Buongiorno! Welcome to Project Nitsuj where today we’re going to continue our look at Lupin the Third Part IV. When we last left Lupin, he had been captured by Zenigata and about to be locked up for good. Is this truly the end of Lupin or will he manage to escape from Zenigata’s grasp yet again? Let’s find out and take a look at the second part of Part IV. Fruire.
Episode 13 is a Lupin and Zenigata episode (in fact, it’s a shout out from an episode in the original series. If I remember correctly it was called “One Chance to Breakout”). Lupin gets imprisoned in an Italian maximum security prison where he’s guarded 24/7 by 500 guards. But despite this Zenigata still thinks Lupin can escape and he’s right, Lupin makes several attempts to escape but Zenigata is always one step ahead of him. Realizing that regular prison won’t hold Lupin (no shit) and Italy can’t spare anymore expenses on watching one man, Zenigata decides to take Lupin to an isolated island where he gets locked in a cell and is guarded by Zenigata himself. To make sure the others don’t come for Lupin, Zeingata has his men keep them under close watch and as time goes by Lupin begins starving himself to death saying that he has no intention of being bound by Zenigata (wow. . .deep. And dark). It’s here that the episode really starts to shine as Zenigata is battling himself mentally on what he wants to do. A part of him knows that this is obviously a trap set up by Lupin but another part of him just can’t bear to see Lupin kill himself. This whole ordeal speaks volumes to Zenigata’s character. It’s clear that Zenigata doesn’t want Lupin to die nor does he want to kill him (trust me, if he wanted Lupin dead he had plenty of chances to do it). Lupin and Zenigata’s relationship is like Batman and The Joker’s relationship. The two are connected to each other and are the complete opposites of each other however The Joker is co-dependent on Batman. While Batman can live without The Joker, The Joker can’t live without Batman. We’ve seen this idea explored so many times in the past. In the animated series Joker admits that without Batman crime has no punchline (https://youtu.be/GdXCUHk1pg8), in the Dark Knight movie Joker admits that Batman completes him, and in Arkham Knight as Batman is finally ridding The Joker once in for all in his mind Joker cries out saying how much he needs him. Even in the Dark Knight Returns movies Joker goes into a catatonic state when Batman retires and only comes out of his catatonic state when Batman returns. Zenigata is pretty much The Joker in his relationship with Lupin. He wants to catch Lupin but he can’t bring himself to get rid of Lupin no matter how much he tries because chasing Lupin has been his goal in life and once Lupin goes where does he go from there? Who can give Zenigata the challenge that Lupin gave him. Without Lupin, Zenigata’s life is worthless. Finally, Lupin lays motionless on the cell floor and Zenigata opens the door to confirm Lupin’s death only to see that the body is actually a painting on the floor (oh you guys are gonna love this). Lupin used the food that Zenigata prepared for him to make the colors he needed and then used his long hair as a paint brush to paint his body and make it look like he was dead. All this time Lupin was testing out their security and setting himself up for escape (so brilliant. That’s the only phrase to describe this). So Lupin escapes and leaves Zenigata in the cell where he just laughs (can’t say I blame him) not because he’s gone insane but because Lupin has lived up to Zenigata’s standards and has shown once again that capturing him truly is Zenigata’s goal in life.
Episode 14 is interesting but at the same time confusing. After being locked up for months Lupin is broke and needs money so he decides to steal the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world. All of Paris, Zenigata, and the armed forces are stationed at the museum to protect the Mona Lisa (you will fail). Sure enough Lupin and the gang steal the painting however Philip the Minister of Culture (do they really have a Minister of Culture in France? This is silly) says that the Mona Lisa is safe and still in its spot. When Lupin goes to sell the painting we find out that behind the scenes the Mona Lisa has actually been loaned out a number of times for private showings and while it’s away a fake painting almost identical to the original is put up in its place (my mind is so scrambled right now but if this is all true than this is some major shit). The buyer has a historian who’s dedicated his life to studying Da Vinci (you need to get laid man) calls the painting a fake and Lupin and Jigen get shot at. They escape and believe the real painting is with Philip and Fujiko is on his side as she told him all about Lupin’s plan (why do you bring that woman into your scams you masochist?). Lupin and Jigen disguise themselves as members of the India embassy and steal the painting from Philip only to have it stolen back by Zenigata who’s not convinced that Lupin failed to steal the painting. As the episode comes to an end Fujiko buys a big mansion however it gets bought by Lupin instead because he did in fact steal the real Mona Lisa, the earlier version. Apparently, Da Vinci painted two Mona Lisa’s with one being of her younger self but vanishing for some time until it got found and out of luck Lupin happened to steal the real one (yeah, it’s confusing).
