English Dub Review: Lupin the Third: Part V “The Girl in the Twin Towers”

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Overview (Spoilers Below)

Lupin, following his Italian adventure, is suddenly bored with the notion of boosting cash or jewels. This time around, he’s got his eyes set on something seemingly less obtainable: cryptocurrency. And to get it, he first needs to order a bunch of illegal drugs online.

After calming Jigen down and assuring him he isn’t becoming the next Pablo Escobar, Lupin reveals that one-third of the world’s drugs are now dealt online. Lupin decides to steal these ill-gotten gains to prevent them from cycling back into the criminal underworld. And with that, he hatches their latest caper.

Together—with a stealthy assist from Goemon—Lupin and Jigen skydive into an underwater tower that is home to the cloud’s massive data center. There, they meet Ami, the hacker who designed the dark web superstore called Marco Polo. She’s been living in that underwater lair for five years, completely isolated from the outside world. And while she looks and acts frail, she has impressive analytical tech surgically implanted inside her body.

It turns out, Ami is as anxious to leave the tower as Lupin is to corrupt Marco Polo’s virtual back door. And so, they make a deal. While the foursome flees from the police, they steal billions of dollars from all across the dark web. Unfortunately, the black hatters who control most of the web’s illegal finances catch on to Lupin straightaway.

Instead of going after the master thief with guns and thugs—as he’s used to—they set up “The Lupin Game.” The only rule to this game is to find where Lupin is and report his location. This new game leaves Lupin more vulnerable than he’s ever been, but he’s totally up for the challenge.

 

Our Take

This was a strong start to what will hopefully be an intricate and satisfying 24-episode arc. From the very first scene, we know Lupin is being set up as some sort of patsy, but we don’t know by who or why they targeted such a clever thief.

As the mysterious black hat group delves into Lupin’s past, we’re given a brief rundown of Lupin’s adventures as well as still images of his allies and adversaries. This was a good way to allude to and honor the series’ history without resorting to an expositional recap. Also, new viewers who may be unfamiliar with the characters were given a crash course throughout the episode. Jigen shot at a few guys, Goemon showed off his Ronan skills, and Lupin treated us to not one, but two ridiculous disguises.

There was a greater focus on gadgets in this episode than in previous seasons. With a story arc involving the internet and technology, it was the perfect opportunity to immerse Lupin and his crew within the 21st century. The innovations included a mecha-monocle that could analyze and break through security systems and a pair of aerodynamic gliding suits. Plus, the suddenly computer-savvy Lupin created a virtual version of his classic calling card.

Although the most interesting addition this season has her tech built right in. We don’t know how or why Ami got her cyborg-like powers, but the mystery is sure to unfold as the season progresses. This soft-spoken, enigmatic character is compelling to watch because she’s completely unpredictable. And, oh man, is she a mess. This young lady is so absorbed in the matrix that she has to literally be reminded to eat and sleep. It will be interesting to see how the gang continues to deal with her eccentricities.

Inspector Zenigata and Fujiko only cameoed in the premiere, but with the Lupin Game afoot, we’re bound to see more of those two in the coming weeks. How will Fujicakes deal with yet another pretty girl revolving around Lupin’s orbit? What will the inspector do, now that his and Lupin’s intimate cat and mouse now includes upwards of 10 million other people?

Until we know more about the master plan of the shadow group that’s setting Lupin up, the antics of the Lupin Game is sure to be entertaining enough in the short run. However, this action-packed season has to potential to get even better as the plot unfolds.

Gregory Austin

A writer, editor, voice actor, beta reader, and foppish Buffalonian socialite. On social media I discuss writing, cartoons, comic books, and why the Communist Manifesto really should've had pictures.

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