Lupin III Returns with First New Anime Series in 30 Years

ルパン三世  Lupin III
The new Lupin III series comes 30 years after the conclusion of “Lupin III Part III” in 1985.
Credit: Monkey Punch © TMS

One of the coolest characters in anime history is master thief Lupin III, the main character of the series of the same name. Starting from a 1967 manga series by Monkey Punch serialized in weekly magazine Manga Action, the character went on to star in three TV anime series (four if including “The Woman Called Fujiko Mine”), as well as theatrical anime films and OVAs such as the immortal “The Castle of Cagliostro”, and has amassed countless devoted fans over the franchise’s nearly 50-year run.

However, in recent years, Lupin III fans have expressed their displeasure with the franchise’s attempts to target a younger audience, preferring the more mature Lupin III series entries. To counter this trend, Lupin III went back to its roots with 2012’s adult-oriented “Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine” TV anime series and 2014’s theatrical animated film “Lupin III: Daisuke Jigen’s Gravestone”. The most recent works are true to Lupin III’s original hardboiled tone, and succeeded at attracting adult fans.

The definitive entry in the recent series of adult-oriented Lupin III media is this fall’s new TV anime series, known colloquially as the “Italian Version”. The series, which is set in Italy and San Marino, is conceived of as a middle ground between the hardboiled atmosphere of the original series and the comical tone of later entries.

Key staff members include general director Kazuhide Tomonaga, known for his animation work on Lupin III films such as “The Mystery of Mamo” and “The Castle of Cagliostro”, and director Yuichiro Yano (“Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture”), with series composition handled by Yuya Takahashi (“Tiger & Bunny”). Yuji Ohno will return as music composer, solidifying a strong staff lineup. The upcoming anime looks to be a series that can transcend generational differences and draw in a wide range of Lupin III fans.

ルパン三世  Lupin III
Lupin III’s jacket has changed colors from green to red to pink over the course of the previous TV anime entries, but it will be bright blue in the upcoming series. A survey of Italians determined that it was Lupin III’s most flattering color.
Credit: Monkey Punch © TMS

Lupin III Official Site