A proper antagonist has got to be some warped mirror of your protagonist. When you’ve got a show that stars criminals (ostensibly villains,) you’re most often going to have some crooked cop on their trail who fills that role. You know, Lupin the charming thief vs. Zenigata, the bumbling inspector - - that’s a dynamic that’s defined most of this franchise on screen. The shifted focus to Fujiko here courts a fittingly darker dynamic. It’s still a dashing rogue versus an incompetent cop, but Zenigata’s protégé has lately been exhibiting more… * AHEM *… qualities to give that contrast some added depth.
So far, Fujiko’s usual reckless abandon has been going to such extremes that one can’t help but infer that she’s living in her own personal hell of endless identity crisis. In particular, she’s freely adopted the sexuality of whatever character she’s taken on as a cover. So what do contrast that with? How about a seriously sexually-repressed inspector who’s barely been able to conceal his infatuation with Zenigata? Couple that with the flashback scenes showing us how traumatic events shaped both of these characters as children, and you’ve got the sort of intriguing parallels that make for a griping protagonist/antagonist conflict.
Again, it also speaks to how much darker this series than all the previous iterations. These sort of issues cut a little deeper than people racing to get a priceless vase or something, you know?
I’ve actually run out of episodes to cover, yet again, so I’ll probably be digging up another classic series soon. Before I depart from the warm company of Ms. Mine, though - - has anybody else noticed how her role in this has diminished a little over the last few episodes? It seems like Lupin’s been steadily taking over.Watch this episode, "The Feast of Fools" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.