Lupin III: A Woman Called Mine Fujiko – 08 [NSFW]

Men who can cook usually get all the ladies…WHAT HAPPENED?

I’m back from Anime North in one piece and ready to try and pick up the slack from the shows I left on the backburner while I was away. I should have a review of the con itself up soon, so stay posted for that! You wouldn’t want to miss all the gorgeous cosplayers now, would you? I thought so. For now, you’ve got a Lupin post sitting in front of you, so get reading!

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I don’t think my joy at seeing either Jigen or Goemon appear in any given episode will ever wear off. They usually only play small roles and it’s not like I can’t foresee them popping up every now and then, but I feel happy whenever I see one or the other involved. This week felt like it was trying to spread out the screen time equally between Lupin, Fujiko, Jigen and Oscar, and the result is very odd. The focus seems to be more on character development than building up an elaborate heist, which is a new approach for this show. Usually I find there to be more focus on the person they’re stealing from, but this week we got some extra knowledge about the main characters instead of the victim. Jigen started to bond with Lupin, and Fujiko had a nasty flashback to her rather upsetting childhood. Before now, Fujiko’s just been a sex object with very little emotions involved. It will be interesting to see if the show can steer away from being flippant and actually build Fujiko up into a more complex character. The problem is that Fujiko is depicted as being completely confident and conniving, but they’re trying to say “no, she’s vulnerable too!” I’m not sure if she can have it all, but we’ll see. So far so good.

Now, while I liked all the nods to the owls and Fujiko’s past as well as seeing Lupin and Jigen have dinner together, there was a price to pay for these lovely developments. This week’s story was resolved very hastily. The premise was solid: a fortune-teller who claims to predict your day of death while slipping you a drug to make sure the prediction comes true. I liked the concept a lot, but I found myself getting confused a bit. The lithograph didn’t seem like an important part of the story, and I’m a bit confused as to how Fujiko knew stealing a hologram of the lithograph would actually get her some cash. It’s a fuzzy, static thing that couldn’t possibly be used to tell the future properly in place of the lithograph, but we’re apparently supposed to believe that it can. How the hell did she know he’d be that desperate to get it back, and WHY would he want this fake image? The whole lithograph-stealing was just weird, and the guy felt more like a tool to get Fujiko to remember her past than a genuinely amusing character.

 Overall, a good episode with lots of character development and a bit of a rushed conclusion.

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Analysis

Jigen: Monkey Delivery Service? More like ‘My Driving Sucks.’   Lupin: More like ‘Moveover, Douchebag Sharpshooter’

Jigen & Lupin: In the future, these two end up in cahoots. Since this a prequel, they’re slowly alluding to their budding friendship in a very natural progression of events. In fact, I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it friendship. It’s more like the two of them acknowledge each other’s skill, and have grown to admire the opposing person’s talents. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, so Lupin would be more willing to work with someone he knows is efficient. He also knows that Jigen won’t turn to murder him at the drop of a hat, based on their little peacock expedition in the desert a while back. Lupin even proposes that their partnership was brought on by their shared near-death experience in the actual episode.

While you could technically say it boiled down to Lupin needing a sniper (a SUPER FAST sniper, holy shit) and Jigen repaying Lupin for rescuing him, you get the feel that they do have quite an amiable partnership in the works. You don’t cook dinner for a man you just want to do some dirty work for you. The best part about their relationship is that they still try to act cool and macho around each other, as if they couldn’t possibly afford to be honest and say “hey, we should work together.” This is the kind of show where the men are really men and the women are…well, Fujiko.

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Speculation

This is the first time those little glimpses at a much younger Fujiko in a lavender-tinted room filled with butterflies and owls is really addressed. Before now, these scenes have been ostensibly thrown in haphazardly without any rhyme or reason. It turns out that Luis Yew Armeid isn’t just a flowery metaphor for some professor or scientist having his way with Fujiko. He is a real person, he actually has an owl-face, and he’s giving orders to try and control Fujiko’s environment. In particular, he wanted to see if Lupin was worthy for Fujiko. The scary part is when you think about what he wants to do based on whether or not Lupin is suitable. Furthermore, why is he so interested in Fujiko’s life? It seems like he had her in his possession when she was a child, and performed various experiments on her. Those experiments seem to be continuing now, as most scientists like to have each variable measured precisely. Lupin is one of those variables. He may have also trained her to become a pro thief and to use her body to get what she wants. There’s a scene where he grabs her and forces her down onto a bed, leaving me to believe that Fujiko was actually raped and abused as a child. Sex means nothing to her now, so she sees nothing wrong with her promiscuous lifestyle.

