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Fanfic: Just An Unorthodox Thief
“W-who are you?” Kirei finally asked, making the Servant turn to him before grinning.
“Arsène Lupin the Third. Just an unorthodox thief.
The King of Knights vs. The Emperor of Thieves! Who will win?

Just an Unorthodox Thief is a Fate/Zero and Lupin The Third crossover by The Infamous Man. Yes, the same author behind Fate/Zero Sense and A Different Kind Of Truth. It uses the familiar concept of someone summoning a Servant from another series...this time, Kirei Kotomine has accidentally summoned Lupin The Third as Assassin. How will this affect the Fourth Grail War? Read it here, and find out.

For those unfamiliar with the Fate franchise, a Servant- or "Heroic Spirit"- must be summoned from the "Throne of Heroes", a resting place that resides outside of time and space, reserved for those brave men and women whose deeds have become legends, and are now venerated as eternal guardians of mankind. However, being a "hero" isn't strictly required, as some of the summoners discover in this story. Which means, for Lupin to have become a Servant, he's been dead... For ten years. Most of the Lupin cast members have been forced to move on after his death. Some have handled it better than others, while others still long for the glory days when their friend/enemy/rival was among the living.

For those unfamiliar with the Lupin franchise, Lupin the 3rd is the grandson of the original Gentleman Thief, titular Frenchman Arsène Lupin. Lupin Sr was intelligent, fast, and powerful enough to rival Sherlock Holmes. The grandson is less classy, but even more dangerous. He is normally accompanied by three friends, but this work downplays their influence. He is, however, still chased by a policeman who has dedicated his life to tracking down Lupin, and has collected an impressive arrest record by catching the criminals Lupin has competed with. Criminals like the mages Lupin has been summoned to fight. With the power that comes from being a "Heroic Spirit", Lupin seems to be getting even more incredible.

This fic has examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Lupin frequently uses ammunition for his weapons that has unique properties such as exploding bullets and glue rockets.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: All the Servants' weapons, and also Goemon's Zantetsuken.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Kirei’s general opinion of Lupin’s antics.
  • Adaptational Badass: Risei. Who in this story is Tokiomi's Smart Ball holding Hypercompetent Sidekick.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Kirei resorts to this in order to quickly get Sakura treatment from his father and protection afterward.
  • Always Gets His Man: Zenigata, with the exception of Lupin and his gang, always catches the criminals he chases.
  • And Then What?: Zenigata has no idea what to do after Lupin's death. Supported by Lupin canon.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: The Heroic variety. Zenigata eventually loses his drive to catch criminals after Lupin's death, leading to his retirement. Also happens in Lupin canon.
  • Anti-Hero: Assassin may be a straight up thief but he's too noble to be a Villain Protagonist. Though he does have a bit more ruthlessness than his 'lighter' self from the second anime series.
  • Appeal To Audacity: Lupin convinces Jigen that he's telling the truth about magic via this trope, also helps that the gang went through all sorts of supernatural shenanigans during their time together.
  • Arch-Enemy: Archer HATES Assassin because he stole some of his Noble Phantasms. He's currently the only person Archer is actually motivated to kill.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Assassin notices that Kirei enjoyed Caster's sadism, he asks how Kirei would feel if Caster had captured his daughter. This question makes Kirei so angry that he orders Assassin to shut up.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Daisuke Akimi from Kara no Kyoukai. In canon he just existed to give Mikiya leads. Here he's Zenigeta's Lancer and right hand man and is an competent detective in his own right.
    • Risei's getting in on the act as well. He's been stepping into the plot a lot more as his faith in Tokiomi wanes and he decides to more discreetly back Kirei and Assassin while growing into a three dimensional character.
  • Assassin Outclassin': A flashback showed how Kiritsugu met Lupin III when the latter was still alive: Kiritsugu and Natalia had been hired to kill the Edelfelt head, and Lupin didn't want having a murder on his watch. Not only did the hit fail, but Kiritsugu realized how outclassed he was by Lupin and his gang even before Goemon cut down the Golden Gate Bridge to stop Kiritsugu and a few dozens police cruisers from giving chase.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • Assassin's power set is built around this. His EX Rank Eye For Art allows him to identify a Servant with a glance and his A Ranked Discernment of the Poor allows him to psychoanalyze anyone instantly, allowing him to know their mental strengths and weaknesses.
    • Lancer as well, he was able to figure out Assassin's tricks and Noble Phantasms after only seeing them once. Of course, Assassin has many, many, many more tricks and tools at his disposal.
    • Zenigata is another example. He figures out that Lupin/Assassin is inside the sewers thanks to a cigarette butt that was put out outside the entrance. The cigarettes are Gitanes, a brand from France and Lupin's favorite brand. So who else other than Lupin would smoke cigarettes imported from France in Japan?
