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Anime: Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
" steal and steal again is my greatest carnal pleasure
and I stake my life on it.
A sexy prison from which there is no escape... if you want to gaze at me
first cease everything you are doing
and let your heart be the only thing to stir."

Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine was a 2012 anime series based on Monkey Punch's long-running Lupin III franchise. Produced by TMS Entertainment and Po10tial, it began airing on NTV on April 4, 2012 as part of a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the completion of the first Lupin manga. The series focused on the franchise's heroine, Fujiko Miné, as she takes on various missions and encounters other characters in the Lupin universe. The opening theme was "New Wuthering Heights" by Naruyoshi Kikuchi and Pepe Tormento Azcarar feat. Ichiko Hashimoto, whilst the ending theme was "Duty Friend" by NIKIIE. In addition, music direction was handled by legendary anime director Shinichiro Watanabe.

Sayo Yamamoto was the director of the series, making it the first Lupin title – and one of the first anime period – to be directed by a woman. The head writer was also a woman, Mari Okadanote . The character designs were handled by Takeshi Koike, best known for the film Redline, and opted to eschew the standard Miyazaki-inspired designs of previous decades in favor of a much darker, sketchier aesthetic more in line with Monkey Punch's original comics. Fujiko Mine, unlike previous Lupin anime adaptations, is also much closer to Monkey Punch's original creation in tone and in the portrayal of Arsène Lupin III. The series is darker, more serious, and more sexually oriented than its predecessors. It's also the first series in which Lupin is not the main protagonist – there are many episodes where he does not appear at all.

This was the first (and so far only) full Lupin series to use the new voice actors for Fujiko, Goemon, and Zenigata (Miyuki Sawashiro, Daisuke Namikawa, and Koichi Yamadera respectively); they had made their debuts in the annual TV special a few months earlier.

In North America, Funimation simulcasted the series with English subtitles on their website. Several months later they announced the series would be given a proper home video release, complete with English dub using a combination of their own actors from previous TV specials and actors from the "Red Jacket" TV series.note  The series marks the first time either Michelle Ruff or Richard Epcar lent their voices to a Texas production.

Episode recaps are located here: Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

Needs Wiki Magic Love.

This series contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: Goemon.
    "Did I just get a real girlfriend?"
  • Already Done for You: Fujiko acquires an old graverobbers log, which gives her a clear route into the pyramid; with most of the traps having already been triggered.
  • Anachronism Stew: Commentary reveals that this was intentional, to avoid tying the characters down to a specific timeframe.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Peacocks and butterflies for Fujiko.
    • Owls for all of Glaucus Pharmaceuticals.
  • Animation Bump: Far and away the best looking Lupin series, as well as a strong contender for TMS' best work.
  • Anti-Hero: The four main characters, although Fujiko and (typically enough) Lupin both qualify as Villain Protagonist and Anti-Villain.
  • Art Shift: Oscar's mind plays out in a shadow puppet theatre style.
  • Bad Ass: Everyone, most noticeably Zenigata who is a lot less goofy than usual, although he still has his moments. He wouldn't be Zenigata if he didn't.
  • Becoming the Mask: Two characters are coaching a third character through this process. First by setting up a disguise for the third person to wear, then by creating a legend around her "masked" persona. This is Da Renzo and Aiyan's plan, having one of the stage hands, Nora, take over for Aiyan after finding out how talented she was.
  • Big Bad: As of "Dying Day", Count Luis Yu Almeida is the mastermind behind nearly the entire story, despite the fact that he's dead.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Glaucus Pharmaceuticals watches over every aspect of this show, as well as observing Fujiko's every move since childbirth.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Goemon singlehandedly prevented the assassination of the leader and his grandson heir of a small European country and took out the two missiles that were supposed to start World War III via the Cold War.
  • Bigger Bad: This series inverts the idea of a mastermind being revealed as the toy to an even more powerful and impersonal force. The character acting as the unapproachable mastermind dictating every event in the series is revealed to have two assistants, Aisha and Minerva, who have continued his experiments after he died. But Aisha couldn't bear the thought of her experiences being over, so she continued the torture. He is, therefore, completely impersonal while still operating as the Big Bad at the same time.
  • Bishounen: Oscar is easily mistaken for female, even in-universe. A fact that he uses to his advantage by wearing Wig, Dress, Accent to fool Fujiko, and later on, other cops.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Lupin's fake blood pump prank on Zenigata in "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore".
