Recap / Lupin IIIS 2 E 18

"Black Panther"note , titled in English as "My Birthday Pursuit". Released in 2003 by Geneon on Volume 4: Thieves' Paradise.

The Black Panther: the largest emerald in the world, which also holds the illusion of a black panther dancing inside when light hits it at just the right angle. Needless to say, Lupin wants it, but not just for any reason — he wants to give it to Fujiko for her birthday. He easily removes the gem from its display case, but rather than take a chance of it being found when he is inevitably searched, he stashes it in the clutched hand of a statue, Rodan's "The Jackass", in the museum before exiting.

As Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon celebrate the first part of their plan working, Lupin happily imagines Fujiko's loving reaction to such a grand gift, even going so far as to dream the two might get married. Jigen breaks into his fantasies with news that Inspector Konaisio, a policeman with some sort of special connection with the Black Panther, is arriving to search; if it goes missing, he can find it. As Konaisio lands at the airport and is greeted by the local police chief, Inspector Zenigata storms over, accusing Lupin of the crime. The two detectives glare at each other, and even squabble as they leave the local police headquarters.

Konaisio searches the museum, even pausing briefly to admire "The Jackass" before his assistant, Hagito, pounces on him from out of nowhere. He successfully fends off Hagito's attack, but his throw causes Hagito to land on and break the head off of "The Jackass". While Konaisio distracts the guards, Hagito is charged with repairing the statue.

While Zenigata takes a different tack and searches the local hotels for Lupin, the thief himself and Jigen pass him in a van, dressed as janitors and headed for the museum. They arrive and pass Konaisio in the statue court, searching for clues, quickly honing in on "The Jackass," seemingly repaired. When Lupin opens its hand, however, the Black Panther is gone! Konaisio spots them near the statue and shoos them away, thinking they are just janitors, but when he inspects the statue to see how Hagito repaired it, he realizes the whole statue has actually been replaced with a fake!

Back at the hotel, Lupin is confounded by the jewel's disappearance. Jigen, after chatting with the guards, finds out that Hagito brought a large, statue-sized package to the museum, and then left with it a few minutes later, telling the guards he brought it there by mistake. Puzzled as to why Konaisio now has the Black Panther, yet is still apparently searching for it, the gang decides to investigate further.

Meanwhile, Konaisio has traced Hagito to a local antiques shop, where Hagito confesses that the real statue has already been taken elsewhere. The two drive off after it, not knowing that Lupin and his gang are following them. Lupin, however, has become quite aware that Zenigata is following him, much to the thief's annoyance. All of the parties end up at a nearby island, which turns out to be a "nature camp". Lupin is enthused at the prospect of searching there.

At the camp, Konaisio and Hagito have located "The Jackass" successfully, but they are spotted by the police chief, who is apparently a nature enthusiast. He drags Konaisio away just in time for Lupin and Jigen to find the statue themselves. However, Hagito gets the drop on Lupin, kicking him into a nearby fountain. Jigen throws Hagito himself, and Lupin grabs the statue and makes a break for it. Konaisio spots him and follows in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile, Zenigata has made it to the island after failing to attempt to ride a bicycle there, and pulls himself on to the dock just in time to corner Lupin there. Luckily, Goemon intervenes, cutting the hand from "The Jackass" and releasing the Black Panther. Lupin promptly breaks the rest of the statue over Zenigata's head and recovers the gem, but Zenigata recovers and cuffs Lupin, knocking the jewel from his grasp. It sails over Konaisio's head, allowing the detective to spot it. The gem, taking the form of its panther illusion, runs off down the island, with Lupin and Konaisio in hot pursuit. It ends up falling into a pool that, unfortunately for everyone involved, is in a ladies only area. When Lupin tries to flirt with them to get through, they take offense and chase the two men away.

After sunset, when the pool is apparently closed, Lupin and Jigen return to look for the gem, but their search is fruitless. Konaisio appears from the bushes (fully dressed, thankfully), with the Black Panther firmly in hand, and reminds the gang that Hagito was still on the island. He then sighs and explains it was all for naught, presenting the gem to Lupin. When Lupin inspects the stone, the panther illusion is gone; apparently, Konaisio explains, the panther never learned how to swim and drowned in the pool. While Konaisio turns and leaves to mourn the loss of the panther he worked for years to protect, Lupin has Goemon cut the emerald fine enough to mirror the stars in the sky.

Back in Paris, Fujiko arrives at her apartment to a surprise birthday party thrown by Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon. She is thrilled, but sadly already has a date for the evening...Inspector Konaisio. To add insult to injury, he's already presented her with a birthday present as well: the real Black Panther, illusion and all. Lupin reluctantly admits Konaisio was more clever than he thought. Later, Fujiko meets the inspector for her date, but they are interrupted by another training attack from Hagito. With his nunchucks, he accidentally knocks the Black Panther away from Fujiko, where it happily sets off on the run yet again...

This episode features examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Goemon's sword cuts stone and emerald.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of The Pink Panther movies. The scene at the nudist colony seems to be inspired by the one from the second Pink Panther film, A Shot in the Dark.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: In abundance! Averted in a poolside shot, for some reason, where all of the ladies suddenly become un-Nipple and Dimed.
  • Bowdlerise: Averted Trope. When the trailers aired, Lupin and Jigen were shown in fig leaves. The episode itself gave them bathing suits, but this was original to the Japanese version.
  • Captain Ersatz: As part of the parody, Konaisio and Hagito are clearly supposed to be Clouseau and Cato.
  • Compensating for Something: Lupin accuses Jigen of this when Jigen declares he doesn't want to go to the nature camp.
    Jigen: My resemblance to Dillinger is what inspired me to pursue this career!
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Lupin, upon seeing the nature camp through binoculars.
    Goemon: [Lupin]'s got the attention span of a flea.
    Jigen: And a horny teenage flea at that!
  • Gesundheit: Done with the name "Odysseus," much to Goemon's annoyance.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Why Lupin wants the Black Panther in the first place.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: Averted; a different Happy Birthday ditty is sung instead.
  • Homage: The entire episode is one for The Pink Panther, right down to the jewel.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Lupin using Goemon as a stand-in for Fujiko when she opens her present:
    Goemon: ...I'm not a prop for your sexual fantasies.
  • The Klutz: Inspector Konaisio.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The preview for this episode shows Lupin and Jigen in fig leaves as well as Konaisio and Hagito. In the final episode, however, they wear bathing suits.
  • The Rival: Inspector Konaisio to Inspector Zenigata.
  • Scenery Censor:
    • For Konaisio and Hagito in the form of fig leafs.
    • Becomes Hand-or-Object Underwear for Konaisio (courtesy of Hagito) when his fig leaf comes off after he spots the statue.
  • Stealth Pun: Konaiso's name. It was meant to be a pun on "cannot come" (konai zo), due to Inspector Clouseau's name being a Japanese homophone for "I'm coming" (kuru zo)