Lights! Camera! LUPIN!
|Well, look who’s back! No, not me – Lupin! He’s been used sparingly thus far, which makes it exciting every time he makes a glorious return. Let’s see just how Lupin and Fujiko do their thieving tango this week.|
SEX!!!! Whoa, sorry, got distracted there. Fujiko has a quick “session” with Inspector Zenigata, who asks her to catch Lupin III and stop him from stealing an expensive mask worn by a star opera singer. Her name is Aiyan, and she started wearing the mask to cover horrific burn marks on her face. Fujiko disguises herself as another actress in the operatic play, but barely gets to even be near Aiyan thanks to Lupin’s antics. She ends up replacing her on stage instead after she faints from having a “phantom of the opera” type of ghost throwing a stage light at her from the ceiling. She plays the part well, but her acting is cut short by a sudden flip of a switch that lowers a section of the stage down…into a cage. Fujiko is stuck there while the newly recovered Aiyan takes her place on stage. She sees a note in the basement level that was probably given to Aiyan so she could make it LOOK like the ghost was trying to kill her with the light. However, they were in cahoots the whole time.
The ghost tries to kidnap Aiyan at this point, but Lupin ruins it by attracting a swarm of bees. Aiyan throws off her mask and headpiece in alarm, revealing her to be…not Aiyan. Startled, the ghost tries to escape capture. Oscar and Fujiko run after the ghost while Zenigata has a one-on-one fight with Lupin. Of course, Lupin escapes unharmed with Oscar and Zenigata unintentionally trip each other up. Fujiko catches up to the ghost in the end, but it’s actually the mean old man from the beginning of the episode. No one approved of his relationship with Aiyan, so she burned her face in order to be easily disguised. She trained a new singer to take her place while she lived in harmony with her lover. As for the mask…they throw it into the fire without a second glance.
For dinner we’re having mashed potatoes and the crushed dreams of greedy thieves
Backstage Bonus Pass:
Drugs: you will find a clown in your living room and fish will come to kill you
I BLEED MY HEART OUT FOR YOOOOUUUUUUUU!!
“Hmm, it smells like chili and failure in here.”
I’m still enjoying Lupin, but this was a pretty weak episode. Lupin and Fujiko’s first face off in episode 1 was fiery and full of lightning-quick counterattacks on each other that kept things moving. The scale was constantly being shifted in favour of one person, only to fall in the opposite direction the next minute. Throughout all those witty confrontations, they still managed to unravel the mystery of a cult and the mind-controlling drug they used. This week focused almost purely on the story of the opera singer Aiyan and the “phantom of the opera,” which was pretty weak. Oh yes, how surprising that the surly old man warning people about the ghosts is the actual ghost! There was no shock, and learning the truth didn’t really change my perspective very much anyways. I didn’t care who the ghost was or who the singer was. There really was no point to the story; no punctuation at the end or even one defining message or feeling to be left lingering in my head after the ending credits. As a result, it was pretty soulless and average.
Episode 1 may have spoiled me, but I see no reason why EVERY showdown between Fujiko and Lupin can’t be that exciting. Why not? Every other rival should pale in comparison! However, Lupin spent most of his time with the Inspector while Fujiko…ran around. There really weren’t many clever action scenes. Thieves don’t use brute force to get what they want, so they have to come up with creative ways to achieve their goals. While this entails being evasive, it doesn’t mean I like watching Fujiko run around from place A to place B without any real incident. There were some glimpses of more unconventional thieving approaches (Lupin’s bungee-line, fake blood pump and bullet proof vest, and Lupin’s bee-hat) and they were great. I want more of that! The more far-fetched and ludicrous their plans are, the better. I would have LOVED to see Fujiko fight to try and one-up that lovely number right there with her own bee call or something. There was no back-and-forth because Lupin and Fujiko were separated, and that really didn’t work very well.
Okay, okay, one more complaint about the story! There was a weird divergence about the river of Lethe. It was a nice idea, but the reference didn’t really go anywhere. Drinking from the river of Lethe is said to erase the memories of the dead before they can become reincarnated. Most likely, it’s a metaphor for Aiyan drinking from the river of Lethe to be “reincarnated” in her new life with De Renzo, while her stage double Nora takes her place like a phoenix from the ashes. It was unnecessary. It didn’t add anything to make such a fuss out of Fujiko stepping into that little, ankle-deep pool. Was that a flashback of her eating a species of lethe butterfly too? Weird. It was just…weird. The bees were already enough!
All in all, this week was alright. There were a few hints of interesting character developments, mostly for Oscar and Zenigata. Oscar is basically Barnaby from Tiger & Bunny (with his love for cloths with buttons still in tact) but slightly more flamboyant. He’s one of the few men who not only can resist Fujiko’s charms, but is completely turned off by them. He has the potential to be a tough rival since her trump card doesn’t cater to his…ahem..tastes. The same can’t be said for Zenigata, who apparently has a MUCH closer relationship with Fujiko than expected. I have to admit it was weird to see an Inspector banging the same person he wanted to catch. I had him pegged as the incorruptible type longing for justice, but he seems a lot more sleazy here. It might be an attempt to get us to root for Fujiko and Lupin all the more seeing as the alternative isn’t actually that much better. This makes Zenigata – a cop trying to do his job – seem like more of a villain than two expert thieves trying to steal their weight in gold each week. Funny how things change when the main character you’re meant to sympathize with is someone like Fujiko.