  • Broken Bird: The series gradually reveals more and more of Fujiko's past, memories of mental and physical torture, and plays of sympathy for her current mental state. Until the end of the series, where The Reveal is completely subverting this trope amd others. Fujiko had these memories implanted inside her mind, but was able to block them out and ignore their effects, as well as being a Dark Action Girl and Femme Fatale before the implantation, too. It's just how she rolls.
  • Bullet Time: In the Goemon vs. Jigen battle. Forget just bullet time; Goemon used katana time. The slow motion shows how Goemon slices every bullet from Jigen.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Along with the owls, butterflies keep appearing during certain scenes, serving as added symbolism to the Fräulein Eule mystery.
  • Call Back: In "Master Thief vs. Lady Looter", Lupin is looking to steal the hallucinogenic treasure of the Fräulein Eule. In "Ghost Town" it turns out he was forced to steal it for Count Luis Yu Almeida and Glaucus Pharmaceuticals.
  • Calling Card: Lupin leaves one on Fujiko's thigh in "Master Thief vs. Lady Looter", as well as sending one ahead for the mask in the opera house.
  • The Cavalry: Zenigata and his troops at the end of "Master Thief vs. Lady Looter".
  • Chekhov's Gun: At least one per episode
    • "Master Thief vs. Lady Looter": The Dizzy-Dizzy
    • "The Lady and the Samurai": The Duke's belt
    • "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore": The bees
    • "Blood-Soaked Triangle": The mummy
    • "Love Wreathed in Steam": The pistol from the carnival
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Count Luis Yu Almeida, whose plans included manipulation of his own scientists and various plots which include Fujiko, Lupin, and Oscar.
    • Replaced by Aisha after his death, in order to continue incomplete plans regarding his primary experiment.
  • Characterization Marches On: Zenigata is much less of a buffoon in this incarnation. Sure, he's still always one step behind Lupin, and Lupin still mocks him, but the emphasis is that he's only one step behind Lupin, and if Lupin ever made a single mistake, he'd be done for. He's not afraid to actually open fire on Lupin and even hits him once; however, Lupin was armed with a bulletproof vest and a squib vest underneath, too, to make it look worse than it really was.
  • Circus of Fear: Fujikoland is an amusement park created from the obsession that Aisha, the main antagonist of the series, has for Fujiko.
  • Classical Mythology: The mansion of Glaucus Pharmaceuticals contains a statue of Minerva, goddess of wisdom and medicine. She is also represented by the owl.
  • Cold War: The setting of at least "Music and Revolution", which features expys of Fidel Castro, JFK and Nikita Khrushchev. Though with the series so full of anachronisms and playing with time in general it's hard to tell if the whole series is set within the Cold War.
  • Combat Stilettos. Not only Fujiko, but Oscar also wears high heels during fight scenes.
  • Compressed Adaptation: It's not an adaptation of any specific work, but you could call this a mix of old and new Lupin III media. The sketchy art style, crude humour and nudity brings the manga by Monkey Punch to mind. However, it's a lot less nonsensical than the manga, and the stories are more like the anime series and movies (which a lot of fans are more familiar with).
  • Contract on the Hitman: Happens to all four, by various organizations.
    • Fujiko, whose past is revealed in the climax, is spoilered: (Aisha sent several women out with replaced memories, and Fujiko was the only one to avoid suicide. When Aisha figured out that Fujiko had blocked the implanted memories, she became obsessed with punishing Fujiko.)
    • Halfway through the series, we find out that Lupin was contracted to "steal Fujiko", but when he started to learn too much about her, Count Almeida and his subordinates started trying to kill him.
    • In the second episode, Jigen was contracted by a Mafia boss to serve as bodyguard. After the boss was killed by his own wife, Jigen told her to use a Zero Approval Gambit, telling everyone that Jigen killed the boss, while he goes to a rival gang. She later contracts Fujiko to bait Jigen into a trap. Naturally, Jigen is able to perform some Assassin Outclassin' in order to escape. which is what she really wanted in the first place.
    • In the third episode, Goemon has been hired to kill a King preparing to retire. Another man was paid to make the train wreck, killing everyone aboard. Once Goemon figures out that he is being targeted to die as well, he feels this voids his contract, and saves everyone.
  • Cutting the Knot: When corned by a trap or obstacle, Jigen simply shoots it.
  • Dark Action Girl: Fujiko.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Fujiko, who was victimized by Count Luis Yu Almeida as a child. The victimization included psychological and physiological experimentation, such as shock therapy, torture, rape, and pedophiliac photography. Later on, we discover that Fujiko was implanted with Aisha's memories, and has a completely unknown past after all.
