We’re at the top three of my best anime list and those of you who know a lot more about the medium than I do will have realised that I am really only skimming the surface when it comes to genre and the depth of things out there to watch. Which is something I’ve always been open to admitting. I know what I like and it’s going to be very unusual that I foray outside of my comfort zone, even though I am really trying.
Today’s entry is the last one I post before people probably start to get mad at me. So I’ll make the most of my newfound admiration for anime before all the other anime bloggers out there lose all respect for me. Despite how much I personally enjoyed today’s show, I haven’t seen too many others talking about it. So many it’s no as important as I think it is, but as my introduction to a long running series, it impressed me quite a bit.
So let’s get into it… after I list the previous seven shows on my list:
#3: Lupin the Third Part 5
Original Run: April 4th to September 18th | 24 Episodes | Written by Ichirō Ōkouchi | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Mystery, Seinen
This year I fell in love with a franchise nearly twice my age, one that is world-renowned, much loved by people the world over and still managed to get a smart, funny and introspective new part in the year 2018.
I knew next to nothing about Lupin the Third when this year began, now I find myself watching one of its older movie that happens to be on Netflix. I don’t really know how this series rates in comparison to the older entries in the series over the past fifty years, but everything about this show impressed the hell out of me.
Despite being full of action, gunfights and car chases, Lupin is a cerebral hero, one who will always out-think his opponents rather than overpower them. Something that’s strangely refreshing to a shonen scrub like myself. Not only that, the show manages to mix a great sense of humour with genuine stakes, real character drama and a lot of self aware moments that even I could tell were making fun of the show’s own storied legacy.
Right from the first episode I was blown away by the sheer magnitude of this show’s style. Taking place in continental Europe for the most part, it positively oozes the feeling of a 1960s, James Bond inspired, picturesque interpretation of the locations. The backgrounds are stunning, almost looking like watercolours a lot of the time. Coupled with this is the show’s phenomenal soundtrack, filled with upbeat jazz numbers and darkly moody blues pieces. It has a deeply ingrained style that jumps out at you in every scene.
In terms of the plot lines, despite being a sexy, silly comedy a lot of the time, it’s stories dealt with some very topical subject matter. Social media, current hopeless government and evolving technologies played a heavy role in this series, which is something that bumps up against a character that has been knocking around since the 60s. It made for a great contrast and a surprisingly accurate take on modern society. One that kept surprising me.
The show was split into sections, telling different stories in which a few common characters link them together. Between each of these mostly self contained stories were some stand alone episodes which harken back to the tone and style of the show’s past, represented by the colour of the jacket Lupin was wearing. It was really cool way to lay out a series and ended up feeling all the more impressive when you realise the final story was being built up to over the course of prior, seemingly disconnected storylines.
This show was the whole package for me. Great characters, great music, art, stories and tone. It was very much up my alley, and considering I had next to no expectation going in, it’s made me very interested in going back and looking into this franchise’s storied history.