Ah, yes… I do smell a back-to-basics, closer-to-the-source approach, I do, I do.
I haven’t ever even gotten to read the original LUPIN III manga and I can sense - - even as it radically recasts Fujiko as the lead - - that this show’s darker tones and characterizations must be hewn closer to what was on the page. This franchise always shared a lot in common with Bond, so it’d certainly fits that it’d be due for its own CASINO ROYALE revamp eventually. Indeed, the intro to this show plays exactly like a Bond opener (albeit one created after the creators finally stopped being coy.)
Maybe more than any other quality, I appreciated this for having the first effectively experimental animation I’ve seen in a while. Watch enough shows that adhere rather rigidly to the traditional rendering style, and you’ll understand why I absolutely savor shows like TATAMI GALAXY and THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO when they come around. Most often, the crew thinking outside the box about the rendering means they’re doing the same for the plotting, too.
Perhaps this tale of flirtation between thieves plays a few familiar beats… but those beats are at least some downright unusual drums. I honestly can’t say I’ve run into a story where a cult leader dopes his followers by basically oiling himself in liquid drugs; nor one that features an assassination attempt on said cult leader through a French kiss artfully slipping a poison pill into his mouth. Then again, even while this particular iteration gets unorthodox with so much else, such off-the-wall creative practical gags are actually right in line with the franchise's tradition, no?
Anyway, +5000 XP to Marshal Victory for finally pulling me around to watching this.
Look up this episode, "Master Thief VS Lady Looter" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.
Watch this episode, "Master Thief VS Lady Looter" below and decide for yourself.