5 Point Discussions – Lupin The III Part V, Ep. 3: “The Killers Gather In The Wasteland”

by Sage Ashford

Surrounded by countless potential assassins, Lupin and the rest must devise a plan to defeat them all!  But what’s happening with Zenigata? 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. Surrounded, Lupin and Ami escape into a car manufacturing plant to get out of the open and force the assassins to come to them. Inside the plant, Ami’s hacking abilities come in handy again as she goes all Home Alone on the invading assassin members. They suffer some comical attacks just long enough for Lupin to hastily carry Ami off in a barely constructed car. The two of them even almost escape unharmed, but not before the leader of one of the assassination groups wounds Ami.

The entire time this is happening though, the Lupin Game app continues to run. But the tenor of the chat has changed completely. It’s gone from a friendly app where everyone snitches on the world’s most famous assassin…into 4chan. They start betting on how he’ll die and mocking him for what’s going on. It feels weird, but it lines up with what you’d expect:  after a week or so on Bwanda where the game wouldn’t matter, most people would’ve deleted the app out of boredom. Already by the end of the episode last week characters were talking about how the game had become pointless. In that case, the only players remaining would be the ones who literally had nothing left to do with their lives than see how the Lupin Game finally ends. So…y’know.  Just the weirdos.

2. After everyone manages to get away from the assassins temporarily, they’re back to hiding out. We’re three episodes in and these guys have wound up in progressively worse hiding places in worse conditions. We’re only on the third episode and they’re in a rickety shack eating crappy cup noodles while pulling a bullet out of Ami’s shoulder. If they keep it up by episode 12 they’re going to wind up in an abandoned jail cell somewhere re-attaching limbs with rusty staplers. …Well, maybe not. Lupin doesn’t do dismemberment.

In any case, while Lupin patches Amy up we learn her backstory. Turns out, she was kidnapped by some child pornographers. Squick. After they took photos of her, they were planning to sell her (double squick), until they realized she was a genius with computers after she built a working video game in a cave, with a box of scraps. They took advantage of her to write multiple programs, until she finally escaped and fell in with the people working at Marco Polo.

Ami having a dark, messy past was a bit of a given, even if normally you don’t expect a series like Lupin to go “escaped from child pornography” dark. It makes her detached, logic-obsessed personality make more sense, too: the only thing that’s both saved her from even darker fates and proven understandable and reliable is cold, hard science.

3. While Lupin and the gang are in the middle of this insanity, Zenigata makes a decision to head to Bwanda. He doesn’t have authority there, but he does have vacation time. I mean, forty seven years at the same job, by now he has to have at least a week or two saved up, right?

He doesn’t make it in time to help out with their predicament here, but from the end theme (which is absolutely fantastic, if you’ve been skipping it, cut that out) it’s obvious we’re headed towards a Lupin/Zenigata team-up. If not for the entire series then at least for the next few episodes. As to what’s motivating him, the boring assumption is the typical “he’s going to be brought in by me” logic usually spouted by a shonen protagonist’s rival. The other possibility is he realizes Lupin certainly doesn’t deserve to be murdered, which would lead us down far more interesting paths in terms of character development.

4. Okay, so I lied about how Lupin doesn’t do dismemberment because holy crap Goemon totally de-handed someone. In what actually turns out to be a pretty sweet action-oriented episode, Lupin and company find the abandoned ruins of an ancient city and set things up a trap for potential attackers. Last episode, they talked about a complex method for placing a hit on Lupin: each assassin would bet on the day he died, and whoever “guessed” right would win.

The trick there is everyone wouldn’t bet on the same day because no one would want to share the bounty. So each assassin is actually only trying to capture Lupin and kill him on their chosen day. Meaning the actual biggest threat is whoever wants to kill Lupin first. So with the help of Ami, Lupin pretends to know who’s specifically aiming to kill him, and in doing so sets most of the assassins on one another. And in the meantime, Jigen and Goemon get to take out the now divided assassins. It’s a bit of a bloodless bloodbath, but by the end only one person is left standing–the leader of the Rat Clan.

The downside to this episode is everything’s moving so fast–these characters all have such quirky, neat designs and hilarious names.  Someone took the time to make them all visually distinctive and yet they’re all dead by the end of this episode.

In any case, the Rat King does an old fashioned showdown with Lupin…which fails miserably because Lupin’s a thief and thus has no reason to ever believe in a fair match.  He kills the guy via a gun in his shoe. It doesn’t look cool, but whatever gets a boatload of assassins off your back, right?

5. Just as Lupin proudly proclaims his victory, a new challenger parachutes in: Lupin’s last partner-in-crime and best Bond Girl that isn’t a Bond Girl, Fujiko Mine. She’s been missing from the gang’s activities since the beginning, though that’s not necessarily new since she’s often off doing her own thing until she needs their help. She’s been teased in these last two episodes though, watching Lupin get pulled into the Game and laughing at the Game’s failure with an associate last episode.

During the battle earlier, Ami brings up Fujiko as Lupin’s girlfriend, but Lupin points out they ended any romantic association a long time ago. When she appears, she brings up how he kidnapped her during a wedding, and it’s clear since we last saw our heroes a lot has changed. Though there’s still a lot to clear up with Marco Polo, if this show delves into the inner workings of one of the most complex and long-lived relationships in anime history it might become one of my favorite shows this season.

Lupin the III Part V is available on Crunchyroll.