  • Darker and Edgier: Played straight and quite literally in the animation. Fujiko's Femme Fatale tendencies are cranked up to eleven, and Lupin is a much more devious criminal. As far as villains go, Count Luis Yu Almeida is hands down one of the most devious criminals in the Lupin III universe, easily trumping characters such as Pycal, Scorpion, and the Count of Cagliostro.
  • Dead All Along: Two characters are dead before the series even begins, and remain important to the plot.
    • Count Luis Yu Almeida, whose experiments continue as if he is still alive to oversee them.
    • Dr. Fritz Kaiser, who acts as Mr. Exposition for Lupin as he investigates Fujiko's past.
  • Deconstruction: Of the entire Lupin III universe, which strangely occurred after this Prequel.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Lupin isn't the main character. He does, however, headline a number of episodes, notably the last four.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Count Luis Yu Almeida probably takes the cake in the Lupin franchise. He actually died before the series started. Aisha, his "daughter", was unable to cope with the idea the experiments would end, and followed in her "Papa"'s footsteps, growing it.
  • Dirty Cop: Surprisingly, it turns out one of our favourite characters, Inspector Zenigata, was one in the past. However, seeing Oscar protecting pride when he was a kid from bullies, caused him to realize his mistake, informed his superiors, and was demoted before working his way back up the honest way.
  • Dirty Old Man: The cult leader from "Master Thief vs. Lady Looter" is able to have just about any woman he wants, and he doesn't stop at one. He evrn tries to kiss Fujiko after having her executed!
  • Disappeared Dad: Dr. Fritz Kaiser, the father of Count Louis's experiments, disappeared years ago. This trope is then zigzagged, as the audience learns that Kaiser is an illusion conjured by the Fräulein Eule while also affecting the physical world.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: In "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore", when Fujiko steps into the River of Oblivion. Again in "Prison of Love".
  • Doomed by Canon: Oscar was introduced as the partner of the franchise's Hero Antagonist Koichi Zenigata. We therefore know Oscar is eliminated in some fashion, before the start of the conventional series. In the Series Finale, Oscar pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to dispose of a bomb.
  • Double Entendre: The last scene features Fujiko kissing a screw from Lupin's car.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Cicciolina subverts this by switching from a death wish to trying to kill Jigen for the murder of her husband. But it gets double-subverted, when she reveals that she was trying to get Jigen to kill her.
    • Fujiko had a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Fortunately, it was just a squirt gun.
    • Out of all the experiments Count Alameda did, only two avoided suicide. Aisha couldn't suicide, and Fujiko refused to. This includes the women who were victims of Aisha's implantation experiments, because they couldn't take the sheer sorrow of Aisha's memories.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady:
    • Oscar, to the point you would think he was a woman if it wasn't for his name.
    • Goemon, of all people, in the two part finale. This was strictly Played for Laughs.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: Oscar, who hates Fujiko with a passion, because she had sex with Inspector Zenigata. Spittoon.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: A pretty major plot point in "Prison of Love".
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: Since this is a prequel series, one of the goals was to introduce every character of the cast to every other character of the cast. Since Fujiko is the central character of the series, meeting up with the other four happens in the first four episodes; Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, then Zenigata. By the end of the series, Jigen - Goemon meet, but don't know each other, while Lupin - Goemon and Zenigata - Goemon haven't met.
  • Everything's Worse With Bees: The bees on the rooftop of the opera house in "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore"? Definitely.
  • Fake Memories: Real memories implanted within numerous women, including Fujiko. All of those memories of Fujiko's 'childhood' you saw all through the series? Fake in the sense that they weren't hers, but Aisha Kaiser's.
  • Fanservice: Fujiko's bod is much more in display for this series.
  • Femme Fatale: Fujiko, as usual, but to a scale not seen in any of her previous incarnations save the original manga. It actually appears to be a Deconstruction of Femme Fatales; Fujiko went through nine hells since her implantation of Aisha's memories to become the weapons-grade Femme Fatale she is. Then it turns out that the false memories had nothing to do with it, she was like that even before the implantation. Her fascination with Lupin is deconstructed as well - though he obviously admires her charms, he admires her professional use of those charms even more. This leads to the author's interpretation of them "enjoy(ing) each other" through their Friendly Rivalry.
  • Film Noir: Episode 2 has many of the textbook elements.