Episode 15 is pretty straightforward. Lupin has just obtained a diamond called Cleopatra’s Soul said to contain the very soul of Cleopatra herself. Rumor has it the diamond changes whoever is in possession of it (ridiculous. Let me see that *grabs diamond*. Hey Isis. *Isis appears* (Isis): You called Nit- *before Isis can finish her sentence Nitsuj grabs her and sits her on his lap*. What are you- (Nitsuj): Shh, shh. No talking *puts index finger on Isis’ lip to stop her from talking* just listening. I just called you here because I wanted to see your beautiful eyes. Truly your beauty is the world’s greatest treasure *Isis blushes*. Hmm~, what’s this? You’re face is becoming as red as an apple. (Isis): Huh? Oh. . .um. . .this . . .is just. . .you know. (Nitsuj): Not that it matters. *Whispers into her ear* Cause even your blushing face is cute. *Isis no longer able to stand it starts to bleed a little from her nose and gets up*. (Isis): I. . .I have to go! If you need anything call the others *Isis quickly gets up and leaves. As she leaves she accidently knocks the diamond out of Nitsuj’s hand and he returns to his senses*. (Nitsuj): What was I just doing?). As Lupin is admiring the diamond Zenigata shows up to chase him and Jigen where Lupin accidently trips on a can and the diamond falls into the bag of a high school kid who has just entered his school. In order to get the diamond back Lupin poses as a teacher from Harvard (with his intelligence I would believe it) and quickly finds out that the diamond might be in the possession of a student named Ricky who is a mafia member in training (his first lessons include learning the correct way to say hey~ and you talkin’ to me?). Lupin confronts him but he says he doesn’t have it however he says he saw his teacher Mario grab something when he emptied his bag in class. Ricky doesn’t like Mario and calls him a chicken because a while back ago Ricky got beaten up in an alleyway and even though Mario saw it he turned the other way and left (yeah that’s pretty low even for a teacher. Now if those thugs have been koopas I’m sure the story would have been different). Sure enough Mario has the diamond and gives it to the other teachers who are building a bomb for some reason (oh great so even the teachers hate the school). Lupin leaves a calling card for the teachers and that night he confronts them where they try to fight him but instead beat themselves (this is embarrassing). Lupin gets the diamond back and wants to know why they were constructing a bomb in the first place (yes please explain because nobody constructs a bomb at random). Apparently, the teachers are being threatened by the mafia and if they don’t give them 500,000 euros they’ll be killed by them (then instead of constructing a bomb why not sell the diamond for cash?). They ask Lupin for help, but he says no and leaves. The teachers beg for their lives to the mafia, but it falls on deaf ears and their leader decides to let Ricky kill them (this is for failing me in math). But of course, he can’t bring himself to do it and the mafia begins beating him up until Mario stands up to them and protects Ricky (about time he grew a set). Zenigata shows up thanks to Lupin and arrests the mafia members on the scene. Lupin saying that the diamond doesn’t contain Cleopatra’s soul and is just a fake so he tosses it into the ocean where at the end of the episode it gets picked up by Fujiko. As for Mario and Ricky, Ricky starts showing him respect in class.
