5 Point Discussions – Lupin the 3rd Part V, Episode 4: “Zenigata’s Pride And The Desert Dust”

by Sage Ashford

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1. We never see what the showdown between Lupin and Fujiko would’ve really led to, because Zenigata pops up to save Lupin before Fujiko gets a shot off. There’s also a really cool moment where Goemon and Jigen close in on her, but we don’t get to see it because there’s a bigger plot point we have to follow.

After Ami and Lupin hop into the car, there’s more talk on where the two long time “lovers” stand, resulting in some of the most fascinating dialogue of the episode. After Zenigata does a parody of how Lupin in the past reacted around Fujiko, Lupin corrects him by saying all that is in the past. To him, Fujiko is nothing more than another competitor now, and one of his most dangerous. Everything is left in the dark afterwards, but if I had to guess, I’d say what happened between old shows and this series is the only thing capable of progressing their relationship: they finally dated.
After years of “will they, won’t they”, they finally did. Fujiko was nearly married, Lupin kidnapped her, everything was meant to be happily ever after. But after years of chasing her (and years of being chased), they realized they didn’t work, causing them to re-evaluate their entire relationship. The end song video pretty blatantly shows all of this (as well as foreshadowing Zenigata’s sudden turn to helping Lupin). To be certain, they could go back to the old tropes whenever, but for now it looks like they’re dealing with the pain of not being able to make their love work, and it’s the best thing they could’ve done for this series.
2. Wondering why the nation of Bwanda didn’t connect with the ICPO? Well, turns out their nation’s government is extremely corrupt. Not a full day after he gets a hit placed out on him, the government of Bwanda starts chasing after Lupin with military helicopters.   They’ve got garbage aim because they fail to shoot anyone down, but they do blow up Zenigata’s car. They try to fake dying in an explosion but a young boy notices he’s still alive, and captures a photo of him escaping into the forest. With assassins and the national government after him now, the trio immediately work towards the desert to escape the nation.
3. This episode goes a long way towards Ami’s development. Forced to travel the desert, she experiences her first outward burst of emotion in anger, and her second after narrowly surviving being killed by the Bwanda helicopters: laughter. Being around Lupin and their adventures is causing her to grow rapidly, but she’s still a total dork who thinks the Internet is the only thing that matters. For the second time in three episodes, she ships Lupin with the nearest close male relationship she can find, assuming Zenigata is in love because he doesn’t want Lupin to get murdered.
Though in her defense, he IS quite protective of Lupin. He rushes in even though it later results in the guy being punished by his bosses at ICPO. He claims it’s because he wants to arrest him, but I think their mutual respect has grown so much he just can’t watch the guy die.In any case, she’s a pretty transparent representation of the idealists who believe the Internet is an absolute good for society, claiming she doesn’t need school because she can both learn AND socialize online, and no one cares about her race or gender there.  …Man. I’m struggling to figure out what Net she’s been on.
4. Having reached the border between Bwanda and a nation with ICPO protection, Zenigata meets up with his subordinate. They talk briefly and try to escape, but get pinned down by a sniper. Lupin distracts the sniper by moving about, letting Zenigata and Ami make it to safety. Afterwards, Zenigata and his subordinate make a fire to create a smokescreen so Lupin can escape. But Zenigata rushing back to help Lupin out makes enough of a space for the sniper to catch Lupin with a very fatal looking headshot.
I have one question, tho.  How does killing Lupin get the stolen Bitmoney back? Dudes dead and you have no clue where he put the cash. This seems poorly thought out. Anyways, guess the show is over now. I’ll see you next week with a new series. Maybe the reboot of Cardfight Vanguard will be g…wait. There’s MORE show?  Sure?  Well, alright…

5. Next Episode: Zenigata seems certain Lupin’s just playing possum to get the drop on the people who want him dead, but is it really true?  Well…probably. Saying Lupin actually died against a bunch of scrubs who whine about stolen e-money seems like it’d be cool narratively, but sooner or later the show would get boring without the presence of the World’s Greatest Thief. So next episode we find out exactly how he survived a very obvious looking headshot, and whether or not he’s capable of shutting down Marco Polo once and for all.
Lupin the 3rd Part V is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

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