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Recap / Lupin IIIS 2 E 63

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"A Trap For a Trap!"note , with the English title "Charity Begins at Home". Released in 2005 by Geneon on Volume 12: The Flying Sword.

Fujiko and Lupin are touring Washington, D.C, where Fujiko takes Lupin to see the counterpart of the White House, the "Black House", owned by eccentric miser Don Kecchi, the richest man in America. Fujiko reveals that Kecchi is dying and wants to give his entire fortune of one billion dollars away to charity. Fujiko wants to take it from him before he sends it on, but Lupin refuses the job; he doesn't steal from charities or hard-luck cases. Fujiko storms off, but when Lupin chases after her, she's lifted into the air by a mysterious fog before disappearing!


Back at the hideout, Lupin explains what happened to Jigen and Goemon as the samurai tends to Lupin's wounds. Jigen is highly skeptical that anyone would want to take Fujiko, but just then the same mysterious fog that took her blows into the hideout and forms into a demon's face. It declares if the gang wants Fujiko returned, they have two days to steal Kecchi's fortune.

The next day, Inspector Zenigata meets with Don Kecchi, Lupin sending the billionaire one of his calling cards. Zenigata is puzzled; Lupin doesn't normally target charity cases, so what does he mean with taking Kecchi's donation? That night, a massive boom sounds, and Zenigata tears through the Black House and to Kecchi's vault, where Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon are making off with the money, sucking it up with a vacuum that sends it to a helicopter piloted by Fujiko. Lupin throws a smoke bomb at Zenigata, allowing him to escape, but when the three men try to board the helicopter, Fujiko flies off! Furious, Lupin pulls out his gun and threatens to shoot her. Fujiko laughs it off, but things take a grim turn when Lupin pulls the trigger and hits Fujiko in the heart. As Fujiko collapses, the pilotless helicopter drifts away over the horizon. Lupin is stunned, berating himself for going too far, and he and the equally aghast Jigen and Goemon trudge away into the bushes. Unknown to Zenigata, the real Lupin, Jigen and Goemon are confusedly watching from the shrubbery. The fakes abruptly disappear near them, and Zenigata spies them. Lupin pleads his innocence, but the angry Zenigata shoots at him, and the gang is forced to flee.


The newspapers are full of news about what transpired at the Black House, and that Lupin and his gang are now on the Most Wanted List. Lupin is furious that his reputation is ruined, but he and his friends reason that someone has something big to gain from blaming him for theft. Lupin decides to track down Fujiko and find out what really happened to her.

Sure enough, Fujiko awaits Kecchi on his yacht, reminding him that she will be his bride as promised. Kecchi thanks her for helping to fake the robbery; he now gets to keep his money in secret and his good reputation in public. She shows him the 3-D video projector she used to create the illusion in the first place. She warns him not to leave any loose ends lying around; Kecchi promptly reveals he is not terminally ill after all, ties her to the holographic machine, and sets a bomb on the boat, pointing out she is the only loose end and witness left. Kecchi then watches from the shore as the boat passes behind a nearby island before blowing up. Gloating, he leaves, not knowing Lupin has managed to rescue Fujiko and take her to the island, where, betrayed, she explains the whole scheme.


While Kecchi celebrates his victory in his real hidden vault, Lupin's gang spy on him and prepare a scheme of their own that will serve as the perfect revenge. Salvaging the holographic projector from the boat's wreckage, they fake another theft in progress, this time with the vault's real location. They then head for the Black House; Fujiko runs the projector with the film, and Kecchi investigates to find Lupin and his gang apparently making off with the money. Lupin, disguised as Zenigata, and backed up by Officers Jigen and Goemon, race into the room to help Kecchi. The holo-gang runs off, but the projector suddenly begins twitching back and forth just as holo-Lupin is about to jump out the window. The real gang, along with Kecchi, is confused, but Zeni-Lupin improvises that he's holding his gun on the thief. While Fujiko tries to fix the machine, Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon desperately try to come up with a way out, but Kecchi provides one when he thanks the "police" for saving his money. Zeni-Lupin demands an explanation, but Kecchi's lies are further exposed when the real vault opens accidentally and reveals his funds safely intact. Zeni-Lupin decides that Lupin felt guilty and returned the money so Kecchi could donate it for real.

The projector finally begins working, and Jigen and Goemon follow Lupin's gang in pursuit. As Zeni-Lupin announces he will send someone for the money, he opens the door to reveal the real Zenigata. Before the inspector can act, Fujiko accidentally sends the holoprojector into reverse, making it appear in front of the real inspector that Lupin is returning all of the money. When the holographic Lupin flees again, both Zenigatas go after it. By this point, the furious Fujiko accidentally causes the holographic projector blow up, rendering it unusable, while Lupin eludes Zenigata for good.

As Kecchi gloats that he has gotten his money back and the previous promise seems to have been forgotten, officers show up with an armored truck to take the money safely to charity. Zenigata is overseeing the last of it safely loaded as a confused and frazzled Fujiko shows up, asking for her share. Zenigata quickly realizes Fujiko is not dead, and Fujiko is equally horrified to realize that it is the real Zenigata, and the money will actually be going to charity. Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon laugh from nearby as the frustrated Fujiko runs off screaming after the truck.

This episode features examples of:

  • Auto Erotica: Sharp-eyed viewers will note this going on in the parking lot where Lupin tries to rescue Fujiko.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Fujiko after she's electrocuted by the malfunctioning hologram projector.
  • Femme Fatale: Fujiko starts out this way before she oddly becomes the episode's Butt-Monkey.
  • Faking the Dead: Fujiko fakes her murder so Zenigata will blame Lupin for everything.
  • Gentleman Thief: The initial reason Lupin refuses to help Fujiko. After he finds out he's been tricked, he's more than happy to relieve Kecchi of his money.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Happens to Fujiko when she tries to fix the projector.
  • Hologram: Fujiko's machine plays with opacity, the computer that emits it, clipping, and integrated speakers, even though the computer is no where near the room that uses it.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: Averted until the machine begins to malfunction and the holograms run forwards and backwards.
  • Invisible President: Averted; Jimmy Carter is clearly shown in the Presidential limo.
  • Involuntary Charity Donation: How the episode ends for Kecchi.
  • Latex Perfection: Lupin as Zenigata. Big surprise.
  • Never Found the Body: Fujiko. Apparently, they also never found the helicopter.
  • Playing Sick: Kecchi is doing this as part of his scheme.
  • Pooled Funds: Kecchi swims in his hidden vault after he thinks he's done away with Fujiko.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Averted; the dub actually lowers Kecchi's fortune to a more realistic one billion dollars. The original Japanese version had it at one hundred billion dollars. Played straight by reality: While a hundred billion was an obscenely absurd amount of money back then, nowadays (as of 2020) it puts Kecchi comfortably in line with the ultra-mega wealthy.
  • The Scrooge: Don Kecchi, who outright says people call him "Scrooge". Averted at the beginning of the episode as he's giving his money to charity. Played straight when he later reveals he had Fujiko stage Lupin's robbery so he wouldn't have to actually give the money away.
  • Shock and Awe: Fujiko briefly gets these powers after her attempts at Percussive Maintenance go wrong.
  • Shout-Out: Don Kecchi's absurdly huge combination lock on his vault door and... fondness for cash feel like a reference to a certain waterfowl.
  • Whatdo You Mean Its Not Symbolic: The world's richest man lives in "The Black House", an exact replica of the White House built a few blocks away.


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