Although Lupin III is a hugely successful animated series on television and film in Japan and the U.S., The Castle of Cagliostro is distinguished by its director, Hayao Miyazaki, who would later direct such animated classics as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Mononoke Hime. The daring thief, Lupin, pulls off a heist in a Monte Carlo casino, only to discover the money is counterfeit. He traces the fake bills to the small country of Cagliostro, where the evil Count is generating counterfeit money and distributing it worldwide. Lupin heads to Cagliostro with his partners in crime, a retired gangster, a modern-day samurai, and a beautiful female thief. There, they meet Princess Clarice, who is being forced into a marriage with the Count, and they also find themselves on the trail of a hidden treasure. The character animation is in the classic style of the Lupin III films, but is enhanced by Miyazaki's love of beautiful, detailed settings, and the storybook kingdom of Cagliostro would be echoed by his later films. This film is the favorite of fans worldwide, and stands alone as well as an installment in an ongoing series.