Recap / Lupin IIIS 2 E 56
"Falling Cherry Blossoms - The Mysterious Gang of Five - Part II"note
, released in English as "Kooky Kabuki - Part Two"
. Released in 2005 by Geneon on Volume 11: From Moscow With Love
As you might recall from the previous episode
, things had gotten a bit hot for Fujiko, Jigen, and Lupin. As the fire rages in the boathouse, Jigen and Lupin are forced to abandon their efforts to reach Fujiko through it. Reluctantly, the two men speed off in their rowboat, Fujiko shouting revenge and curses at them as they leave. However, the two left in order to reach the helicopter they stowed nearby, complete with convenient weight/wrecking ball on the bottom. They use it to knock the spire off of the boathouse and into the water, taking Fujiko with it. Lupin dives in after her and brings her back to the surface, and Jigen airlifts them both to safety.
Lupin, Fujiko, and Jigen head back to the hideout, horrified to find the 36 Views of Mount Fuji
stolen, and the safe door cut in half. Lupin notes that the door is clearly Goemon's work, but the samurai is nowhere to be found and there are no signs of a struggle. The gang is forced to come to the conclusion that Goemon has betrayed them and is working for the Gang of Five. As the gang puzzles over their friend turning traitor, Goemon sits in the Gang of Five's hideout, as they celebrate their victory over Lupin. Damemon declares that it would be foolish to go after anything else but what Lupin has stolen, and the thief will be the gang's sole target from here on out. When Goemon warns them that Lupin will not fall so easily, the gang believes Goemon is afraid of his former friend; in order to prove himself to the gang, he will have to kill the master thief. Meanwhile, Kikuko looks on at the proceedings with a quiet concern.
The next day, on a bridge over a tall ravine, Lupin and Goemon meet as arranged. Goemon tries to explain why he wants to follow the Gang of Five's old-fashioned and honorable ways, but Lupin thinks Goemon is merely being dramatic and turns to leave. Goemon charges anyway, and the two former friends begin their fight, Lupin by gun and Goemon by sword. The samurai eventually manages to knock Lupin's gun from his hand and corner him on the edge of the ravine. When it comes to deal the killing blow, though, Goemon cannot bring himself to do it and wounds Lupin, giving the thief a chance to dive into the river at the bottom of the ravine and escape.
Disappointed, the men of the Gang of Five declare Goemon unworthy to join them, but Kikuko remains behind after they turn away, staying to talk with the samurai. She asks him to run away with her, and before he can protest, she grabs him by the hand and drags him off. Back at their hideout, the gang decides to cut their losses against Lupin and just take the prints, but when they search the place, they come up empty handed. They quickly realize Kikuko has the prints, and has abandoned the gang. They set off in pursuit of their two traitorous members.
As they run, Goemon demands to know why Kikuko is running and needs his help. She confesses they are heading for her father's estate in Kisoji. A former thief himself, he is dying, and desperately wants to see the 36 Views
before he passes on, since he failed to steal them himself. Before Goemon can promise to help her to Kisoji, the Gang of Five quickly catches up to Kikuko and Goemon using Jusho's tracking skill. Together, the gang overpowers and injures the samurai, but Kikuko manages to set off several smoke bombs, making a choking screen that allows her to grab Goemon and hide.
At a nearby waterfall, as Kikuko bandages Goemon's wounds, she tells him about the Gang of Five's full plan: if Goemon didn't kill Lupin, the gang instead planned to use the samurai as a hostage to get all of Lupin's treasures. Luckily, there are no more encounters when the two reach the edge of Kisoji, but Goemon tells Kikuko to continue on her own, as he has one remaining task to complete. She begs him to come with her, even promising to run away and live a new life with him, but he refuses. Reluctantly, she heads on while Goemon waits for Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko to show up via helicopter, still lead by the tracking device Lupin planted on Kikuko in the previous episode.