  • Flashback Nightmare: Fujiko has what appears to be one in episode 6 after being knocked out by Oscar.
  • Freak Out: Several by Oscar in "The Feast of Fools".
  • Gag Penis: According to Fujiko, Jigen doesn't have one:
    No worries. He isn't a Magnum down there at all.
  • Ghost Town: When the town of Eulenspiegel is in an episode titled "Ghost Town", that's what you expect.
  • Grand Theft Me: Aisha to Fujiko and other girls who were in her experiment via replacing their memories with hers. She took up the late Count Almeida's work in a vain attempt to get her "story" back by implanting her memories into young girls to see if she was able to live a different life if she hadn't become a quadriplegic due to the horrific experimentation she endured.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Oscar makes one in "The Feast of Fools", after Lupin is nearly finished on defusing the bomb a bridge, Oscar takes the bomb, and it explodes just as the fireworks were launched. Zenigata's Oh Crap face tells us he's unaware of it.
  • Hot Teacher: Fujiko in "Prison of Love".
  • Hotter and Sexier: Compared to the other anime series; the OP alone can be considered this.
  • How We Got Here: The series as a whole shows how Fujiko met Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Da Renzo and Aiyan in "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore". Also counts as a May-December Romance.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick/Reckless Sidekick: When he appears in an episode, Oscar is the one who makes the detailed battle plans and goes into the trenches to take out Fujiko Mine. Inspector Zenigata is portrayed as the laid-back type who doesn't focus on Fujiko and even goes so far as to have sex with her. This ultimately unravels Oscar's plans in "Prison of Love", in which he's a little too gung-ho in his sexual encounter with Fujiko and the taunting afterwards. He's not nearly as level-headed as the inspector, leading him to charge into situations he hasn't fully comprehended.
    • This eventually leads to Oscar's near-death experience in "The Feast of Fools".
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Jigen's Origins Episode has a scene where he at first pretends to be accepting her offer of teaming up (naked), then grabs the knife she was concealing and threatens her with it. He's also shown ignoring Ciccolina in his flashbacks.
  • I Just Want to Be You: A very twisted version. Aisha to Fujiko.
  • Immodest Orgasm: Fujiko in "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore". Thankfully it was faked.
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: The Owlmen question Oscar as to why he is framing Fujiko and dressing up like her as opposed to Lupin since that would get Zenigata's attention more. They believe it is because Oscar wants Zenigata to capture him and interrogatenote  him as he did Fujiko.
  • Kick the Dog: Once Fujiko finds out that Aisha toyed with her memories, her revenge consists of: ripping her off of life-support (ensuring that she will die), kidnapping her, dragging her out to the beach and then taunting her by making her watch Fujiko enjoy simple pleasures like wading around in the ocean (which Aisha can't enjoy). Even Lupin finds this a bit excessive, claiming that it would have been better just to kill her straight off.
  • Kill It with Fire: In an extremely dark moment for Lupin, he tries to kill Jigen with traps of fire while in the pyramid in "Blood-Soaked Triangle".
  • Large Ham: Cho as the Cult leader from the first episode. The way he yells out 'Keisatsu!' is a good indicator.
    • Yuki Kaji as Oscar, gives a performance worthy of Jun Fukuyama, and sounds a lot like him too.
  • Love Hurts: Poor Oscar.
  • Madness Mantra: Fujiko at the end of "Love Wreathed in Steam". "What the hell? What the hell? What the hell?"
    • From "Ghost Town": "Fräulein Eule".
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Fritz Kaiser.
  • Master of Disguise
  • Meaningful Name: Glaucus Pharmaceuticals. The name refers to genus Glaucidium, the pygmy owl.
  • Mind Screw: "Ghost Town" rivals The Mystery of Mamo and Green vs. Red in terms of the bizarre.
  • Missing Mom: The "Owl of Minerva", a.k.a Dr. Minerva Kaiser, Aisha's mom. Everyone assumed that she died early on in Aisha's life but in actuality, she was one of the scientists that took part of making Aisha the way she is. She became so overwrought with guilt that she had erased herself out of Aisha's memories, which we saw through Fujiko and came the 'Owl of Minerva' to serve as a Hypercompetent Sidekick to Aisha as a way to absolve her failure to protect her child.
  • Motifs: The series is rife with symbolism, though the three that symbolize Fujiko the most are the owl, the flower, and the butterfly.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Done by Fujiko to one of the guards in "Master Thief vs. Lady Looter".
    • Oscar does this to Isolde in "Prison of Love".
