English: Lupin the Third, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Synonyms: Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Lupin III, Lupin III~Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna~
Japanese: LUPIN the Third ～峰不二子という女～
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 2012 to Jun 28, 2012
23 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.761 (scored by 6111 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisWhat happened when Lupin III met Fujiko Mine for the first time? Find out in the first new chapter of the Lupin III franchise in 25 years!
Related AnimeAlternative version: Lupin III
Side story: Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou
Characters & Voice Actors
"She'll take it all and leave you wanting more," that is a quote I found on the retail box set of the this anime, and that latter half of this quote couldn't be more true.
STORY: This is the latest addition to one of Japan's longest running anime franchises, Lupin the Third. This anime attempts to show the series in a new light as something more of a dark and gritty prequel story to the franchise that apparently reveals Fujiko Mine's past. With the spotlight aimed centered on Fujiko Mine, thievery's leading lady in anime. The sexy seductress that steals everything she can finally has her back story split wide open in this heavily stylized and sexy episodic saga, and her latest heist? To steal your time and expectations.
It would be bad to jump straight into the flaws immediately, but I'll say this for now: if you compared this one to the past series, it's ultimately hit and miss for the most part. Instead, I want to stay positive and just talk about the characters first, even if most people into anime should know by now. There's the titular character, not Lupin just yet, Fujiko Mine. A thief who wants nothing more to shower herself in the riches that the world can offer, who's past has been one for grabs for decades. The writer of the overlooked Michiko to Hatchin has decided give it a shot to create one for us to watch unfold... Or maybe not what we're expecting it to unfold.
I'll go into that one in a bit, I still have to talk about the rest of the cast. Obviously there's Lupin himself, a thief who's a thief for the thrill of it-Actually you should know who the hell he is even if you haven't watched any of the series beforehand. He doesn't really have much of a character in this series, rather, he's more like a force of nature, a plot device really. He's still the fun thief we all know and love, he's just appropriately taken a slightly more farther back seat in the story. Although once in a while he steals the spotlight as one would expect a thief of his caliber (Even if it's limelight stolen from the Fujiko herself, the main topic of this particular series).
The rest of the gang is here too, like Daisuke Jigen who is probably the best (My favorite) thing about this anime in my all so humble opinion. Okay, there's some bias in that of course, but he has the most favorable, if somewhat minimal, development in the series and is the most likable by far. Goemon Ishikawa, like Lupin, is also more like a plot device than a character, simply there for conflict and cutting "useless objects." But that's okay, he's not the core focus of the series. And of course, I can't forget Zenigata who has been transformed from bumbling nitwit into a gritty, serious, and even competent police officer. This change isn't bad at all though, just something that fits more with the darker tone of this series.
There's one more character in the cast who gets a lot of spotlight and a lot of the problems with this series. Zenigata's new devoted assistant, Oscar, a strange alien from the world of Yaoi and BL craziness. I'm exaggerating a bit, but he ultimately feels out of place in the world of Lupin the Third, even with the change in overall tone to the series, he'll feel like an invader from the planet Junjou Romantica.
True to the series' nature, Fujiko Mine is mostly an episodic fare but with a underlying plot that ultimately takes over by the end of the anime. These episodes vary from quality that can match with the original series to some unfortunate writing that's connected to the main plot line. If I had to pick out single episodes that I'd recommend to watch alone if you aren't interested in the series as a whole, then episodes 1, 2, 5, 7, and 9 will satisfy your Lupin itch with a new coat of paint (Though episode 9 contains details to the main plot, so you can take or leave that one) which most of them involves Jigen in some way or another. I just don't know, he just brings something to the anime that really clicks with me for whatever reason.
Anyway, my problem with the main plot? Without trying to spoil anything, let me just say that despite this series sells itself as Fujiko's back story, don't expect it fulfill that promise the way you'd expect it to be. That and Oscar.
Oscar seriously feels like he doesn't belong in the series and his character arc goes nowhere! Taking up way too much time that Fujiko could have used for herself. The biggest problem with the series is just how unsatisfying it ends up being, but it's certainly not a waste of time especially because of the those 5 episodes alone. I still recommend watching it and it's still ends up being something special.
ANIMATION/ART: Here is where the biggest difference this series has when compared to the older series. Probably the biggest draw to me this series has for me is that Takeshi Koike is the character designer and animation directer, one of the main forces behind the likes of Redline and he doesn't disappoint at all. Giving the Lupin franchise a brand new look, it is displayed as a stylized work of art with a new gritty and dark edge the series has never known. Especially the 90 sec opener, I couldn't help myself to not skip it and it had become one of my favorite things about this anime. Unfortunately I have to take away two point from a perfect score due to two main flaws: The uneven animation and the absolute redundancy of the Fujiko's nudity. Her nudity isn't done in a way that most ecchi anime flaunt their characters about, it's very artsy at it's best but overdone to the point where you'd think the animators had to fulfill a quota.
