One series that I started last season is Lupin III Part 6, the sixth series in the long-running anime work. It’s great to once again hang out with gentleman thief Lupin, his gunman sidekick Daisuke Jigen, swordmaster Ishikawa Goemon and of course Fujiko-chan.
Lupin III Part 6 is the Best Lupin Anime Series in Years!
While I enjoyed Part 5 when it aired a few years ago, I was slightly put off by several story arcs involving Japan’s most famous thief stealing Bitcoin and using social media. I get that Lupin isn’t set in the past or anything, but it just felt like the creators were making decisions based on what was popular at the time, rather than telling stories that felt grounded in the Lupin universe. Happily that’s less of a problem in the new series.
Lupin’s fourth series was set in Italy and featured many beautiful settings from that country, and Part 5 was based mostly in France. The new series is set in Britain and brings stories appropriate for that setting.
What are the 10 most bold and creative Lupin III works you should totally watch? Here’s a blog post for you!
Lupin III Part 6 is the most “literary” series yet, which appeals to my English major’s heart. Lupin’s primary opponent is Sherlock Holmes, who is raising the daughter of his dead partner John Watson — a murder he blames Lupin for — and all the familiar characters from the Sherlock-o-verse come along for the ride. He also visits Oak Park, Illinois (which isn’t in Britain, but oh well) for some Hemingway-related intrigue. There’s even a character named Faulkner.
Another reason to enjoy the new series is that the writing is really good. The main story arc of Sherlock protecting Watson’s daughter Lily is enjoyable, and meeting characters we already know, like Lestrade and [redacted due to spoilers] is great, too. The creators are being careful to tell focused stories, like an arc where Jigen’s beloved Smith & Wesson Model 19 is getting too old to fire .357 rounds, causing him sadness over the possible retirement of his old reliable “partner.”
If Fujiko feels like a Bond Girl from a James Bond movie, it’s because she basically is. Here’s a blog post with trivia about Fujiko!
Lupin III is an Unbroken Series Going Back to 1971
Despite the fact that Lupin has been an icon in anime for longer than many of us have been alive, the series is one of the most approachable around. You can literally start at any point and enjoy it, thanks to the steadiness of the characters and their relationships: Lupin looking for the gang’s next heist, Jigen tagging along and acting cool, Goemon acting out of place as the only samurai in Europe, and Fujiko alternately supporting the group or betraying them to steal their loot. If you’re curious about the classic earlier episodes which are grittier and pack more of a (monkey) punch, with loads of violence and sexual content, try some episodes from the first series, or check out the outstanding Lupin short films written by Mari Okada.
Thanks for reading! Sit back and enjoy the new Lupin III series, the most enjoyable one in years. You’ll be glad you did!
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