  • Bad Liar: Tokiomi is certainly this after his second interview with Zenigata and Daisuke. On everything from Sakura to his connection to the Einzberns and Matous, he fails to provide a decent explanation or excuse.
  • Bash Brothers: Kirei and Assassin finally become this trope when they work together to kill Zouken in the Fifthteenth Heist.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Saber and Zenigata versus the Owls of Minerva's Kuken.
  • Badass Driver: Kirei becomes one when he becomes Assassin's getaway driver.
  • Badass Grandpa: Zenigata may be past sixty but that just shows how damn good he is since he can still compete with the new and improved, superhuman Lupin. Same could be said about a now aged Jigen and Goemon.
  • Badass Preacher: Kirei and Risei.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Caster does this during his tirade about Assassin in the Fifth Heist. And to add insult to injury, thanks to his magic the poor child is still alive.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Assassin normally has Nerves of Steel and refuses to let anything get to him, but a few things are shown to make him genuinely angry:
      • Caster, in a case of Everyone Has Standards.
      • Assassin has also deemed Zouken to be such a monster, so he's gotten more serious, is wearing his green jacket, and has made his fight with Zouken personal.
      • People disrespecting Zenigata.
    • Zenigata surprisingly has one: Lupin being accused of crimes that do not fit his M.O. Lupin may be a thief, but he's not a sociopath in Zenigata's eyes.
  • Bigger Bad: Count Luis Yu Almeida. He's been dead for years but his atrocities still cast a shadow over many characters and have set many tragedies into motion.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Currently the two biggest antagonistic forces are split between Archer and the Count, and his Owls of Minerva.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In the end, this is all Zouken is. When he goes up against someone who can actually fight back against his tyrannical abuse he folds like wet cardboard.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Berserker intercepts Archer before he could kill Assassin during the docks battle.
    • Before that, Rider saving a Gae Buidhe-less Lancer from being cut down by Saber.
  • Black Humor: Assassin dabs in this from time to time.
    Assassin: (After explaining how he burned Caster's book using a portable flame thrower) So when I give someone the finger, you know I mean it!
  • Body Horror: The Kuken are not a pretty sight with their outfits torn off.
  • Boom, Headshot: How Lancer bites the bucket.
    • Lupin tries to do this to Zouken, but it doesn't stick.
  • Bound and Gagged: Sola-Ui suffers this thanks to Lupin.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Kuken oh so much.
  • Broken Masquerade: Tokiomi is convinced that Lupin’s calling card giveaway at the end of the Second Heist has caused this. Risei calms him down by stating that A) as Lupin has been confirmed dead for over a decade, the public would probably think it's the work of a copycat and B) the Grail War has been so well guarded that most Muggles wouldn't realize the significance of its mention.
  • The Bully: As Assassin points out, this is all Zouken is at the end of the day. This is why he's a Big Bad Wannabe.
  • Byronic Hero: Kiritsugu as always. But an entire chapter aptly titled "The Killer Called Kiritsugu" is dedicated to showing how broken Kiritsugu is inside.
  • Came Back Strong: Lupin, of course.
  • The Casanova: Lupin LOVES the ladies, and can charm almost anyone with the right lines. The only exceptions being Fujiko and Saber. Though he doesn't really try with Saber due to the fact that her body does not suit his tastes.
  • Catch Phrase: Goemon's "Once again, I have cut a worthless thing."
  • Character Development: To protect Lupin from his father, Kirei claims that Lupin was acting on his orders in killing Caster. He is also surprised that he was feeling joy when he thought about sinners being punished for their crimes.
  • The Cameo:
    • First is Daisuke Akimi, a mundane cop from Kara no Kyoukai. He's more of a Canon Immigrant now because of The Nasuverse, and due to becoming a regular supporting character as Zenigata's partner.
    • Then there's Mayu (and company) from Elfen Lied. Goemon retired from thieving and became a bushido instructor in Kamakura, watching over Mayu in particular as a surrogate father. Word of God said this was done purely as a Shout-Out to the series.
    • Riko Mine, AKA Lupin the IV, from Aria the Scarlet Ammo. She was conceived the night before Lupin's death.
    • And of course, we can't forget Shirou, who gives Zenigata the lead he needs to track down Ryuunosuke.
    • Taiga's grandfather is mentioned as one of Lupin's contacts.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Zenigata and the police show up just in time to arrest Ryuunosuke, AFTER Lupin and Saber have killed Caster. In this case, it's lucky they did arrive late, otherwise they would have been slaughtered by Caster.
