The second Lupin III series, a Revival of the televised anime after it found greater success in reruns. And much like its predecessor, the seriesnote once again aired on Nippon Television.note The series begins by acknowledging the gap between the two series, as well as reusing the main villain from the first episode, but remains episodic with almost no mention of past episodes. The art style is significantly different from the first series, and undergoes a few shifts of its own. But those take much longer to happen than the abrupt change in direction that the first series experienced. Another major difference is that while the first series was largely set within Japan, the second series has a visibly international focus with the characters travelling all over the world.
Instead of being a typical 12-13 or 24-26 episode season, TMS Entertainment chose to make the series "open-ended", meaning a brand new episode of Lupin once a week, every week, for the whole year.note The series only missed three weeks (due to preemptions from New Year's programming and coverage of the 1980 election results), airing 155 episodes in a row. That's three years, out of which there were six seasons of between 25 and 27 episodes apiece (they're marked by changes in the opening and ending). This series' longevity, coupled with its popularity, made it into essentially the "baseline" for all future entries into the Lupin franchise.
This era also saw two Lupin theatrical films: 1978's The Mystery of Mamo (which has a tone more in line with the "Green Jacket" era) and 1979's The Castle of Cagliostro (the first feature film directed by Hayao Miyazaki). While Mamo was a success, Cagliostro flopped upon its initial release in Japan, only to be Vindicated by History years later.
The first English-language release of "Red Jacket" came from the Streamline Pictures dub of the two episodes directed by Hayao Miyazaki (#145 and #155), released under the title of Lupin III: Tales of the Wolf. Streamline's Lupin videos were required to censor Lupin's name due to the estate of Maurice Leblanc (the original creator of Arsène Lupin) constantly threatening TMS with legal action.
Nearly a decade later, Geneon licensed the series and released it under the title of Lupin the 3rd, dropping "New" from the title.note Adult Swim picked it up, but only aired 26 episodes out of the first 30. In all, Geneon managed to dub 79 episodes a little over half and get them out on DVD before dropping the series. Episodes 80-144 and 146-154 would not see wide release in North America until Crunchyroll began streaming the episodes with subtitles in December of 2015, which was followed up by an announcement that Discotek Media would begin releasing DVDs of the entire series starting in 2016, using any English dub available and better subtitles for episodes 80-155 (as Crunchyroll's subtitles are emblematic of the general low quality of official internet-produced subs).
The cast is fully formed: Goemon is a Lupin ally, Jigen is Lupin's trustworthy partner, Fujiko is as likely to help Lupin as betray him, and Zenigata is determined to chase after him. This series highlights Zenigata's need to chase Lupin rather than actually arrest him. Even when Fujiko is working with the police to capture him, Lupin still seems to stymie their forces.
This show is also notable for being the first anime to be broadcast in stereo - although only certain episodes, starting with episode 99.
Some years after this series ended, TMS tried to revive Lupin again. The result was Lupin III: Part III, aka the "Pink Jacket" series.
Provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: The police chief's inability to correctly pronounce Zenigata's name is Played for Laughs in "The Sleight Before Christmas". Poor Zenigata even gets his own name wrong after hearing so many mistakes! This happens in both the Japanese and English dub:
- The Japanese has him called "Inspector Zenigame", "Inspector Zemagama", and so on;
- In English, he's called "Inspector Pennsylvania", "Inspector Epiglottis", etc.
- Animation Bump: The episodes by Oh Production and Telecom Animation Film are much better animated (for 1970s vintage) then the other episodes.
- At Arm's Length: Lupin's short-lived boxing career has his opponent holding him out of reach with one punch, before letting loose with a second punch, knocking Lupin out of the ring!
