Lupin the IIIrd is an anime character who’s the grandson of Arsène Lupin (The Sherlock Holmes of France). Lupin continues his grandfather’s legacy as a gentleman-thief. Fifty years since his manga debut, Lupin remains an endearing pop-cultural figure in Japan.
But with so much material, where should a new audience member begin?
I would recommend Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon Ishikawa’s Spray Of Blood, where Lupin takes a backseat and the story focuses on the samurai character of Goemon.
The anime movie is faithful to the more adult tone of the Lupin manga. We follow Goemon on his road to redemption after his defeat by a hilarious American stereotype who carries axes in cowboy gun holsters and subsists solely on barbecue.
The action and animation are fluid and creatively choreographed. Goemon’s intense samurai training against the elements is mythic and Lupin’s gang are an endearing crew of scoundrels. This was my first introduction into Lupin’s world and I can’t wait to go back.