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|Lupin III character|
Zenigata drawn by Monkey Punch
|First appearance||Lupin III chapter 1: "Dashing Appearance of Lupin III"|
|Created by||Monkey Punch|
|Voiced by||Shinsuke Chikaishi/Chikao Ōtsuka (1969)
Gorō Naya (1971-85; 1989-2010; 2012)
Seizō Katō (1987)
Kōichi Yamadera (2011-present)
Greg Starr (1979, Toho/Frontier)
David Povall (1992-5, Streamline)
Marc Matney (1995, AnimEigo)
Seán Barrett (1996, Manga UK)
Kevin Seymour (2000, Animaze/Manga)
Phillip Wilburn (2002-5, FUNimation)
Dan Lorge (2003-6, Phuuz/Pioneer/Geneon)
Richard Epcar (2013, FUNimation; 2015, Bang Zoom!/Discotek)
Doug Erholtz (2017, Discotek)
|Portrayed by||Shirō Itō (1974)
Tadanobu Asano (2014)
Ryohei Suzuki (2017)
|Aliases||Heiji Zenigata VII (early manga and anime iterations)
Detective Ed Scott (Toho/Frontier dub of The Mystery of Mamo)
Detective Ed Cott (TMS subtitled print of The Castle of Cagliostro)
Inspecteur Gaston Lacogne (French dub)
Keibu Zenigata (Streamline dub of The Castle of Cagliostro)
Detective Zenigata (Streamline/Manga UK dubs of The Mystery of Mamo, FUNimation dubs of TV specials)
|Relatives||Zenigata Heiji (ancestor)|
French (some versions)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
Koichi Zenigata (Japanese: 銭形 幸一 Hepburn: Zenigata Kōichi?), usually called Inspector Zenigata (銭形警部 Zenigata-keibu), is a fictional character created by Monkey Punch for his manga series Lupin III, which debuted in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. He is named after the famous fictional Japanese detective Zenigata Heiji, whose descendant he is implied to be.
Monkey Punch has said that he believes the Lupin III story can never end but that if he had to, both Zenigata and Lupin would have to end as equals. They would either both fail, both win or both get very old.
Inspector Zenigata hails from Japan, city of origin unknown. According to Episode 0: First Contact, his original title was Tokyo Police Inspector whose original interest was the capture of Fujiko Mine and her then partner. His pursuit took him to New York where he met Arsene Lupin III for the first time. He left the Japanese Police Force in favor of enlisting in ICPO (Interpol) for the sake of specifically bringing Lupin to justice. For a brief period between the first and second TV series, Zenigata was demoted to a beat cop in an unknown location of Japan.
Zenigata has made it his life's mission to arrest Lupin. The other members of Lupin's gang are targeted for apprehension as well, but Zenigata usually ignores them when Lupin himself is present. Lupin and Zenigata appear to be the worst of enemies, but in the anime they are, in a manner of speaking, friends; something Lupin shows openly (often by greeting Zenigata with mock affection), but it is an idea Zenigata is extremely reluctant to entertain. Similarly, he is often awed by Lupin's genius. Zenigata has an attachment to Lupin with the belief that no one should kill him or worse, capture him, besides Zenigata himself. Lupin's opinion of Zenigata is a little less caring, but still filled with respect. He often seems amazed that Zenigata can keep up with him. At times he's overwhelmed by how much thought Zenigata has put into his traps for Lupin. In instances where Zenigata has been injured in the field or believed dead, Lupin avenges the Inspector by hunting down his attacker.
While he has some interest in capturing Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko, he is really after only Lupin, and as such shows little interest in them when Lupin himself is involved.
In The Mystery of Mamo, it is mentioned that Zenigata has a daughter named Toshiko, but to date this has never been mentioned since the film. In an episode of Lupin III Part II, Zenigata is asked if he has any family, to which he replies "not yet". He's unable to settle down because of his eternal pursuit, and although he sometimes longs for female company (such as a reporter Maria in Crisis in Tokyo, who compares him to her father) his single-minded attitude regarding the capture of Lupin leaves no personal time available. In the 2012 series The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Fujiko is seen performing sexual favors to an apparently willing Zenigata in order to avoid jail time. The Pioneer dub of the second anime series inserted Zenigata comically making continuous references to his mother.
Zenigata is a quite sensitive person who often weeps uncontrollably, particularly when Lupin has done him an act of consideration, or when relieved to discover Lupin is OK after assuming his death. In Seven Days Rhapsody, Zenigata captures Lupin in a rough hug after he leaps from a helicopter. He states that they were destined to be together. In the post credits scene, Lupin is standing out in the rain and Zenigata approaches him with eyes wide and kind and says that Lupin will catch cold outside and they should go eat some katsudon together in a warm interrogation room.