- Bad Actor, Good Liar: In "What Do You Think of Ukiyoe Blues?", Fujiko tries to trick Lupin into helping her and a friend steal some valuable Japanese portraits and replace them with forged copies. The "friend" is actually an actor playing a descendent of the man who painted the pictures, but Lupin picks up on it fairly quickly and turns the tables on them both. At the end of the episode, Lupin (while dressed in theater paint) posits on this trope.Lupin: A con man is a better actor than an actor is a con man.
- Bad Luck Charm: Several of the treasures that Lupin has stolen during the Red Jacket series have been cursed objects. Some are supposed to be supernaturally cursed, while others are just cursed with misfortune.
- When Lupin steals the burial mask of King Tutankhamen, he starts acting possessed, and abnormal. He can't even escape from handcuffs with his usual grace! The curse affects the eyecatch, too. Instead of the usual quirky plop sound effect, he says in a spooky voice "Tatari ja~!" (I'm cursed!).
- In reference to the Real Life superstition, Lupin steals the Hope Diamond in "A Wedding Ring is an Accursed Trap" to give to Fujiko as an engagement ring. Among the misadventures afterwards: Lupin's car is completely destroyed, Fujiko becomes an old crone, and Zenigata suddenly becomes a much better shot when firing at Lupin's gang.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: In the "Gorilla Tactics" episode, Lupin (in disguise) taunts Zenigata about the female gorilla's affectionate encounter with him the previous evening. The episode puts Zenigata in some very uncomfortable situations.
- "Blind Idiot" Translation:
- Episodes 80-132 have been fan-subbed, and are of generally good quality. However, guest characters in various episodes are often given really bizarre names, and certain examples of regular translations are hilariously bad.
- "Tottsan", Lupin's nickname for Zenigata, is a cutesy phrase typically translated (professionally) as "old man" or "Pops". The fansubs call him "Old Bro/Brother".
- "Keibu", the Japanese word for "Inspector". The subtitles often refer to Zenigata simply as Keibu, leaving it untranslated, which would imply it was his name (his actual first name, rarely if ever used, is Kouichi).
- Sherlock Holmes III is referred to as "Fuji the Third"
- Jigen's mentor in the use of firearms (Joe) is referred to as "God" or "God of the Underworld".
- Mount Kilimanjaro is translated as "Go there".
- Louvre is translated as "The art museum" (technically correct, but The Louvre is a little bit more than just "an art museum").
- The first Geneon DVD (covering episodes 1-2 and 4-7) seems to have missed a quality check or two, as the subtitles contain a number of grammatical errors, most notably in the second episode "Buns, Guns, and Fun in the Sun".
- Episodes 80-132 have been fan-subbed, and are of generally good quality. However, guest characters in various episodes are often given really bizarre names, and certain examples of regular translations are hilariously bad.
- The Bluebeard: Episode 75 dealt with this: a rich man married 99 women, murdered them, and encased their bodies in wax so he could preserve them. He planned to add Fujiko to his collection, but Lupin and the gang put a stop to that.
- Bragging Theme Tune: "Superhero". Not technically the primary theme tune, but a delightfully cheesy mixture of pompous and bad-ass, certainly. An excerpt:Everyone wishes they could be like me (like you)
Smart and cool, handsome, wealthy and so sexy (sexy)
They need a hero, somebody who is just like me (Lupin-Lupin-Lupin-Lupin the Third!)
- Call-Back: Sometimes the show makes references to episodes from the Green Jacket series. Like the tiny hands tickle torture machine in Part 1 Episode 1 being in Part 2 Episode 26, or the reuse of the laughing shadow.
- Cartwright Curse: No love interest for any of the main five goes past one episode, with most of them ending in death.
- Charm Point: A case of skill, rather than beauty, Jigen's hat. In one episode, Jigen becomes unable to shoot straight after losing his hat. He tends to wear it rather low, and later it's explained that the trademark notch in the brim is how he usually lines up his shots.
