This outing saw the titular thief dressed in a Pink Jacket, with a red tie, and aqua (sometimes blue) dress shirt. The pastel colours were just some of the changes to the art style that upset many fans upon release. The initial character designs of the Pink Jacket Series were much more grounded and gritty, bearing a greater resemblance to Monkey Punch's original sketches. Yuzo Aoki had studied the manga and wanted to do his take on the character designs rather than being based off the previous anime. Lupin and Goemon were given their traditional cleft chins, Jigen's face was more elongated and unlike other appearances his eyes were more visible, and Fujiko was made to look much more delicate and less voluptuous. Then the animation started becoming more loose yet kept the chin for Lupin, Jigen's design reverted back to covering his eyes and Fujiko was redesigned. This change was due to that Aoki wanted to simplify the character designs.
The series began airing on March 3, 1984. It experienced a very irregular release, as if TMS wanted to do a "every week" release like "Red Jacket" experienced, but had trouble getting episodes onto the TV schedule, or perhaps completed on time. The final (50th) episode aired on Christmas day (December 25th) in 1985.
Fans, when speaking of the "Pink Jacket" series, almost always imply the film Legend of the Gold of Babylon at the same time, due to the similarity in art design. Because many of the episodes share the same slapstick style of the "Red Jacket" series, this one is judged almost entirely by the art style.
This series was available only in Japan and Italy until 2013, when Hulu began streaming some episodes. The remaining episodes were added in 2015. The series is also available on Crunchyroll.
The five principal voice actors from the previous series Yasuo Yamada as Lupin, Kiyoshi Kobayashi as Jigen, Eiko Masuyama as Fujiko, Makio Inoue as Goemon, and Gorō Naya as Inspector Zenigata reprised their roles in this series.
Spoilers below! Don't read below if you don't want to know how this caper turns out!
This TV series features examples of:
- Art Evolution: The series starts off with a more detailed and arguably attractive (apart from the pastels and afro) look for the cast, but quickly starts to morph into something more loose and exaggerated, leading to the quirky look seen in Legend of the Gold of Babylon .
- Bowdlerise: The Italian dub is surprisingly full of cut sequences which, in some episode, can greatly reduce the episode's length. While the dialogues are perfectly serious (including open mentions of death, kill and genuine spry humor) several scenes focused on naked women, women in sexy clothes/positions, excessive violence and religious symbols (the part in episode 8 where Fujiko is tied to a cross) are cut. On streaming episodes it's jarring to see the Italian dub suddenly leave ground for the Japanese one abruptly.
- Gainax Ending: In 'Musical Variation of Monkey Business', after Lupin had just tricked Zenigata yet again, a crow arrives in front of Lupin and stares at him. The episode ends with Lupin in a trance with glowing, red eyes and the crow is heard flying away.
- Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: To distinguish this series from the "New" Lupin series, the Japanese subtitled it as Part III, but among the English-speaking fandom, the nickname of "Pink Jacket" is the better known. Why? Because Lupin wears a Pink Jacket.
- Off-Model: Several factors make this series' characters seem off-model compared to the rest of the franchise (most of these in an attempt to be more accurate to the original manga's art style). This is emphasized by the heavy use of pastels; whereas the previous anime preferred dark, highly saturated primary and secondary color palettes. Jigen's hat is being worn up, which grants him a perpetually surprised expression compared to normal. Fujiko's thin face and angular lines make her appear much older than the rest of the cast. As if aware of the effect, later episodes tone down portions of this effect, especially getting Jigen's hat to stay down. Not helping its case was the fact that multiple studios were usednote . Resulting in a disjointed, and uneven, looking series in terms of animation.
- Pooled Funds: During 'Farewell, Cinderella', the King and Juliet swim around a pool filled with money. Bonus points for Juliet for jumping from a high platform and being able to do some backstroke swimming.
- Revival: This series was an attempt to revive the television franchise from the Red Jacket show, but didn't last very long, likely due to the irregular scheduling.
- Submarine Pirates: In 'Telepathy is Love's Signal', Lupin and Jigen battle a sub full of female pirates for possession of a sunken pirate ship full of Spanish gold beneath the Bermuda Triangle.