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Anime / Lupin III (Red Jacket)

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New Lupin IIInote , a.k.a Lupin III Part II, a.k.a "Red Jacket" – 1977-1980

The second Lupin series, a Revival of the televised anime after the success of Lupin III (Green Jacket) in reruns. 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 (Pink Jacket).

This Anime series contains 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 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 "Hai~!" from Lupin, 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".
  • 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.
  • 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 Face–Heel 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.
  • *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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Earthquake Machine: One of Lupin’s 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.
    Dub!Fujiko: Is this one of those Gift of the Magi things? Because I always hated that book.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "Gift of the Magi" Plot: Subverted and lampshaded when Fujiko says, "Is this like the Gift of Magi? Because I hate that story."
  • 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.
  • 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 can’t really be dead, while Jigen and Goemon destroy their surroundings since they can't kill Lupin.
  • 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.
  • Kid Detective: Episode 72 had Baranco who was the son of the famous Columbo. The entire police force is willing to follow his plans.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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".

Alternative Title(s): Lupin III Part II


Example of: