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LUPIN III: THE WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE #11 -- Watch & Learn

The drama's a lot more serious in this one. Whoa.

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.

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

Marshal Victoryon June 26, 2012 at 4:06 p.m.

Good news is their should be 13 episodes for this season.Bad news we got 2 left.

I have finished the 1st volume of the manga an i have to say this is more in line, but a tad more darker than previous series. The lupin 3rd tv series 1971-1972 is not near as campy an light as the newer versions.But this anime seems to be wrote with many more nods to the manga an exploring things we did not see.

Tho one thing i noticed Lupin will kill in the manga.But i would think Zenigata’s protégé um end will be blamed on Lupin.If any thing this series takes from whole cloth weaves a tale that is more than meets the eye candy.

CaptainSpackeron June 27, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.

Where does a person start with Lupin? I've seen Castle of Cagliostoro and loved every second of it, but then I watched a few of the 70's episodes and was left mostly cold by them. Should I stick with the films or pick up the series somewhere?

DocHauson June 27, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.

@CaptainSpacker: You really don't have to worry too much about continuity when it comes to Lupin, especially considering this Fujiko Mine show and the cartoon that appeared on Adult Swim are two very different animals and most of the episodes and movies outside of this series are mostly stand-alone stories. Cagliostro is a good movie, but in my opinion it's not very Lupin-esque.

If you want recommendations, I'd say try starting off with a couple of the movies: The Secret of Mamo (weird but closer to the second season in tone) and In Memory of Walther P-38 (a.k.a. "Island of Assassins" in the US, more James Bond-y than the others) and see if either catches your fancy.

zaldaron June 27, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.

I really despised lupin as the kind of silly crazy Saturday morning cartoons I watch anime to get away from...then I started watching this 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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