7 CommentsTwelve Days / By Shinmaru /

12 Days of Anime #4: The Hard-Boiled Bullet


The whole of the second episode of Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is not simply an homage to film noir; it inhabits the shadowy, confusing space that is the heart of the genre. The visual style helps a lot, of course: The bold, sketchy character designs, hard-edged settings and moody lighting are well-suited to this type of story. Jigen more than pulls his weight, though, as the man at the center of the story. He’s the type of man film noir loved to highlight — someone who cares about honor in a world where that concept is obsolete, a man whose cynicism and suspicion provide a weighty shield for a caring heart that this warped reality cannot wait to spit on.

Jigen once found himself as a bodyguard for the type of woman who is forever surrounded by red alarms the film noir hero can neither see nor hear (or simply ignores). Now he isn’t, but they find each other once again, because it’s fate. Through all the twists and turns of the story, at the end, Jigen finds himself staring down the barrel of his beloved .357 magnum, with one decision to be made. He makes it. The result — and the story of how that decision is arrived at in the first place — is driven by the type of grand irony that makes film noir dig deep into the viewer’s skull and settle in. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, one the size of Chinatown.

Killing kind of sucks, Jigen decides. Maybe it would be better to be a thief.

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  1. Posted December 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink


    • Posted December 23, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Man, the pressure must be riding on you to keep Vuc happy, huh Shinmaru?

      • Posted December 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        No pressure. I know how vuc gets his jollies.

  2. Gunslinger
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    There’s a part of me that railed at the silly reasons this show kept using to get fujiko naked, but then later there wasnt much else to watch.

    Also if your fan of noir you should try out the Billy bat manga. Its pretty good.

    • Posted December 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, it got pretty silly with that most of the time, haha.

  3. Posted December 23, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Oh man, I remember this episode. It was such a good episode. Thanks for reminding me of its existence.

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