With Lupin injured…again…it’s time for the main stage to be taken by the real protagonist, Fujiko Mine! Will she be able to save Lupin, Ami, and herself? 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. In a much appreciated change from the break episodes, this week continues the trend of Fujiko being just as hyper competent as the rest of the crew. When all hope looks lost for Ami and Lupin alike, with soldiers rushing in to corner the wounded thief, Fujiko not only manages to save Lupin…but steal the Bloody Teardrop as well. Most of the episode continues like this, since with Lupin out of action and the other guys not even sure where he is, Fujiko gets to take center stage. She’s able to manage running away from miniature armies, perform triage on an injured Lupin, and continue getting on Ami’s nerves by being extremely evasive regarding her relationship with Lupin. It’s a nice off set from the two break episodes, and hopefully this continues for the remainder of this series’ run.
2. So if Dolma already knows she’s going to become a puppet for a new regime, why’s she sign up for the job to begin with? This week flashes back to her on the helicopter with the CIA agent, Ugo, for an explanation. Ugo is from a small country reminiscent of hers, and it was torn apart by civil war after events that unfolded much like what’s happening in Padar. By letting her take over as the new “Queen” with the high priest’s forces working in the background, it creates a more peaceful transition without leading to potentially endless bloodshed.
It’s the smart play for Dolma, even though it’s considerably less smart of her to try and convince Ugo to become her first servant. She still wants to wrest control from the high priest, but knows she won’t be able to do it until she grows her own power base, and that includes gaining agents within America. Ugo seems to be convinced enough, but Dolma’s hatched a very shonen anime-ish plan in a very much non-shonen anime series, so who knows if it unfolds in her favor.
3. With her two “dads” out of the picture, Ami is forced to continue relying on Fujiko, and watching their relationship evolve is great. Fujiko doesn’t have anything against Ami, she just views her as this young girl who’s getting involved in a world where she clearly doesn’t know what she’s doing yet. But she respects Ami’s choices so she doesn’t ever question whether she should be involved, instead just teaching when necessary and helping when she can. She even guides Ami through her first (few) kills as they’re forced to escape their temporary hiding place and wind up in a chase scene where Ami has to chuck a grenade into a truck, killing at least a half dozen soldiers in the process. They’re hilariously cavalier about this, particularly considering Goemon makes a point of not killing a guard earlier that same episode, but still.
In any case, Ami comes so close to trusting her, until they reach a dead end while running away and Fujiko’s solution is to cut the sidecar, leaving Ami and Lupin to fend for themselves while she escapes. The best thing about Fujiko is you’re never really sure of what she’s planning: was she really leaving them to escape, or was she drawing the heat away so they could have a chance to live?
4. The key to the coup for the traditionalist faction was getting the King to surrender power to his daughter, to keep things from being unnecessarily messy. However, the king managed to escape thanks to his alliance with the ShakeHands corporation, making it into this ostentatious giant blimp alongside the CEO. The CEO notes they were able to escape thanks to their new social networking system known as PeopleLog, and another, shadowy associate claims it’s an app to “remove all the dark corners of the world”.
The commentary on this arc is on point: everyone’s too busy worried about the idiot causing a war because he wants to control the entire country (instead of just half) to notice some jackhole rich guy is going to ruin the world via social media. That’s so accurate it hurts.
5. In the most cliffhanger-est ending ever, the episode ends with Fujiko surrounded inside of a shack, trying to negotiate her way out of things when the blimp the king’s been hiding in starts to crash down right in front of his fleeing military. Without the king under their control, the soldiers realize they can be tried for treason, so they try to get away. Just as the blimp seems like it’s going to crush the shack, Lupin rushes out to save Fujiko. As he’s rushing towards her, she stops him in his tracks with the one question this show really can’t answer: “What am I to you?”
What actually happened between these two continues to be a question that’s up in the air, even as Ami points out how Lupin clearly seems bothered by the two of them not being together. Still, Lupin doesn’t ever seem like it’d be a show about a husband and wife teaming up to commit crimes together, as entertaining as that would be. Somehow, I bet we never actually get a real answer to Fujiko’s question.
Lupin the III Part 5 is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.