Recap / Lupin IIIS 2 E 99
"The Combat Magnum Scattered in the Wasteland"
As Lupin sits in his car with Jigen, contemplating Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, Inspector Zenigata lies in wait, ordering several police cars into position in front of himself and the thief. Lupin spots Pops right away and takes off, but the detective chases him into the police car blockade. Unfazed, Lupin removes his car's steering wheel, turns his seat around, and reattaches the wheel to the back of the car, allowing him to take off past Zenigata's single car without turning around. A chase ensures, and while in a tiny alley that can easily be handled by Lupin's Fiat but not the larger police cars, Lupin and Jigen disguise themselves, as well as activating a change in paint color for the car. They emerge on the other side completely unrecognizable when Pops finally catches up with them, letting them escape yet again.
While Zenigata eventually finds the abandoned cars and disguises, and rants and raves about being tricked yet again, Lupin and Jigen have escaped into a nearby sewer, where Lupin explains their next heist. They are after Hannibal's coin, which will lead the owner to the rest of Hannibal's vast treasure. The coin and treasure are located in the tiny Duchy of Blanco. Before Lupin can explain more, Jigen pulls him aside and reaches for his gun. A crocodile leaps at them from the sewer, but another man with a gun brings it down. Calling for Jigen, the mystery man is identified as Stoneman, an old foe of Jigen's. He reminds him about their supposed showdown from five years ago, and tells Jigen to meet him in the old spot, which happens to be in Blanco. Goemon, looking for his friends and overhearing Stoneman's threats, wants to go after him on behalf of Jigen, but the gunman won't allow it.
At their hideout, as Lupin makes the skin from the dead crocodile into a loot bag, Jigen carefully disassembles and cleans his gun. As he works, he explains that five years ago, Stoneman was a master assassin who challenged all other legendary gunmen to duels. Jigen was the target of one such battle, but when he attempted to go to the meeting point, he accidentally crashed his car en route. By the time he managed arrive on foot, he was three hours late and Stoneman had already left in fury. Upon hearing Jigen tell them he probably only has a 50% chance of winning, Goemon again offers to go in Jigen's stead, and the gunman again declines.
The gang goes to France, a country that shares a border with little Blanco. While using light aircraft to survey the land, the gang is accosted by Zenigata in a fighter jet, who tries to snag the plane with a tow rope and drag them back into custody. Goemon quickly severs the rope and the gang flies off. Zenigata orders the jet's pilot to continue pursuit, but the pilot objects, since they will quickly be out of French airspace. When Zenigata pulls a gun on him, the pilot ejects Zenigata from the plane. When their own plane enters Blanco's airspace, the gang is forced to abandon their own plane to Blanco's fighters, and they parachute down with Pops.
Fujiko meets the gang at their landing spot just ahead of Blanco's secret police, leaving Pops behind to be collected by their secret police. The gang enters the main city in time to watch a parade; Blanco's king currently has Hannibal's coin, which he keeps hidden in his pocketwatch. Goemon has gone missing, however, and Jigen finds him talking with Stoneman in a nearby tavern, trying to persuade the assassin to fight him instead of his friend. Stoneman is uninterested in fighting a swordsman and dismisses him; the insulted Goemon tries to challenge him to a duel then and there, but Jigen calmly arrives and pulls him away.
That night, Lupin leaves one of his calling cards for the ruler of Blanco, saying he's taken the coin. The king's right hand man and a soldier arrive to deliver the news, and the king rushes to his watch's hiding place, relieved to find it there and safe. His relief is short-lived when his adviser gasses him, being Lupin in disguise. As Lupin and Jigen the soldier calmly walk out of the palace with their prize, the guards bring forth a suspicious figure they found in the woods: Zenigata. Adviser Lupin takes great pleasure in threatening a death sentence before ordering Zenigata merely locked away for the time being.
At their hotel, Lupin carefully examines the coin and has Goemon slice it in half, revealing a hidden map to the rest of Hannibal's treasure. With the pictures he took earlier from the plane, he manages to find the location in the mountains. Driving there, he drops Jigen off at the meeting point for his duel with Stoneman. However, there is a catch: the walled border of Blanco closes at four o'clock. If the gang wants to make it out of the country, they'll have to be through the gate by then. Whatsmore, Jigen does not have a car and will have to walk back in time.