SOUND: Possibly the best thing about Fujiko is it's audio department. From the 90 sec spoken only opening (Both in Japanese and English, yes funimation is still dubbing over openings... I guess, it's not sung in either language though), to the catchy ending theme song. There's only ear candy to be had here. Even the english dub manages to impress, with arguably Michelle Ruff's (Rukia from Bleach, Yoko from Gurren Lagann) best performance to date. I'd dare to say it was better than the japanese performance, but that's my own personal preferences talking there. The one deep scratch in this otherwise flawless category is Sonny Strait's Lupin. In this anime, Lupin is much less cartoony and silly (He's still bit of a goofball though) and more dirty, more gritty. But Sonny plays it straight (Pfft) and gives us what we're used to in the original. You'll get used to it eventually, but it's still a lackluster element in the end.
+ A new twist on a familiar franchise.
+ Great episodes that rival with the old Lupin.
+ The gritty new art direction and opening animation.
+ Daisuke Jigen.
+ Just about all of the audio, especially Michelle Ruff's performance as Fujiko Mine.
- The main plot's conclusion.
- The uneven animation.
- Sonny Straight's Lupin.
A single question remains, who asked for Fujiko's past story anyway? I want to know Lupin's a little more, but I'd rather stay away for now in the case that I might get led astray again. read more
The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is certainly not standard Lupin III fare. Rather than the comical and over the top antics you would expect of Lupin and his group as they steal and outwit Zenigata, the humor here is more subdued and the series has a darker, more serious and mature feel to it. Fujiko finds herself the main attraction of this series as the first half to this series is prominently focused on her tackling different thefts while encountering Lupin, Goemon and Jigen individually and the second half features the four being caught up in the activity of a mysterious organization that Fujiko appears to have past ties with. The series appears set up as a prequel of sorts considering Jigen and Lupin don't know about one another and team up until later in the show, as well as Goemon hardly interacting with the two in this series. The four do maintain their memorable character traits in this series, though Fujiko tends to get nude quite often in this series and Zenigata is more of a traditional hard-boiled detective in this series than his usual bumbling, Lupin-obsessed comic relief provided in earlier iterations of the franchise. Zenigata also carries in toll a new character in the form of a young assistant named Oscar who is an occasional nuisance in Fujiko's thefts as he tries to apprehend her and has his back story fleshed out in later episodes.
While the first half of this series is standard Lupin III fare, while more prominently focused on Fujiko, the highlight for the series for me comes in the form of its second half which features a more linear storyline when said mysterious organization comes into play. The group have their identities concealed in bird masks and apparently have some type of mysterious past connection with Fujiko. This particular story element is quite effective in messing with one's perceptions of what you assume is going on with Lupin and his group, especially as more details on the organization's illicit activities come to light and come to learn that not all is what it would seem on the surface. I won't spoil the major elements of this plot, but all I will say is that the ending comes across as quite the surprising shocker yet makes sense once you put together the elements of the organization revealed from earlier episodes. The only rough element to this new storyline was the unclear resolution of the fates of Zenigata and Oscar when they become entangled in the mess involving the organization.
The animation style to The Woman Called Fujiko Mine sticks out quite a bit as well compared to past Lupin III works. Anyone who seen Redline may notice similarities in the drawing styles used for scenery and character designs here in this series. This isn't a coincidence as two of the major figures behind making Redline, Sayo Yamamoto and Takeshi Koike, contribute their talents in the unique animation style used for The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Scenery and character designs are drawn with a pastel-like feel as color tones are quite subdued and there is frequent use of pattern-like designs used to blend in with a number of scenery and character designs. The character designs are well-detailed and the memorable designs of Lupin characters are retained here, all the way down to Lupin's green dress coat worn during the original first series from the early 1970s. Action scenes are well-animated featuring fluid movement in many instances and have great choreography coming from gunplay and even the swordplay used by Goemon.
Overall, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine made for perhaps the best offering I've seen from the Lupin III franchise thus far. It still retains the basic elements of the franchise's premise and characters while creating a more mature series in its prominent focus on Fujiko's exploits and its dark, mind-bending second half when focusing on Fujiko's connections with the mentioned organization. The series certainly won't be for everyone if they are expecting the typical comical antics of the Lupin III franchise. But if you are looking for something different with the franchise, The Woman Named Fujiko Mine should be a worthwhile gem for you. read more
+Both feel similar .
+Both are old .
+Both have Action, Adventure, Comedy genre .
+Both have similar art .
+Both main character are quite similar .
If you are fan of Cowboy Bebop then you will sure love this anime .
Both series contain a similar feeling involving the script, characters, action, style, and drama.
Both series also contain characters are are quite driven and even Spike/Lupin shares similarities. Both series contain plenty of action delivered for more of the mature audience but still enjoyable and entertaining to watch. Both series' soundtracks also contain a similar style mixed in with the action as well as the drama.
Both have jazzy tunes and the plot structure is very similar. Also Bebop takes influence from Lupin.
In both series, there's a sense of action, drama, and adventure. Lupin and Roman have similar physical traits as well as personalities who starts in their respective series.
The artwork from both series are somewhat similar in terms of character designs.
They also have a similar atmosphere with that sense of thrilling fun and ridiculous gags thrown in at occasions.
Opening Theme"New Wuthering Heights" by Naruyoshi Kikuchi y Pepe Tormento Azcarar feat. Ichiko Hashimoto
Ending Theme"Duty Friend" by NIKIIE
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Related ClubsDaisuke Namikawa Fan Club!, Ecchi/Harem, Top secret pufmann society, Yuuki Kaji Fans., Unusual is Better, Fujiko Mine fan club - The sexy cat burglar from Lupin III
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