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YMMV / Lupin III

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  • Adaptation Displacement:
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Manga!Lupin not only regularly scores with Fujiko but is an outright rapist whose capers can be anywhere in the moral alignment and committed for any reason; Anime!Lupin is an unsuccessful Handsome Lech whose crimes tend to be either harmless or against Asshole Victims; and Cagliostro!Lupin a Chivalrous Pervert securely on the side of good.
    • Anime Lupin still scores with Fujiko, on occasion. Fujiko plainly admits it to Clarisse, in The Castle of Cagliostro, and she and Lupin get it on twice in The Secret of Twilight Gemini.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: On, if you do a search under the genre "Anime" and go under the subcategory "Kids & Family", you'll find Lupin III DVDs. Because stuff like Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine are perfect for children!
  • Archive Panic: The franchise was created in 1967 and has effectively never stopped. There are over 40 movies, six TV shows (when added together, has 291 episodes), and two live action movies. And then there's the manga series and its spin-offs.
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  • Awesome Ego: Lupin the 3rd is adored by the fanbase, and the biggest ego in the cast. He's proud of his success, and has relied on his notoriety since his introduction.
  • Awesome Music: Has its own page.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The opening motorcycle chase sequence from The Legend of the Gold of Babylon gets a big "WTF" from a lot of first-time viewers. As a matter of fact, pretty much all of Legend of the Gold of Babylon gets a big "WTF" from a lot of first-time viewers.
  • Bizarro Episode: The second series was especially prone to these. Having to release a new episode every week for three years meant they couldn't all be winners. Such as the one where Lupin wants to steal a cat who eats nothing but pencil shavings. Or the one where he decides to go to the moon using a popcorn-powered rocket. Or the one where he steals a diaper so an old lady can write a newspaper article. No, these are not the results of some random generator somewhere.
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  • Complete Monster: William Huffner from the "Red Jacket" series; Crazy Mash; Count Luis Yu Almeida. See those pages for details.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Lupin. Just Lupin. This is the guy who can sprout a chute from his buttcheeks...
    • Zenigata. The man has chased Lupin underwater on a normal car, and, in one memorable occasion, riding a torpedo on dry land. If that doesn't qualify...
    • Every cop at Zenigata's orders. Just watch the second car chase in The Fuma Conspiracy, in which they pursue Lupin inside the corridors of a hotel (it takes Fujiko landing her bike on one of the surviving police cruisers, throwing sleeping gas in Zenigata's car and bringing Lupin a smoke grenade to escape).
  • Critical Research Failure: In the Goodbye Partner" TV movie, Las Vegas is located in Arizona, and the Arizona police are apparently the Los Angeles Police Department.
  • Cult Classic: One of several that aired on [adult swim].
  • Die for Our Ship: The franchise fandom is small enough — and the Estrogen Brigade portion of it especially so — that people don't actively flame one another, for the most part. The Lupin/Jigen, Jigen/Goemon, Lupin/Goemon and Lupin/Zenigata shippers can often hold quite civil and mature conversations with one another. What they will not tolerate is Lupin/Fujiko. Or Anyone/Fujiko, for that matter. Granted, she's devious as a cat and twice as manipulative, but you'd be hard pressed to find any named character on the show who isn't. The Lupin fangirls hate her because she's "mean" to their cute little thief (who harasses every attractive woman he meets, including her); the Goemon fangirls don't care for her 'cause she seduced then dumped their man in the first season (the only really justified complaint on this list); the Jigen fangirls agree with their adorably scruffy gunman, that she's "trouble" (again, take a look at the others' track records); and the Zenigata fangirls (yep, they exist) just think she's a vapid bimbo (who is capable of building an explosive device powerful enough to destroy a solid oak door but small enough to fit inside a high heel). This isn't even taking into account the number of times she's saved her male compatriots' necks by charming her way into serving as The Mole when needed. Or the number of times she's freaked out at the thought of Lupin being in peril.
