Series Premiere: Lupin the Third Part 5 Ep. 1 Review

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I rarely watch anime from season to season but when Lupin the Third Part 5 got announced I knew I’d be watching it week to week. Don’t let the “Part 5” moniker scare you off—the Lupin franchise is very self-contained with little continuity. The only thing you need to know is Lupin the 3rd and his partners Jigen,  Goemon, and Fujiko Mine are thieves who will try and steal anything. On their heels is Inspector Zenigata of Interpol whose livelong mission is to capture Lupin. What makes Part 5 different from the early Lupin series is its use of modern technology.

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Lupin’s first heist in Part 5 is to steal the cryptocurrencies of a Silk Road-type website called Marco Polo. At first, it’s weird hearing Lupin talk about cryptocurrency and using a monocle to hack into Marco Polo’s server. The Lupin gang has always gone after physical objects, using tactile skills to get <insert McGuffin>. Though the use of new technology doesn’t hurt Lupin, it’s just another tool in the arsenal as he proclaims “digital currency or cold hard cash: it’s all the same”.

When Lupin and Jigen reach the manager of the Twin Tower / creator of Marco Polo’s payment system, all they find is a small girl named Ami. Lupin tries to fool her into thinking he is her father, which fails. He makes his true intentions known to Ami and says he will steal anything for her in exchange for access to Marco Polo’s funds. Ami agrees, asking Lupin to take her away from the tower. Ami looks to be a recurring character for this season, similar to Rebecca Rossellini from Part 4. Unlike Rebecca, Ami has low energy, is not athletic, and makes snippy comments throughout the episode. I’m not sure how Ami will be able to keep up with Lupin—there is a lot of running and fighting in the Lupin series, but I’ll hold judgement of her for now.

Ami.png

Lupin, Ami, and Jigen are able to escape from the tower’s guards with digital currency in tablet-form, thanks to everyone’s favorite deus ex machina Goemon. Staying in a small villa, Zenigata finds the Lupin crew, but they are able to escape, as Lupin is surprised Zenigata was able to find him this so quickly after another chase with another group of law enforcement. The gang heads to the local train station to board a train to Dusseldorf. Waiting in the lobby, Jigen notices that everyone has their phones or tablets pointed in their direction. Lupin discovers that game has been set up where the goal of the game is to track and hunt where Lupin is located, turning everyone into de facto policemen. Lupin accepts this challenge wholeheartedly.

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This was a fun opener, setting up an overall mystery of who created the Lupin game, introducing Ami, and its two action-packed set-pieces: diving into the windmill and the car chase. It’ll be interesting to see how this Lupin series uses modern technology going forward and how Ami develops as a character.

Random Thoughts:

  • Fujiko is barely in this episode. 😦
  • The animation style of Part 5 is same as it was in Part 4: colorful and vibrant.
  • The only animation difference is the opening, which bring a papier-mâché look to the Lupin Gang.
  • Yuji Ohno is back, continuing the tradition of a great Jazz soundtrack to this Lupin series.
  • Some shots in the closing theme could be straight out of a James Bond title sequence.      

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Lupin The Third Part 5 is simulcast on Crunchyroll on Tuesdays.

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