5 Point Discussions: Lupin the III Part V, Episode 7: “His Name Is Albert”

by Sage Ashford

Lupin makes a promise to help an old friend out by robbing someone. But suddenly a ton of people are after him for it! 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.This week we start with Lupin meeting up with an old friend named Gaston, a forger who needs Lupin’s help stealing something. The job is retrieving something from the legendary “Mr. B”, a rich guy who’s known for buying projects with his vast resources and essentially tossing them aside, never to be seen again. He’s got some of the best security in the game, so Lupin’s actually hyped to perform the job, if only to prove he’s capable of doing it.
Special shout out here to the cute reference here–it works as a double meaning, from the ’71 series when Lupin still wore his green jacket. In any case, Lupin gets a week to complete the job, and as evidence Gaston trusts him, he offers Lupin advance pay: Napoleon’s bible. It’s a bit weird, but we’ll roll with it.

2. I mentioned two weeks ago I thought it’d be cool if Fujiko functioned as something of a trump card and didn’t appear every week. …But then last week had this weird interlude where Fujiko was still part of the gang, and for a minute I thought my theory went out the window. I felt more confident in that when she made a second appearance this week.
But it turns out my initial assessment was correct; while the present-day Lupin won’t shy away from using Fujiko, she’s simply not going to be as present as she usually is. Instead of the story going down the expected path of Fujiko either being sent to screw over Mr. B or even just happen to be in a relationship with him as he’s the Nearest Rich Guy, it’s Lupin in disguise. He manages to seduce Mr. B long enough to nab both a copy of his retina and his fingerprints, thanks to the Mr. B being so handsy. Kind of a roundabout way to sneak a beloved character in, but I’m all for a story sticking to its character dynamics rather than relying on what’s familiar.
In any case, after getting Mr. B off of him before things can go much further than playful touching, Lupin sneaks away and alongside Jigen slips into Mr. B’s private vault. From there, the two of them discover what they’ve been looking for: a Picasso painting…made by Gaston’s grandson, on which Gaston forged Picasso’s signature.

3. Lupin and Jigen escape the clutches of Mr. B with so much ease one can’t help wondering exactly what was so hard about robbing the guy in the first place. Pretend to be a hot chick and you can steal all of his relevant information to crack inside–easy peasy.
Nonetheless, Lupin gets suspicious about being asked to find this painting in the first place.  Seeking out a fence he trusts, he quickly finds out the fence was the one who sold the painting to Mr. B in the first place. As the mysteries begin to pile high, Lupin and Jigen realize they’re being chased by some men in black. (No, not those guys.)
Of course, no heist series is complete without some proper chases, so this week is packed with them–Lupin and Jigen both have to bust their butts to get away from the people looking for them. But this is a lot of work for a painting which didn’t even exist to the rest of the world.  So because Lupin’s a boss, he just calls up the employer of the people chasing him, after he and Jigen successfully knock their “predators” out. They agree to meet for a trade, and all Lupin wants to know is….why do they want this thing so bad to begin with?
But instead of answering, Lupin winds up double-crossed; the bar they’re at is full of men working for the man Lupin wanted to trade with. They pull their weapons on him and their boss rushes out with the painting.

4. In any other story that would be that and our heroes would have to come up with some contrived way of running back on the antagonists. Here, the world’s smartest thief has outsmarted his enemies from beginning. Ripping off Lupin’s mask trick from earlier, the person who was cornered was Jigen, while Lupin waited in the car of the boss…finally learning there was a small notebook behind the painting.
At gun point, he convinces the guy to hand over the notebook before escaping. Lupin and Jigen both wonder what it could be that caused so many people to go after them. The notebook is the Carnet Noir, a black casebook containing every major crime committed by the French police’s top brass for years. Traveling to deliver it to Gaston, they visit his home village…only to learn he died a month prior! Visiting his grave to be sure, Lupin takes the Bible his friend “Gaston” gave him, noticing it has letters inked on the edges of the book: Albert.

5. Next Episode: We’re not sure who Albert is, but one thing’s for sure: Lupin definitely isn’t happy to see his name again. And despite this whole thing seemingly being a scheme hatched up by Albert, it’s only made Lupin more determined to hold on to this notebook…even if it means even more mysterious men in black outfits start coming after him. Even if they have…rockets?  Hm.  He should probably rethink this before it becomes too late.
Lupin the III Part 5 is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

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