Anime Legacy: Lupin the Third!

This post is dedicated to the late Monkey Punch. Rest in Peace…

Once in a Blue Moon a show or a title comes along that grabs our attention with a gripping story and charming characters. Every generation of anime fans have a fan favorite that they rave over every time a new season or new arc gets released. For the 90’s generation it was the Dragon Ball franchise, for Generation Z (as of right now) its My Hero Academia, but for the older and more seasoned anime fans who fall anywhere between their 40’s and 50’s might be familiar with a franchise that’s been around since the 1970’s – and is still going strong even today! Out of all the popular anime franchises out there, this one’s the granddaddy of them all! This is the anime legacy, of Lupin the Third!

Over 50 and still lookin’ good, Lupin! 😉

For those who have seen any of the six animated television series of this timeless classic, we say kudos and you are awesome for doing so! If you’re just seeing it for the first time, here’s what the premise of the story is about…

Arsene Lupin III, grandson of Arsene Lupin, is known as the greatest thief in the world – by announcing his plans to steal various valuable objects by sending a calling card to their owners. His partner in crime is Daisuke Jigen, who happens to be one of the best marksmen in the world; shooting a target in 0.3 seconds. Sometimes they are often joined by a swordsman named Goemon Ishikawa XIII or even Fujiko Mine, who happens to be a femme fatale and Lupin’s love interest. The master thief and his gang find themselves on the run from Inspector Zenigata, who has made it his life’s work in chasing after him and arresting him – if its the last thing he does.

The series itself was created by the late great Monkey Punch (aka Kazuhiko Kato) as he drew inspiration from fictional French gentleman thief Arsene Lupin, whose character was created by Maurice Leblanc. Punch’s goal was to create an adventure/comedy that reflected the traits of Leblanc’s character. The story telling found in the series combines a mixture of elements found James Bond (007 franchise) through Lupin’s “carefree” personality and Fujiko taking on the “Bond Girl” role, and Tom & Jerry through the ‘cat-and-mouse’ chase antics that happen whenever Inspector Zenigata encounters Lupin.

Somewhere along the line there was a bump in the road, as western releases of Lupin the Third had to either be changed to “Rupan” or “Wolf” due to the copyright of intellectual property that Maurice Leblanc had on the original name of the fictional character. Luckily the copyright expired allowing Monkey Punch to have full access to the Lupin name.

There’s so much more in store for this series as there is an upcoming 3D CG-animated movie coming out in Japan entitled Lupin the Third: The First coming December 2019! If you’re a huge fan of the series then get ready to see your favorite master thief in 3D! Although this is the end of our post, we just want to say thank you to Monkey Punch-san for bringing us such a comedic and adventurous story.

Until next post, stay nerdy! 😉