Reviews

May 7, 2016
Stark700 (All reviews)
Lupin is like a goldmine of potential when you’re fanatic of adventure. Taking place in the country of Italy with a diverse cultural background, the series invites anyone who is interested in a journey filled with daring risks. I’d like to see this series not just as a revisit of the franchise but also a show that recreates adventure as a whole. Lupin III (also known as Lupin the Third) is a series that is easily recommendable for anyone but those who is interested in adventure will be in for a big treat.

It’s truly like a miracle. The show takes place in the refreshing country of Italy and San Marino. Behind the beautiful mountainous landscapes lies a deeply cultured world ready to be explored. The main protagonist is the titular character, Lupin. Anyone who is familiar with the franchise will recognize him easily although Lupin now has a blue coat to make him look him even more fabulous. Known for his mischievous and lascivious personality, viewers will easily be able to see some of his intentions throughout the show. Of course, there are others that joins him on his adventures such Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko, and the new girl Rebecca. While some of these characters will be like a walk down memory lane, Rebecca is a new character that is a tricky pony to get used to.

The first episode establishes a bizarre relationship as Lupin and Rebecca is bounded by marriage. This may come as a bit peculiar as we hardly know anything about Rebecca. Until of course, we learn some of her true intentions. From there, we can dive into Lupin III like an episodic adventure. The structure of the show chronicles Lupin’s life style as he attempts to make daring getaways with his usual thieving habits, attempts to woo Fujiko, or otherwise occasionally helping out others. The show also establishes Lupin as a very crafty individual. What makes him fun to watch is that even though he is a mastermind of innovative stealth tactics, he sometimes lets his own personal agendas and weakness (such as women) get in the way of his goals. This often translates into a twisty scenario that gets much more complicated than it should be. But hey, that’s just the nature of Lupin and what makes him such a fun character to watch.

Despite Lupin’s thieving habits, he is a humble person and does not tolerate injustice. During his adventures, we see that he seeks to punish violent criminals or individuals who truly wishes to inflict harm to society. This makes him somewhat more of a hero but most people in the world sees him as the reputable #1 thief. His relationship with others has a wide range of diversity. The most complicated may be Fujiko as Lupin often finds himself trying to woo her yet she puts him into undesirable circumstances. On the other hand, we got Daisuke Jigen, a man who is loyal to Lupin. Unlike Fujiko, he helps Lupin and often times when he needs it the most. The two shares a bonding relationship while on the road and his skills of driving is invaluable to their missions. Goemen is also an interesting character with his silent presence yet packs a deadly arsenal of techniques with his sword.

Obviously, a show about a thief also has people hunting for them. The most significant character is Zenigata. His obsession to capture Lupin is very entertaining as the two are sometimes locked in a cat-and-mouse game. Think of it like Tom and Jerry but with a lot of more twists. The adventurous structure of the show sometimes pits them together in unlikely circumstances as well that really shows their relationship. I have to admit though, Rebecca is a character that I find hard to adapt with at first. Most people are probably more familiar with Fujiko so introducing Rebecca is somewhat of a risk. Plus, she has a spoiled personality and often hard to please. As time went on, I find more appreciation for Rebecca especially in the later episodes when we see a deeper side of her character. In a way, she is also like Fujiko with her crafty mind and ability to manipulate events in her favor.

A frequent question for fans is whether you can watch this show without any experience of the predecessors. It’s sort of a two-way sort of scenario. On one hand, you can watch it to enjoy this series as a standalone with the Italian adventures. Most episodes are standalone and easy to understand even with some of the background storytelling. On the other hand, you’ll probably get a better experience if you understand the characters better from the previous series. Honestly though, this show can sometimes be so entertaining that you’ll often forget about the story. It’s just that damn fun.

In terms of technical visuals, the show may seem lackluster at first. Don’t let it fool you. The show isn’t designed to look like a Makoto Shinkai-level type of blockbuster. Rather, it retains the classic feel and that’s what Lupin is about. It’s stylistic and very well done. Plus, the characters are designed in ways that feels nostalgic. They still retain what fans may be used to such as Fujiko’s seductive fashion, Goemon’s trademark samurai clothes, or Zenigata’s professionalism. The background and design of Italy is also filled with culture that really gives the adventurous feel. It’s spellbinding just seeing some of the architectural designs that almost makes you feel like you’re there yourself. Add that with the neat action and this show really is something to take home.

Did I mention classic already in this review? Let me mention it again then. The soundtrack is classic. No, not the type of classic like it’s remixed. Rather, it’s refreshing with how this show is done. From the theme songs to the jazz-beat music, this show can easily be put on repeat every episode with the music. Character voice mannerism is also stellar that matches with their performances. I’d often find myself laughing at the humor just because of Lupin’s role and his voice matches perfectly as a thief. That same goes for Fujiko, a woman that defines what manipulation is all about.

The waiting is definitely worth it. Even though the original series debuted many years ago, Lupin III still reminds us why adventure can be so much fun. From the thrilling action to the marvelous character performances, it’s a show that anyone can easily dive into. Rebecca can be a character that some may find irritating at first. However, I’d give it more time as she does get a decent amount of characterization later. While on the way, you’ll see just how bizarre Lupin’s adventure can really get in a world like no other.