In episode 16 Lupin is taking a day off from heists and going to eat sushi with Jigen and Goemon. That was the plan at first, but Lupin gets asked by Fujiko to find this dog that belongs to this overbearing and overprotective fat rich lady (she has a fat cat bitch). Lupin finds the dog and has to deliver the dog to the cruise ship the owner and Fujiko are on by 6pm or Fujiko won’t get her reward (and that means no sex for Lupin). As Lupin and the gang head to the location they get chased by Zenigata, run out of gas, and almost lose the dog who despite being a female loves to be cuddled by young hot girls (I like this dog). Zenigata figures out that Lupin is heading to the port and has the police force of Italy ready to catch him when he shows up. However, Lupin has never been one to give up so easily. He drives his car off the cape and lands it directly on the deck of the ship (that is so cool). So the dog is delivered back to its owner but soon abandons ship where she gets taken in by 3 young hot girls (this dog is a chick magnet). This means no reward for Fujiko.
In episode 17 the leader of this religious cult says he’s going to kill Lupin and his gang and challenges them to steal a grail from his temple. The group decides to accept his challenge and go to the temple where they fall down a trap door and wind up in an underground maze where the cult leader says that one of them has become his puppet and that person will start killing everyone off one by one (so it’s like a murder mystery only this time it’s real life). Distrust and fear separate the team and eventually they all do start attacking and killing each other until it’s only Lupin who’s the last one standing where we see he was the puppet the whole time and was manipulating everyone to kill each other (and all this time I thought it was Fujiko like always). The cult leader tells him to kill himself, but Lupin reveals he was faking it the whole time. Fujiko, Jigen, and Goemon are all okay and reveal that they were all acting as well to fool the cult leader (even though they never talked to each other they each trusted the other to figure out what was going on and it worked in the end). Lupin figures out that the way the cult leader controls people is by using hallucination smoke to mess with their minds. When they all fell into the underground maze Lupin held his breath and pretended to be hypnotize by the cult leader only to fool him at the end. So, Lupin and the others escape, they make a lot of money because Lupin betted on them to win the challenge in the underground scene, and Lupin uses that smoke to make the cult leader think he’s a monkey (and the lesson here is don’t mess with Lupin).
Moving on to episode 18 someone is messing with Lupin once again (dude, did you not see the last episode? People who mess with Lupin usually get screwed over big time). This time it’s not just Lupin getting messed with but it’s the whole gang including Rebecca, Robson, Zenigata, Nix, and Percival the leader of MI6 (wow somebody’s got balls). The person messing with them has painted a mural of each of them in Milan and out of their houses. After investigating the mural we find out that the person who painted them was Leonardo Da Vinci (it does look like his work). Everyone calls a truce and try to get to the bottom of this mystery where Lupin figures out that it’s all related to the Last Supper. They all go to the church of the Last Supper where Lupin pieces everything together for everyone while they all eat (ah~ some good exposition to go with my spaghetti. Goemon, please pass the plot). In order to get out of MI6 and live a normal life with his family Nix used his abilities to memorize the Italian Dream before the cabin burned down. He then used that information as leverage to leave MI6 and live a normal life with his family (please say you kept KITT 2.0?). MI6 used this information to create their own Leonardo Da Vinci who is behind all of this. Da Vinci was too smart for his own good and he escaped MI6 and journeyed into a world so different from the one he was born in (we have this amazing invention called the internet. Try it out, I think you’ll like it). He adapted to this new world quickly, but he couldn’t find the one answer he was looking for, what is his purpose (you pass butter.)? After finishing his story Percival orders his men to raid the chapel and kill everyone inside because they know too much (you’re gonna kill them just because they know about your Da Vinci clone?). They all manage to escape but Lupin stays behind to confront Da Vinci where he escapes on one of his flying contraptions (yeah we made better ones) and says he’s going to tear the world apart to figure out how it works before giving Lupin the slip.
