Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

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Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Woman Called Fujiko Mine box.jpg
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)
Naoki Iwasa
Toshio Nakatani
Yu Kiyozono
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
Studio TMS/Po10tial
Licensed by
Hanabee
Network NTV
Original run April 4, 2012June 27, 2012
Episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Lupin the Third: Jigen's Gravestone
Directed by Takeshi Koike
Produced by Yu Kiyozono
Written by Yuuya Takahashi
Music by James Shimoji
Studio Telecom Animation Film
Licensed by
Released June 21, 2014 (2014-06-21)
Runtime 51 minutes
Anime and Manga portal

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[edit]

In April 2011, it was reported that a new Lupin III animated television series would air in the fall on NTV.[1] However, NTV then said the project was only a TV special (Blood Seal – Eternal Mermaid which aired in December), not a series.[2] 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.[3] Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine was announced a week later as a thirteen episode serial.[4] The series was part of the 40th Anniversary of the Lupin animated series, and the 45th Anniversary of the original manga.[5]

The series was directed by Sayo Yamamoto who was given full creative control. Yamamoto wanted to use the original Lupin III manga and its adult themes as a basis for the series.[5] Takeshi Koike was the character designer and animation director and Yamamoto requested he use the original manga character designs as a starting point.[4][5] The visual approach to the series has been compared to Valkyria Chronicles.[6]

Mari Okada was the main writer of the series,[4] although Itsuko Miyoshi (ep 2), Dai Satō (ep 3, 7, 10),[7] 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.[4] The promotional video first shown at Toho Cinemas began being streamed by TMS Entertainment on YouTube on March 26.[8]

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.[7] Shinichirō Watanabe, known for directing Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo and who collaborated with Yamamoto several times in the past, served as music producer.[9]

Voice cast[edit]

Character Japanese English
Fujiko Mine Miyuki Sawashiro Michelle Ruff
Arsène Lupin III Kanichi Kurita Sonny Strait
Daisuke Jigen Kiyoshi Kobayashi Christopher Sabat
Goemon Ishikawa XIII Daisuke Namikawa Mike McFarland
Inspector Koichi Zenigata Kōichi Yamadera Richard Epcar
Lieutenant Oscar Yūki Kaji Josh Grelle
Count Luis Yu Almeida Kanji Kodate Bill Jenkins
Owl Head Katsumi Chō Kent Williams
Dr. Fritz Kaiser Binbin Takaoka Jerry Russell
Aisha Sanae Kobayashi Stephanie Sheh

Release[edit]

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.[10] Funimation licensed the series and provided an english subtitled simulcast of the series on both their website and Nico Nico.[11]

In Japan the series was released by VAP as DVD and Blu-Ray boxsets on September 19, 2012.[12] 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.[10] However the art book was later cancelled and the release rescheduled to August 20, 2014 as a DVD and Blu-Ray combo pack.[13] Manga Entertainment licensed the series for the United Kingdom and released separate DVD and Blu-Ray boxsets on September 16, 2013.[14] In Australia the series was published by Hanabee as two DVD and Blu-ray combo sets on October 16 and November 20, 2013.[15][16]

Other media[edit]

Music[edit]

The official soundtrack of the show was released on December 19, 2012, and features 42-tracks.[17] It was released on US iTunes on January 29, 2013.[18]

Film[edit]

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.[19] 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.[20][21] It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 28, 2014, with an art book included in the limited edition.[22] The 30-track soundtrack to the movie was released on December 10, 2014.[23] On December 21, 2014, Discotek Media announced their acquisition of the North American distribution rights to the film, which will be retitled Lupin the Third: Jigen's Gravestone for the American market. Their upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of the film will include the company's first original English dub,[24] which is being produced in cooperation with Bang Zoom! Entertainment.

