to profit on bringing immortal soldiers into the world.
- Determinator: Lupin. Even after he is hurt, he persists in going after Misa and hunting for clues of Lupin I's theft attempt.
- Dual-Wielding: Kageura.
- Famous Ancestor: Lupin I plays a role in the overall plot. In addition, both Misa and Himuro are descended from Yao Bikuni, a famous character in Japanese mythology.
- Fair Weather Mentor: Lupin to Mika. It's on purpose, though; he doesn't want Mika to turn to a life of crime like him.
- Femme Fatale: Fujiko, as usual.
- Genki Girl: Mika.
- Healing Factor: Misa, inherited from her ancestor Bikuni. She loses it at the end of the special when Bikuni finally moves on. Himuro also temporarily gains it after injecting Bikuni's blood into him.
- Human Shield: Toudou uses Misa as one against Kageura. He simply runs them both through.
- I Have Boobs - You Must Obey!: Fujiko pulls this on Lupin often. Lupin later reveals he was pretending so he could trick her instead.
- I Owe You My Life: Jigen to Misa after she takes a deflected dagger that would have killed him.
- Immortality Seeker: Himuro. To the point he is willing to violate his bloodline's role as a guardian.
- I Will Wait for You: Yao Bikuni for Lupin I (as represented by his grandson.)
- Medical Horror: Performed by Himuro on Misa and innocent human guinea pigs.
- Mineral MacGuffin: The Mermaid's Scale and the Dragon Scale gems.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Misa offering to work off the children's home debt for Toudou brings her into contact with the even nastier Himuro.
- Onee-Sama: Misa for Mika.
- Psycho Serum: What Bikuni's blood does to Himuro.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: How Goemon and Jigen manage to finish the immortal Himuro off.
- Shout-Out: Misa's outfit is conspicuously close to Clarisse's casual garb from The Castleof Cagliostro.
- Spy Catsuit: Fujiko spends most of the film in one.
- Stolen MacGuffin Reveal: The gems Fujiko steals from Lupin are quickly found out to be fakes.
- Super Serum: Himuro is trying to develop one. He later finds it in the blood of his ancestor Bikuni.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Zenigata never stops going after Lupin in this special, but he's also highly suspicious of Himuro and is bound to catch him in the wrong. He later (if reluctantly) helps Lupin's gang after Himuro goes crazy.
- Underestimating Badassery: Himuro does this to Zenigata at first; Zenigata promptly throws the hulked-out Himuro over his shoulder. Himuro does not make that mistake again.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The view of Yao Bikuni.