  • Escapist Character: Lupin, to a degree. Monkey Punch has stated in an interview with Anime News Network that "what [he] really likes about Lupin is his freedom, his boundless freedom that allows him to do whatever he wants whenever he wants and never really be tied down to anything or anyone in particular."
  • Estrogen Brigade: Despite the series clearly being a seinen, the sometimes unintentional Ho Yay moments between the lead males in the anime entries manage to attract a growing female fanbase.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Both the producers and some of the fans would like to ignore the pink-jacket era (consisting of the third anime series and Legend of the Gold of Babylon) altogether.
  • Fetish Retardant: The second manga series often falls into this, due to its more cartoony art style and more explicit scenarios.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: It's quite popular in Italy. In fact, it's so beloved there the Italians have forgotten he's French/Japanese. He's got localized comics, a live-action film, clothes with him and his gang on are considered "cool" to wear, and smoking a cigarette downward is called "Jigen-style". Italy was also the only country outside of Japan to get a localization and dub of the 1971 TV series (the "Lupin III (Green Jacket)" series). You can find some Facebook pages made as a tribute to the series. Even the main characters have pages mostly or solely dedicated to them. It got to the point that the new 2015 Lupin the 3rd cartoon series not only will take place in Italy and San Marino, but will also first premiere there as well!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Richard Epcar voiced Jigen and other characters and got to do ADR for Inspector Gadget.
  • Les Yay: It is a seinen, after all. A fairly light amount but it is there such as in the Columbus Files where Fujiko woke up in a bed belonging to a young woman by the name of Rosaria. After Rosaria explained to Fujiko that Rosaria brought her here after she found Fujiko's unconscious body nearby but jokingly reassured her that "I didn't do anything to you." The episodes where they contain cults of scantly clad curvy women can occasionally give that vibe as well. Especially when one of them tries to seduce Fujiko... only to punch her in the stomach and point a gun at her when she refuses.
  • Macekre:
    • The Cliff Hanger laserdisc game, made using footage from The Castle of Cagliostro and Mystery of Mamo.
    • The Carl Macek dub of Castle of Cagliostro contains one of Macek's most infamously cheesy "translations": when Goemon slices off Lupin's burning clothing, "Once again I've cut a worthless object" becomes
      Goemon: Should've worn an asbestos suit.
    • This complaint has also been leveled at Funimation's dubs of the TV specials due to the consistently incorrect pronunciations of certain characters' names. This was finally fixed in The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, where the names are finally pronounced correctly.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Lupin III, the titular thief, is a debonair rogue always ready with a plan for a brand new caper. A thief who savors the rush and thrill of the theft far more than any monetary value, Lupin also delights in paying karmic justice to deserving victims. Throughout multiple anime incarnations, Lupin is characterized by choosing seemingly impossible ventures or being thrust into inescapable situations, only to execute a cunning plan (arranged in advance or on the fly) and escaping completely free, in one instance even outsmarting an ancient brain supposedly beyond any human being's. Rarely ever losing his playful grin, and always ready with witty repartee, Lupin remains one of anime's most successful examples of a Gentleman Thief who is constantly capable of twisting a situation to his advantage.
    • Lupin's occasional lover, constant rival and ally, Fujiko Mine, is his equal in brilliance and audaciousness. A skilled thief who lives for the rush of the theft, Fujiko is able to perform as many complex schemes as Lupin while constantly outwitting him and everyone around her to get her next big score. In one instance in The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, she poses as a tutor at an all girls' school, allows one girl to seduce her, only to reveal she knew the girl was a cop in disguise, and let it happen just to fool him and steal the codes she needed. Equally capable of ruthlessness, Fujiko once escaped prison by seducing a guard and sending him to execution in her place, never hesitating to weaponize her sexuality. At the end, Fujiko allows nobody but her to define herself and stops at nothing to achieve her goals, no matter who she has to manipulate or fool, while always maintaining the same charismatic style as Lupin himself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • A minor meme within the English fandom is Goemon's "QUICK, TAKE MY HAND!" from the English dub of "Farewell to Nostradamus".