In episode 19 Percival has pulled Nix away from his normal life for an important mission (dude, he’s retired. Find someone else). This mercenary named Fox has stolen what’s known as the Dragon’s Tail a disc that contains a list of all the agents in MI6. Percival believes Nix helped him infiltrate their base and he threatens to kill Nix’s family if he doesn’t go and get the disc back himself. We cut to Fox’s space where we see that Lupin is also after the disc because MI6 has been tailing him and the others for quite some time (if this is about the whole Da Vinci thing don’t worry, they’re not gonna tell anybody). Lupin manages to get the disc but he trips the alarm has to make a run for it where he runs into Nix who stops him and they both get captured by the mercenaries. Fox water boards Nix for information on how to crack the encryption code on the disc but Lupin says he can crack it and he manages to do it which was a big mistake. Once the code has been cracked MI6 unleashes the dragon’s head on Fox’s base by destroying it and then killing everyone in the base (it’s basically like the buster call from One Piece. It’s a complete and total annihilation of everyone and everything). Lupin and Nix manage to survive the air strike but Nix gets cornered by the agents of MI6 with one of them being one of his students (oh the irony). Just before they kill him Jigen and Goemon come in to save him and they knock out all the other agents. Once they all escape Nix seeks revenge on Percival and tries to kill him but he gets stopped by Da Vinci who was the mastermind behind this whole operation (man who knew Da Vinci was such a devious person?). He sends Nix on his way and kills Percival to end the episode.
Episode 20 is a really good and sad episode. In the episode Lupin steals a rare car that once belonged to a famous singer named Nora. The car is worth 5 million euros (I imagine that’s a lot of money in American dollars) and the police are given orders not to damage it. Rather than escape Lupin just continues to drive around town in it because his plan wasn’t to steal it but instead raise the price of the car. The broker and Fujiko are working together to make a profit off the car and they want Lupin to drive around town for everyone to see and raise the price of it (smart plan). However, Zenigata catches onto their plan after capturing the broker and sets a trap for Lupin. Just when it looks like Lupin is about to fall into his trap the car won’t turn right and instead forces Lupin to turn left and take him on a trip to Nora’s favorite spot where she and her husband (who was her manager) used to go to get away from the world. Once Lupin arrives at the spot the car finally dies on him and Lupin leaves it there. During all of this we also go to the house of Nora where we see she’s in a coma and her husband doesn’t care about the car and just wants to get rid of it along with all the memories of his wife because he can’t stand seeing her in this state (in fact, in his house he’s covered up all of her awards and pictures). Fujiko drops by the house and argues that deep down he does care about the car because it’s their baby (a baby that gets 25 mpg) and it reminds him of the good times and hard times they shared with each other. At first the husband doesn’t take Fujiko’s words seriously but when Lupin accidently leaves his radio on the husband hears him hum Nora’s song for the car and recognizes the road to where the car is going. He soon starts to take a stroll down memory lane where he remembers all the good times he had with Nora such as how she always lost her hat whenever they drove and he had to buy her a new one each time, how they got ice cream each time, and how just seeing her smile was enough to make him happy and forget all of his worries and troubles (now that my friends is what we call true love). He cries from the memories and begins to hum Nora’s song to her which actually breaks her out of her coma enough time for her to grab his hand one last time before she passes away with a smile on her face. The creators of this episode did an amazing job here. The way they portrayed old age is done so well here and their message about memories is spot on. Memories last forever and we should treasure how valuable they are to us. Whether they’re good or bad they stick with us forever and with just a push from the senses we can take a trip down memory lane without realizing it.
Episode 21 is a Fujiko episode. It starts off in Japan where Goemon makes a bet with Fujiko to see if she can get Lupin to steal this famous marionette for her (the answer is obviously yes). Lupin travels to Japan and steals the marionette with ease but it turns out it was all a setup done by this Japanese detective Akechi who’s out to prove how good he is by capturing Lupin (good luck with that. You’ll need it more than the WWE needs ratings). Despite his efforts Lupin gets captured (Zenigata isn’t gonna like this) and Akechi allows Fujiko to escape saying she’s small fry and without Lupin she’s nothing (and you my friend have just dug your grave). The next day Zenigata shows up and transports Lupin in an armored tank but Fujiko tricks Akechi into believing she’s Zenigata and gets the tank to stop in the road where she commandeers it with Lupin and they escape despite Akechi’s best efforts to stop them (close kid. Actually no you weren’t close. Zenigata and others have come closer than you have).