- Close Call Hair Cut: In a surprising episode where Goemon actually makes a FaceHeel Turn away from the group, in favour of a group of traditional ninjas. Lupin is upset enough by the betrayal, that he attempts to shoot Goemon in the head. The Samurai ducks, and the bullet grazes his cheek and cuts off a few locks of his hair.
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: Several Real-world logos are digitally removed from episodes in this series.
- Continuity Nod: In "Tutankhamen's 3000-Year Curse", Lupin gets possessed by the spirit of an Egyptian Pharaoh after stealing the Pharoah's death mask. In "Witch of the Fourth Dimension", when Bujiko Mine shows him a note written in Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Lupin starts freaking out and refuses to do another theft in Egypt since he doesn't want to get cursed again.
- Episode 8 had a nod to episode 18 of the Green Jacket series when Lupin makes a quilted kite out of Ukiyo E paintings, similar to the quilted sail he made out of paintings of women.
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*: The English dub has Zenigata pulling this twice in a row towards the chief commissioner of the French police department after he turned down Zenigata's request to put a team together to catch Lupin because France regards him as a sort of a national icon. Though he didn't know that the chief commissioner was Lupin in disguise.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: In The Wolf Saw an Angel, Goemon, to prove his Implausible Fencing Powers, cuts a series of steel beams being dropped on top of him into tiny pieces. The pieces of the beams land in exactly the right way to write out Goemon's name in kanji.
- Cultural Cross-Reference: In the original Japanese, I Left My Mind in San Francisco involved Lupin and Jigen breaking into a NASA base to steal a microfilm reel. Two of the secret passwords to open the door are references to The Beatles and Elvis Presley, respectively. The English dub replaces these with Star Trek references which admittedly makes more sense considering it's NASA, but still an odd replacement to make.
- Cultural Translation: The series was made in late-1970s Japan, but didn't get dubbed into English until 25 years later. As a result, the dub writers regularly replaced Japanese pop culture references with American ones. Especially during the early, Adult Swim-aired season, those references sometimes resulted in Anachronism Stew.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Red Jacket Series, episode 27. A girl named Alice steals a pendant containing a stamp from Lupin, & he chases her into a surreal theme park, where everything is running but there are no people except for them. The music is public domain orchestral. The sky has weird colored patterns, everything is colored in crayon, everything & everyone echoes. Lupin flies on Dumbo's back, then catches a ride on a Merry-go-round horse, which becomes real. Zenigata appears behind them dressed as a Native American. He chases them into a castle, only go get chased out by Card Guards.
- Driven to Suicide: Goemon after Fujiko takes his sword in "The Yam Is Mightier Than The Sword" and Lupin when he thinks he's come down with 'Transformation Sickness' in "Crude Reproduction, Perfect Frame" They're both stopped before they can actually do it, though.
- Dub Name Change: Not for the characters, but for the episode titles. The original Japanese episode names were straightforward explanations of the caper-of-the-week, but the English names were nearly all puns on random movies, TV shows, or songs; on a few occasions, the English title had nothing to do with the content of the episode itself (though most did).
- In the French dub of Episode 15, Sherlock Holmes III is renamed as Herlock Sholmes, much like how the original Sherlock was renamed to Herlock in the original Arséne Lupin stories.
- Due to the Dead: Attempted in "The Day the Old Man Died" per the customs for police officers who die in the line of duty. However, as Zenigata turned out to still be alive, Jigen and Goemon intercept the Old Man's casket as it's being burned—in the middle of the burning, no less—and, along with Lupin, escape with the not-quite-dead shamus's corpus.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: In early episodes of the series, the Mercedes-Benz SSK is red instead of yellow.
- Worth noting that real SSK's of the few that still exist among the less than 40 made tend to be either white or black with a couple of red specimens. Only one yellow SSK is known to exist (and it's not the bright yellow seen in the Lupin anime), so the red is more accurate. Also, as the original roadsters were built-to-order, the steering wheel could be on either side depending on the buyer (in the manga, Lupin's SSK was UK/Japan-style with the steering wheel on the right; in the anime it's German-style with the steering wheel on the left).