  • Chained to a Bed: Fujiko Mine's parting gift to Lupin after their night together.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • The leader of the Owls of Minerva, the Count, has plans for the course of the war. They have tabs on the various masters and Servants, substances that can affect even Servants, and a wide net of operatives all poised to manipulate future events. Kiritsugu believes that Lupin is one of these as well
    • Lupin. Though he feels bad about it, he delays Sakura's rescue to follow his plan. Risei actually thinks that Assassin's every flight of fancy is a carefully calculated move contributing his overall victory. It's unknown if this is true, but the Laughing Peacock heist has made Assassin too well protected for Tokiomi to order his death.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Lupin inspires Sakura in this way as he rescues her from Zouken.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Lupin of course. If he can use something to gain an advantage in a fight, he'll use it immediately with few exceptions. Some examples include attacking Masters, stealing the weapons of Servants, blinding enemies, etc. Saber even does this once to bring down Caster's guard in order to kill him. Kiritsugu is an extreme example.
  • Composite Character: Lupin is this of himself. He has the manga version's Chessmaster abilities, his The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and first anime version's charisma, skill, and a bit of their ruthless side, and his Second Series version's morals... which actually makes a lot of sense, since Heroic Spirits are idealized versions of their original selves. It makes perfect sense that the Servant Assassin has all of Heroic Spirit Lupin III's best attributes.
  • Continuity Nod: Various Lupin series episodes, movies, and even a bit of the original manga by Monkey Punch are mentioned throughout the fic.
  • Cool Car: Lupin and Kirei's yellow Fiat 500.
    • Jigen's black Nissan Skyline.
  • The Corrupter: To a minor extent, Assassin is this to Saber.
  • Costume Copycat: thanks to his notoriety, people have begun wearing outfits and hairstyles similar to Lupin's. Justifies his use of a Paper-Thin Disguise since he looks like those copying him.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Lupin reunites with Fujiko Mine. And also how he first meets his daughter.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Lupin, of course, with one of his Noble Phantasms geared towards it.
    • Zenigata also counts. In the case of the Laughing Peacock, he attempts to use guards, surveillance equipment, himself, and even a tracking device to stop Lupin. He still fails, but points for effort! Humorously, we find out that he keeps a pair of handcuffs under his pillow just in case Lupin enters his bedroom!
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Lupin himself, as per his series.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Invoked by the author. TIM has suggested some pieces of soundtrack for specific scenes.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: How Archer kills Lancer. He's so serious about killing Assassin that he demands Lancer to leave before killing him when he refuses. All without so much as a taunt or glance.
    • The Fifteenth Heist. Kirei's ruthless, No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Zouken when he comes to the church to try and take Sakura back. Kirei holds nothing back and turns the elder Matou into little more than a bloody smear on the pavement, before completely obliterating his soul. Justified, in that giving him no chance to recover kept him from dispersing into Crest Worms and escaping, and still completely awesome and satisfying to behold.
    Kirei: Kyrie Eleison.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Subverted. The first thing Lupin does after stealing Archer's Noble Phantasms is sell them for extra cash.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Lupin does this to Kirei in an effort to get him to be true to himself and find his own place in the world outside of what others expect of him.
  • Dark Reprise/Soundtrack Dissonance: TIM gives every major scene a song from Lupin III, during a flashback episode a chase between Lupin and Kiritsugu TIM said that Kiritsugu's theme was a song called Super Hero which becomes this if you compare Kiritsugu and Lupin's view points. The song basically boils down to a "Lupin is Cool" song with lines like "Scream for me, a romantic modern hero" and "Everyone wishes they could be like me" it fits Lupin perfectly as he effortlessly outfoxes two of the worlds greatest assassins while saving an innocent life, but from Kiritsugu's angle it becomes a Sarcastic Echo as the lyrics mock him by basically being what he wants a Hero of Justice to be, and in a way, what he wants to be, all while basically saying that a common thief is a better superhero than he is. The song really becomes rather sad if you listen to it and make it Kiritsugu's theme, instead of Lupin's.
  • Dead Man Walking: Kariya admits that he is one of these thanks to the worms in his system.
  • Death by Adaptation: Zouken gets what he deserves ten years earlier than in canon. It was ''glorious''.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Goemon cutting off the clothes of police officers, forcing them to run away as a result.
  • Destroy the Evidence: The entire mansion was rigged with incendiary explosives to prevent information from falling into enemy hands.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: While Zouken isn't Old Scratch (and doesn't have Angra Mainyu under his control) he pretty much hits all the marks showing how much of a loser he really is as Assassin and Kirei awesomely ruin his life.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Assassin successfully steals Archer's Noble Phantasms and gets away with it. Archer is pissed.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Zouken supposedly had the perfect plan to deal with Assassin, too bad he underestimated those muggle policemen.
    • Zouken does this again by somehow forgetting about Assassin's Master, Kirei the Executioner, while talking to Assassin.
  • Dirty Cop: the Fuyuki Police Department Chief is this as he is paid by Tokiomi to conceal evidence of magi and transfers Byakuya Matou before he can be interrogated by Zenigata.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A mild version. Tohsaka treating Risei like a servant causes Risei to chew him out.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Tokiomi realizes that Archer is this to him and fears that he'll soon become The Starscream knowing that he'll have a 100% chance of success.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: As the plot unfolds Kirei's loyalty's have shifted to Assassin, wanting to help him with his goals rather than Tokiomi's.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Lupin and Saber steal the clothes of two SWAT officers to escape the police, however Zenigata sees right through them. Also mixes with Spotting the Thread, as Lupin's use of slang and the ill-fit of the uniform on Saber give them away to Zenigata.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: When Lupin outs Caster's identity during the Seventh Heist.
    • Lupin takes great pleasure in the shocked looks on Jigen and Goemons' faces when he admits that he's finally managed to bed Fujiko.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Due to constantly failing to get Lupin, Zenigata can't catch a break with his fellow cops.
    • At least partially averted for Zenigata by chapter 22 thanks to his string of closed cases
  • Enemy Mine: Assassin/Lupin convinces Saber to work together with him long enough to kill Caster. Kariya also seeks him for an alliance shortly after the first one dissolved.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Tokiomi assumes that Risei’s wariness around Lupin is due to the fact that the latter has successfully managed to rob the Church. It’s actually because Risei knows that Tokiomi is ‘’exactly’’ the kind of guy whom Lupin loves to rob blind.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: This is Zouken's biggest weakness. He can't see anyone but as selfish, petty, and monstrous as himself. Leading to him not realizing that having a 0% Approval Rating will lead to anyone having a shred of dencency wanting him dead, rules be damned.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Lupin may be a thief, but even HE hates Caster's cruelty. Kiritsugu also points out the fact that the women Lupin supposedly 'raped' (In reference to the implications in the manga that Lupin is a rapist) were simply lying to cover their own skins.
    • Count Luis Yu Almeida was considered so fucked up that the Nazis kicked him out due to moral disgust.
  • Expy: The Count seems to be a callback of classic James Bond villains, as were most of the villains in the Lupin III franchise.
    • The Owls of Minerva themselves are slight references to the Batman villains 'The Court of Owls' with some of their henchmen being similar to their henchmen the Talons.
  • Eyepatch After Time Skip: Goemon is wearing an eyepatch when we finally see him. It later gets explained during the Flashback to the day Lupin died.
  • Eye Scream: The Kuken have their eyes held open ALL the time with hooks!
  • Evil Is Petty: Assassin points out that this is all Zouken is during an awesome "The Reason You Suck" Speech. As he points out underneath all of his monstrousness is a bully who can only lord his power over people weaker than him and the only reason why he does the horrible things he does is because he knows that it is all he can do other than die.
  • Eye Scream: Goemon loses his eye thanks to helicopter shrapnel
  • Famous Last Words:
    Lupin: "Hey was fun!"
  • Fantastic Drug: The Owls of Minerva's Fraulein Eule has incredible hallucinogenic effects even on Servants.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kayneth's pride and Lancer's loyalty. Assassin plays on this by managing to convince Kayneth to fight Tokiomi and Archer.
  • For Want of a Nail: Lupin's presence and actions turn Fate/Zero canon upside down. New alliances and rivalries arise, Servants are defeated in different order and in different manner, static characters like Saber and Archer get actual character development, and Kirei's character takes a turn for the better.
  • For the Evulz: One of Ryuunosuke's motives for murder.
  • Friendly Enemy: Assassin and Zenigeta's relationship. Which baffles Saber and Kirei.
  • Fusion Fic: In this stories' continuity — and in a major contrast to most Fate crossovers — Lupin III was an infamous thief in the Nasuverse and all of his exploits are very well known. Some characters from Fate/Zero have actually met him before his death.
  • Gambit Pileup: Lupin and the Owls are the main Chessmasters in this fic, while every other Master/Servant pair has plans of their own.
  • Genre Throwback: Of 70's anime/manga and partially of spy thrillers like James Bond. Right down to the idealism and fun while also retaining its own sense of moral ambiguity.
  • Gentleman Thief: Lupin himself.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Lupin.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: as long as it doesn't involve Kirei, Risei is a very smart and Genre Savvy man.
  • Gun Stripping: Chapter 9 (Eighth Heist), Assassin is cleaning his gun while reviewing last night's heist with his Master.
  • Gut Feeling: How Fujiko realizes that Lupin is, well, Lupin. Which leads to this gem:
    Lupin: "Ah, was our bond really that weak guys? Fuji-cakes could tell it was me from just a feelin'! You had to try to kill me and then interrogate me before you knew it was me! What kind of friends are you?"
