Lupin the Third Part 6 is a big deal. It’s the anime’s 50th anniversary outing, and they’re going all out for the occasion. Big names like Mamoru Oshii are on board to write episodes. The story, set in London, also pays tribute to the great detective Sherlock Holmes. And Kiyoshi Kobayashi, the final member of the series’s original cast, bows out of the role of Daisuke Jigen.
Kobayashi has played the role for 50 years — an impressive tenure leaving big shoes to fill. Solid Snake voice actor Akio Ohtsuka is more than up to the challenge, by the sound of it. But before Ohtsuka took up the hat and gun, Kobayashi had one more outing as Lupin’s right-hand man. “Episode 0 -The Times-” was a perfect tribute to Kobayashi’s decades in the role — and one we recommend you take in for yourself before reading on. Here’s why it hits so perfectly.
The gang’s all here.
Lupin the Third is an ensemble show at heart. We all know the gang of five (yes, Zenigata, you’re part of this), and half the fun of the show is how they interact. So a farewell to Kobayashi as Jigen wouldn’t be complete without a few moments with each of his co-stars.
Starting with a quiet chat with Zenigata, we cycle through the entire group. No matter how short, he has a scene with each of them. Though there are clearly some moments that are prioritized. Jigen and Fujiko have never really gotten along, so they were overdue for a heart-to-heart. After a few drinks, everyone was ready to open up about why he’s an irreplaceable member of the gang. Though Lupin’s heartfelt dedication was behind his partner’s back: with only Goemon to hear, the thief put into words why this old-fashioned shooter means so much to him.
It’s not just nostalgia.
Saying goodbye to anyone feels melancholy, and we aren’t ashamed we got a little teary during this episode. Thematically, it was an appropriate story: Jigen was getting tired of this gig, feeling out of step with modern life, and considering hanging up his hat. The character isn’t going anywhere, of course; but the notion of times changing and the world moving on is relevant.
Even so, there were some upbeat moments. Lupin and Jigen shared a drink and had some ill-advised sharpshooting contests indoors. We get one last great scene of Kobayashi opposite Kanichi Kurita’s Lupin being silly and ridiculous. That moment makes you remember too; he shared scenes like these with the first Lupin, the late Yasuo Yamada. And it always felt right.
An explosive exit.
Despite the nostalgic theme and the heartfelt monologues, there’s no way in hell Jigen is walking out on a downer note. Kobayashi’s final moments in the role are appropriately high-octane, filled with sharpshooting tricks and literal explosions. His last line in the role is absolutely perfect, too. (But you’ll have to go hear it for yourself.)
The whole thing is a perfect hat-tip to Kobayashi. It’s a celebration of the character and what he brought to the role. And while there are sad moments, it’s not a sad episode as a whole. Any good Lupin the Third story should leave you punching the air, and that’s the case here.
Jigen may have walked off into the sunset at the end of episode 0, but he’s back (voiced by Ohtsuka) for more adventures as Part 6 carries on.