|Lupin III character|
|First appearance||Lupin III chapter 7: "Magician"|
|Created by||Monkey Punch|
|Voiced by||Kiyoshi Kobayashi (1969-1985, 1989-present)
Banjō Ginga (1987)
Steve Bulen (Streamline)
Sean P. O'Connell (AnimEigo)
Eric Meyers (Manga UK)
John Snyder (Animaze/Manga)
Christopher Sabat (FUNimation)
Richard Epcar (Phuuz/Pioneer/Geneon)
|Portrayed by||Kunie Tanaka (1974)|
|Aliases||Dan Dunn (Toho/Frontier dub of The Mystery of Mamo)|
Jigen is master thief Arsène Lupin III's right-hand man and an expert marksman. He can perform a 0.3-second quick-draw and has an accuracy that borders on superhuman; he can shoot skeet with a handgun, explode a missile before it hits by targeting the warhead, and deflect another bullet by shooting it in mid-flight. Known by his trademark black hat and short beard, Jigen's favorite ploy is the trick shooting of a nearby large object, jolting it into the air and finally encumbering an enemy. In the second anime series, it is said that he uses a notch on the hat for aiming (which may or may not be canon). A master of many different firearms, such as revolvers, machine guns, sniper rifles, and even a PTRS Anti-Tank Rifle, his preferred weapon is a Smith & Wesson Model 19 Combat revolver kept in a fabric holster attached to his belt in the back. He prefers the Model 19 due to its stopping power and reliability against misfire. He feels quite not himself without a gun: during an enemy attack in 1987's The Plot of the Fuma Clan, Jigen was voluntarily unarmed (during a wedding) yet instinctively reached back, grabbed at nothing, humorously aimed his empty hand and moved his trigger finger before realizing what he was doing.
In the original manga series, Jigen is not always at Lupin's side, but lurking in the background til needed. The anime series, however, shows Jigen as extremely loyal to Lupin and willing to partner up anytime for a given heist.
Jigen is noted for his quick temper; enemy and friend alike have been victim to his need to repay violence for insult. Both Lupin and Goemon have been on the receiving end of his blows in his response to their frank or comical criticism.
Despite Jigen's gruff facade, he has an ironic sense of humor and genuinely enjoys participating in each caper with his partners. He is, by far, the more pragmatic of the group, with a cynical streak founded in failed romances (his luck with women runs from bad to worse, with love interests often betraying him or dying). He is always distrustful of Fujiko Mine and becomes irritated when Lupin goes along with one of her plans. Among Lupin's group, Jigen is the least apprehensive at taking human life. While he considers killing women and children taboo, he is willing to put down any man who offers a threat.
Where Lupin and Goemon Ishikawa XIII both have unique sartorial tastes, Jigen is pure basics. His typical wardrobe is a dark grey, dark blue, or a black suit, along with a light blue colored dress shirt,a black or white tie, and his ever-present dark grey, dark blue, or black broad-brimmed fedora; the hat ranks as his most prized possession outside of his weaponry. During the third anime series, Jigen's outfit is more light colored and his hatband has a herringbone design (similar to the original manga interpretation of the character); however the black look is most applied for OVA productions and TV specials. Jigen's thick hair is typically collar-length and unevenly cut. His chin curtain beard is about an inch long and also unruly.
Jigen is the "big brother" of the group, and often serves as the voice of reason to Lupin's impulsiveness, as he must because of his friendship with Lupin as well as out of sheer professionalism. However, he has long since resigned himself to having to go along with the craziest of schemes. Jigen, like the rest of the Lupin gang, is adept with disguises and can pilot virtually any motorized vehicle, including planes and tanks. He has even controlled a NASA Space Shuttle. He is also a tough hand-to-hand opponent, capable of knocking out an attacker with one blow.
Jigen's hobbies are limited due to his stay-at-home preference. His callous nature toward romance make him more or less a misogynist, unless a woman is able to prove her loyalty. Even then, Jigen may wind up either betrayed or heart broken by her departure. When he does go out, he usually attends target practice, visits a favorite bar, enjoys a boxing match or eats at a chop house style restaurant. He also has a weakness for Spaghetti Westerns, lounging and hearty American food, like pizza and steak.
Jigen's most obvious pastime is smoking; there is hardly a time when he not seen with a cigarette, usually one bent in a number of directions. His preferred brands have been Pall Mall Filter Longs or Marlboro Red (boxed). He is also seen occasionally smoking a briar pipe. As well, Jigen enjoys drinking scotch, beer and occasionally fine wines; he has a "heavyweight's" resistance to intoxication.
The Tokyo Pop releases of the original Lupin manga note in their preface that Jigen's appearance and temperament are based on the actor James Coburn, especially Coburn's role in The Magnificent Seven. In a television documentary celebrating the manga's history, Monkey Punch stated he bases the Jigen/Lupin relationship on Alain Delon and Charles Bronson's teaming in the 1968 film Adieu l'ami.
In the manga, Jigen first appears rather abruptly in the seventh chapter as a major character in one plot arc. He soon begins to appear more extensively, teaming up with Lupin opportunistically in several capers, opposing Lupin as often as not. By the end of the first series, however, he has firmly settled into place as Lupin's most trusted ally. As Monkey Punch never really gave any of the characters a backstory, different film makers have their own take on it. In the 1978 film The Mystery of Mamo (originally titled simply Lupin III), he says both he and Goemon follow Lupin around because they've both vowed to kill him.
The character was portrayed by Kunie Tanaka in the 1974 Japanese live-action film (Lupin III: Strange Psychokinetic Strategy. The famous anime series has historically starred Kiyoshi Kobayashi in the original Japanese, with Richard Epcar, Ivan Buckley and Sean P. O'Connell playing in English translations. He has also appeared in the 2009 Lupin III/Detective Conan special, Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan.
- "One chance for a Prison break". Lupin III. Episode 4. 00:35 minutes in.
- "The Mad Fantoma Mark III". Lupin III Part II. Event occurs at 20:55.