5 Point Discussions: Lupin The III Part V, Episode 5: “A Crook’s Resolve”

by Sage Ashford

The Lupin Game is over, with the greatest thief that ever lived slain at the hands of Marco Polo.  But what happens next? 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. It’s been some time since Lupin “died”, and “A Crook’s Resolve” shows us the aftermath of a world where the Lupin Game is now irrelevant. We open with Fujiko getting a massage while watching the news on her phone. She questions her masseuse about the popular internet game that was all the rage not too long ago, but the masseuse can’t even remember what the game was called. I want to say the world wouldn’t forget the guy who was basically living the YouTube version of the Truman Show, if only because he died on air, but any world that can let the current political landscape go largely ignored while they live their lives could probably ignore anything.
Essentially, this gives us a soft reset. Sure the whole world witnessed the Lupin Game, but most of them probably quit long before they saw him die, and now wouldn’t even remember the name unless someone connected the two dots for them.

2. Lupin can’t actually be dead though, so this all comes down to outsmarting the head members of Marco Polo once and for all. It starts with Ami getting in contact with them via her Underworld log in. She offers to help them improve their website, but since she’s responsible for all of them being robbed in the first place, of course they don’t trust her.  Still, she’s invited to the location of one of the members of Marco Polo, Chuck Glay. While there, she purposefully walks into an incredibly old-timey trap where she gets trapped in a chair while the room she’s in fills with water.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a double trap from the beginning. Lupin frees her, and they reveal their plan: given weeks to prepare, Ami has successfully figured out the identities of all three members of Marco Polo, and placed their names on the same betting site Marco Polo put Lupin on. All three of them immediately panic, but a mysteriously talkative Ami (despite being plunged in a room utterly filled with water) offers Chuck the opportunity to go free if he helps her.
He rushes down to the room he’s trapped her in, only to find Ami already freed and Lupin waiting. From there, they explain how everything happened, as Chuck grows more and more panicked. As he’s about to have a complete breakdown, Zenigata arrives. He’s been moved into working drug cases as his punishment for helping Lupin, but he never believed Lupin was dead to begin with, and Ami explained the plan to him in a note she left at his apartment before she went to finish this mission.
At 28 years old, Chuck is a cynical example of a “millenial” thief: he wants the money and the power that comes from stealing and running a black market business, but only if it can be done online, and he’s not willing to risk his life for it. Even though he and Lupin both have each other at gunpoint, he cracks first and begs Zenigata to take him to jail as long as he doesn’t have to chance being killed by assassins or fighting Lupin. All too happy to jail him, Lupin and Ami escape in the meantime, while Chuck’s two partners are caught by Jigen and Goemon.

3. With the case wrapped up, it’s time for Ami to actually move on. If I have one problem with this, it’s I feel Ami could’ve used more time to develop. They cover what they need to pretty well in this episode though–while she’s captured, she talks about how at first she loved mastering computer programming because it made her feel special. She liked being praised for it, and she liked the limitless information available on the internet. But keeping things strictly virtual made her world feel too small, so she took Lupin’s offer of “kidnapping” her just so she could see the real world.
….But she hated it. It was uncomfortable, and illogical. But it was exciting, having a new world to conquer and learn in the way she had with the internet. She gives this speech while being threatened with drowning, so she’s become a true convert to Lupin’s way of life–ever wanting to find new, different challenges. By the end of this case, she agrees to go to school, seeing it as the biggest challenge she could attempt right now, and she’s shipped off to boarding school.
There’s little chance we don’t see her again, but it’s hard not to think this happened a little too fast. Though this might be because I like the way Ami changed the dynamic of the group, giving them someone to protect instead of constantly being selfish.

4. As the cynic in me expected, Fujiko was in on everything. After Lupin frees Ami from the water trap, he explains to Chuck how he’d outsmarted the Lupin Game early on.  Everything was rigged–the Drone Fighter following Lupin from the end of the second episode was Fujiko’s, meaning the people watching Lupin the most…were his own. He’d rigged things for Fujiko to pop up right after they’d finished the first round of assassins to go ahead and “kill” him, but when Zenigata showed up at the last second he was forced to call an audible.
But even though Fujiko came to Lupin’s aid, it doesn’t exactly mean she’s back with the gang full time. Not yet, at least. At the end of the episode there’s a somber scene where Lupin explains how this was simply a business transaction, and she received the bulk of the money they stole from Marco Polo to do the job. The call is short, but there’s an unspoken tension between the two, as if there’s still a lot of unexplored emotions left between the two, but they’ve agreed to remain simply business partners for now. Much as I love anime, a lot of it gets far too comfortable with falling back into old tropes, so given next week’s episode isn’t just featuring Fujiko but the NEP for it was narrated by her, I really hope we don’t go back to the old pattern. I love the idea of Fujiko being a trump card that doesn’t pop up for every adventure because neither of them are over the way they hurt each other just yet. Also, there’s a boss version of the Lupin III Love Theme playing during their conversation which is absolutely chilling.

5. Next Episode: After a fantastic opening five part story, the group is moving on to deal with a new challenge!  This time, it’s an intelligent safe, and it becomes harder to crack the smarter the person trying is.  But Lupin’s a genius!  Does he try to get rid of his intelligence, or can the world’s smartest thief outsmart the world’s smartest safe? 
Lupin the III Part V is available on Crunchyroll.

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