    Jigen: "Shut up"
  • Hannibal Lecture: Lupin gives Lancer such a good one about his blind obedience to chivalry and Saber's willingness to put her honor aside that Lancer actually has a brief Heroic BSOD.
  • The Heavy: Assassin is a rare protagonist version of this trope. Every change of the plot has been caused by him and every character has been reacting to his actions.
  • Hero of Another Story: Zenigata is this to Lupin, investigating the troubles of Fuyuki City as Lupin fights in the Grail War and occasionally crossing paths.
  • Honor Before Reason: Saber takes her pride and integrity as a king seriously. However, in the case of letting Caster live for another night and killing more innocent children, she decided it was necessary to let go of her honor in order to save them.
    • Kayneth and Lancer which ultimately leads to Lancer being killed.
  • Hope Spot: Lancer has a brief one when he launches Gae Derge at Archer.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Zenigata does this when he finds out that Lupin is really dead.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Assassin's Tools of the Trade Noble Phantasm gives him access to any item which he requires to complete a 'heist'. These range from the mundane (grappling hooks), to the exotic (rockets, fake limbs), to the why-would-you-even-have-that? (A replica of the Laughing Peacock with it's head replaced by his own, a inflatable Lupin balloon the size of a building.)
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Lupin told Saber that he could have easily poisoned her drink when she wasn't looking if he were taking things seriously, leading to a very painful death for her.
  • Ignored Expert: Risei Kotomine. To his credit, he knows better than to underestimate Asassin because he stole from the Church numerous times, including the Papal Tiara within a day of his calling card and escaping the Executioners guarding there. Tokiomi brushes the concerns aside, but when Assassin not only survives Archer but delivers calling cards all over Fuyuki about winning the Grail, Risei all but says "I told you so."
  • Impossible Thief: Lupin is already this in canon, but as a Servant it's brought Up to Eleven. Why? He can steal Noble Phantasms, including Archer's, which would normally be impossible due to his power to recall them at will (the theft blocks this power).
  • Improvised Weapon: Zenigata can use his handcuffs in many ways, including using them as bolas to catch his target.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: In the First Heist.
    Lupin: "Would have expected Archer to attack by now...maybe he’s got the runs or something?"
    *Cue Gilgamesh *
  • Indy Ploy: When his original plans fail, Lupin can come up with backup ones on the spot.
  • In the Back: Two bullets in the back killed Lupin during his final heist.
  • Irony:
    • Archer, the character who in all of fiction is famous for his Aesop Amnesia, is learning from his mistakes.
    • Continuing with Team Tohsaka. Tokiomi is a man who prides himself in his ability to control any situation. Every member of his faction is either a Dragon with an Agenda, The Starscream, or has gone behind his back in some way, this includes Risei, who in canon is Tokiomi's Yes-Man.
  • It Only Works Once: Lupin's Better Luck Next Time Noble Phantasm works like this. Lancer nearly kills him when he figures that out by going for the same fatal strike again.
  • Just A Flesh Wound: Many characters show examples of this trope, some even being capable of combat despite having what most would consider mortal wounds.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Lupin/Assassin's solution to Caster's regenerating Familiars.
    • Assassin later tries to kill Lancer this way as well.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Lancer.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Caster is this to the point where his very presence causes a complete Genre Shift!
    • Zouken has recently taken up the mantle, with him being a pathetic excuse of sub-human life and all.
    • The Count and the Owls of Minerva by dint of being Combat Pragmatists to the core.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Lupin is never afraid to run away from a fight, he even outright states that in a straight-up fight against opponents like Gilgamesh he would surely lose.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: How Risei hides the Holy Grail War.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Averted by Zenigata due to him being Older and Wiser. He even lampshades his lack of this during the search of Kariya's apartment, that a younger him would have stormed in without thinking about it, warrant or not.
  • Legacy Character: Invoked in universe, where the various Lupin copycats who sprung up after the original's death hold a competition to see which one of them deserves to hold the title of 'Lupin the Third'.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Assassin has switched to his green jacket, showing that he's treating Zouken as a serious threat.
  • Life or Limb Decision: Lancer has a minor example of this where he slices at his own feet to escape being immolated by Assassin's fire chemicals, Lupin lets himself gets impaled in his hands to prevent a killing blow to his chest.
  • Little Miss Badass: Anyone gets too touchy-feely with her, Taiga WILL kick their ass.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: It almost makes Kayneth sympathetic.
  • Magitek: the Owls have used this trope to create cyborg owl familiars
  • Manipulative Bastard: Don't let Assassin's charm fool you. While he has standards, he will twist your emotions around to get what he wants if he deems it necessary. Best shown when manipulated Saber's inner goodness to make her abandon her Chivalry in order to get her to kill Caster.
