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Eight episodes in and I’m really enjoying the new Lupin III Part 4[1] TV series, and it’s all about the vibe, the feel, of the show.

One of the greatest strengths[2] of the recent(ish) Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine  was how well the style of the show played to the wider Lupin the Third franchise as a whole.

So it is here with the new Lupin III. The impossibly cool OP presented below is the key to this show. The OP is the tin, and this Lupin III is exactly what it says on the tin:

It’s mostly one-off capers, but a few episodes have introduced a longer story arc. I’m going to skip the details of the longer arc since this review is primarily for the feel of the show.

There are some new recurring characters, and interesting combinations of the core cast. I get the distinct feeling that some of the characters, Goemon in particular and to a lesser extent Fujiko, are omitted when they don’t naturally fit into the story for each episode. That’s wise, and I think this is contributing to why the show is working so well.

The core cast (Lupin, Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko, Zenigata) are all well handled, and the dynamics are exactly what you’d expect, and want. For example, Zenigata is actually good at what he does, and is well respected by Lupin. It’s just that Lupin is better, but even then sometimes Zenigata has his day.

I’ve been saying for years that the Lupin III franchise occupies much of what would have been the James Bond niche in anime. There’s about that much of it too – 10 movies (2 of which were live action), 5 OAVs, 5 TV series (250+ episodes including Fujiko Mine), and 35 volumes of manga.

With that background it’s easy to see why Lupin III featuring characters from MI-5, complete with over the top skills and gadgetry, is amusing me so much. The main character in this group, Nix, isn’t at all amusing, he’s a serious antagonist for Lupin.

The amusement comes from having such a gigantic James Bond shout out bolted into the main storyline at all.

The main thing is that this is a series that looks, and feels, right.

If you’ve ever been a Lupin III fan, or even if you just liked The Castle of Cagliostro and The Fuma Clan, take a look at the new Lupin III: it brings the fun.

At this stage I haven’t been able to find the ED on YouTube, which is a pity. Still you can watch most of the series on CrunchyRoll and I can’t see any reason not to appreciate the ED in context.

[1] The Part 4 can be ignored. As far as I can tell this is a standalone series for all intents and purposes.

[2] Well, at least before Fujiko Mine went off the rails with that dreadful “It Was All A Dreamending.