Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
|Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine|
North American Blu-ray set, by Funimation
|LUPIN the Third ～峰不二子という女～
(Rupan Sansei Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna)
|Genre||Adventure, Drama, Crime|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Sayo Yamamoto|
|Produced by||Seiji Okuda (executive producer)
|Written by||Mari Okada (series composition)
Itsuko Miyoshi (ep 2)
Dai Satō (eps 3, 7, 10)
Shinsuke Ōnishi (ep 5)
Junji Nishimura (ep 8)
|Music by||Naruyoshi Kikuchi|
|Original run||April 4, 2012 – June 27, 2012|
|Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen's Gravestone|
|Directed by||Takeshi Koike|
|Produced by||Yu Kiyozono|
|Written by||Yuuya Takahashi|
|Music by||James Shimoji|
|Studio||Telecom Animation Film|
|Released||June 21, 2014|
Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (LUPIN the Third -峰不二子という女- Rupan Sansei Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna?) is a 2012 Japanese anime series based on Monkey Punch's Lupin III manga. Produced by TMS Entertainment and directed by Sayo Yamamoto, it aired on NTV from April 4, 2012 to June 27, 2012. It focuses on the franchise's heroine, Fujiko Mine, as she undergoes various missions and encounters the rest of the Lupin III cast for the first time. Unlike the franchise's previous three televised anime, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is more sexually oriented in order to capture the "sensuality" present in the original manga as well as darker and more serious. It is also the only installment in the franchise to be directed by a woman and the first in which Lupin is not the main protagonist.
VAP released the anime on home video in four-disc DVD and Blu-ray box sets on September 19, 2012. Funimation simulcasted the series, with English subtitles, on their website and Nico Nico for North American audiences as it aired in Japan. They released The Woman Called Fujiko Mine in Blu-ray and Blu-ray/DVD sets on August 20, 2013, including an English-language dub. Manga Entertainment released a similar set in the United Kingdom on September 16, whereas Hanabee released it in Australasia in two parts, on October 16 and November 20.
Background and production
In April 2011, it was reported that a new Lupin III animated television series would air in the fall on NTV. However, NTV then said the project was only a TV special (Blood Seal – Eternal Mermaid which aired in December), not a series. In 2012, Toho Cinemas announced that a promotional video for a "new television series premiering in April" would be shown at a Lupin 40th Anniversary event on March 18. Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine was announced a week later as a thirteen episode serial. The series was part of the 40th Anniversary of the Lupin animated series, and the 45th Anniversary of the original manga.
The series was directed by Sayo Yamamoto who was given full creative control. Yamamoto wanted to use the original Lupin III manga and it's adult themes as a basis for the series. Takeshi Koike was the character designer and animation director and Yamamoto requested he use the original manga character designs as a starting point. The visual approach to the series has been compared to Valkyria Chronicles.
Mari Okada was the main writer of the series, although Itsuko Miyoshi (ep 2), Dai Satō (ep 3, 7, 10), Shinsuke Ōnishi (ep 5) and Junji Nishimura (ep 8) served as episode writers. It was reported that the series would capture the "sensuality" present in Monkey Punch's original Lupin III manga in its "daring interpretation" of the franchise. The promotional video first shown at Toho Cinemas began being streamed by TMS Entertainment on YouTube on March 26.
The music of Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine was composed by Naruyoshi Kikuchi, leader of the Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden band. Shinichirō Watanabe, known for directing Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo and who collaborated with Yamamoto several times in the past, served as music producer.
