chaostangent

Posts with the “lupin iii” tag

Honour amongst thieves

The length and breadth of the Lupin III franchise means that any new instalment in it - whether series, film or OVA - has space to rearrange the tried and tested gentleman thief formula. If The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is the first Lupin III entry you’ve seen (and for anime fans of a certain age it will be more likely than not) then it may be odd to move onto the lighter, wackier offerings such as Miyazaki’s well regarded Castle of Cagliostro.

no love lost between professionals

The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, a 2012 series now two movies and a television special in the past, is dark, oppressive and delves into sex, sexuality and sexual violence right from the outset. For better or worse, the series owes a debt to Cowboy Bebop: both share a smooth, sometimes discordant, jazz soundtrack (although Yoko Kanno’s offering is far and away superior), a welcomingly cosmopolitan setting, an episodic structure, and, until it is fully explored later in the series, Fujiko’s past comes off like an homage to Bebop’s Faye. Both series obviously pay their debt to innumerable other genres - film noir being just one - but it’s there that the similarities between the two series ends.

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3 Episode Taste Test: Lupin Ⅲ: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna (The Woman Called Fujiko Mine)

The talent behind this new entry in the voluminous Lupin III canon gives it a head start when it comes to acceptance. For many, Lupin III will be the critical darling The Castle of Cagilsotro directed by Miyazaki, others the original manga series. Then there's those with no prior exposure to Lupin at all who have to accept that with Takeshii Koike (Redline) on character design, Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop) on music and Sayo Yamamoto (Michiko to Hatchin) in the director's chair - maybe there's something special going on with Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna.

Fujiko plays the femme fatale wonderfully: pragmatic and daring but mysterious and alluring
You'd be forgiven for believing from the first three episodes that it was inventive ways of the titular Fujiko Mine appearing naked within an episode. At the risk of plunging recklessly into sexism and feminism: it's refreshing to see a female character so fully in control of her sexuality and not playing the coy and chaste purity-Sues that are the norm for most anime. It's telling though that the of the first three, the episode with the least gratuitous nudity is the most effective.

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