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LUPIN III: THE WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE #13 -- Special Review

She's frustrated. I'm frustrated. It's all frustrating.

Well, that was kind of convoluted.

Fitting to the testimony of you lunatics, the fuller answer about Ms. Mine’s origin that's divulged in this episode does, in fact, move away from the Weapon X scenario it seemed to be angling for.

Wait - - actually, it sort of doesn’t. Like Wolverine, Fujiko had her own adventuring career before she ran into this cabal, and their meddling subsequently improved her skills and exacerbated her hang-ups with a whole mess of fake, implanted memories. The difference here seems to be that those memories came from the repressed desires of some mutated child and a cross-dresser with a SCOOBY DOO villain's mask (the precise circumstances are too messy for me to even wrap my head around, let alone write about.)

When I first watched THE SECRET OF MAMO recently, I thought it was unusual to involve Lupin III in such a trippy sci-fi fantasy plot. However, if this series is really supposed to be hewn closer to the comics, then maybe it wasn’t all that unusual. Maybe CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO was actually the unusual Lupin adventure since it didn’t have anything supernatural going on it?

Even while I don’t have that extensive of an experience to draw upon with LUPIN III, this final arc absolutely stinks of “retcon” and I question why it was necessary. Wouldn’t it have been enough to simply present a more adult-oriented LUPIN III toon that made Fujiko the protagonist and featured a provocative art style? Did it need some too-clever backstory for this girl? It seems about as necessary as revealing that Lupin actually came from another planet or some such.

I don’t know - - this is has been a phenomenal series for the most part, and the ending isn’t even that awful, but it all still ends on an uninspiring note. Maybe it’s because I have such a distaste for the child assassin genre (GUNSLINGER GIRL, REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM, etc.) that even the mere hint of one turns me off?

Maybe I’ll get into deeper detail of my opinions on this series in a future Vice Pit segment.

Watch this episode, "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Part 2)" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Marshal Victoryon July 20, 2012 at 6:29 a.m.

To quote daffy duck " could be rabbit could be" had a few series turn me off cause of preset dislike of a trope in the show.Could be to your looking at it as a writer also.Sure fired way to lose enjoyment that way. Same as with me going to a car show .I did autobody work all my working career .So what every one looks at as a pretty car .. i know where all the body filler is :/

But i digress. Things to note here is one we still don't know here true origin ( back to wolverine again ) .The retcons were reveals more so i think. An yeah lupin had always gone for the sci-fi weird qusi-mystic angle of geometry story telling.But the end was a lupin end.

YotaruVegetaon July 20, 2012 at 7:39 a.m.

The last episode was totally wackjob, and the reveal of the person wearing the Owl mask (must stay in GREAT shape) was particularly unbelievable. However, it would've been worse if the story was more straightforward and Fujiko was a victim of molestation/experimentation. That did happen to someone else though, didn't it? EUGH.

I also like that we don't know the origin of Fujiko Mine in the end (do they get into it in the other cartoons?) I don't want to know how Fujiko became this seductress/thief.

Eribusteron July 20, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.

I came away from the series that the audience is none the wiser on the origins and history of Mine Fujiko. This series is another weird and wild chain of events that happens to occur before the whole gang solidified. Then again, I come to this without having seen any other Lupin the Third.

I stuck to this series for weirdness and it delivered. What surprises me is how the whole owl madness made the series much more interesting and exciting than the first few episodes. Only going by the first few episodes, I thought the series would be episodic fluff.

Kuma_From_Argentina is online on July 20, 2012 at 9:10 p.m.

I'm currently reading Lupin III Manga, and weirdest things have happened, such as a time traveller....

No_name_here staff on July 21, 2012 at 4:33 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

Could be to your looking at it as a writer also.Sure fired way to lose enjoyment that way.

Ha! Yeah, no kidding.

No_name_here staff on July 24, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.

@Kuma_From_Argentina said:

I'm currently reading Lupin III Manga, and weirdest things have happened, such as a time traveller....

Ah OK. So this isn't that much of a departure.

No_name_here staff on July 24, 2012 at 11:27 a.m.

@YotaruVegeta said:

...and the reveal of the person wearing the Owl mask (must stay in GREAT shape) was particularly unbelievable.

+1 to this!

No_name_here staff on July 24, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.

@Eribuster said:

I came away from the series that the audience is none the wiser on the origins and history of Mine Fujiko. This series is another weird and wild chain of events that happens to occur before the whole gang solidified. Then again, I come to this without having seen any other Lupin the Third.

That sounds like the best way of looking at it.

Kuma_From_Argentina is online on July 25, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.

@Tom_Pinchuk: Not only that, but the way Lupin manages to outwit him is flawlessy wacky as well. To be fair most of the characters in the new anime behave in a similar way that the ones in the manga. But taking in account all the interactions this may be a retcon/prequel, with a little bit more grit. The nudity in the original manga happens at least once a chapter as Lupin tires to get as many women he can. Jigen is more inefectual and Goemon is also pretty more goofy in the manga than in the new anime...

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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