Damn, what a love letter to Lupin this series has been.
We got Lupin as he adjusts to a modern age of thievery, having to deal with modern technology as it's used to thwart him at every turn.
The main episodes are truly brilliant, balancing humour, action and violence around amazing stories.
The side episodes have the obligatory Goemon & Jigen one off episodes, and odes to former parts with episodes based on Lupin’s past, shown by his change in jackets. All of which are truly brilliant, honestly there isn’t a single episode I don’t love.
The main cast are delightful as always, especially when showing the relationship
and humorous interactions between Lupin & Jigen, and Lupin & Zenigata. The relationship between Fujiko and Lupin is also explored, which shows there really is more to them, other than flirting and trying to get one over on each other, plus might I add ‘pervy moment warning’ damn does Fujiko look especially good this season. The final arc also does an amazing job of examining the complicated relationship between Lupin & Goemon. The series also introduces a new brilliant young hacker called Ami, who is an amazing addition to the cast.
Overall Part V of Lupin III really is a brilliant series, that has taken all the best parts of Lupin and made something truly magnificent.
This latest installment of the Lupin III franchise adds some new elements to Lupin's thieving adventures that helps freshen up the now 50 year old franchise. First, it explores Lupin dealing with the challenges of modern technology such as the Internet and smartphones. This adds some new challenges for Lupin to deal with as technological elements like hackers, webcams, drones, and social media serve to complicate Lupin's crimes in the modern era. Yet in spite of this and unlike his companions who feel overwhelmed by the changing times at points, Lupin is shown to be quite adaptable in changing technologies and gains a new companion
in the form of teen hacker Ami who aids him at a number of points throughout Lupin III: Part V.
The second element that helps make this series a unique one in the Lupin III franchise is that it actually takes time to exploring the relationship dynamics with the members of Lupin's gang. This is quite different from many past installments of Lupin III that mostly focused either on Lupin's thievery, dealing with a worst enemy threat, lusting for Fujiko, or evading Zenigata. With the challenges everyone faces from changing technologies, the members of the gang also come to question what sort of bonds they each have with one another in their connection with Lupin, this especially getting some interesting perspective with Lupin and Fujiko's neverending on and off relationship with one another. This new focus helps to add some new dimension to these characters since older anime fans would mostly identify them from the standard character types they exhibited from past installments of the Lupin III franchise.
In regards of plotting, Lupin Part V is mostly similar to Lupin Part IV in that it features ongoing plot developments throughout its entire series run. This series is divided up into several arcs where Lupin and his gang are challenged in some form with whatever big adventure they are involved in revolving the mentioned themes above, carrying a solid balance of serious and amusing moments throughout each arc. With the 24-episode run time, each character has enough time to get their own spotlight of focus throughout the series, this even including series character Ami who gets a fair amount of development throughout the series as she breaks out of her introverted shell. Outside of the series arcs, Lupin: Part V also has the occasional episodes serving as buffer between arcs that have the tone of the episode be similar to that from past Lupin III TV anime, serving as a homage of sorts to past Lupin III works as long-time fans of the franchise can pick up on what series is being portrayed through the color of Lupin's jacket.
Overall, I was quite entertained with what this latest addition to the Lupin III franchise had to offer. It added in some new story elements that helped freshen up the franchise's typical story formula, while retaining the ongoing story developments offered from Part IV and having the occasional episode serving as a homage to past Lupin anime. If you've been a longtime fan of the Lupin franchise, this is a definite recommendation I would suggest you try to watch at some point.
I wouldn't necessarily call Lupin III a "great" anime series.
