Trivia / Lupin III

  • Adaptation Displacement: The [adult swim] airing of Lupin III (Red Jacket) caused the franchise's fanbase in North America to grow. However, many people who came into the franchise via it aren't aware of the earlier "Green Jacket" series or the comic that spawned both – Tokyopop released the first manga series and half of the second before dropping it due to low sales.
  • Anime First: The color Manga volumes are all made from the anime versions of Lupin, in a Recursive Adaptation.
  • Author Existence Failure: Yasuo Yamada, the voice of Lupin the Third, died of a brain hemorrhage in 1995, a month before the release of Farewell to Nostradamus, the movie that would mark the franchise's return to the big screen after ten years. Fortunately, his will stated that, if he were to pass away, the baton should be passed to Kan'ichi Kurita (a popular comedian and impersonator), who voices Lupin from that movie onwards. In honor of Yamada, a message was placed at the end of the film's credits: "To Yasuo Yamada, Eternal Lupin the Third: Thank you!".
  • Missing Episode: "Red Jacket" Episode 3, "Hitler's Legacy" (a.k.a "To Be Or Nazi Be"), was this for a while with the series' US release, as [adult swim] refused to air it for pretty obvious reasons – [as] was still pretty skittish at the time thanks to the oppressive post-9/11 media environment. Bizarrely, TV airings of the preceding episode still had the preview for this one. Less justifiably, Geneon withheld it from the Volume 1 DVD – a move widely seen as a primary reason for the show's failure – it was included in Volume 5, tacked onto the end of the first season.
  • No Export for You:
    • Very few of the Manga have left Japan, even in scanlation form.
    • For a very long time, the only place outside Japan to see the 1971 "Green Jacket" TV series was Italy. North America finally got it in 2012, albeit only in Japanese with subtitles.
    • The third TV series, "Pink Jacket", has never been legally seen outside of Japan (or Italy). In fact, the only product of that era to make it to North American shores was Legend of the Gold of Babylon… and it only got a subtitled VHS tape that quickly went out of print.
      • "Pink Jacket" appeared in Italy in 1987 under the name "L'incorreggibile Lupin", and had several re-runs on Mediaset channels for the next 15 years. However, even there it's the least-liked series.
      • "Pink Jacket" has since appeared on American streaming sites. No one quite knows why.
    • Of the 25 Lupin III Yearly Specials produced to date, only 14 so far have made it to North America. note  Of those, only 9 have English dubs – the eight Funimation specials plus Bye-Bye Liberty Crisis, which got a British dub back in the 90's. Everything from 2003 onwards, save for the Lupin/Conan crossover, remain stuck in Japan (or Italy).
    • Thanks to Geneon dropping "Red Jacket" after Episode 79, only two episodes from the series's second half made it to North America† . Everything else remains, for now, unavailable.
      • On December 6th 2015, episodes 80-155 were put up on Crunchyroll. A couple weeks later, Discotek confirmed they had the license and would release the series on DVD starting sometime in 2016. It will have improved subtitles for the series's second half (as well as, presumably, the dub for episodes 145 and 155).
  • The Other Darrin: With over forty years of animation and dubbing, it is inevitable that examples of replacements without In-Universe explanation occur.
    • The Japanese cast for Lupin is remarkable for its extreme consistency over many decades. However, even it has had its shakeups.
      • Lupin III Pilot Film, the original 1969 pilot film (shot and recorded twice), Darrin'ed itself by having two completely different voice casts. Strangely, Goro Naya (Zenigata's long-time VA) played Goemon and Chikao Ohtsuka (Goemon in the first series) played Zenigata. The only other actors from these recordings retained for future Lupin projects were Eiko Masuyama as Fujiko and Kiyoshi Kobayashi as Jigen.
      • Lupin III (Green Jacket) replaced Lupin, Goemon, and Fujiko, with Yasuo Yamada, Chikao Ohtsuka, and Yukiko Nikaido, respectively. Masuyama still appears in this series as an incidental character.
