“designed by takeshi koike”

October 10th, 2011 by | Tags: , ,

Takeshi Koike is doing the designs (or more?) for the 40th anniversary animation of Monkey Punch’s Lupin the Third. Here’s some more info, courtesy of Crunchyroll. The special is called Lupin the III: Chi no Kokuin ~ Eien no Mermaid.

Lupin is very much one of my favorite things. It’s a smart and clever crime series with plenty of jokes, an interesting cast of characters (marksman, samurai, femme fatale, dedicated idiot cop, and a goofball kind-hearted savant in the lead), and a throwback style. The series always feels like the ’60s tipping over into the ’70s, when suits were still in style and cigarettes were something everyone smoked.

The cast is seriously good. Fujiko Mine is, yes, a chesty femme fatale, sending men to their doom with the power of her beauty while simultaneously making off with the loot. Jigen is a jaded shootist. Goemon is a fallen samurai who is all about the ideas of honor and legacy. Inspector Zenigata is… well, he’s talented, but he’s no match for Lupin, who is the emperor of all thieves. There’s nothing special about any of the characters in theory, but when thrown into the same mix, you have this weird motley crew of bad guys having adventures in glamorous locations. Lupin and Fujiko’s off-again, on-again, no way, it’s off-again because she just bit the heist Lupin was planning relationship is great. Jigen and Goemon playing conscience for Lupin (to an extent) makes for two devils on his shoulder, not one. And Zenigata is a bumbling oaf who is consistently ten steps behind, but trying his hardest to catch up. It’s endearing and funny. It just works. I can’t explain it. It’s good. Shut up.

Koike, of course, is the guy behind Redline, one of the best movies I’ve seen in the past two years. It was goosebumps all up and down the arms good, and the ending was dead on perfect.

And a hypey review from yours truly.

(The thing about Redline is that it made me feel like style vs substance is a false dichotomy. I probably need to think it through more, but Redline‘s style made what was an otherwise straightforward plot (a boy and his hobby, a boy and a girl) into something magical. It isn’t a bad plot, and it’s pretty well-written. The style just kicked it up another notch entirely, and there are points where that style bleeds into the script, too.)

(I miss Lupin’s red jacket though)

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5 comments to ““designed by takeshi koike””

  1. My one problem with the majority of Lupin movies is the character design of the non-Monkey Punch designed characters. They are always a little jarring, not quite meshing with Monkey Punch’s original style. Not all of the Lupin movies have this problem, but a fair number do.

  2. I’ve never been able to really get into the series as a whole, but I do love me some Castle of Cagliostro. Which had one of those really annoying hit-the-button-at-the-right-moment arcade games like Dragon’s Lair

  3. The thing about Lupin the 3rd, is that when you try to explain the appeal through the characters, they all come out cookie cutter and one-dimensional. But in the context of the collective TV series, films, and specials(pink jacket aside, holy FUCK was that bad), you grow an attachment for this cast of archtypes and their various mannerisms.

    I think the appeal of the show is a mix of those fun characters and the presentation of their journies. It taps into the visual splendor of a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie. The exotic locales, the big bad, the pretty dames and femme fatales, the super-cool MacGuffin, the fun gadgets, the great action sequences. At its best, Lupin the 3rd is stylish, cool, big adventure, with a comfortable cast of characters you know and love. Pure, perfect escapism.

  4. Thanks for shining the spotlight on this one, David.

  5. I wish they’d just release a box set of the tv series already. I guess it’s probably caught in some licensing crap. At least I got both of the movie dvd sets before they became pretty much nonexistent. There was some Veoh channel that had a lot of episodes, but it’s since disappeared.

    Also, if any of you get the chance, watch “Emmanuelle in Bangkok”– it’s the most goddamn nonsensical episode I’ve seen, and has the worst animation to boot. I’ve seriously watched it like 3 times, and I can’t understand the plot progression at all. It is, however, hilarious because of this.