The legendary thief of the anime makes his grand return! But this time he’s up against a lot more than just Zenigata and a few police! Can he survive the Lupin Game? Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. The most noticeable thing about this version of Lupin so far is how the character and the world seems to have adapted to technology better this time around. When Part IV started in 2015, the series seemed more concerned with keeping its timeless feel–the best tech tended to belong to secret super spy agencies, and so on. They didn’t shy away from technology, but they didn’t focus in too heavily on it either. Lupin’s best new gadget was a watch capable of shooting grappling hooks. Pretty cool, but more James Bond than Steve Jobs.
This time around though, Lupin’s become much more tech-savvy. The big heist is stealing from a tech group, he’s got new gadgets like a monocle that can remotely hack into heavily encrypted security, and even the main story we’re telling this season is based around the proliferation of technology in our every day lives. It seems like they instinctively understand this time the key to making things feel like “Lupin” lies in how well they can ape the unique style of Monkey Punch’s art rather than anything else.
2. Just like Part IV introduced us to brilliant thief/heiress Rebecca Rosselini, this series gives us a new leading lady for the season. If they could ever include all of them at once, we might actually achieve gender parity in the main cast! Actually, a theoretical part VI including all six of these characters, built up in different series could be pretty neat–Lupin having an entire network of associates to rely on would give a nice shake up to the existing dynamic.
At any rate, the new character is Ami, a hacker working for a company known as Marco Polo. They find her at the depths of the ocean in the center of Marco Polo HQ, where Lupin pretends to be her father in order to get her to work with him and Jigen. It fails because he pronounces her name wrong (which becomes a running gag), but he convinces her to work with him nonetheless because he offers to steal her from Marco Polo and offer her freedom.
Ami’s a likable character, even if the arc she’s going to go on feels obvious at the moment. She’s overly detached from humanity and overly attached to technology, even taking surgical implants to help her run her equipment faster. She doesn’t remember to eat, and she barely knows how to interact with people. Obviously pairing her with Lupin–who’s the most human person, someone that loves life and all the pleasures it has to offer–is going to help her grow into a proper person. …If she can survive, that is.
I could have done without parts of her introduction though, where they focus on her being only half dressed and walking around in nothing more than a shirt, jacket, and pair of panties for most of her first appearance. Hopefully we’re done with that moving forward–Lupin is no stranger to fanservice, but its usually handled more tastefully than this. And generally by characters capable of weaponizing their appearances to take advantage of idiots who would fall for it. (Hi, Fujiko~)
3. The heist that sets this entire story off is Lupin and Jigen trying to rob an internet company on the dark web known as Marco Polo. It’s a company that deals in all manner of items–including illegal drugs–but the key to them is that they don’t use a third party company to be paid. Everything is done in house through an electric currency (think Bitcoin), which means they’re able to steal directly from the company. But first, they have to break into the company’s main server area–a place known as the Twin Towers.
For a place that’s supposedly high security, busting in is easy enough. Lupin’s hi-tech monocle cracks the security on the first tower, letting them reach the top of the building to get to the second tower…located underwater. He and Jigen use a pair of skysuits to sail through a gap in the security after they break the fan used to cool the servers off, and that’s where they find Ami. It’s easy enough to hack into the system once they bust her out of the towers, and she helps them steal…a frankly absurd amount of money. Jigen defines it as “national budget” amounts of money.
4. After escaping Marco Polo’s Twin Towers, Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon hide out in a secret location while they get ready to make their next move. But by this time, everyone’s favorite ineffectual cop Zenigata has tracked them down. They make their escape and wind up at an airport to escape the country, but there’s a tiny problem. Literally everyone is recording the group’s every move.
It makes sense to assume that stealing millions of dollars would make you some huge enemies, but since they stole from a bunch of geeks it looks like these enemies are a little smarter in how they go about tracking Lupin. They’ve created something known as the “Lupin Game”, where the goal is to find Lupin the III where ever he is and report on his whereabouts. With over a hundred millions users, this “game” has allowed Zenigata to track Lupin easily, and placed a giant neon target on the entire group. The usual escape tricks are going to be much harder to pull off now…
5. Next Episode: Now that the Lupin Game is on, Lupin and the others have to stay on guard at all times. There doesn’t seem to be any way to “win”, so people are just telling on the gang’s whereabouts for no reason other than the pure joy of snitching? That’s…weird, but it looks like for now Lupin’s ditched the usual episodic nature in favor of a serial plot. This should be a lot of fun, so I hope you’re ready to join me for the latest story in the saga of the world’s greatest thief, Lupin the III!
Lupin the III Part V is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.