      • Lupin III (Red Jacket) created and cemented the most famous cast arrangement – Yamada as Lupin, Kobayashi as Jigen, Masuyama as Fujiko, Makio Inoue as Goemon, and Naya as Zenigata. With one exception (see below), this lineup would not change again for the next eighteen years.
      • In 1987, The Fuma Conspiracy was produced on a tight budget, so TMS decided to replace the principal cast (at the time, the highest-paid voice actors in Japan) with cheaper actors. Thus, Lupin is played here by Toshio Furukawa, Jigen by Banjou Ginga, Goemon by Kaneto Shiozawa, Fujiko by Mami Koyama, and Inspector Zenigata by Seizo Kato. Fan reaction was… less than positive, and TMS switched back to the original actors for the annual TV specials that started two years later. Contrary to rumors of the time, Monkey Punch had nothing to do with this one. note 
      • Lupin's longtime voice actor, Yasuo Yamada, was savvy enough to know that he wouldn't be sticking around forever, so he personally trained and handpicked a friend of his, comedian Kan'ichi Kurita, to succeed him as the voice of Lupin should anything happen to him. Prescient, as Yamada unexpectedly passed away shortly after this, in early 1995. Kurita has voiced Lupin in everything since. From here, the main cast stabilized again for another sixteen years.
      • In 2011, TMS retired Makio Inoue, Eiko Masuyama, and Goro Naya (Goemon, Fujiko, and Zenigata, respectively), replacing them with (much) younger actors from the 2011 special onwards – Daisuke Namikawa as Goemon, Miyuki Sawashiro as Fujiko, and Koichi Yamadera as Zenigata.note  This leaves Jigen as the only character of the main cast whose voice actor has remained consistent since the 1969 pilot short film (not counting The Fuma Conspiracy).
    • Lupin's English cast has never been consistent, with several media being dubbed and redubbed multiple times, due to several failed attempts to successfully market the franchise in the English-speaking world over the years. One movie (The Mystery of Mamo) had four dubs produced between 1979-2003. To date, at least seven different English Lupin casts are known to exist.note 
      • In something of an inverted Darrin, Richard Epcar has worked for the Manga/Animaze, Geneon/Phuuz, and Funimation casts… playing Goemon, Jigen, and Zenigata, respectively. Fans have joked that the next Lupin role he's being considered for is… Fujiko!
      • Funimation dubbed eight Lupin TV specials and two movies in the early 2000's. When they got the license to Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine in 2013, their original actors for Fujiko and Zenigata, Meredith McCoy and Philip Wilburn, were no longer available. So they picked up talent from the "Red Jacket" dub, namely Michelle Ruff and Richard Epcar.
  • Reality Subtext: When the original manga series went on hiatus in the late 60s for three years, the first post-hiatus chapter was about Lupin trying to escape prison, after having been arrested… three years prior.
    • Both the first chapter of the second manga, and first episode of the second anime series take place five years after the conclusion of the previous series...the same amount of time that had passed in real life as well.
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
  • Shout-Out: It's been speculated on IMDB that the series takes inspiration from the topsy-turvy films of Seijun Suzuki. In the Pink Jacket series, Suzuki himself did manage to join in on the fun and even wrote Episode 13. Here he kicked the topsy-turvyness, confusion, and general craziness all the way to eleven.
  • Sequel First: When Lupin III was allowed to air on [adult swim]. Pioneer, the company dubbing it, chose the second series rather then the first. The first series finally got released by Discotek Media, but with subtitles only.
    • For what it's worth, it has been heavily implied that the music & effects tracks for "Green Jacket" no longer exist, so no one could dub it even if they wanted to.
  • Throw It In:
    • The Funimation dubs of the Lupin III films and specials feature a lot of this.
      • Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo isn't a particularly funny movie in the native Japanese, but the dub had a ton of ad-libbing done by the actors (though not to the point of it being a Gag Dub), particularly Christopher Sabat, who voiced Jigen. It worked; it's one of the funniest Lupin movies ever released in the States.
    • "Red Jacket". Oh dear lord, "Red Jacket". It often is counted as a Gag Dub due to its random asides and bad celebrity impersonations.
  • What Could Have Been:


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