    • Also, from Episode 0: First Contact, Zenigata tries to order a HANBEEEAAAGAAAHHHH!
    • Lupin's trademark jacket comes in four different colors – Green, Red, Pink, and Blue. Fans actually refer to series and movies by which color jacket he's wearing.note  The red jacket in particular is the most recognized and typically the most referenced, often serving as a sort of shorthand Shout-Out to the franchise itself... if it's not a shout-out to a certain Lupin-obsessed director.
    • The Lupin Dive, and Fujiko's boxing glove-on-a-spring.
    • A minor meme in the Italian fandom is using "argomenti" as an Unusual Euphemism for breasts, especially Fujiko's. This originated in an Italian dubbed episode of Lupin III Part 5 in which Lupin refers to "Fujiko’s arguments" when he had referred to her breasts in the original Japanese. This had a minor spread in the English speaking fandom as well.
  • MST3K Mantra:
    • Having been in the hands of so many directors and writers throughout its fifty-plus year history, any real continuity between the films, TV episodes, and TV specials is pretty much nil, other than the most basic aspects of the characters and plot.
    • Even the original manga has this issue; Monkey Punch was known to set up stories in one chapter, only to abandon them completely by the next one, with not even a reference in the new story to what had happened before. Hell, his original plan was to have "Fujiko Mine"note  be the name of every woman in the series. This resulted in Fujiko having no fewer than four origin stories within the first few volumes. Monkey Punch eventually got just as confused as everyone else and decided to just make Fujiko a single character, albeit still one with a Multiple-Choice Past.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • In "Goodbye Lady Liberty", the scene where Fujiko is forced into a possession ritual by the Three Masons sect might make your skin crawl.
    • In another episode, Lupin has an encounter with Mephistopheles. Who then brags about having the former's heart in his hand. And then squeezes it, making Lupin writhe in pain on the floor, while surrounded by creepy marionettes laughing at him in unison. It's soon revealed to be All Just a Nightmare Sequence, but still.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Fujiko's fame reached a climax in 2012, when after forty years and much begging by the fans, she had a spin-off series that featured her and the rest of the Lupin gang as a series-long Origins Episode, similar to the Monkey Punch era titled Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • In Japan, the franchise was hit hard by this when TMS replaced the principal voice cast for the The Fuma Conspiracy OVA. They admitted they did it purely for budgetary reasons – they didn't have a lot of cash, the original voice actors were incredibly expensive, and they preferred to spend that cash on the actual animation. The end result was some of the best animation ever to come out of the Lupin franchise (probably second only to Cagliostro), but fans were extremely upset about the voice changes and stayed away in droves in protest. TMS was so chastised by the catastrophic failure of the experiment that they still have not attempted a wholesale cast change since.note 
    • A similar reaction was Averted during the major cast shakeup in 2011, which saw Fujiko's, Goemon's, and Zenigata's actors retired and replaced with much younger sound-alikes. This lack of outrage is probably due to the fact that by that point, all of the remaining original cast were in their seventies (Goro Naya was in his 80's), and they increasingly sounded like it. Indeed, in the "Fujiko Mine" TV series that premiered the next Spring, Kiyoshi Kobayashi (the only original cast member not to be retired) sounds noticeably older than everyone else.
  • What an Idiot!: Lupin meets with Fujiko after a betrayal coming out of their last meeting (let alone the other hundreds of betrayals) and what does he do about it? Continue to blindly trust her and going along with anything she wants, instead of just simply dumping her. This is gonna happen every single time.
  • Woolseyism: Tokyo Pop's translation of the manga is clearly not a direct translation, with so many jokes added in that it borders on Gag Dub sometimes. That said, it works, with each volume having at least several laugh out loud moments in the dialogue that weren't there before, usually with added snarking, or a Precision F-Strike, complimenting the "R-rated comedy" nature of the series.


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