Film Cast

Character Japanese English
Arsène Lupin III Kanichi Kurita Keith Silverstein
Daisuke Jigen Kiyoshi Kobayashi Dan Woren
Yael Okuzaki Akio Hirose Jamieson Price
Fujiko Mine Miyuki Sawashiro Cristina Vee
Queen Marta Marika Minase Erica Lindbeck
Inspector Koichi Zenigata Kōichi Yamadera Richard Epcar
Mamo Kanji Obana Kirk Thornton

Other[edit]

Several different pieces of merchandise based on the series have been produced. Figures of Fujiko and Lupin from the show were created,[25] while one of Jigen from the Jigen's Gravestone film was released at the end of 2014. Fujiko's and Jigen's came in different color schemes depending on the retailer.[26][27] An artbook featuring original drawings of the TV series selected by Takeshi Koike was published as well.[28]

Reception[edit]

The Woman Called Fujiko Mine won the rookie award at the 16th Japan Media Arts Festival,[29] 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.[30] 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.[31][32]

Kotaku's Richard Eisenbeis hailed the series as "one of—if not 'the'—most beautiful anime ever made."[33] 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.[34] 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."[35] 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.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Lupin III Project to Air This Fall". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lupin III's Voice Cast Changed for 1st Time in 16 Years". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Lupin III Event Lists 'New TV Series Premiering in April'". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "New Lupin III TV Anime's Staff, Cast, Title Revealed". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Otaku USA" 6 (4). Sovereign Media. February 2013. pp. 84–87. ISSN 1939-3318. 
  6. ^ Axbey, David (September 2013). "Mym" (18). MyMags. p. 60. ISSN 2049-8187. 
  7. ^ a b "Cowboy Bebop Writer Sato, New Composer Join 2012 Lupin III". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "New Lupin III TV Anime's Promo Video Streamed". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Interview: Shinichiro Watanabe". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Funimation Reveals Dub Casts for Fujiko Mine, Eureka 7 AO, Michiko & Hatchin Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Funimation to Simulcast New Lupin III TV Anime Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ "LUPIN the Third - ルパン三世" (in Japanese). VAP. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Lupin the Third - The Woman Called Fujiko Mine The Complete Series - Limited Edition Blu-ray & DVD". Funimation. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ "NEO" (114). September 2013. p. 22. 
  15. ^ "LUPIN THE THIRD ~ THE WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE: PART 1/2 (COMBO DVD|BD)". Hanabee. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ "LUPIN THE THIRD ~ THE WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE: PART 2/2 (COMBO DVD|BD)". Hanabee. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  17. ^ "LUPIN the Third ~峰不二子という女~ originalsoundtrack" (in Japanese). Nippon Columbia. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  18. ^ ""Lupin the Third - The Woman Called Fujiko Mine" Soundtrack Offered on U.S. iTunes". Crunchyroll. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Redline's Koike to Direct Lupin the IIIRD: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone Film". Anime News Network. March 20, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Lupin the IIIrd: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone Anime Film's 1st Screenshots Revealed". Anime News Network. April 10, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lupin the IIIrd: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone Anime Film's 1st Teaser Posted". Anime News Network. April 17, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  22. ^ Beveridge, Chris (September 21, 2014). "Kadokawa Adds New ‘Lupin the 3rd: Daisuke Jigen’s Gravestone’ Anime DVD/BD Release Spot". The Fandom Post. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 
  23. ^ "LUPIN THE IIIRD 次元大介の墓標 オリジナルサウンドトラック Soundtrack". Nippon Columbia. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Discotek Adds Lupin III: Jigen's Gravestone, Yowapeda, Go Nagai World, Toei's Little Mermaid, Iria". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  25. ^ "フィギュア・模型 トムスショップ" (in Japanese). TMS Entertainment. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Fuji-Colle Fujiko Mine Collection TMS Series "LUPIN the Third" -Mine Fujiko toiu Onna- Fujiko Mine Figure DIVE Ver.". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ "“Lupin the Third: Daisuke Jigen’s Gravestone” Daisuke Jigen Figure Coming Soon". Crunchyroll. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  28. ^ "LUPIN the Third - Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna - Gengashu". cdjapan.co.jp. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Otomo's 'Combustible' Anime Short Wins Media Arts Award". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Otaku USA's Top Anime of 2012". Otaku USA. Retrieved September 2, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Japan's Animation DVD Ranking, September 17-23". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, September 17-23". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  33. ^ "The Beauty of the New Lupin III Series is Far More Than Skin Deep". Kotaku. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine BD+DVD - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine". THEM Anime Reviews. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]