Lupin furiously fires a few shots at Goemon, but the samurai remains steadfast, allowing the bullets to graze him. He kneels before Lupin, offering him sword, and tells the thief the only way he can make amends for his betrayal is seppuku. He wants Lupin to cut off his head in the ritual. Lupin happily takes up Zantetsuken, much to Fujiko's horror, who tries to talk her friends out of it. She is even more horrified when Jigen eagerly helps Lupin wash the blade with water from the stream. As Goemon prepares the knife at his abdomen, Lupin pulls Goemon's hair back to make a clean slice, revealing his friend's neck. However, seeing Goemon vulnerable and repentant, he can't bring himself to deliver the deathblow. He drops the sword and flings off his jacket, challenging Goemon to an even fight...no weapons, only fists. As Lupin and Goemon beat the crap out of each other, Jigen calmly offers the dismayed Fujiko a cigarette, knowing that the two need to get the anger out of their system to become friends again. At last, they each deliver a final punch to the face, knocking each other out at the same time and ending the fight.
As Fujiko cleans up Lupin, Goemon tells the whole story to the gang, ending that he will go back to Kisoji and ask Kikuko for the 36 Views
back after her father has seen them. When challenged by Fujiko, Goemon tells her Kikuko is not the relentless thieving woman she appears to be. Before they can move, the Gang of Five makes their appearance. Holding them back, Lupin and Jigen tell Goemon to take the helicopter and find Kikuko.
The samurai arrives at the estate, but the house appears to be completely abandoned. Finally, in one room, he finds a single fresh chrysanthemum flower sitting in a dish. When Goemon picks up the blossom, however, spikes spring from the ceiling before the whole thing crashes down to the ground. A door opens in the far wall and Kikuko appears, smirking and claiming the 36 Views
are all hers now. She exits out of a secret door that leads to the cliffs below the house, but as she walks away, Goemon follows her out. He calmly asks for the prints back, and explains he remembers the story of the Benten Boy, a male thief who disguised himself as a woman so he would be underestimated, and then could flee without his true identity being found. Laughing, Kikuko's wig comes off, an arm is bared, and the clearly male Benten laughs at Goemon's cleverness. Benten charges at Goemon with his knife, but with a single swipe, Goemon disarms and sends the man off the cliff.
Back at their hideout, the Gang of Five...er, Four open the door to reveal an elaborate kabuki tableau. One by one, in the same kabuki manner the gang introduced themselves in, Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, Goemon, and Zenigata introduce themselves and declare themselves the original and best gang of five. The Gang of Four surrenders, knowing they've been fairly beaten.
This episode features examples of:
- Bookends: The Lupin gang's "introductions" parody the ones that the Gang of Five did towards the beginning of the first episode.
- Cherry Blossoms: Still a sign of the Gang of Five's presence.
- Descending Ceiling: Sprung on Goemon at Kikuko's home, complete with Spikes of Doom.
- Double Knockout: How Lupin and Goemon's fist fight ends.
- Femme Fatale: Kikuko...well, kind of, anyway. She still uses her female guise to trick Goemon and make off with the loot for herself.
- Fighting the Lancer: Lupin and Goemon duel each other, but in the end Goemon cannot kill his friend.
- Heel–Face Turn: Goemon comes back to Lupin's gang, of course.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Goemon easily blocks the bullets Lupin fires at him from a close distance.
- Kabuki Sounds: Come on, look at the English title of the episode!
- Kill It with Fire: Fujiko, nearly at the beginning of the episode as the fire at the boathouse rages out of control.
- Meaningful Name: Kikuko's meaning of "chrysanthemum" again comes into play as that's the flower she leaves in her trap for Goemon. Her surname, Benten, also gives away her true identity to Goemon.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Lupin and Goemon have one with each other to work out the betrayal. Without swords or guns, the two are shown to be dead even when it comes to fist fights.
- Seppuku: Goemon offers to go through with this for betraying Lupin.
- Smoke Out: Kikuko uses her smoke bombs to help Goemon and her escape the Gang of Five.
- Tracking Device: Goemon uses the one Lupin planted on Kikuko to lure his old ally to him to make amends.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Kikuko, though Goemon figures it out for himself before the reveal. Truth in Television, as men almost always play women in Kabuki.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Kikuko, at least as far as the fact she/he actually looks like a woman for most of the episode and acts demure towards Goemon. The wholesome part is not true in the end, though.