Lupin is a series that started somewhere around 1000 years ago and since then it has gone through many changes, I guess. The original Lupin was an average episodic comedy-based crime show about Lupin and his friends going around stealing stuff while trying to avoid being captured by the cops. Part 2 was pretty much the same, but with much more pleasing visuals and a way longer run-time at 144 episodes, though most of those episodes ranged from okay to mediocre to just plain terrible, there were a few great ones scattered throughout that make
you go all like "damn, that was neat, wish every episode was like that". And Part 3 was- well, to be frank Part 3 was just plain garbage, not only is it the lowest point for the Lupin series in general but it is even down there as one of the worst anime I've had the displeasure of watching, I'd recommend ignoring/pretending that one doesn't exist for anyone planning on getting into the Lupin series. After that we didn't get a "main" Lupin series for thirty whole years, in that time we got a ton of movies and specials though... that I didn't watch yet but are probably okay, well at least a few of them have to be good at least. Anyway, after that 30 year gap we were treated with Lupin III: Part IV. Now unlike the first three parts which to put it bluntly were pretty bad, this one was absolutely amazing, the comedy was better, the visuals were great, the characters were- well they were the same characters but I like to imagine they were better in this one, and the story was fantastic- speaking of story, the first three parts of Lupin were completely episodic meaning that (aside from two-part episodes I s'pose) each episode was independent of each other but Part 4 decided to do away with that and have an actual plot, a plot that worked quite well may I add (well, aside from it getting kind of retarded at the end but whatever :/)
And after all that, 3 years later we arrive here, at Lupin III: Part V. There is a good reason why I went through all the trouble of talking about the first four parts before actually mentioning Part 5, like, the one I'm *supposed* to be reviewing and that reason is that Part 5 references the previous parts a lot. While each other part could be seen as its own standalone thing Part 5 plays heavily on "nostalgia" and will cram in as many easter eggs and references to previous series' as it can, even to go as far as to make entire episodes that look like they were just ripped straight out of the older series', Its actually quite neat.
Lupin III: Part V is split up into 5... was it 5? A few... Lupin Part V is split up into "a few" story arcs. Actually now that I think about it it might have only been 4... anyway the "amount" of story arcs doesn't necessarily matter, what really matters is how good they are. And oh boy are they good... okay moving on.
The art is good. Very good actually, it might be one of the most decent looking anime to come out.. this year. I give the art like an 8/10 or something which as we all know is quite a good score, WAAAAAY better than Part 3's art at least... which is a 1/10 and along with being one of the worst anime I've watched Part 3 is also THE ugliest anime out there...
The music is quite good. The OP is catchy. The voice acting is "mmmmmm, good shit" and- what else is there, sound effects, ah yes, they are beautifully average just the way I like em. I mean, this anime isn't groundbreaking or anything in the sounds department but that doesn't necessarily matter, like, at all or anything... the sound making people boyes do what they have to and that's all that really matters
Now let me tell you a little something about the characters in the anime "Lupin III"
....Lupin has *really* good characters... okay next...
Enjoyment, yeah, Enjoyment... the most important thing we all need to pay close attention to when we want to enjoy an anime such as this... enjoyment... yeah, I mean, I enjoyed this anime... and I'm sure most other people would too if they watched it...
Lupin the third is the perfect example of "New >> Old". While the classic series were pretty bad the modern ones were absolutely amazing. The old parts will have you saying stuff like "Ugh, when will it end?" and "I think I wanna drop this show" but the new ones would make you go all like "Man, this is awesome" and "Ugh, its gonna end?".
In the end Lupin III: Part V is an 8/10. A pretty good score if I do say so myself. I had some points I "actually" wanted to make, like, a week ago when I was binging this anime but I forgot about them :/ I should've written them down somewhere, why didn't I write them down somewhere? Well they mustn't have been too important anyway since I forgot... or maybe they didn't even exist in the first place? Why am I even reviewing this anime anyway? Well whatever, who actually cares? This is a good anime, watch it. It's probably more enjoyable if you've watched all the other parts first, you know, references and all that jazz... but I wouldn't really want to force you to watch all that garbage to get to the good part... its not like Gintama where it only gets good around 20 episodes in, this shit gets good over 200 episodes in... which is quite a lot if you don't know. I guess you could watch, like, a few episodes of the first few but the only ones I'd actually recommend are Parts 4 and 5... actually, you can probably ask Google something like, umm "Lupin III episodes worth watching" or something and it'd give you a list of Lupin III episodes that are worth watching... I didn't actually test this out myself but you know what, good luck. This has been my Lupin III: Part V review, I hope you have a fine day o/
Lupin has been going strong since 1967. To me, they can do no wrong. That said, as a fan I definitely want the creators to stick to the material that works, which is usually Lupin outsmarting someone or dealing with something supernatural and/or ancient. Watch any Lupin series or movie and you’ll find that they are timeless; clothing styles are pretty generic with a 70s feel, Lupin’s tricks are low tech, and the way the world is nonspecific to any set timeframe. The creators tried to change this formula with the Pink jacket series (heavy 80s feel) as well as the Green vs. Red OVA
movie (heavy on tech; suddenly Jigen is a tech expert?). The only time this change really worked was when the dubbed version of the Red Jacket series dumped a TON of pop culture references that just worked. The change from Japanese jokes to subtle American flavor worked so well that the producers brought in the same voice acting crew for Lupin Part 4. The point behind that background is: Part 5 dives into technology and tries to right all the wrongs of Green vs. Red. It not only nods to long time fans, it bows low.
