Lupin III: Part 5

Lupin III: Part 5

Lupin III: Part 5 anime series cover art
Lupin III: Part 5

Series Overview

Lupin III: Part 5 (ルパン三世 PART5) is the most recent part of the Lupin III series, and the second part I’ve watched. So while I can’t really say how it compares to the first three parts, I can say that it’s quite a bit different from Part 4, which I’ll discuss in more detail later on.

The biggest difference between these two parts, though, is that Part 5 is set in “modern” times. Rather than being set in the 1970s, or whenever Lupin III is normally set, Part 5 is in the 2020s (or even later). And thanks to that, this part prominently features both modern and slightly futuristic technologies.

In fact, I wouldn’t really call any of the technology in this series futuristic. Instead, it would be more correct to say that it’s modern technology that just happens to work a lot better than real modern technology. This stuff exists in our world, but it’s far less refined than it’s portrayed in this series.

I have to say, at first I wasn’t a fan of the modern spin of Part 5. It seemed a little too gimmicky, such as with Lupin’s high-tech monocle and Ami’s internet-connected earring. But, over time I got used to that and I don’t think it really changed the series all that much outside of one area which I’ll bring up later on.

Not only does Part 5 have a focus on modern technology, but it’s much more about world politics than Part 4 is. Part 4 generally stayed within Italy, San Marino, and France. In Part 5, while there’s still a European focus, other parts of the world are involved more heavily — such as the fictional country of Padar (which I think is supposed to be Pakistan).

It’s Ami, not Amy

Allow me to start off by saying that I’m not usually one for running gags like this, but Lupin constantly referring to Ami as Amy was pretty good. I think the reason I was fine with this name gag, as opposed to the Yoshiko/Yohane one from Love Live! Sunshine!!, is because it’s pretty clear that Lupin is doing it on purpose.

And it’s not as if Lupin is just intentionally mispronouncing Ami’s name wrong just to make her mad or anything. Whenever he does it, it’s usually when they’re in some sort of risky situation, such as being chased by bad guys or being captured. He kind of uses this mispronunciation as a way to reassure her that everything is alright.

I think the idea here is that if Lupin still has time to joke about her name, then it shows Ami that he has the situation under control and everything will be alright.

Ami Enan from the anime series Lupin III: Part 5
Ami Enan

Well, I guess at this point I should mention who Ami is. In Part 4, Rebecca Rossellini was the featured supporting character. In Part 5, that role belongs to Ami Enan. But, that doesn’t mean that Ami is simply a replacement for Rebecca — they’re two very different characters.

Ami is a middle or high school-aged girl who also just so happens to be one of the premier hackers in the world. And as you might expect, because she’s a “super hacker” she has no real friends. She spends all her time on the internet living vicariously through other people rather than experiencing life for herself — until Lupin appears.

But the most unique thing about Ami is probably her internet-connected earring I mentioned earlier. It’s a voice-controlled device that she can use to do basically anything. She can look things up, she can run DDOS attacks on servers, and she can even hack into security cameras all via simple voice commands.

Part 4 vs. Part 5

There are two big ways in which Part 4 and Part 5 are different that I want to discuss. First, Part 5 is much more violent. And second, Part 5 has more of an “escape” feel than a “heist” feel.

Something I quickly picked up on in Part 5 is that Lupin and his gang kill a lot of people. In fact, even Ami kills multiple people. And this isn’t like we’re just left to assume that these people died, or maybe survived somehow. No, we actually see them die and it’s stated that they were killed.

This isn’t something that happens in Part 4. Maybe there were a handful of deaths in that, but generally speaking Lupin and his gang would inflict non-fatal wounds on people. With Part 5, that’s no longer the case. And they aren’t even just killing villains. They’re also killing random security guards — which goes against the “virtuous thief” image I had of Lupin.

Lupin and Jigen from the anime series Lupin III: Part 5
Lupin and Jigen

The focus of this season on escaping rather than thieving is probably the one thing I liked the least about it. Part 4 was full of exciting heists across Italy, San Marino, and France. But in Part 5, there aren’t really any comparable heists — any “heist” in this part is more about an ulterior motive, such as saving someone like Ami from capture.

And the focus on modern technology just promotes this idea of escaping even more. A running theme of the season is that the modern age is no place for an old school thief like Lupin. There are so many ways for his every movement to be tracked thanks to the internet, that he’s always on the run.

I thought this concept was somewhat interesting the first time around, but there were actually two arcs that focused on it. First, there was a killing game that relied on internet commenters to pinpoint Lupin’s location. Then, there was a Facebook-like app that relied on facial-recognition and adaptive learning to pinpoint Lupin’s location.

Conclusion

I would definitely say that I liked Lupin III: Part 5 less than Part 4. But in the end, I wouldn’t say that there’s too much of a difference between them as far as my enjoyment is concerned. So with that said, I’m giving Part 5 a 7/10 just like I did for the previous part.

Part 5 is potentially the better option for someone who’s just getting into the Lupin series. I think because it takes place in a different time period, it’s restricted less by what’s expected of it — so it can be enjoyed more as a standalone part. And if you already like Lupin but haven’t seen Part 5, I think you’ll find that it’s more familiar than you may have expected.

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