June 27th, 2012
Okay, so it’s more like auto-tuned, but still… why?
Man, what? They have super computers now? The tech level in the Lupin has always been a little fluid, but jumping straight to super computers, brain warping things, lasers, etc, seems a bit much. Especially since two months ago they were making a huge deal about the atomic bomb. Lupin and Fujiko were actually wandering inside the computer, inside an amusement park, where an old woman is taking care of a random girl hooked up to the most advanced tech in the world. Again, did anybody stop and ask "Does this make sense?" The most hilarious part though was how at one point, she (well, he at that point) dropped Fujiko down a trapdoor, but she somehow ended up roping something and walking right back up the stairs approximately about 50 seconds later. Did nobody realize this on the storyboards? Was there supposed to be some other scene and nobody realized the flow of events?
Anyway, practically the entire episode was spent explaining the utterly nonsensical ending thing concerning practically random girl Aisha and how Fujiko got pulled into all the weird life support/brain stuff/live on outside this
arm body while fake-maiding it up which made her go a little batty with the mixed brainings. Oscar was the same more or less and the last we see of him is crashing a truck (obtained from god knows where) into the amusement park and burning all the naked women to death. Uh… okay? The head owl didn’t even end up actually being a guy. There’s a point where the twists get out of control, Okada, and you passed that about a month ago. Piling more on is not helping. There was a little bit of owl-Jigen fighting owl-crossdressing-Goemon, but I’m not entirely certain why. Probably because they felt they had to toss that in somewhere.
Final thoughts below.
It’s been an odd ride, but for much of it, the core problem remained the same; Fujiko. She’s just a very poor lead character that isn’t particularly interesting on her own. They can try to spice her up by being all edgy and flaunting sex, but she’s still designed from top to bottom to play off of Lupin and has no real point besides that. Weirdly, as the focus on her grew in the last episodes, she all but disappeared from them to be just a random widget/damsel in distress. Unfortunately though, very little of the owl/crossdresser/hallucination/non-lethal bombs/manlove arc made an iota of sense, and pulled such nonsense as the giant Fujiko amusement park, people literally entering flashbacks, and characters coming back from the dead an episode after being ‘killed.’ It’s a shame too because there were some good themes and ideas buried in all the "I bet you never saw THIS coming," but they were so drowned out by everything else.
The show does do a good job with its retro and gritty visual style and presentation for the most part. It just suffers from trying to be far too clever and surprising, which makes it succeed at neither. Someone badly needed to rein in Okada’s writing at a lot of points. Less is more. Even outside all the weird nonsensical twists (entire final arc, lesbian school girl episode), there were other episodes so hamhanded (Doomsday Clock/Cold War and Goemon’s intro) that it was painful. And again, Fujiko is a tremendously poor lead that is best left as just a continuing nuisance to Lupin instead of the lead. At least they eventually toned down all the closeups on her nipples.
So it’s a notable entry in the Lupin franchise, but really not one that anybody should go run out and see. It’s at least better than most of the recent specials, but that’s not saying all that much.