  • Master of Disguise: Another of Lupin's specialties via his Mistaken Identity Noble Phantasm. Neither Kayneth or Lancer had any idea that the Sola-Ui they spoke with was Lupin in disguise.
  • The Mole: The police chief is this for Tohsaka, keeping him informed of possible breaches regarding Magecraft to the public.
  • Morality Chain: Lupin tries to invoke Kirei's daughter as this. When Kirei's sadistic tendencies take over, Lupin usually asks Kirei what he would feel if X happened to Caren?
  • Mr. Exposition: Risei is increasingly becoming this to Tokiomi, much to his annoyance.
  • Never My Fault: Kayneth definitely has this attitude, constantly blaming Lancer for any and all failures.
  • The Nicknamer: Assassin rarely calls anyone by their actual name.
  • Nazi Nobleman: Count Luis Yu Almeida used to be one while he was alive, but got kicked out because everyone else thought he was a sick and twisted monster.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Archer has become one through character development, which is rather scary considering it disables his Fatal Flaw.
  • Noble Demon: Assassin.
  • Not So Above It All: Daisuke has taken to calling the 'copycat' Lupin as well.
  • Not So Different: Kirei is starting to draw a few parallels between Lupin and Kiritsugu.
    • Lupin and Kirei share a lot of similarities as well, a fact which the latter is only just starting to clock onto.
  • Not So Stoic: With enough trauma the Kuken go absolutely insane.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Lupin, despite seeming like an idiot, is actually a very skilled tactician and can use any tool to his advantage. He is also very capable of stating his intentions of killing someone with a happy grin.
    • Zouken is completely aware that the Owls of Minerva are spying on him and that Assassin is targeting him.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Natalia versus Jigen during a flashback chapter.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Zenigata and Daisuke
  • Older Than They Look: Fujiko, with Lupin commenting her to be a hot granny. Same goes for Lupin due to being summoned as Assassin.
  • One Last Smoke: Lupin's last request during his final moments.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Kirei freaks out a bit when he fails to understand why he's acting the way he is now. It takes an explosion at his apartment to snap him out of it.
    • A more common one is when Assassin stops smirking, when he stops...well, all hell is about to break lose.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Zenigata failing to catch Lupin during the Laughing Peacock heist has led to a lot of mockery and derision from the rookies/desk jocks of the Fuyuki police surrounding his inability to catch Lupin in the past. But Kirei's narration makes it clear Lupin could've made capturing him even more difficult. Lupin seems to be teaching him how to enjoy life on the edge.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Lupin only wears a fake mustache and glasses outside of a police station and doesn't get arrested.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted. Many Magi are caught blindsided with what the police can accomplish when someone competent (Zenigata) is leading them.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Inspector Zenigata came out of retirement and later on Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko are heading to Fuyuki City. Subverted in the sense that Lupin's old gang has moved on since he died, with the only exceptions being Jigen, who Lupin is getting one last favor from, and Zenigata, who is too stubborn to let Lupin go.
  • Pride: Lupin has full knowledge that he's the greatest thief that ever lived, and doesn't mind boasting it. Though he's usually more subtle with boasting about his skills unless he REALLY wants to rile someone else up.
  • Properly Paranoid: Zenigata is proving to be this in regards to keeping quiet about evidence that he gathers during the events of the Grail War, since revealing it would result in confiscation and Memory Manipulation to hide it away.
  • Reaction Shot: The end of the Second Heist.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lupin gives one to Lancer regarding his complete obedience to his Code of Chivalry and honor.
    • That is nothing compared to the absolutely awesome one Assassin tells Zouken. Read it:
    Assassin: "All this is pointless in the end, don't you see that? Even if ya demanded to have Sakura back, it wouldn't last. Pops and the cops are lookin' for ya, and I don't think that the old man is going to completely cover for ya. If anything he will wipe their memories of any magic-related stuff and make you up to be just some sick old rapist. That alone will make them relinquish you as Sakura's legal guardian, and hunt you down to take her from you. And even if you were to avoid them and try to start fresh, the terms of the geis wouldn't hold because the stick in the mud signed off Sakura to Matou Zouken, and no one else. You're disgraced and alone, so why bother tryin' to get her back? Because of pride. Ya hate losin', because you haven't lost in a long time have ya? You so desperately want to save this plan because you know that without Sakura or Kariya, you and your family are finished. And once your family is gone, you'll wither away and die. Face it. You're just an old, sick, and stubborn man who has lived too damn long for a goal he probably doesn't even remember. All you're doin' is torturing a child and beatin' a sick man who can't defend himself anymore. Tell me, 'cause I'm actually a little curious… what does that even accomplish?"
  • Retired Badass: Zenigata... at least until his Lupin senses start tingling. Same goes for the rest of Lupin's old gang.
  • Refuge in Audacity: All of Assassin's plans hinge on being so over the top that no one will believe that they would work.
  • Revealing Coverup: Tokiomi's failure to convince the police causes Zenigata to get even more suspicious about the participants of the Grail War.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Jigen's weapon of choice is a .357 Magnum
  • Sadist: Similar vein to Fate/Zero, Kotomine Kirei is a budding sadist living in denial. Unlike Fate/Zero, Lupin is here to prevent Kirei from going full blown For the Evulz mode and help him find enjoyment in (slightly more) moral ways. See Smiting Evil Feels Good below.
  • Save the Princess: Lupin describes his mission of saving Sakura this way to her.
  • Say My Name: As per canon, Zenigata LOVES yelling Lupin's name.
  • Secret Keeper: Jigen has become one for Lupin regarding his resurrection and the Grail War.
  • Selective Obliviousness: It's pretty jarring how Risei how POV changes from a Genre Savvy Badass Preacher to an easily dupable fool whenever Kirei is involved. It is his son, of course. As long as Risei doesn't really question Kirei's behaviour, he'll probably stay oblivious. (The poor priest still thinks the boy was in love with his wife!)
  • Shame If Something Happened: Risei regretfully tells Kirei and Assassin that he has no choice but to give Sakura back to Zouken if he arrives at the Church. Keyword being arrive at the Church. Risei will be perfectly happy to look the other way if something "unfortunate" happens to Zouken before he reaches the Church.
  • Shout-Out: During the Laughing Peacock heist, Lupin dresses up as a brown haired, green eyed waiter called Suzaku.
  • Sidekick: Kirei is this to his own Servant, and unlike Waver, doesn't seem to realize it.
    • Subverted in that Assassin doesn't see either of them in a Master-Servant relationship, but equal standing Partners.
  • Slasher Smile: Assassin flashes one when he almost burns Lancer alive.
  • Smart Ball: Risei shows an impressive spike in intelligence in this story. Usually he's the guy that effortlessly gets knifed. Here, he's one of the few people who doesn't underestimate Assassin and tends to be the one who fixes Tokiomi's plans when they go wrong.
  • Smiting Evil Feels Good: TIM seems to be working on an inversion with respect to Kirei Kotomine. Since summoning the Assassin who was known as Lupin III, Lupin has been talking to Kirei about how he has fun being more important than why he has fun. Kirei considers himself a very sinful man, not a hero like the trope description expects. But Lupin is widely admired and impressive, partly for who he targets. Lupin seems to be slowly teaching Kirei that imitating him will lead Kirei to an enjoyable lifestyle, as long as he would Pay Evil unto Evil. It doesn't matter if Kirei enjoys killing people, so long as the people he's killing are people that deserve to be killed.
  • Smug Smiler: Assassin is always described to have a cocky smirk on his face. When he's not, it's a sign that shits about to go down.
  • The Social Expert: Assassin has an excellent understanding of the human mind and Discernment of the Poor just enhances this, and since Fate/Zero is one big Dysfunction Junction this is a great skill to have.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Riko Mine was conceived the first (and only) time Lupin and Fujiko slept together on the eve of Lupin's death.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Jigen verifies Lupin's story via his words and mannerisms.
  • Sore Loser: Pretty much the only reason why Zouken tries to retrieve Sakura.
  • Spanner in the Works: One of Assassin's current goals in life is to screw up canon as much as possible.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Ryuunosuke, though in his case, that's only so that Zenigata can arrest him.
  • Spotting the Thread: Zenigata learns about Tokiomi having a second daughter when he spots a picture with a folded end and examines it.
  • Stealth Mentor: Assassin seems to have something planned for Kirei, with him constantly asking him seemingly innocent questions that always make Kirei question himself and what he wants.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: The former Trope Namer has shown up, providing the audience with a Viewpoint Character amoung the non-mages, trying to work out what's going on in this town. He's still obsessed with catching Lupin, and has jailed one of the Masters, as well as Byakuya, when a lead on Sakura brings them to the Matou household.
  • Talk to the Fist: Kirei doesn't give Kayneth the time to finish monologuing before attacking him.
  • Taking You with Me: Lancer hoped to at least achieve this in his battle with Archer.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Zenigata is this towards Lupin.
  • There Was a Door: Kayneth blows a hole in Tokiomi's manor despite there being a perfectly good door.
  • The Straight Man: Kotomine finds himself in this situation due to his Servant.
  • Tranquil Fury: Gilgamesh is driven to this after being humiliated again by Lupin and having more of his Noble Phantasms stolen.
