Recap / Lupin IIIS 2 E 54

"Detective Hanshichi's Ten-Year Promise"note , with the English title "Mercy Mercy Me". Released in 2005 by Geneon on Volume 11: From Moscow With Love.

A golden statue of the Goddess of Mercy was sealed away in 1869 at Kaminari Temple. Over a hundred years later, in his usual boastful manner, Lupin announces he will steal the temple's hidden treasure during a ceremony celebrating its founding. Lupin's announcement has Zenigata up in arms as usual, and the detective begs Tokyo's police chief to let him work with Detective Hanshichi, one of the longest-serving members of the Japanese police force. The chief, believing Hanshichi to be outdated and useless, reluctantly agrees, and Hanshichi arrives in the city soon after. As he gets off the train, he attempts to stop a purse snatcher, only to be outwitted by the crook and become unable to pursue him further due to arthritis in his feet, from an incident he apparently and bitterly remembers from ten years ago. At the police station, the younger men make fun of Hanshichi for failing to catch the crook; reluctantly admits he might be too old for this line of work.

Meanwhile, Jigen questions Lupin's note tipping the police off to his planned theft. Goemon flat out announces he's not becoming involved due to the Goddess of Mercy being a part of his family worship, and heads out, leaving Lupin and Jigen on their own for this one.

As Hanshichi and Zenigata pray before the shrine of Hanshichi's famous ancestor, Hanshichi thanks Zenigata for beliving in him enough to ask for his assistance. He tells Zenigata about his own previous encounter with Lupin ten years earlier: Hanshichi tracked the young thief to the icy Tanigawa Valley after his escape plane crashed following a bank robbery. The old detective found Lupin and pursued him through the snow, but nearly falls into a crevasse. Lupin offers to help if the detective throws away his jutte, but Hanshichi refuses, saying it would be an embarrassment as a policeman. He eventually passes out, and Lupin carries him out of the crevasse. Realizing that Hanshichi's feet are badly frostbitten, the thief choses to dump the money he stole and carry the detective to safety. After his rescue, he developed severe arthritis in his feet due to the frostbite, putting a damper on his career. Back in the present, Hanshichi vows to capture Lupin and show his colleagues that he can still do his job.

The next day, as Zenigata tries to get Hanshichi to come up with a plan, the two are interrupted by loud singing from a drunk next door...a drunk who happens to be Lupin. When the two detectives realize the thief is there, they are puzzled as to how he could let himself be captured so easily, giving Lupin an opportunity to plant a bug in the police station. Hanshichi rationalizes that the drunk is actually a look-alike, and lets him go. While Lupin returns to Jigen in a van outside, he is unaware that Hanshichi is carefully watching him from the window.

At the temple that day, Hanshichi and Zenigata arrive early to prepare for Lupin, Hanshichi carefully inspecting the case where the statue is kept. The rest of the police force is standing by, watching for the master thief. Back at the station, one of the young underlings groan to the police chief about the old fogies in charge. The chief confesses he's put them in charge so that when Lupin inevitably succeeds, the two old detectives can take all the blame. Back at the temple, Hanshichi waves off Zenigata's offer to take him home; while walking away alone, he spies Lupin's van. When he opens the doors, he finds no thief, but he hears the police chief and underling's conversation on the sound equipment, via the bug Lupin planted earlier.

The next day, the festival at the temple is in full swing. The chief and underling watch as two guardian god statues are carefully loaded into the temple for the ceremony. Meanwhile, Lupin has kidnapped the real priest and disguised himself in his robes. He leads the procession into the temple, but when he begins to tear the seals off of the statue's case, he hears a voice calling for him to stop. When he realizes the voice belongs to Hanshichi, Lupin triggers a device that plunges the room into darkness. While chaos reigns, unseen hands switch the real case for a look-alike fake. When the lights come on, Lupin has a case in his arms, but has been grabbed by one of the Guardian Gods, who turns out to be Hanshichi in disguise. Zenigata, in the other God, gloats as Hanshichi ties up Lupin. As he escorts the thief out, he hands the case to a nearby policeman, who is actually Jigen in disguise.

Outside, Lupin laughs as he tells Hanshichi who he really handed the statue to. Lupin then slips out of his ropes and leaps to the temple roof. Furious at being thwarted, Hanshichi pursues him with his jutte and rope, seemingly forgetting about the pain in his feet. The two struggle on the roof, Hanshichi imagining himself as his Meiji-era ancestor, but in the end, Lupin manages to get away.

In the end, there was one last trick up Hanshichi's sleeve. Infuriated by the chief's comments and wanting to outwit Lupin, Hanshichi is shown to be the one who switched out the cases. He resigns with the Goddess of Mercy statue in his possession, the chief and his underling are in trouble for their comments on Zenigata and Hanshichi, and Lupin and Jigen are left groaning and empty-handed.

This episode features examples of:

  • Dramatic Unmask: All over the last part of the episode.
  • Flashback: To Lupin and Hanshichi's first meeting.
  • Gentleman Thief: Even at a young age, Lupin chooses a man's life over the loot.
  • Homage: The modern Detective Hanshichi is an homage to a popular Japanese mystery series featuring a Meiji-period detective of the same name.
  • Kabuki Sounds: Accompany Hanshichi's vision of him as his ancestor.
  • Playing Drunk: How Lupin gets into the police station to plant the bug.
  • Sai Guy: Or to be more precise, Jutte Guy, the sai's one-sided, sword-breaking cousin.
  • The Scapegoat: What the police chief plans to turn Hanshichi and Zenigata into.
  • Staff of Authority: The reason Hanshichi refuses to discard his jutte.
  • Written-In Absence: Goemon briefly appears in the beginning, but refuses to participate in Lupin's caper since his mother was a devoted disciple of the Goddess of Mercy. At least he gets an explanation...poor Fujiko just never appears.