Episodes 22-24 and OVAs
Episode 22 is a Rebecca episode (wow giving the ladies a time to shine, I like). In the episode Rebecca is after the ultimate thrill, making Lupin hers. She sets up an array of traps at a number of banks to capture Lupin sneaking into banks to look for a bill Jigen marked as part of a bet to see who would have to clean up their apartment (this is so ridiculous and yet so funny and awesome at the same time). After Lupin finds Jigen’s marked bill Rebecca traps him in a safe with her (trapped in a safe with a beautiful woman and piles of money around you. It’s a dream come true). Rebecca just comes out and says that she wants to make Lupin hers and no else’s (well you sure got one hell of a way professing you’re love). While flattered Lupin says he can’t belong to just her (didn’t seem to bother you at the beginning of the series) because if he did he would stop being the Lupin she (as well as us) fell in love with. Rebecca sees this and the police (surprisingly without Zenigata) open the safe and the two lovebirds escape with Lupin covering Rebecca’s face with a bill and they manage to escape thanks to Robson who fired off an RPG to distract the police (clearly Robson was a student of Alfred from Batman in the ways of how to be a badass butler). The two go their separate ways with Fujiko deciding to mess with Lupin and steal Jigen’s marked bill from him (this was an act of jealousy).
In episode 23 Da Vinci has finally launched his plan to re-create the world (man who knew Da Vinci was a madman?). He puts everyone in Italy to sleep and lets them enter the Itailian Dream world where he tests everyone to see if they’re worthy to live in the new world that he’ll create. Lupin becomes the first guest of the new world easily by figuring out what Da Vinci’s up to, Jigen beats him in a gun fight, Goemon beats him in a sword fight, Fujiko beats him in poker, Zenigata catches him, and Nix finds him in a game of hide and seek (you choose the wrong fields to fight them in Da Vinci). The only character in the main cast (who cares about the side cast) that failed Da Vinci’s test was Rebecca and as punishment she gets her mind and subconscious locked away where it will be replaced with Da Vinci’s persona (so you want to try and be a sexy woman? I’m sure he has a scientific reasoning for this). Lupin not accepting this uses Da Vinci’s machine and places his persona into Rebecca’s mind where he plans to save her and bring her back (well they are still married).
In the final episode everything goes about as you would expect. Lupin enters Rebecca’s mind and saves her from Da Vinci. Not only that, but he somehow copied his consciousness into the minds of everyone else in Italy and saved them as well (I am so lost). So Da Vinci’s plans gets foiled and he’s dying because his artificial body is starting to fail him. Before he dies, Lupin assures him that his mind will live forever in the minds of Italians and his contributions to mankind will be remembered forever as well. Sometime later Lupin gets blamed for Da Vinci’s plan and makes plans to leave the country for safety. Before leaving he has one final meeting with Rebecca where she says she’s really in love with him (this time she means it) and will wait for him to return. Lupin allows her to keep the Lupin name (she’s not worthy of it) and he goes to meet up with the others at the Milan Central railway station where they disappear from the crowd one by one as a train passes through.
This anime did have 2 OVAs during the course of it’s run. The first OVA shows Lupin going to Rebecca’s vacation home to finalize their divorce papers only to get attacked by a horde of zombies (wow, H.O.T.D meets Lupin. Interesting combination). The two manage to escape the island only for Lupin to find out it was all a stunt for a movie Rebecca is producing (what’s it called, Love and Zombies in Italy?). Not wanting his face to be made public, Lupin tries to steal the film before the debut, but Rebecca already beat him to the punch and puts the blame on him in order to protect the film. Lupin chases after her and they get chased by the police, but Lupin easily figures that this chase was all a part of the movie. Rebecca finally tells him that the film will use special effects to make it look like he’s a zombie thus keeping his face a secret from the public. With this information Lupin allows the film to be shown and it becomes a major hit at the box office. The second OVA shows us how Lupin met Rebecca. Lupin just arrives in Italy and his next move is to kidnap Rebecca, but a stalker beats him to it and he has to rescue her. With the help of Zenigata he manages to rescue Rebecca and Robson. This episode does have its funny moments such as the car scene where Zenigata handcuffs him and Lupin together and they lose the key, so they have to shoot the handcuffs off with their guns but keep missing and almost kill each other. These OVAs are alright, funny and worth checking out. You can watch them after, before, or during the original as they’re each stand-alone episodes.