- Fujiko Mine (峰 不二子 Mine Fujiko?) - Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)
- Arsène Lupin III (ルパン三世 Rupan Sansei?) - Kanichi Kurita (Japanese), Sonny Strait (English)
- Daisuke Jigen (次元 大介 Jigen Daisuke?) - Kiyoshi Kobayashi (Japanese), Christopher Sabat (English)
- Goemon Ishikawa XIII (十三代目 石川 五ェ門 Jūsan-daime Ishikawa Goemon?) - Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese), Mike McFarland (English)
- Inspector Zenigata (銭形警部 Zenigata Keibu?) - Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
- Lieutenant Oscar (オスカー警部補 Osukā Keibuho?) - Yūki Kaji (Japanese), Josh Grelle (English)
- Count Luis Yu Almeida (ルイス・勇・アルメイダ伯爵 Ruisu Isamu Arumeida Hakushaku?) - Kanji Kodate (Japanese), Bill Jenkins (English)
- Owl Head (梟頭 Fukurō Atama?) - Katsumi Chō (Japanese), Kent Williams (English)
- Dr. Fritz Kaiser (Dr.フリッツ・カイザー Dokutā Furittsu Kaizā?) - Binbin Takaoka (Japanese), Jerry Russell (English)
- Aisha (アイシャ?) - Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese), Stephanie Sheh (English)
The series was broadcast for Thirteen episodes on NTV between April 4 and June 27, 2012. The opening theme song was "New Wuthering Heights" (新・嵐が丘 Shin Arashi ga Oka?) by Naruyoshi Kikuchi and Pepe Tormento Azcarar feat. Ichiko Hashimoto, while the ending theme was "Duty Friend" by NIKIIE. Funimation licensed the series and provided an english subtitled simulcast of the series on both their website and Nico Nico.
In Japan the series was released by VAP as DVD and Blu-Ray boxsets on September 19, 2012. In North America Funimation originally announced a date of July 30, 2013 for the home release of the series, with an art book included with a limited edition. However the art book was later cancelled and the release rescheduled to August 20, 2014 as a DVD and Blu-Ray combo pack. Manga Entertainment licensed the series for the United Kingdom and released separate DVD and Blu-Ray boxsets on September 16, 2013. In Australia the series was published by Hanabee as two DVD & Blu-ray combo sets on October 16 and November 20, 2013.
In March 2014, it was announced that The Woman Called Fujiko Mine's animation director and character designer, Takeshi Koike, was directing an animated film that serves as a "continuation spin-off" to the TV series. Yu Kiyozono also returned to produce the film, Lupin the IIIrd: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone (LUPIN THE IIIRD 次元大介の墓標 Jigen Daisuke no Bohyō?), that focuses on the character Jigen and tells how he and Lupin became partners. Koike's fellow-Redline creators Katsuhito Ishii and James Shimoji served as adviser and music composer respectively. The film was split into two parts and had a limited screening at the Shinjuku Wald 9 theater from June 21–27, 2014. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 28, 2014, with an art book included in the limited edition. The 30-track soundtrack to the movie was released on December 10, 2014. Discotek Media has recently announced their acquisition of the North American distribution rights to the film, which will be retitled Jigen's Gravestone. Their upcoming Blu Ray/DVD release of the film will include the company's first original English dub.
Several different pieces of merchandise based on the series have been produced. A figure of Fujiko was released on April 30, 2013, featuring her donning a white sports jumpsuit with red stripes, and an artbook featuring original drawings of the series selected by Takeshi Koike was published as well.
The Woman Called Fujiko Mine won the rookie award at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival, and was named one of the best anime of 2012 by Otaku USA, who called the animation the most innovative of any series that year. The Japanese DVD release of the series was the fifth best-selling Japanese Animation DVD of its first week having sold 1,404 copies, while the Blu-ray version was the ninth best-selling on its respective Oricon chart with 2,802 copies.
Kotaku's Richard Eisenbeis hailed the series as "one of—if not 'the'—most beautiful anime ever made." Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network wrote a mostly positive review of the anime. She praised its darker tone and the tragic past of Fujiko, but particularly the overall plot; "Simply put, this is a series that has been very well planned, right down to the last scene." She notes that if the viewer is only familiar with the North American Geneon release of the second televised anime they will be surprised; "If you're going into this expecting wacky hijinks or crazy exploits, you will be disappointed. Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine is a mature, slightly dark take on the franchise, and it succeeds in bringing new life to it while still remaining faithful to Monkey Punch's original." The only negative aspects she wrote were on the series' odd title opening and the amount of unjustified nudity. However, her colleague Hope Chapman disagreed with this, believing that the audio stands out in the opening and that the sexuality is completely in-line with the show's "aesthetic and never seems excessive or ill-fitting." Dallas Marshall of THEM Anime Reviews gave the series 4 out of 5 stars, praising the series for being closer to the original manga's style in both story and animation.
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- Official website
- Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone official website
- The Woman Called Fujiko Mine at NTV
- The Woman Called Fujiko Mine at Funimation
- The Woman Called Fujiko Mine at Hanabee
- The Woman Called Fujiko Mine on Hulu
- Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia