First Impressions (Anime): Lupin III (2015)

First time in awhile I reached home just before the sun set last week and I couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted to read or watch to waste the night away. But then a Lupin III craving suddenly hit me. I’ve watched 4 episodes so far.

Anime: Lupin III (2015) 「ルパン三世」

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If you’re not familiar with this classic, the Lupin III manga originally serialised from 1967 to 1969 and its sequel, Lupin III – World’s Most Wanted, serialised from 1977 to 1981. There have been numerous anime adaptations (anime series, OVAs, movies) and this 2015 series is the 5th anime series adaption.

Lupin III revolves around Arsène Lupin III, considered the world’s greatest thief and the heists he goes on with his allies. He is joined by his right-hand man and expert marksman, Jigen Daisuke, but sometimes master swordsman, Ishikawa Goemon XIII and femme fatale Mine Fujiko (who is also Lupin’s love interest) help him out as well. Although Fujiko usually works together with the others, she occasionally exploits Lupin’s efforts and interest in her to steal the treasure for herself. Lupin and his gang are constantly chased by Inspector Zenigata Koichi of Interpol, who has made it his life’s work to arrest them, pursuing Lupin across the globe.

WARNING: Nothing really. But you shouldn’t steal. Lupin III, and his comrades are good people (in general). But bad examples of good people.

For how much I like this series, I honestly haven’t read or watched much of it; I’ve only caught a few Lupin III movies and a few episodes of its several anime series previously.

I’m not exactly sure what is it that draws me to the series, but I really love how entertaining Lupin III always is. Even though it’s predictable and every single episode or movie is repetitive to certain extent (Lupin III and gang steal stuff, basically), I still find it interesting. I guess a big part of it is because of the memorable characters.

It’s always a treat to watch a remake of an old series because of the different art and animation style. This definitely applied to the newest Lupin III series too. It looks so good! Clean, crisp and simple but really nicely-coloured. I love how the art and animation direction for the 2015 Lupin III portrayed the original atmosphere of the series — light-hearted and slightly nonsensical, but still cool nonetheless — with a modern touch.

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Lupin III (2015) Opening

As with most Lupin III titles though, its stories are generally quite standalone. The knowledge of characters and backstory adds so much more to the fun, but you don’t actually need to know much of what happened previously to enjoy an episode. We’ve been introduced to a few new characters besides the recurring 5 though and you learn new, interesting things about its characters every episode.

One last thing which really blew me away about the 2015 Lupin III: I actually recognised Lupin and Jigen’s voices from previous Lupin III movies, so did a little research and guess what… Lupin’s seiyuu, Kurita Kanichi, is 58 years old and the only character he’s voiced throughout his voice-acting career is Lupin! That’s not all. Kobayashi Kiyoshi, Jigen’s seiyuu, is a whopping 83 years old this year! EIGHTY THREE! He’s such a veteran in the industry with so many different roles under his belt and has voiced almost every single appearance of Jigen in all the different Lupin series, just like Kurita Kanichi has voiced Lupin.

My love for Lupin III feels a little like my love for Black Jack in that they’re both pretty old, classic series; They don’t have extremely developed story lines nor are they brilliant in terms of art (at least in this time), but they’re interesting in a different, unique way that I enjoy with all my heart. The interesting characters definitely make up a huge part of that.

I’ll take my time going through the numerous Lupin III adaptations and series one by one. It’s going to take an extremely long time on and off, but I’m looking forward to it XD

EDIT: I swear I finished writing this blog post before posting it but the latest updated version didn’t post properly damn it. I’m so sorry if you had to read an incompleted post. Will be sure to check properly next time.

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