  • Troll: Not to the levels of Deadpool in TIM's other story, but Assassin certainly earns the ire of the three knight classes.
  • Übermensch: Assassin lives by his own rules and no one elses.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Everyone but Risei and Kiritsugu start out COMPLETELY underestimating Assassin's skills.
      • Played straight by Kiritsugu, in a flashback. When he had first met, and therefore underestimated Lupin. As a teen working with Natalia, the two of them were given a job to kill a magus that contracted Lupin for an artifact. They failed. He is trying to avoid making that mistake again.
    • Kayneth underestimates Kirei, and crosses a bit into Too Dumb to Live territory. Kayneth believes that hunting down Kotomine Kirei is a good idea. Given that Lancer is still missing Gae Buidhe and that Kirei was able to evenly fight Kiritsugu while impaired in canon... Sola-Ui even lampshades this later on.
    • The Owls of Minerva also have this attitude towards Lupin. Crosses over into Too Dumb to Live territory since they've clashed with him repeatedly when he was alive, they really should know better
    • Tokiomi has now joined the club, making the classic blunder of thinking Zenigata is an incompetent twit just because he can't catch Lupin.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • The Count uses both Lupin and Kirei (or at least he thinks so) for the Holy Grail War.
    • Assassin has used Kayneth, and when he realizes this, he passes out.
  • Uriah Gambit: Tokiomi tries to pull one on Assassin in the second chapter, deeming him worthless. It obviously doesn't work.
  • Villain Decay:
    • Inverted. Originally all of the Servants were completely caught off guard by Lupin's antics, but by the second encounter they wise up to his tricks. Saber realizes that it's just smarter to roll with the insanity instead of fighting it, Lancer invokes It Only Works Once, and Archer becomes a No-Nonsense Nemesis.
    • Caster's another inverted version. Ever since he saw Assassin defile "Jeanne", he was vehemently willing to go all out on him in their confrontations. But before he could summon his strongest monster in their last encounter, Saber acted as Jeanne long enough to leave an opening.
    • Justified for Zouken. Without the Crest Worms infesting Sakura, Zouken can't use her as either a hostage, host or plant and Kariya's too far-gone for the Worms' removal to really matter. With Byakuya in jail and Shinji overseas, there's no one else around for Zouken to manipulate. The best he could do is run away on his own.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Assassin. His stats have Strength and Mana at very low rank compared to other Servants, but he compensates with great Agility and Endurance, outrageous Luck (further increased by the Noble Phantasm Better Luck Next Time, that allows him to escape certain death), sheer skill and a Noble Phantasm capable of stealing his foes' Noble Phantasms.
  • Wham Episode: The origin of the Owls of Minerva, the secret to their new drug, the connection between the Owls and the Association... a LOT is revealed in Chapter 22.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Kirei seeks the answer to this question among others.
  • Worf Had the Flu: During Saber and Zenigata alliance, Saber has to pretend to be a normal human, so she can't fight with her full power against Eulen-Küken. Normally, the fight would have lasted two seconds.
  • Worth It: Getting involved in the Grail War, dying from having his body infested by worms, working with Lupin, Kariya was more than willing to go through all of this to save Sakura.
  • Worthy Opponent: This trope is very common.
    • Lupin and Zenigata as always. As a matter of fact, one of the few things that angers Lupin is people disrespecting Zenigata.
    • Lupin is also constantly pushing Saber to prove that she could even be CONSIDERED a worthy opponent to him, if nothing more than to keep himself from becoming bored of the war. As of chapter 20, Saber is doing her own research on Lupin so she can be prepared when he finally does come for her. Even calling him "Lupin" rather than "Assassin."
    • Assassin weaponized this trope against Lancer by telling him that he doesn't consider him a Worthy Opponent, making him slip up.
    • Archer tells Lancer that he also doesn't see him as worthy causing Lancer to make the mistake that causes his death.
    • Rider sees Assassin as one, evidenced when he gets pissed off at Caster when the latter appears to have killed the former.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Despite delaying his rescue of Sakura, Lupin would never hurt a child himself.
    • Averted with Count Almeida considering that he GLEEFULLY used children in experiments (Some of them he personally raped) back in World War II, among all the other immoral stuff he did in the proceeding years.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Lupin has a flair for these. Chapter 19 shows the result of his previous chapter's plan. Either Archer or Lancer would die from Kayneth's attack on the Tohsaka residence, eliminating one of his two enemies. Lancer was too weak.
  • You Have Failed Me: Kayneth feels this way about Lancer's death.
  • You Monster!: Count Luis Yu Almeida definitely qualifies, when the Nazis think you're a fucked up monster, you've crossed lines upon lines upon lines.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: While he was still alive Lupin is visted by an Owl of Minerva who proclaims this. The number of days he has left? One.

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