Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko’s Lie

Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko’s Lie

Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko's Lie anime movie cover art
Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko’s Lie

Overview

Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko’s Lie (Lupin the IIIrd: Mine Fujiko no Uso / LUPIN THE IIIRD 峰不二子の嘘) is one movie in a trilogy of Lupin the IIIrd movies, also including Jigen’s Gravestone and Goemon’s Blood Spray. I’ll be reviewing those two movies over the next two weeks to complete the set.

Oh, and this review is going to contain spoilers.

The only previous exposure I’ve had to the Lupin franchise was The Castle of Cagliostro. That movie came out in 1979, and this movie came out in 2019, so there’s 40 years of content between them I simply haven’t seen. And with that in mind, I wasn’t expecting Fujiko’s Lie to be what it was.

For starters, it was more graphic than I was expecting — something I’ll discuss later on. But what really set it apart from the Lupin I knew, was the sci-fi aspect of the plot. As far as I remember, The Castle of Cagliostro didn’t have any sci-fi elements, so seeing that in this movie felt a bit out of place.

Daisuke Jigen and Arsene Lupin III from the anime movie Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko's Lie
Daisuke Jigen and Arsene Lupin III

However, later on in the movie it seems to appear that Lupin & co. run into supernatural beings on the regular, so I guess it’s not actually out of place. Maybe that’s a newer development for the series, but either way I’m not going to hold that against it.

Anyway, the main plot of the movie is that Fujiko is attempting to steal 500 million dollars from a sickly child. And that sickly child got the money from his father, who stole it from the company he worked for. And that company sends a supernatural assassin after them to get the money back.

Also Lupin and Jigen are around just trying to save the day and get the money for themselves.

Binkam

I was going to do a characters section here, but I think we’re better off just discussing Binkam (or Bincam as the version I watch spelled it) here. I’ll be talking about Fujiko specifically in the next section, Lupin and Jigen don’t really need to be discussed, and Jean (or Gene?) is just the kid who has the money.

Binkam is why this movie was strange to me. He’s humanoid, but until it was stated later in the movie that he’s a genetically modified human, I thought he was supposed to be an alien. He doesn’t look human, and he has a strange ability which allows him to control people who breathe in the dust storms he creates.

I also considered the fact that he was supposed to be some sort of mummy considering he refers to his dust storm as a curse. But, no, he’s just a weird guy who was turned into a weapon to be used by the company.

Binkam activating his "curse" from the anime movie Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko's Lie
Binkam activating his “curse”

But what I still don’t really understand about Binkam is the explanation of his powers. From what we see, he has two main abilities: he can whip up dust storms, and he can control people who breathe in that dust. The second ability appears to be connected to his eyes.

However, the explanation we’re given doesn’t make sense for either of these abilities. Apparently, he’s resistant to a type of poisonous plant which he eats the fruit of. Then, he sweats out the poison of this fruit, it’s carried by the dust storm into the body of his enemy, and the poison makes that person more easily persuaded.

The problem is that this doesn’t explain how he controls sandstorms or what his eyes have to do with his ability to control others.

Fujiko’s Nudity

I liked how Fujiko was depicted as a ruthless woman who uses sex appeal to get what she wants and isn’t afraid to steal from a sickly child. She’s a pretty cool character, and this movie made me like her a lot more than The Castle of Cagliostro did.

But, I have to mention the nudity in this movie. Fujiko is cool, we’ve established that. We also know that she seduces men to get what she wants. However, I felt that the nudity in the movie almost took away from her character because of how it was used.

I’m not someone who has an issue with nudity in anime as a whole, but I think it needs to be natural while also not detracting from the everything else going on. Unless, of course, it’s in an ecchi series, in which case you can throw those rules out the window.

Fujiko Mine getting ready to fight from the anime movie Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko's Lie
Fujiko Mine getting ready to fight

The first bit of nudity was fine as far as I’m concerned. Fujiko is taking a bath with Jean (Gene?) so, yeah, not surprising that she’s naked. But, at the time, I did get the feeling that nudity was added as a sort of fan service — like Asuna being uncensored for two frames in the Ordinal Scale movie.

Later on in the movie there’s another scene with nudity, and it’s this one which I have a bit of an issue with. She’s having her final battle against Binkam, and he cuts her clothes to expose one of her breasts. She then remains exposed for the rest of the fight, and it’s pretty prominent.

I get that she’s fighting so she’s not really concerned about being exposed in the moment, but at the same time it felt like it was focused on too much. It was almost like they were saying Fujiko defeated Binkam because of her body, not because she’s a master of manipulation or a skilled fighter.

It just felt out of place. If she had exposed herself to him in order to shock him, and then used that time to launch a surprise attack, I think that might have been a better way to go about that scene. But that also feels pretty cliché.

Conclusion

Overall, I think Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko’s Lie is a solid 8/10. It’s definitely a movie I would watch again, especially since at only 56 minutes, it’s not much of a commitment. I’m also looking forward to the next two movies in the trilogy — the reviews of those should be up on the next two Fridays.

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Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month and for suggesting I watch this trilogy of movies. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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