SETTING: Lupin heads to France, much like the last series was set in Italy. Timeframe is a huge aspect of setting, and in this series the creators tackle technology improvements and how our gang would handle them. Realistically, they would be on top of tech changes, right? Probably have a cut above? Lupin would have insanely advanced tech, because he’s always been great with gadgets. Jigen would still have his Magnum, Goemon never changes, Zenigata would rely on his classic skills + some tech as needed, and Fujiko would simply use whatever fits her needs the best. And that is pretty much what happens in this series. It is set in a vague near-future, established by characters commenting on Lupin’s old, gas powered car (and not understanding what the smell of gasoline was). Characters also heavily use tech for the “Lupin Game” (which I thought was very clever, a tongue in cheek way to address the former lack of tech in the franchise). Lupin and other characters (especially the early Damsel in Distress of the series) rely on tech that is definitely futuristic, but reasonable.
ART: I feel like the producers have been trying to edge away from the dark, sketchy style of the Fujiko series. This series keeps a similar style while returning to typical Lupin looks. In an early episode after the first arc, there is an episode pulled straight from the Pink Jacket series: looks the same, complete with 80s designs all over the place, along with a story that could have been lifted straight from the random Pink series.
SOUND: I miss Zenigata’s original voice actor, but the sound here is still great. Lupin’s vocal nuances are always fantastic. The rivalry/best friendship between Jigen and Lupin seems palpable thanks to the voice actors. Thankfully, the music is the same jazzy Yuji Ohno that we love, with a taste of stereotypical France background sounds. Another nod to long time fans, the Damsel makes a comment on the Zenigata/Lupin pairing that people have speculated about for years (especially since Zenigata stated vaguely that he loved Lupin in the Lupin vs. Conan movie). It’s executed absolutely hilariously.
STORY: It’s great! I usually have a few laughs and a few cringes when watching Lupin. The first episode pulls in long time fans with heavy handed Easter Eggs, while managing to give new viewers a quick, updated background (including Rebecca, who I guess is part of the gang now?). Lupin also states that he’s been done with one of the other characters for years, which has to be some sort of foreshadowing of a long con. From there we get some classic Lupin antics, which sets us up to accept his use of new tech. The series shows instead of tells, which is a nice change of pace. Additionally, every Lupin series or movie or OVA seems to have a Damsel in Distress (originally the manga had a different girl every issue until Fujiko just stuck), and the first episode almost breaks the 4th wall in addressing this, which was nice.
Overall, it’s a really nice addition to the Lupin’s franchise! I can’t wait to see how it’s dubbed. In Japan, the Lupin marketing team has tried some really interesting things, like a Robo Zenigata pachinko parlor (seriously. Google it.) I think they’ve opened up a neat option here with the Lupin Game. What if we turn it into a Pokémon Go style AR experience? So many options when introducing Lupin to technology...
In these opening weeks of the Spring 2018 anime season, Steins;Gate 0 starts off as the by far highest rated anime, although Megalo Box is the new heavy hitter if we look past sequels. This and more in the opening edition of The Seasonal Quarterly.