While it’s still unclear exactly what Fujiko had to suffer through as a child, it has obvious affected her deeply. When the fortune-teller mentions that fateful name, all the memories that she has tried to repress come rushing back. It’s obvious that she tries not to think about such things, and that’s what keeps her impossible charisma flowing during most of her life. However, when face to face with such important facts, she had no choice but to remember. This is one of the first times we see Fujiko genuinely scared, not including the time she freaked out because her goddamned peacock was in danger. She also goes completely dark as she kills the fortune teller, which is a new approach to her usual wink wink bang bang method of killing men. It’s a lot more grim than usual, so you know she means business. Thieves only kill so they can escape without a hitch…but she murdered him in cold blood because she wanted to erase his existence from the planet.

Luis Yew Armeid is a terrifying man for sure…although I doubt he is actually an owl. Every mystical element in this show has been shut down by just a little investigation. If he’s an actual owl then wow, my life just got a bit better.

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12 Responses to “Lupin III: A Woman Called Mine Fujiko – 08 [NSFW]”

  1. Bob from Accounting says:

    GAH! Rapey Owl-man! Jesus, that’s weird.

  2. Dan-go says:

    God that was probably the hardest episode to get through, downright bizzare at some points, but we’re getting into a real arc for the last few episodes, and i can’t wait to see things getting real. All that owl symbolism is a bit dense, and it kind of reminds me of my studies in literature in highschool, the horned owl is common in german literature, give Schlaraffia a google

    • Overcooled says:

      We’ll probably be getting a lot more vague flashbacks until they really feel like telling us what’s going on with Fujiko. Her whole childhood just seems bizarre by nature. Thanks for the info about horned owls and the Schlaraffia. My extent of knowledge about owls and symbolism was just that they were supposed to represent wisdom.

      I can’t wait for an arc that spans more than one episode…It will be great!

  3. Son Gohan says:

    LOL, what makes you think that Count Luis has an actual owl-face? I interpreted the scene as being metaphorical like the previous ones.

    • Overcooled says:

      Well, I don’t actually think his face is actually that of an owl, but I’m not sure why I went through the the trouble of actually speculating on it in my post now that you mention it…This is what happens when you watch supernatural-themed anime before Lupin III.

  4. Dan-go says:

    Also. Who found fujiko ridiculously attractive in a beret :/ moreso than when she’s wearing seductive clothing

    • Overcooled says:

      lol Dan-go. I hope she wears it again for your sake. I barely even noticed she was wearing one.

  5. Renn says:

    I was happy we finally got a character-centric episode. :) The show’s been consistently entertaining and stylish, but it hasn’t really hit home for me. A good character-centric finale could elevate the show.

    Oh, and like everyone else, I want to know if Luis’s face is really an owl face or a real face lol. Weird bit of symbolish there. xD

    • Overcooled says:

      It hasn’t technically been going anywhere with the plot, so the change to focusing on Fujiko’s past was pretty neat. I was expecting a big, action-filled finale, but we might get a nice mix of drama thrown in as well, it seems. I never even knew I would like that until it actually happened.

      I really don’t know about those owls. I mean, there’s no way his face could actually be an owl…but it still freaks me out that he walks around like that all the time even after all these years <_<

  6. Yippy says:

    Nice job with the MDS, I’m a sucker for DIY acronyms.

    Y’know, I spent another half hour trying to understand all the facts regarding the fortune-teller and his apparently useless lithograph. In the end, I just let it be and chalked this one up to me being obsessively observant again. Turns out, I’m not alone, huh? XD

    Apart from the tattered main plotline, owl-man and Fujiko were quite fascinating to watch too. Why do you think he’s so interested in Fujiko? I’m betting that he’s just nuts but there’s always something deeper in these types…

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks, I try XD

      Being obsessively observant means you catch things other people don’t, so it’s good! Especially for crazy shows like Penguindrum, yikes.

      I have no idea. He has some sort of plan for sure, but it’s impossible to tell right now. I don’t even know why he did all those things to her as a kid in the first place. Was it chance, or did he have specific plans for her? I hope it’s not her father or something creepy…*shivers*

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