On occasions when Lupin appears to be dead, he mourns him more expressively than anyone else; partly from genuine grief, partly because he no longer has a goal in life. In the 1987 OVA The Fuma Conspiracy, Zenigata actually retires from police work when he believes Lupin has died and becomes a monk, believing that if he prays enough Lupin will be a law-abiding citizen in his next life. Because of this singular ambition, he is never particularly displeased when Lupin manages to escape his custody, since that means the hunt will go on. On one occasion when Zenigata is able to successfully capture Lupin and place him in prison he becomes frustrated that Lupin hasn't yet escaped after a year has passed and wishes for him to escape or be rescued by Jigen. The only time where he hasn't mourned an occasion wherein Lupin appears to have died is in The Mystery of Mamo, where he is shown to be the only one who doesn't believe Lupin has died following news of the latter being hung, and goes to the site where Lupin was interred to drive a stake through his corpse to test if he is really dead, only for the corpse to explode and Lupin to reveal himself as actually alive and well moments later, confirming his suspicions. Towards the end of the movie, he even tells Lupin that as long as there is one Lupin in the world, he'll continue to follow him "straight through the gates of Hell".
Zenigata even goes so far as to cryogenically freeze himself so that he can continue to chase Lupin in the future, though both his and Lupin's cryopods malfunction and they are stuck in the present.
The origin of Zenigata's and Lupin's mutual regard was based early in the series when Lupin had the chance to shoot the Inspector, but instead wished him well and escaped. Since then, an unwritten understanding between the pair has always been neither will attempt to cause the death of the other. Further, the two are best referred as unacknowledged friends; several occasions have occurred where Lupin and gang aided Zenigata out of a life-threatening situation; when a woman the Inspector loved was killed by a criminal gang, Lupin participated in avenging her murder. On another occasion when an old enemy of Lupin's shot Zenigata point blank, Lupin began a wild motorcycle chase to apprehend the killer, partly to conclude affairs with the adversary, and partly to avenge the (supposed) death of the Inspector.
Zenigata appears to be in good physical shape, and has shown proficiency in Judo and Karate, able to dispatch multiple attackers with minimal effort. He's also capable with a jitte, the traditional Japanese police weapon designed to counterattacks with a sword. He is also quite the accurate shot with his gun, a Colt .45 pistol (although nowhere near Daisuke Jigen's skill level), and an almost inhuman skill with handcuffs, which he throws in a bola-like manner at his prey.
Zenigata's subconscious, however, appears to be in full control of his body. During chases he can perform superhuman physical feats without thinking, simply because of his preoccupation with Lupin. For example, in 1997's In Memory of the Walther P-38, the mere mention of Lupin's name is enough to wake him from a critical coma, even as he is about to succumb to a near-fatal bullet wound. When accidentally knocked out by the stun-gun wristwatch used by Conan Edogawa in 2009's Lupin the 3rd vs Detective Conan, he was only out for a few seconds when according to Conan, it would render an elephant unconscious for 30 minutes. Zenigata's obsession when he gets upset or close to Lupin seems to give him superhuman abilities. In The Hemingway Papers he is trapped in an underground cell, but manages to break the door down when he gets angry enough.
Lupin often comments that "Pops" needs to calm down and shouldn't get so excited or worked up for a man his age. This could simply be taunting, or genuine concern that Zenigata gets so physically involved in the chases.
Lupin often refers to Zenigata as tottsan (とっつぁん), a form of address that is usually translated as "Old Man" or "Pops", with "Pops" being used most frequently in the English dub. He is named after a famous fictional Japanese detective, Zenigata Heiji. Zenigata's ability to handcuff criminals at a distance also comes from Zenigata Heiji, who threw coins with great force and accuracy and used them as weapons to disable criminals. In Japanese, the title of inspector is keibu (警部), although an early dub of Castle of Cagliostro erroneously stated Keibu as Zenigata's first name.
- Lupin the Third Dead or Alive – Interview with Monkey Punch (DVD). Funimation.
- Yadao, Jason S. The Rough Guide to Manga. Rough Guides. pp. 154–155. ISBN 978-1-85828-561-0.
- "Happy Betrayals to You". Lupin III. Episode 38 (in Japanese). June 26, 1978. Event occurs at 15:00.
- "The Famous Painting Theft Ultra Operation". Lupin III. Episode 100 (in Japanese). September 10, 1979. Event occurs at 12:51.
- "One Chance for a Prison Break". Lupin III. Episode 4 (in Japanese). November 14, 1971. Event occurs at 13:15.
- Lupin III vs Detective Conan
- Thomas, Mark. "10 Best Supporting Characters in Anime". Mania.com. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Joseph Dexter (March 23, 2010). "10 Greatest Anime Detectives". Mania.com. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Crandoll, Mike (January 28, 2003). "Lupin III DVD 1: The World's Most Wanted". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 20, 2016.