Hiatus Announcement: Deadlines are approaching fast so I’m really busy at the moment. I’ll be back hopefully on the 15th
I posted my season preview a little bit later than usual this season, because I was waiting to see if any other series were announced. But after a week I gave up, thinking that if a new series was announced, it would be some dumb kids show or some flash shit. Then what do you know, up pops a new Lupin III anime. A television series no less, first one since 1691. With the Redline guy working on it. So yes, it did turn out to be something other than some kiddy flash shit.
There had been rumours flying around about this new Lupin III anime for a while, with one of the prominent rumours being that it was going to be a collaboration between Mr. Redline Takashi Koike and a bunch of old Gainax folks. That has turned out to be largely the case. Takashi Koike isn’t directing unfortunately, he’s just doing character design and animation. Director is Sayo Yamamoto, ex-Gainax staff and a seriously talented person. Worked on everything from Evangelion to Death Note to Eureka Seven to Samurai Champloo. Her one role as a director was on Michiko to Hatchin, which I felt I should have loved but ended up rubbing me seriously the wrong way. Everyone else seems to love it though, so I might just chalk that up to me being in a bad mood when I tried to watch it. It’s not you Sayo, it’s me! I’m the one at fault here!
On a slightly less positive note, the main writer is Mari Okada. Some call her an enigma. I call her a shit writer. Her series are a bunch of awful melodramas with really shitty attempts at drawing emotion like Black Rock Shooter, Fractale, Ano Hana etc. She is currently working on Aquarion EVOL, which I like a lot, but Aquarion EVOL is…well, it’s really dumb. It’s more how it embraces the cheesy factor that makes it click, turning what should be awful melodrama on its head. Shoji Kawamori took her script and thought “this is really stupid, it’s perfect!” and ran with it. So maybe she’s better on a series that doesn’t take itself seriously. In that case, Lupin III probably fits her. It’s incredibly goofy, doesn’t really take itself seriously and has little intent on sophistication.
An interesting point to note is that the two main creative directors, both writer and director, are women. In an industry almost entirely male dominated, it’s really rare to see this. This goes hand in hand with the reveal that this new Lupin III TV series plans to focus on Fujiko, Lupin’s femme fatale, as the main character. What this actually means I couldn’t tell you, I just thought it was interesting. Certainly doesn’t mean a drop in sexualising Fujiko. The press release claims they’re exploring the original work’s “sensual side” and the homepage proudly displays Fujiko’s nipples. At the very least, it will be different, which is probably what Lupin III needs.
So yes, I’m hyped. If you’ve never watched Lupin III before, don’t worry because it really won’t matter. Lupin III is always designed to be open to newcomers, and likely this one especially so. I used to just tell people that, if you’re going to watch any Lupin III, just watch Castle of Cagliostro. But this may end up being an even better place to jump in. Especially if you’re tired of moeblobs, Fujiko is a Real Woman.