- Earthquake Machine: One of Lupins early victims was a scientist attempting to hold the entire country of Italy hostage by his version of an Earthquake generator.
- Edible Treasure: The episode "Lupin's Big Saiyuuki" was about the gang stealing the treasure of a forbidden kingdom. They risked their lives for... a chest full of salt. Apparently, the food in the kingdom is quite bland, and salt is a highly-prized commodity.
- Expensive Glass of Crap: In "The Sleight Before Christmas", the gang steals a bottle of wine being given as a gift from France to the US President, that was originally supposed to be a gift from Napoleon to Empress Josephine. They swapped it out for a cheap bottle of wine. After the heist, Lupin and his crew watch the president enjoy the fake bottle of wine on TV, and laugh mockingly at his palate's inability to distinguish "quality". Then they open the real bottle, and realize that they've stolen a 200 year-old bottle of vinegar.
- Extendo Boxing Glove: The first opening sequence depicts the title character getting clobbered by one of these gloves on a spring when he tries to jump into bed with Fujiko.
- Eye Catch: Bookends to the commercial breaks for this series would display gags, such as Lupin's gun firing while he twirls it on his finger, or jumping into his car, only for the steering wheel to break off and causing Lupin to roll out the other side.
- Famous Ancestor: The antagonist of the week has a one in four chance of being the grandson of a fictional character, even if the character died unmarried & childless. Often it will be a detective, such as Sherlock Holmes, & Heiji Zenigata, whom Koichi Zenigata is based on.
- Framed Face Opening: The first opening sequence featured a boxed iris-in of Lupin and the gang, each in alternating colors. The Japanese version showed both the characters' names and those of their respective seiyuu together; the English dub simply lists the characters' names, not their voice actors.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: The episode Steal Everything of Lupin's involve a scientist use a machine to trasnfer the brain of Mr. Steel, an elderly millionare, in Lupin's body. At the end, Lupin regain his body using Zenigata.
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": "The Day the Old Man Died" shows the Lupin gang crashing Zenigata's funeral in their usual manner. First, Fujiko, disguised as a mourner, plants a tracking device on the casket. Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon hide inside one of the ovens on the site where the body is to be burned, and once the ensuing inferno destroys the tracking device, Goemon cuts through the oven's wall with his Zantetsuken, and they yank the casket out of the oven right next door. Superintendent Truffaut, who was overseeing the burning, suspected that they'd be running a caper from inside one of those things, and checks both the oven to the left and the oven to the right before proceeding. What he doesn't realize until it's too late is that Lupin and his cohorts concealed themselves with a painting of the interior of one of the ovens, and not only that, but the old man wasn't dead after all!
- Gag Dub:
- Perhaps in response to its getting a slot on Adult Swim, the Geneon dub added a number of jokes and pop culture references that are out of place for a show from the 70's and looks it (e.g. references to Shaquille O'Neil, The Simpsons, and The War on Terror). This caused something of a Broken Base, as many new and casual fans loved these jokes, while others especially long-time fans from the Streamline days hated them.
- The modern pop-culture references were toned down a lot after the first season, leading to an aversion of Gag Dub. But because the first season was the only part to air on TV, people who didn't buy the DVD's incorrectly assumed the entire series was dubbed that way.
- God Was My Copilot: Yes really. Episode 2, "Buns, Guns, and Fun in the Sun", has the Gang hide the cash from the ticket sales of one of Brazil's largest Soccer games inside Christ the Redeemer and then proceed to steal it. However, as they fly off with the statue, all the cash hidden in the statue falls out right over the favelas of Rio De Janeiro. The gang lament the loss only for the statue to talk to them and smile.
- Gift of the Magi Plot: Subverted and lampshaded when Fujiko says, "Is this like the Gift of Magi? Because I hate that story."