This may be obvious, but this series was great! This has easily become my new favorite Lupin series of all time. The anime takes something from all the previous adaptations, combines that with its own ideas, and creates something new, original, but also remains loyal to the original series. It’s clever, action packed, and interesting like parts 1 & 2; funny and enjoyable like part 3; bizarre but intriguing like A Woman Named Fujiko Mine; and carries the heart and soul of the original series like Miyazaki’s Castle of Cagliostro. This series just combines everything we love about Lupin and creates a new entry for new fans without shunning or remaining foreign to longtime fans like myself.
The characters are all great. Lupin manages to steal the show in every episode he’s in. The blue jacket Lupin is like a combination of the red and green jacket Lupin. He’s clever, smart, sneaky, and just a joy to see and follow. Jigen and Goemon are badass as always, Fujiko is the lovable femme fatale we can’t stop loving because she’s so good in her role, and Zenigata remains to be an enduring character. His episode with Lupin has become one of my all-time favorite episodes and adds a whole new layer to his relationship with Lupin and how much he means to him. But what about the new characters Nix and Rebecca? How are they? Well Nix is cool. He’s like James Bond if he had anger issues and a family. I love how he goes from 0 to 100 whenever something threatens his family. It shows that his family means more to him than his job and career. He’ll do anything to keep them safe even if he has to go up against one of the strongest agencies in the world. Rebecca was okay. She had her moments where she was good, but she comes across as a lesser version of Fujiko and near the end she starts to fall into the role of damsel in distress who Lupin has to constantly save. Instead of being interested in money, she’s only interested in the thrills. Her relationship with Lupin is good. The development in their relationship was well done and paced well. It started off as only a means to an end but as time goes on, Rebecca slowly starts to realize that she’s in love with Lupin and even though Lupin may not admit it I think he has feelings for Rebecca and would have loved to settle down with her but can’t escape his calling of being a thief and doesn’t want to force that life on Rebecca. There’s also the fact that he’s not ready to settle down yet as there are still more heists and treasures he wants to do and find.
The story was great. The stand-alone episodes are the best episodes out there. Each one was intriguing, had their own story, were funny, had drama, and led to a satisfying conclusion. Each episode managed to show off the greatness of Lupin and the others. Even in the episodes where Lupin wasn’t the center of focus and the focus was instead on a different character, the rest of the cast were able to hold their own and deliver a story that was still enjoyable to watch. The Italian Dream story however was bad. The story was confusing, hard to buy into, and just led to a rushed conclusion where I really was confused on exactly what Da Vinci was hoping to accomplish. While Lupin and the others managed to shine through in this storyline it still felt weak when compared to the stand-alone episodes which seemed to have more heart and effort put into them.
The defining point of this series has to be the animation and sound. The animation was smooth and beautiful. The animation style is very similar to the animation used in A Woman Named Fujiko except it’s more polished and defined here. Instead of being dark and gritty it’s more bright and colorful. Each character has their own unique design and the vibrant colors (particularly on the hair of the females) look beautiful. The backgrounds of Italy all look beautiful, like a piece of art you would find in a museum. You can tell the animators were dedicated to capturing the beauty and nature of Italy and I’m proud to say succeeded. So much so that I’m now interested in visiting Italy. The sound team nails it here. The Lupin series has always had great music and they knock out of the park with this soundtrack. It’s classic, jazzy, and reminiscent of Italy. Each music piece matches up greatly with the scene and still maintains the Lupin charm.
The final score for Lupin the Third Part IV is a very high and very much deserved 8.5/10 with a must watch stamp of approval. Whether you’re a long-time fan of the Lupin franchise or trying to get into the Lupin franchise this is a good entry point for you. This is a masterpiece of animation and has definitely given birth to new Lupin fans. With Part V set to come out next month I’m very excited on what will happen next as there’s a lot of possibilities of what they could do with this story. All I can say is the future of the Lupin franchise is looking bright and if the next part is just as good as Part IV with a better story than I say we could be looking at the next 10/10 on the show. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj. Ciao!
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