23 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine episode 1

Quick note to anyone who has never watched any Lupin III before: This is a Lupin III origin story. You need no experience with the rest of the franchise to watch this. Besides, this was rather different from your typical Lupin III fare.

The art  is the aspect that instantly jumps out at you. The art and character design is by Mr.Redline Takashi Koike, although he’s gone for a very different look to the one in Redline. It’s very stencily. For example, whenever a character steps into the shadows, the shadows are dark pencil lines drawn across their body. It has this look you frequently see concept art have before it goes into the final cut where you can still see the perspective lines drawn in. I can understand why that may not sound like the most appealing look, but they play it really well. It looks stylish rather than messy and is used to enhance the feeling they’re going for rather than just being artistic gimmickry.

I said it was slightly different from your usual Lupin III, but that’s mainly just in presentation. The events of the episode are very typical Lupin stuff. There’s a rather improbable piece of riches the characters are chasing after. Lupin tries sneakier methods while Fujiko attempts to seduce a man to get inside. The key difference, as given away by the title, is everything is now told from Fujiko’s perspective. It makes an interesting change for Lupin fans, as it showed her in her less-certain moments we’re usually NIPPLES!!!!!!

NIPPLES

THEY’RE EVERYWHERE

(no screencaps because don’t want to be NSFW)

There was only so long I could go into this review without mentioning the extraordinary amount of nipples in the episode. I get what they were going for. Fujiko is a Femme Fatale and her segments of the franchise have always highlighted her sexuality, albeit usually in more juvenile ways. What they’re trying to do here is present a more mature version of sexuality. My problem is they’re so intent on pushing this view that it goes out the other side and starts to get silly. I get it. This is Mature and Sexy. You don’t need to flash quite that much nipples on the screen.

I’m honestly not sure what to make of this new Lupin. It’s certainly interesting, and has a very different take on the franchise. It’s selling itself entirely on its tone though, and it’s not a tone I think they’ve got down perfectly. Also I can’t help feel a bit weird praising something for originality that is part of a 40 year old franchise.

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23 Comments

  1. RogerMoore
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I love your tags so much.
    As someone who hasn’t seen anything of the Lupin franchise before, I really had no idea at all what to expect from this, but it was actually quite NIPPLES

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    As far as animation goes, this might be one of the best things I’ve ever watched.

    I’ve got up to the red jackets torrented, so maybe after this series I’ll catch up.

    So yeah, the best first episode of the season so far.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Eh, animation was good, but in a deliberately sketchy sorta way. I definitely prefer the look of Redline for Koike’s work

  3. Posted April 5, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    If it wouldn’t have known better, I would have thought that it’s a french art house animation based on its visual style, and content.

  4. SQA
    Posted April 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I believe the “look” is the purview of the Art Director? Koike’s character designs and animation are very noticeable, but I think someone else is in charge of the direct “look”. Still, I’m not sure there’s anyone else that could pull off the animation, currently working in the Anime world.

    It looks like it’ll be interesting and quite a bit more serious than most Lupin fare. Fujiko set a guy up to get his head chopped off. I think that sets the tone for the series. And I do love, since this is obviously supposed to be roughly set in the 1970s, that they started with stealing from a drug cult. Ah, the 70s and drugs. Plus it’s a reason to animate a harem on screen.

    Also, was the cult leader’s voice the same as the Mafia boss in Redline? I couldn’t find details on either, so I’m not quite sure. But it’d be pretty funny.

  5. Ryu
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Man, you had no problem with Nisemonogatari so how can you about face and have a problem with the nudity in this?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Because one plays it better with the tone than the other

      • Ryu
        Posted April 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        How so?

      • Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        “Nisemonogatari is to Highschool DxD what a gentlemen’s club stripper is to a crack whore. One goes further but the other is certainly sexier”
        – from http://twitter.com/5camp/status/164048721514999809

        While it’s a stretch comparing Highschool DxD to Lupin, I’d say nipples for the sake of nipples in both anime. The nipples were totally unnecessary.

      • Ryu
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        That doesn’t answer my question and quite frankly has some pretty creepy implications.

        Why do you feel they were unnecessary?

      • Posted April 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        I get that the studio wants us to realize how mature and serious this show is, especially with Fujiko’s James Bond/Charlie’s Angel-esque badassery, but why the nudity? Wasn’t the very idea that she was willing to swat men like flies enough to showcase her character? Besides, her swagger and ruthlessness are sexy all on their own, without the need to show us her boobs. Last I checked, Senjogahara never had any bare-breasted shots (although she did come awfully close on several occasions) and she comes across as downright sexy. I’m hoping that all that nudity was just to set the tone and won’t be a recurring theme throughout the series…although given Fujiko…

      • tjlep
        Posted April 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        I took the abundance of nudity as a nod to the times that was very reminiscent of exploitation film. As such I also think that it is rather important in setting the ‘tone’ of the series. This is less of an homage to previous incarnations of Lupin III and more of a recontextualization (assuming I did not just make up a word.) It isn’t hard to see the way the show handles nudity as a sort of tryhardadult element but, I think that it’s tastelessness is a choice in presentation that is necessary in separating this show from the rest of the Lupin III franchise and establishing this context. But, maybe I am just a man who is willing to defend Fujiko’s breasts to the death. I wouldn’t be the first.

  6. Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, here’s another pretty enjoyable series. I just hope Mari Okada fixes herself this time, or I’m gonna have to rage again when the ending comes.

  7. Son Gohan
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Actually there are more nipples in shows like Highschool DxD or Queen’s Blade. This is nothing special.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Actually I think nipples in first episode counts, this beats DxD, albeit barely. Also I guess DxD shoves them in your face, while in Lupin they’re just sorta there

  8. Mr. Anon
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I saw Shinichiro Watanabe flash by in the credits so I am instantly a fan of this show.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted April 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Me too actually.

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        And yeah the music direction was magnificent, as expected.

  9. Duelit
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I feel like anime is slowly starting to look into the fact that yes, there are more than 256 colors and that changing the style of anime isn’t going to kill it. Shows like Cowboy Bebop, while not entirely out of the box animation wise, do have visual styles that create allure to the anime fan who has “seen it all”. One Piece looks like a watercolor painting from time to time, and that’s freaking awesome! So its anime studios like this that go out of their way to present something visually similar and yet can make you stop and say “hey, I haven’t seen this before, this is really neat”. With the rough shadow lines, this makes an older, aged style look that brings newcomers and fans alike since it looks dated and classic. I think I’ll enjoy this ride, but please, hold the nipples :3

  10. Blood WIzard
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Where can I watch this with decent quality?

  11. Anonymous
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Well well aren’t we feeling prude, I think the lack of lack of nipples in anime is disturbing. Assuming the characters are in fact meant to be human; not having nipples isn’t anotomically correct.

    ‘in Lupin [nipples] are just sorta there’
    That’s funny. It’s like that in the real world too.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Well well aren’t we feeling prude, I think the lack of lack of nipples in anime is disturbing. Assuming the characters are in fact meant to be human; not having nipples isn’t anatomically correct.

    ‘in Lupin [nipples] are just sorta there’
    That’s funny. It’s like that in the real world too.

  13. Someone Else
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Oh, so showing nipples on almost every scene makes her a real woman? OK I think I get it now

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