- Giving Them the Strip: Lupin is an escape artist, and he will not think twice about dropping his trousers if a pesky cop is clinging to his legs as he makes his get-away on a hang-glider.
- Going Commando: In "Albatross: Wings of Death", the villains strip Fujiko, in an attempt to find the detonator she stole from them. They don't find it, but have no reason to allow her to dress, either. She spends the majority of the episode without underwear, or much of anything on, really. Somewhat odd in that this is one of the two "Red Jacket" episodes directed by Hayao Miyazaki!note
- Hiding in a Hijab: In one episode, Lupin and his gang steal niqābsnote to hide from Inspector Zenigata. Zenigata tracks them to a well where women are doing the laundry. Finding the gang's discarded clothes, he forces the women there to remove their veils, and promptly subverts the trope when its revealed the ladies are actual ladies, who promptly make their displeasure known with wooden laundry mallets. Later in the episode, it's played straight when the gang actually does disguise themselves in niqābs. Afraid of getting beaten again, Zenigata lets them go without an inspection.
- They sneak past Zenigata using this trick again in "Keep Your Hands Off the Hot Treasure". When he rips off a veil, not only to reveal an ugly woman, but an angry Arab passenger berates him for showing such disrespect. As it turns out, not only it was Lupin masked as the lady, but the passenger was on it, too.
- Historical Character's Fictional Relative: Goemon Ishikawa XIII is based on a 16th century Japanese Robin Hood of the same name. Often an antagonist on the show will be the grandson of a real life legend, such as the members of the Shinsengumi.
- Hollywood Magnetism: Played for Rule of Funny and cartoon physics in "Vault Assault". Lupin is using a giant magnet to hold an armored truck in place as his team attempts to steal the money it carries.
- How Dare You Die on Me!: In "Lupin the Interred", Lupin is assassinated by a Professional Killer. Zenigata insists it's a trick, that Lupin cant really be dead, while Jigen and Goemon destroy their surroundings since they can't kill Lupin.
- How Unscientific!: Red Jacket Lupin is set in late 1970s Earth and is not of the sci-fi or fantasy genre, but once in awhile you get an episode with things like vampires, dragons, mermaids, yetis, zombies, lizardmen, and no one questions their existence. None of these were present in Green Jacket, so it's completely unexpected.
- Identical Stranger: Three of Lupin's one-off love interests were inexplicably identical to eachother from face to hair; Inspector Melon and the Vampire Camilla were completely identical. Madam X had the same face but different hair. Funny thing is that nobody, not even Lupin noticed or brought up their similarities.
- Ignore the Fanservice: An episode has Lupin working for Fujiko's Aunt. After being incentivized to work by getting fanservice from a hologram of Fujiko, he starts to tune her out. When the real Fujiko shows up, he completely ignores her. Could also double as Foreshadowing to the twist at the episode's end.
- In the episode where Lupin and Jigen are trying to steal a potion from a building that has only women in it, Jigen refused to even look at them, even though the one to his left was wearing completely see-though negligee. This wasn't the kind of embarrassed shy eye aversion you get from Goemon or Zenigata; He simply did not want to be there and needed Lupin to get back to work.
- Inconsistent Coloring: There are a few things in this series that keep panning back & forth in color.
- Jigen's suit is only sometimes grey. More often than not, it's a sage green, dark teal, or slate blue, even in the same episode. This could be due to the poor video quality of the official dubs & fansubs.
- Lupin's hair is usually black, but sometimes it's a dark chocolate brown.
- Lupin's pants & tie are a very pale pearl pink, but sometimes they are a light creamy beige. Most people just color them as off-white in fanart.
- Zenigata's skin color ranges from a sandy peach, to a light sienna brown, to a terracotta red.
- In episode 66, Lupin is holding a bottle of wine. A bullet breaks the bottle, revealing that is a white wine. Then the scene cuts away to a different angle and it becomes a red wine.
