Otaku USA Magazine
Great Moments from the Modern Era of Lupin the 3rd

Lupin the 3rd blue-jacket era

Lupin the 3rd has been going strong for more than 50 years. Originally created as a manga by Monkey Punch, it now exists across innumerable series, films, specials, games, and other media. Discotek is always on the ball, regularly bringing out home video releases of specials old and new. Most recently, we’ve entered the “Blue Jacket” era, comprised of the series chronicling the gang’s adventures in Italy and France.

Both “Part 4” and “Part 5” are available to watch on multiple platforms. But in case you still need a reason to dive in, here are some great moments from Lupin’s latest jaunts that show the gentleman thief’s still got it.


Lupin Becomes a Detective

Lupin as Detective Jim Barnett

Master thieves are bound to pick up a thing or two over the years, and Lupin is no exception. In the Part 5 episode “Introducing Detective Jim Barnett III,” he dons his green jacket and a pair of specs to play detective for an evening. His “client”? An old acquaintance in possession of a treasure he’s been eyeing. Lupin’s job is to find out who killed said acquaintance’s husband. But the audience will be doing most of the sleuthing in this episode, as everything from set pieces to music cues hearkens back to the old days of the series (in particular Miyazaki’s tenure).


Lupin Fakes His Own Death. Again.

Lupin and Zenigata have a heart-to-heart

It’s really not a spoiler these days to say that if you see Lupin die, he hasn’t actually died. The legendary thief has faked his own death on multiple occasions, generally with the help of some Hollywood-quality makeup. But this time around, his plan is far more artistic.

The episode “The End of Lupin III” from Part 4 sees the thief locked in a steel-walled cell, with the only point of access or visibility being a tiny slot in the door. He appears to go on a hunger strike, wasting away over time as Zenigata monitors him from outside. The two have a serious heart-to-heart about their rivalry, and the whole thing seems to end in tragedy… Somehow, Zenigata forgets for a moment exactly who he’s up against.


Lupin Breaks His Own Hashtag Game

Lupin breaks the internet

Part 5 is a deep dive into modern technology, from social media to virtual currency. At first, modernity seems to bite our antihero in the butt when facial recognition makes it essentially impossible for him to maintain a low profile. Add to that the “Lupin Game,” a viral hashtag game designed to turn the whole of social media into a giant tracker.

But he soon gets into the swing of things, and makes the game essentially pointless by posing for photos and taking over his own hashtag. That’s just the beginning of his run-ins with 21st century pocket tech, though — a theme that runs the entirety of Part 5.

What are some of your favorite Blue Jacket era moments?

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. Beyond the world of anime, she's a writer for Doctor Who expanded universe series including Iris Wildthyme and the City of the Saved, as well as an editor for the critically-acclaimed Black Archive series.