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LUPIN III: THE WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE #1 -- Watch & Learn

Lupin III on acid - - is that a fair description?

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.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Watch this episode, "Master Thief VS Lady Looter" below and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon May 13, 2012 at 7:13 a.m.

I received quite the shock when I watched the first episode of Fujiko Mine. It was such a departure from what I am familiar with for the Lupin franchise I didn't know what to think. Ultimately I don't think I'll pick up the series though.

Masako_Hihashion May 13, 2012 at 7:46 a.m.

I Love the series! I really like classic Lupin (Castle of Cagliostro and Shin Lupin are part of my top lists of anime) but this is pretty good, sometimes it gets too ecchi, but I can live with that. I really like Lupin in this episode, he is just too fricking awesome

Dream moderator on May 13, 2012 at 8:26 a.m.

Fun fact: The director of Redline was responsible for the character designs of this new Lupin III series.

Otherwise, this series thus far is quite different from the typical Lupin III plot formula. It's prominently focused on Fujiko, is quite more risque with its content than the older movies and TV shows (more nude moments with Fujiko) and appears to be a prequel of sorts considering Lupin, Goemon and Jigen aren't together like in said older titles. Still, who am I complaining? It makes for a different and unique approach to the Lupin III franchise.

FoxxFireArt moderator on May 13, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.

I was thrilled when I learned FUNimation was streaming this series. This is another example of sticking closer to the source material. Anime based on manga more often tries to mimic the style of the original artist. Another anime that really mimics the style well is Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei.

Marshal Victoryon May 13, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.

:)

"Fujiko Mine,eh?That woman is off her rocker....She's so far off the rails shes even willing to kill.She's so masochistic she doesn't care how far she falls.... I kinda like that." Lupin the Third.

If you expect the tease em and leave em Fujiko like you thought she was before. That she had a line she wouldn't cross....well this isn't her.Watch the opening credits again.Shes defined very well their.Shes a thief after all an stole your good judgment.

Mix some parts Pink Panther, few parts James Bond throw in Frank Millers version of Cat woman an that sets this up about right i think.Its a visual change of pace for sure.Even the sounds go back to the original tv show with Lupin said softly in the back ground music a few times.

Sonata moderator on May 13, 2012 at 2:18 p.m.
@Dream said:

Fun fact: The director of Redline was responsible for the character designs of this new Lupin III series.


Really didn't know that, but just by looking the first few minutes of it I can tell. 
 
This does look very good to me so far, it will be one of many animes i'll be checking out the next few months.
SergioBon May 13, 2012 at 2:27 p.m.

I love the art style in this series.

DocHauson May 13, 2012 at 4 p.m.

Turns out that when the director said she was tacking closer to the manga in this one, she wasn't kidding. In the original Monkey Punch manga version of Lupin, Zenigata was a hard-boiled detective instead of a bumbling Inspector Clouseau-like cop, and Fujiko really was there just for the sake of getting banged by a male character until she got her way (it was a tiny bit more acceptable to show that in the '60s and '70s, don't ask why). The only reason we remember different is because the Cartoon Network version with red-jacket Lupin (the second season iirc) took its cues from the live-action movie Strange Psychokinetic Strategy, which was more slapstick cartoon-y than the original manga. So we had episodes featuring Zenigata with car-sized handcuffs or Fujiko with a spring-loaded boxing glove that was always hidden in her crotch when Lupin tried to jump on her. But this one's taken a turn right back into the original "serious" Lupin.

Oscar, however, is a brand new creation. I'm guessing it's because the writer wanted a lawful foil to Fujiko just as Zenigata has been for Lupin, though it's still weird seeing a guy(?) who seems to be ripped out of a CLAMP manga plopped down in a Lupin story.

Marshal Victoryon May 13, 2012 at 7:38 p.m.

@DocHaus: had to look up the movie.amazon has it .not sure if i want to try it tho for 20 odd bucks tho.I realy wish the old tv series not the cartoon network one would make it to dvd again.

http://www.animeultima.tv/watch/lupin-the-3rd-english-subbed-dubbed-online/

was great id like to own it but cant find it.

sickVisionz moderator on May 13, 2012 at 10:52 p.m.

@Dream said:

Fun fact: The director of Redline was responsible for the character designs of this new Lupin III series.

I think that's the biggest let down of this series for me. I think the art style is really cool, but the animation is pretty shoddy in pretty much every aspect, which is shocking considering that the guy behind Redline is also in charge of this one.

zaldaron May 14, 2012 at 6:08 a.m.

Interesting. I think I might like this even though I didn't like the original Lupin much at all. Anything that is comparable to the count of Monte Cristio anime (which I own) gets high marks. Will have to see if I can make time to try this out.

Rxanaduon May 14, 2012 at 7:23 p.m.
Just marathoned through the first 6 episodes, and I have to say that I'm loving it so far.  Those REDLINE animators are having a ball with this one, as well.  I especially love the redesign of Zenigata: it makes him look more like a scummy asshole of an extorting cop rather than the goofy guy in the original series.  
 
Hell, if they did the entire manga storyline like this, I'd be fine with that.  Maybe get rid of Zenigata's protege (not for the obvious reason, though).
 
Gotta love the OP, as well: It explained more about Fujiko's character than I've ever known about anyone in that series.  Then again, I've watched about 3 episodes of the original series.

Dig Deeper into Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

The newest Lupin III series in 27 years that acts as a prequel to the overall story, but focusing on Lupin's love interest and rival Fujiko Mine.

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