|Arsène Lupin III|
|Lupin III character|
Lupin in New York City
Nachi Nozawa (1969)
Yasuo Yamada (1971-1985; 1989-1995)
Toshio Furukawa (1987)
Kanichi Kurita (1995-)
Peter Fernandez (Toho)
Bob Bergen (Streamline)
Robin Robertson (AnimEigo)
William Dufris (Manga UK)
David Hayter (Manga)
Sonny Strait (FUNimation)
Tony Oliver (Geneon)
Wolf (in Streamline and Manga UK dubs) |
Rupan III (in AnimEigo dub)
Arsène Lupin III (ルパン三世 Rupan Sansei ) is a fictional character introduced by Monkey Punch in Weekly Manga Action on August 10, 1967. According to its creator, Lupin is the grandson of Maurice Leblanc's Arsène Lupin.
He's the world's number one thief. Often in his adventures, he will take it upon himself and his colleagues, Daisuke Jigen and Goemon Ishikawa XIII, to foil other criminals engaged in more violent crimes. On the outside child-like, flighty, perhaps even "goofy" in behavior, his surface facade overcoats a brilliant imagination and a thorough knowledge of a hundred varying sciences. Forever extemporizing and reevaluating, Lupin has been responsible for heists no right minded individual would believe possible. While he has been arrested and thrown in jail on a number of occasions, he has always managed to escape. He has a fondness for fancy gadgets from time to time. His infatuation with Fujiko Mine is perhaps his most significant weakness, as it lands him in undesirable situations most of the time.
While Lupin is a thief, he will go to great lengths to right injustice. While he sees nothing wrong with his chosen profession, he reminds anyone who asks that the people from whom he steals are people who can take the loss, and that there are worse people than he in this world. He also shows a chivalrous streak that compels him to help those less fortunate than he (especially attractive women). Furthermore, Lupin often takes it upon himself and his gang to stop criminals engaged in more violent crimes and leave them for Zenigata to arrest. He fancies himself a ladies' man, although his actual success with women is erratic. In Monkey Punch's original manga, Lupin is very much the ladies' man, though Fujiko is frequently beyond his grasp. His abilities with the opposite sex tend to fluctuate with the writer.
When not seeking fortune from his adventures, Lupin unwinds by a variety of pastimes. His most-witnessed hobbies are fishing, nightclubbing, gambling, being part of cafe society, and dating beautiful women. He's a connoisseur of international food and wine, drinks liquor, enjoys beer, tea, and coffee. He also smokes cigarettes and occasionally cigars and kreteks; his preferred cigarette brand is Gitanes. Lupin is a celebrated race car driver, competing in several international events when time allows. He's also a skilled sleight of hand artist who loves to befuddle his opponents with various gimmicks: i.e., a cigarette which explodes into confetti, a gun with a spring-loaded boxing glove that clobbers the shooter, and bubble gum that becomes plastique after brief chewing.
Even though his gang's loyalty has been an issue, with Fujiko willing to betray and cohort Goemon promising to eventually kill him, Lupin will still drop everything to come to their aid in a helpless moment; further the team would rather face torture than to betray Lupin (or he betray them) to a third party. Curiously, this rule of loyalty extends also to Inspector Zenigata, who recipocates by never trying to kill Lupin. Lupin's vendetta against the Tarantula's in Island of Assassins, was partly due to their shooting and nearly killing Zenigata.
In all, Lupin can best be defined as an intelligent guy with a child's fun-loving demeanor, laughing and quipping in the face of opposition with a handy trick always available to maintain an upper hand.
It appears Lupin loves to steal more than actually having the treasure he sought. There have been times he has had what he stolen lost or he intentionally threw it away. It appears Lupin relishes more of the challenge of stealing and thus is usually not that upset when he ends up empty-handed as long as he beat the security and stole the object of his desire away. There also have been times when Lupin only stole the object in question to give to someone else, such as if it rightfully belonged to them or they needed it more than he did.
