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Lupin 3rd: The Women Called Fujiko Mine [DVD]
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Many people are falling prey to a suspicious new religion. Lupin III infiltrates this group, hoping to steal the treasure their leader keeps hidden. There he lays eyes on the beautiful, bewitching woman who has the leader enthralled. This is the story of how fashionable female thief Fujiko Mine first met Lupin III, the greatest thief of his generation.
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If you came here expecting hijinks, hilarity, high energy, and happiness in a cheerful caper comedy you are most certainly NOT going to find it. This series is dour, depressing, downbeat and, honestly, really freakin' ugly to look at. Shadow detail is achieved by the animators rudely pencilling in charcoal lines across the characters and backgrounds and it looks HORRIBLE as well as frequently not matching the lighting of the scene. It also reboots the history of the characters and has them meeting and learning about each other so don't expect Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko to pull off a big, happy heist as a team while Inspector Zenigata bumbles after them in this 13-episode bore. The plot is a confusing, senseless mess, the characters are all wrong, the dialogue is stiff, grim darkness is abundant...it's the complete opposite of what you want from a Lupin III series.
Not even the popular theme tune made it. I realize that Yuji Ohno is getting very old these days but the music they use in this show is wrist-slittingly dull. The show's opening number even begins with Fujiko ordering "Cease what you are doing!" Take that advice and switch it off. This series is an insult to Lupin III. Absolutely horrible.
The Blu-ray is in 1.78:1 1080p (ruined by those awful shadow effects) with DTS HD-MA 5.1 sound and a tiny trickle of boring extras. Do not purchase this. I am amazed my PlayStation didn't spit it back out after the first few episodes.
It was written by a woman (Mari Okada), she sculpts a crass, disturbed, and licentious version of Fujiko. At first glance you wouldn't be able to tell this. Yes Fujiko is constantly naked but if you actually watch to the end it has a feminist message about how women shouldn't be judged or shamed for having casual sex. A very dark and welcomed addition to the Lupin the 3rd franchise.
Long term fans may balk at the suggestion that Mine basically brought the entire Lupin gang together (as well as more selatious allusions!)
However the narrative strongly sticks to most themes and visual motifs of Monkey Punches original work.
At times one could be forgiven for thinking this was made in the seventies - such is the attention to detail with the SUPERsuper retro look. Sounds great looks fantastic and comes at a tasty price for a modest sized series. Not for children!
This version is the one to get, look for the rating 15. If you get the censored version its totally ruined! After all, it's only drawings and there is nothing explicit in it, just her lack of clothes from time to time.
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