- In one episode, Lupin was accidently given brown hair and blue eyes. Jigen was not wearing a disguise, so this was a coloring error.
- Kid Detective: Episode 72 had Baranco who was the son of the famous Columbo. The entire police force is willing to follow his plans.
- Major Injury Underreaction: In the English dub, Zenigata would usually say a very nonchalant "Ow..." whenever he got comically injured.
- Mind-Control Music: Used in episode 79 by Kyoransky, an eccentric musician and the episode's villain. Whomever hears Kyoransky's music sets out to attack Lupin in a violent rage.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: In "Keep Your Hands Off the Hot Treasure", Lupin almost gets eaten by a crossed breed of a piranha and a killer shark.
- Off-Model: Same issues as the Green Jacket series, especially noticeable in shots depicting the cast off in the distance with blob faces & extra thick outlining. The most glaring example is in episode 3, where for one frame, Jigen's head layer slides behind his neck & shoulder.
- Running for three years nearly nonstop also meant the quality in general wavered between episodes, with a sizable chunk of them farmed to other studios (Telecom, Oh! Pro, and Topcraft) and the rest split between several in-house teams that ranged from decent to poor.
- There's inconsistencies about the size of body parts of characters, especially in fast paced action scenes. Frequently this happens to Jigen and Goemon's hair length, ranging anywhere from collar length to mid-back length, Fujiko's breast size, & the guys being inconsistently scrawny or muscular in both the arms and torso.
- Once per Episode: Red Jacket series would find any excuse to have Lupin appear in his boxer shorts for anywhere from a split second to half an episode. If he was in drag that episode, you'd get a panty shot.
- Right Out of My Clothes: The first opening for features Lupin leaping out of his clothes to get into bed with a naked Fujiko
who promptly smacks him in the face with a spring-loaded punching glove hidden in a box under the covers.
- In the anime itself, any of Lupin's attempts to bed Fujiko begin and end similarly.
- Running Gag: There's a lot of them in this series. Some almost going into "once per episode" territory.
- Shout-Out: Episode 112 has a brief sequence where Goemon is shown singing "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People while relaxing in a hot spring pool.
- Skinny Dipping: Episode 110 has a nudist beach with some guys does this. Episode 141 has Fujiko Mine swim naked in a swimming pool and then takes a shower.
- Stealth Pun: In "Lupin the Interred", Jigen described a house-fly that turned out to be a listening device as "a flying pun".
- Stock Sound Effects: There is repeated use of stock dolphin sounds used any time the setting is near or on water. The problem is that it was intended to be the sound of seagulls. It would have been a Wacky Sound Effect but seems like more of an unintentional mistake than a running gag.
- Suicide as Comedy: Done in both episodes 60 and 61. In the first one, there's a Suicide Beam that makes people turn purple & try to kill themselves. While it resulted in the immediate death of any non major characters, Zenigata kept shooting himself in the hat and trying to keep Lupin alive was Looney Tunes-level slapstick. In the second one, Goemon is so embarrassed that Fujiko got him drunk and pawned his sword that he tries to hang & shoot himself at the same time. Made extra funny when Zenigata and his men walk in witnessing Goemon dangling from the roof and shooting randomly.
- Uncertain Doom: The fate of many antagonists, likely used to keep with Lupin's claim that he's not a murderer. But when the audience thinks about it, the villain is probably either dead or moments away from it.
- One example is Lavina, a psychiatrist dressed as a nun who brainwashes people & ships them off to fight as brainless soldiers in foreign wars. As she was floating away in her bubble, Lupin shot a special mini rocket that injected her bubble with hydrogen gas. There's not a lot of air in the bubble, so she's at risk for asphyxiation. Also if the bubble were to encounter heat or hit anything, it could explode.
- One of Lupin's girlfriend-of-the-week was last seen going over a cliff in a car with an angry cobra.