Lupin has historically described himself as of mixed heritage, Japanese and French. His features, like most characters in manga/anime, are Racially Ambiguous; his hair is plastered flat with a V-shaped bang on the forehead. His trademark sideburns extend from ear to nearly the chin. Lupin is a snappy dresser, usually donning a blue shirt with cream colored tie, khaki pants and a brightly colored jacket as his running-around gear. His jackets are various colors, which tend to color-code his anime seasons...green (1st TV season), red (the second or Shin Lupin season; also the color chosen for most films and OVA's) or pink (third season). Lupin is often depicted as being cross-eyed, although this may be a comic flourish rather than an actual characteristic.
Physically, Lupin is a man of average strength, but he can throw a surprisingly good punch. He is incredibly flexible and fast, and his manual dexterity is cat-like in precision and quickness, honed by years of stealth and subterfuge. His talent in the art of disguise borders on the superhuman, with him able to flawlessly impersonate any man or woman in face, voice and costume, sometimes in mere seconds. This skill is so complete that he can even fool close friends and family members of the impersonated party with only the slightest of suspicion hinted. His skinny body enables him to easily impersonate heavier subjects by padding disguises, usually filling them with gadgets and surprises in the process. He can even perfectly imitate voices. His favorite disguise has always been that of his archnemesis, Inspector Koichi Zenigata, which incenses Zenigata to no end. Another of Lupin's abilities is his encyclopedic knowledge of various topics, like history (both general and the hidden history of crime), the different sciences, languages (he is fluent in virtually every major language), etc. He also shows amazing intuition and awareness of his surroundings. For unknown reasons, Lupin favors the Walther P38. He is shown to be an excellent marksman (although not as good a shot as Jigen), yet typically will not kill unless his life or the life of a loved one is threatened.
Lupin is a talented stunt driver, stunt motorcyclist and flight pilot. His favorite automobiles seem to be the Mercedes Benz SSK (he apparently has many since several SSK's have been destroyed during his encounters) and a souped up 1957 Fiat 500, most famously seen in The Castle of Cagliostro.
Lupin is a formidable escape artist, capable of cracking any safe or freeing himself from shackles in moments. Sometimes he can even turn them on his captor (like getting Zenigata getting handcuff to something else) before he makes his escape. Even when alarms or traps are set on Lupin (Usually when someone like Fujiko intentionally makes them activate on him), he can make his escape before he can be arrested.
Lupin, despite an appearance of being very idoitic and foolish, has shown amazing deductive reasoning and an ability to see through deceptions and tricks. Many times that appear that he has been outwitted or tricked (often by Fujiko), it turns out in fact he had anticipated it and had set his own trap for his deceiver to fall into. Lupin has often figured out traps and dangers in time to protect himself and others. In the Lupin III vs Detective Conan special, not only did he figure out Conan was far more intelligent than he appeared, but had discerned his identity as Jimmy Kudo (though unexplained since no one ever mentioned Jimmy to him or any of his gang. It could have simply been Lupin had heard of Jimmy Kudo beforehand and was able to connect him to Conan).
Lupin's ethnic origins haven't been specified; in "Green Vs Red", a dossier held by Zenegata indicates his place of birth as "unknown", however this particular work is not considered canon. He admits being French like his grandfather, but apparently lives in Japan. Inspector Zenigata often calls him Japanese and Lupin himself once called himself "half-Japanese, half-French" (2nd series, episode 118)
In the first TV series, episode 13 ("Beware The Time Machine!"), Lupin tricks Mamo Kyosuke by dressing as a Japanese peasant and acting as though they are in feudal Japan. Lupin specifically states to Mamo that the ancestor whose face he most resembles was Japanese. When Mamo "meets" this ancestor (Lupin in disguise), Lupin states that he would like to marry some girl by the name of Marianne Lupin from France someday. This statement implies that Lupin was either aware of the family's history stemming from a Japanese ancestor marrying a French woman of the Lupin family and is using that information to further convince Mamo that he has gone back in time OR it could be Lupin making up something which is untrue to confuse Mamo.
Lupin speaks often of both his famous grandfather and his father, both of whom were thieves. He's forever quoting his grandfather's advice and has attempted to complete or repeat heists attempted by his ancestors with good or bad luck.
"Yes, yes, yes guess who's on third? Lupe steal like Lupin the Third."
Lupin was voted the eighth most iconic anime hero by Mania.com.