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Oscar seems to think that Fujiko poses a threat to his and Zenigata's future happiness.
  • Mushroom Samba: Lupin III in "Ghost Town".
  • Mythology Gag: The male gender symbol (♂) appears in a sex scene at one point, in a nod to a Running Gag in the original Manga.Lupin III, as well as the female gender symbol.
  • Neck Lift: In "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore", Oscar does this to a subordinate police officer for listening in on Fujiko and Zenigata having sex, threatening to kill the officer if he doesn't do his job properly.
  • Never Found the Body: One of the conditions of Oscar's "death" as stated in "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Part 1)". This laid the groundwork for his return as a servant of Count Luis Yu Almeida.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Countries are pretty much never referred to by their real names. Hell, the "Fatlantic Ocean" even makes an appearance.
  • Not Quite Dead: See Never Found the Body.
  • Ominous Owl: Owls are a reoccurring motif in the series, often blink-and-you'll-miss-it-moments in the background, and humanoid owls appear in Fujiko's Flashback Nightmare. The OP features a few as well.
  • Once an Episode: There is at least one scene in every episode where it shows off Fujiko topless.
  • Only Six Faces: All of the women, including Fujiko, look almost exactly alike with the exception of hairstyles and eye color. Lampshaded in "Vissi d'arte, vissi d'amore".
    • Pulled to a creepy and ridiculously illogical level in "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Part 1)"
  • Only You Can Kill Me: Cicciolina to Jigen
  • Origins Episode: This series as a whole is another retelling of the gang coming together.
  • The Other Darrin: In a way. The Funimation actors for Fujiko and Zenigata had retired, so actors from the "Red Jacket" cast were used instead — Michelle Ruff reprised Fujiko, and Richard Epcar took over for Zenigata.
  • Prequel: The show explains how the main characters met each other from Fujiko's point of view (or at least, how Fujiko met them, Lupin and Goemon never interact and only coincidentally happen to be in the same place at the same time in two instances). It's not the only prequel story though. See also Origins Episode.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The OP, "New Wuthering Heights".
  • Repressed Memories: Fujiko is able to repress any bad memories in order to live her life the way she wants. It becomes a sort of Chekhov's Skill in that that skill helped her from being consumed by the implanted memories of Aisha.
  • The Reveal: "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (Part 2)".
  • Seinen: Like nobody's business.
  • Scars Are Forever: Aiyan burns herself so that she could leave her stage life and be with Da Renzo.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Scooter Riding Mod: One of the many styles of Fujiko throughout the show.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Oscar, who's gay as springtime, but only for Zenigata.
  • Spy Catsuit: Worn by Fujiko in episode 9, underneath a big, concealing robe.
  • Temple of Doom: The pyramid in "Blood-Soaked Triangle", complete with several Death Traps.
  • The Comically Serious: Goemon is just as stone-faced as ever, which highlights how ridiculous his adventures tend to be.
  • Title Drop:
    • The OP does this for the anime's opening theme "New Wuthering Heights":
      Like Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights", to steal and steal again is my greatest carnal pleasure, and I stake my life on it.
    • Lupin finally does it in Episode 5, albeit a variation of it:
      The woman named Fujiko Mine is a peacock wherever she goes.
    • Goemon said the title in "The Feast of Fools" after listening to the radio story covering her.
    • The last two episode titles were said title, parts 1 and 2. Fujiko title dropped in Part 2.
  • Truer To The Text: Out of all the Lupin adaptations, this one is the most faithful in tone, spirit, and content.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one questions why or seems freaked out to seeing a person with an Owl for a head.
  • Useless Protagonist: While she can still kick ass, Fujiko can be seen as acting overly passive at times, as such behavior is part and parcel of being the Femme Fatale. Upon "Dying Day", she gets some Character Development to remedy this.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • It is never revealed what happened to Oscar in the last episode after he drove a fuel tanker truck into the castle.
    • It isn't revealed what happened to Isolde after Oscar stole her clothes and impersonated her.
  • William Telling: In ".357 Magnum", Jigen Diasuke demonstrated his incredible skill by firing a bullet through a cherry Cicciolina was holding between her lips.
  • Yandere: Does not even begin to describe Oscar's issues.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Fans who have only watched Lupin may be taken aback by the extremely angular build of most of the characters. However, those who have read the oldest Monkey Punch manga know that the design in this anime is similar to their very first manga designs.

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alternative title(s): Lupin The Third The Woman Called Fujiko Mine; Lupin III The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
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