Soosfoot is the gentlest of giants.
Soosfoot is the gentlest of giants.
Not to start things off with too much hype, but this remains one of the most flawlessly executed premieres I’ve ever seen.
We’ve come to the first big hurdle of the series, as far as a lot of longtime Lupin fans are concerned. It’s all well and good to see darker, noir tinted versions of hitmen and thieves, but things get a bit harder to swallow when it comes to the franchise’s longtime beacon of well-meaning justice. Well, that’s how he’s remembered, anyway. We’ll get to that in a bit.
This scene has all the appeal of realizing your parents are still sexually active
We come, at last, to the end of the line – the final time a green jacketed Lupin would grace the TV screens of the 20th century. And what an episode to go out on. It’s something like a distilled version of what the series became, a precursor to the Red Jacket tone that would come six years later, and a gentle tribute to the enduring and endearing spirit of Lupin and his gang. I may be a bit emotional about this. The final episode is titled “The Great Gold Showdown!,” and you can watch it here.
Pops and I will just be sharing an emotional breakdown in the corner
Before we get to the sappy stuff, though, I feel it important to note that I can in fact see the future. Remember back at the beginning of this trip when I said that Lupin’s early characterization is more or less the Joker? Well, in this episode Jigen and Fujiko are Batman.
Imagine that you’re reading a novel where the latest fad is modern medical technology, and at the end the characters agree that ‘well, this is cool and all, but it’ll never be quite the same as leeches.’ That’s the closest equivalent I can give to the weirdness of “The First-Move-Wins Computer Operation.” If you didn’t know anything about advances in animation or the history of Lupin III or a single other scrap of information, you could still look at this episode and say ‘why yes, that was definitely the 70s.’ Incidentally, you can watch along here.
If we let this go, one day they’ll be travelling around in our pockets,
Controlling our brains!
This week the meddlesome FBI is getting in the way of Zenigata’s eternal-destined-rivalry with Lupin by bringing a state of the art computer to Japan (this is before Pops is stated to have joined Interpol, making the expenditure of funds even more baffling). This enormous, wall-sized computer is so advanced that it can predict a person’s actions down to the last detail. Naturally, they’re using it to catch a cat burglar. Don’t get me wrong, if we were talking about manga-Lupin, or even the Lupin from when we started this little adventure, this would make a lot of sense. That guy had a body count to fill a church, ties to the mob and his own little criminal underground, and was a happy participant in sexual assault. That guy they should definitely catch, because who knows what the collateral damage of his amusement might be on any given week.
But that guy’s not really around anymore. Instead, they’re spending millions (possibly billions) of dollars to catch this guy:
This has to be one of the weirdest Green Jacket episodes since we started this little adventure. Not in terms of content so much – you’ve got a girl, a chase, lots of guns and a few daring escapes, all pretty par for the course – but because of the weird behind the scenes tension that I may or may not be imagining. Because I just can’t see Hayao Miyazaki, the man who would go on to create so many dynamic and wonderful female characters, leading the charge on an episode whose first act can be summed up as “what is wrong with this girl, fighting back against the men who kidnapped her.”
By the way, the official title for this episode (as in the one that’s on Hulu and most episode summaries you’ll run across) is “Rescue the Tomboy!.” That’s….not so much what the subtitling team decided on, though.
Laugh to keep from crying, folks