Jigen waits at the spot...and waits. Stoneman, in revenge for Jigen's earlier slight, has decided to show up late. It's almost three o'clock when he comes, and by that point, Lupin and the rest of the gang have found the gold and returned to pick him up. As the duel has not been fought, the gunman won't leave. Even worse, the king of Blanco has finally figured out what Lupin is up to, traced out his location, and sent fighter jets after him. Lupin and the rest are forced to abandon Jigen, and a horrified Fujiko realizes even if he wins the duel, he won't know how to get back to the border.
At 3 o'clock on the dot, the duel begins. Jigen reaches for his gun and...it's not there! Lupin stole it when he was standing next to Jigen earlier, and even more strangely, has disassembled it! The first piece is nearby, and Jigen spots more of them scattered around. Lupin has left a trail of them, leaving Jigen defenseless, but also leading him to the border crossing! Dodging shots and taking advantage as Stoneman reloads, Jigen goes after the parts, assembling them as he goes.
After a long chase, Jigen spies the last piece of his gun near the exit...the chamber, complete with bullets. Stoneman, realizing what has happened, spots it too, and shoots it away from Jigen. However, one last shot is fired...this time from Lupin, who is waiting at the exit. His shot smoothly sends the chamber into Jigen's hand. In one smooth motion, Jigen assembles the last piece, aims, and fires the shot as Stoneman takes his last one. Stoneman grazes Jigen's hair, but Jigen's single shot is all he needs to put Stoneman down.
There's not time left to celebrate; the gate is closing! Jigen leaps into the car and Lupin puts his foot down as the heavy steel border gate descends. The car passes under, but not in time...the gate squashes it in the middle. Jigen and Goemon barely make it out of the backseat; Goemon cuts away the rest of the car, and piled in the front half, the gang drives on groaning, as naturally, Lupin put all of the loot in the trunk. Even so, Lupin is clearly happy to have Jigen safely back with them, ruined hat and all.
Fun Trivia fact: This episode is the first episode of any anime series to be broadcast in stereo.
This episode features examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: A tree and the gang's getaway car get the Zantetsuken treatment.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Lupin and Jigen escape into one of these after their car chase with Zenigata.
- Adaptation Expansion: Titled "Spaghetti Jigen" in the English version of the manga, the original story only dealt with the duel and the escape. Goemon is nowhere to be found, Jigen's unnamed girlfriend is present instead of Fujiko, and instead of losing the treasure as the gate nearly closes on him, Jigen just loses his pants.
- Animation Bump: TMS Entertainment, known as Studio Telecom at the time, did the animation for this episode and it shows. It's easily one of the best looking and best animated episodes of the second series.
- Badass Bandolier: Stoneman has one, in contrast to Jigen who has no bullets, let alone a functioning gun.
- Bottomless Magazines: Averted; Stoneman stopping to reload his weapon gives Jigen precious time to go after the parts of his own gun.
- Calling Card: Lupin's says he's already taken the king's watch. Naturally, it's a ruse.
- Cool Car: The series debut of Lupin's trademark yellow Fiat 500. With a few added tricks that were definitely not in The Castle of Cagliostro.
- Duel to the Death: Jigen and Stoneman have a (much delayed) one.
- Ejection Seat: Used on Zenigata when he goes too far.
- Foreshadowing: Jigen takes his gun apart to clean it. Guess what Lupin does to it later in the episode?
- Hat Damage: Stoneman shoots Jigen's hat off at one point, and then shoots it several more times to show his skills. Jigen manages to rescue it eventually, but it has taken some damage.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Goemon manages to slice apart a coin that Lupin is holding between his fingers. He cuts it through the edge.
- Improbable Piloting Skills: Jigen, who manages to get the plane going after Zenigata snags its tail, and then does a loop-de-loop to both right the plane and allow Goemon to re-enter through the roof.
- Knockout Gas: Used on the king after he reveals the location of the watch to Lupin.
- Latex Perfection: Lupin for the king's adviser.
- Parachute in a Tree: Happens to Zenigata upon landing. Goemon kindly cuts him down in typical Goemon fashion: he cuts down the tree with his sword.
- Race Against the Clock: The thieves must be out of Blanco by 4 o'clock before the gate closes, or else they will be trapped by the police.
- Ruritania: The Duchy of Blanco