Lupin III: Part 6

Lupin III: Part 6

Lupin III: Part 6 anime series cover art
Lupin III: Part 6

Season Overview

Lupin III: Part 6 (ルパン三世 PART6) is the latest season of the Lupin the Third anime series. It aired from October 17th, 2021 to March 27th, 2022, and included 24 episodes. This is also the fourth season of the series I’ve watched (and I’ve seen four movies).

Sure, I haven’t seen everything that the Lupin III series has to offer. But by this point, I think I can say I’m pretty familiar with it. And, with that in mind, this is my least favorite Lupin III entry.

Even putting aside the content of this season, just the OP and ED were worse than those of Part 5. I know every season of Lupin III has the same OP song. But I didn’t like the visuals as much this time around. And the ED song was just worse.

Anyway, the main content of this season focuses on Lupin “finding his roots.” Throughout the whole season, we get hints about the woman who raised Lupin and taught him everything he knows. And because her name keeps coming up, Lupin begins to seek out answers to questions from his past.

I guess Lupin’s past could be interesting. But at the same time, I never really cared about his past. I care about who he is and what he’s doing in the present. How he became the person he is today doesn’t matter all that much.

And, I’d argue that this season did a pretty poor job of exploring Lupin’s past. At the end of the day, all the “setup,” which is a pretty strong word for it, amounted to nothing. I have no problem spoiling that because it was such a disappointment.

Episodic to the Extreme

Generally speaking, Lupin III isn’t a series with a whole lot of continuity. There’s an overarching theme or storyline, sure. But, for the most part, it’s episodic or comprised of small arcs that aren’t all that strongly tied together. This structure can certainly work; it’s worked for the series in the past.

However, I’d say that Part 6 takes this to the extreme. At least half of the episodes in the season felt like they were filler. They’re just random, one-off episodes that don’t seem to have anything to do with the main story or even the other episodes around them.

For example, there was an episode about Goemon becoming a male runway model for some fashion designer. And there was another episode about some CEO of a security company setting up a challenge for Lupin because she’s his biggest fan.

Fujiko Mine dressed as a maid from the anime series Lupin III: Part 6
Fujiko Mine dressed as a maid

It’s really hard to care about an episode when it feels like filler, even if it’s not actually filler. Goemon is already my least favorite character of the series. I’ve said many times before that he feels extremely out of place. So, obviously, I’m not going to care at all about him becoming a runway model.

Additionally, every arc and individual episode has a new heroine. From what I remember of Parts 4 and 5, they each had a seasonal heroine who was with Lupin throughout the part. That’s not the case this time around. Some girls showed up more than others, but most of them are forgettable.

But, guess what? It turns out that all of those forgettable girls from the filler episodes are actually important in the end. That’s definitely something I didn’t like about this season. You can’t just pretend like all those characters mattered in the final few episodes.

It All Comes Together (Poorly)

So, how do all these random girls from the various episodes and arcs become important at the end of the season? Well, it turns out that they were all trained (and hypnotized) by the same woman who taught Lupin growing up. And she planted them in his path so that he’d run into them at some point.

Each girl then mentioned a special phrase or word that, when all put together, acted as a key to unlock a suppressed part of Lupin’s memory. What could that suppressed memory be? Well, it’s just that Lupin himself has been hypnotized.

I guess the special phrases act more like a trigger, in that sense. But, whatever. The point is that after coming into contact with all of these girls, Lupin falls under the control of his former teacher and believes that she’s actually his mother.

Arsene Lupin III from the anime series Lupin III: Part 6
Arsene Lupin III

The mystery of who Lupin’s mother was is a recurring theme throughout the season. When we first learn about his teacher, it’s implied she’s his mother. But, once we meet some of the girls and they also refer to this person as their mother, it’s revealed that they all call her this because she views her students as her children.

Fair enough. However, it then somehow comes up that she might actually be Lupin’s birthmother and not just his teacher. And, that’s the mystery that we — along with Lupin — are trying to get to the bottom of at the end of the season.

Since I spoiled earlier in the review that none of this ends up mattering, allow me to go all the way. Lupin decides she’s not his mother, kills her, and then opts not to figure out the truth. So this whole season-long puzzle ends up without a definitive answer.

If it was a good puzzle, I wouldn’t mind the open-endedness. But it wasn’t a good puzzle.

Conclusion

Lupin III: Part 6 is a 5/10 from me. It’s not bad, though I did think the animation during the climax of the final episode was bad. But, I don’t think it’s good either. It exists and if you’re really into Lupin you’ll probably watch it regardless of what I say.

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