Lupin III (1971)
Lupin III (also known as Lupin III: Part I and Lupin III: Green Jacket) is a Japanese anime television series produced by TMS Entertainment. It is the first television anime series adaptation of the Lupin III manga created by the late Monkey Punch. The series was originally broadcast between October 24, 1971 and March 26, 1972.
Arsène Lupin III, grandson of the famous thief Arsène Lupin, is an internationally wanted thief. His right-hand man is Daisuke Jigen, an expert marksman who can shoot a target within 0.3 seconds. They are joined by Fujiko Mine, Lupin's primary love interest who often manipulates situations to her advantage. After several encounters with the samurai and expert swordsmen Goemon Ishikawa XIII, he becomes part of the group. They are constantly pursued by Inspector Koichi Zenigata, an expert on Lupin from the Tokyo MPD who has made the capture and arrest of Lupin and his collaborators his life goal.
Why It Rocks
- It was the first animated series based on Lupin III, which later would spawn lots of movies, merchandise and video games.
- It mixes goofiness with action, and it works well.
- Goofy-looking character designs that look as if they were taken from a western comic book/cartoon, the trademark style of Monkey Punch.
- The main characters are lovable and memorable.
- Arsene Lupin III is a wacky and smart adventurer and thief who is also a master of disguise.
- Jigen Daisuke is an expert using revolvers and is very supportive of Lupin and his allies.
- Fujiko Mine, the woman of the group, is also very smart and badass just like Lupin.
- Goemon Ishikawa XIII is a samurai who can cut everything with his katana.
- The stories, while simple, are very creative and entertaining with cool villains.
- Inspector Koichi Zenigata does a good job as an antagonist who tries to stop Lupin and his gang, though Lupin always wins thanks to Zenigata's incompetence.
- Awesome soundtrack composed of jazz music that makes you feel like if you were watching an old spy film.
- The voice acting is very well-done.
- Since this is a 1970s anime, the animation hasn't aged very well and can look stiff at some points.
- Some mean-spirited moments like in episode 4 where Fujiko tries to infiltrate a prison to free Lupin, but Jigen stops and almost kills her.
This show has good reception from both audiences and critics alike.