Who needs the truth when you can believe in the lie?
There’s a secluded house in the desert where Fujiko Mine helps a man named Randy take care of his frail son Gene. It’d be idyllic, if it weren’t a lie. Randy’s embezzled a load of cash, and Fujiko couldn’t care less about the family. Or… is that the lie? When the corporation Randy stole from sends a bizarre man to kill him, Fujiko heeds Randy’s request to protect Gene, and goes beyond the pale for the boy.
Still… could that be yet another lie? Gene knows where the money is, and refuses to say until he’s avenged his father. What will Fujiko do? Will her lies spin out of control? Or was every man just playing to her tune from the start ? All things may not be what they seem in Takeshi Koike’s newest Lupin the 3rd film, Fujiko’s Lie!
*Warning: Even though this review will be spoiler-free, this review may contain spoilers from the previous movies such as Jigen’s Gravestone and Goemon’s Bloodspray. If you haven’t these movies, I highly recommend watching them first before jumping into this movie. Nonetheless, I will keep spoilers to a minimum. Check out my previous reviews:
Third and final Koike’s movie?
Serving as the third movie, anime director Takeshi Koike creates another Lupin the IIIrd movie focusing on the seductive cat burglar Fujiko Mine. If you count the TV series A Woman Called Fujiko Mine, this is the second time Fujiko gets the spotlight. In this new movie called, Fujiko Lies, Koike brings back Fujiko and puts her in a thrilling ride. As of now, this is the last movie of his Lupin IIIrd movies and it’s unknown if he plans to do more. So far, Lupin and Zenigata hasn’t gotten a movie focusing on themselves. This movie was released On May 2019.
Story: A Mother Named Fujiko Mine
The story begins with Fujiko Mine serving as a maid for a father and his sick son. The father is named Randy and his son is named Gene. It is revealed that Randy has been embezzling money from a corporation called Godfrey Mining in order to pay for his son’s heart condition. He worked there as an accountant. However, the plot picks up when the corporation sends out an assassin to retrieve their stolen money and kill the family. Randy sacrifices himself to stall time when facing the assassin and allows Fujiko and Gene to escape. Unfortunately, the assassin survives and goes on the chase for Fujiko and Gene. The assassin is named Bincam who possesses the ability to exhale a gas that can put anyone in a hypnotic spell. While on the run, Fujiko will do whatever it takes to protect Gene, but Gene is a young boy filled with anger and fear knowing that Fujiko cares only for the money. Also part of the loop, we have Lupin and Jigen in for the ride. Not only they help out, but they do some investigation on the company who sent out Bincam.
Review: A lie is as painful as getting stabbed in the heart
Does this version of Fujiko hold up great expectations to the TV series of A Woman Called Fujiko Mine? In my opinion, this movie shows off the unique take on Fujiko’s character. When you see Fujiko in previous anime series and movies, we see a seductive thief who gets what she wants with her feminine charm. However, for this movie, Koike decides to show a side of Fujiko we don’t usually see very often: a mother archetype. If you know anything about Fujiko, she’ll do anything to steal treasure and money even if it means pulling heartstrings or make men give into lust. In some cases, she’ll even play as a role of a teacher or maid if children is involved. Her feelings towards love and nurture is nothing more than an act only for her goals, but in this movie, we see what happens to her once she gets attached to someone and lose interest in the treasure. I think it’s really interesting to see Fujiko go from a woman acting like a mother to someone wants to protect like an actual mother. Personally, this movie does an excellent job on the character of Fujiko. The plot is pretty simple to follow when focusing on Fujiko. When the plot focuses on Lupin and Jigen, things get rocky. The movie contains cameos from the previous titles Jigen’s Gravestone and Goemon’s Bloodspray in which serves as a reminder on who’s pulling the strings from the beginning. Without going too much details on it, the reveal is pretty is still insufficient and makes me want to see another movie, but maybe have Zenigata or Lupin as the starring role. Overall, the character story plot is excellent and I really enjoyed following the story of Fujiko. Unfortunately, the build up from the previous movies feel left to be desired and falls short. As always, the English Dub is great. The voice for the main cast returns and we do get new voices for the new characters. Playing as the kid Gene is Erika Harlacher (voiced Kurapika from Hunter x Hunter and Shinobu from Demon Slayer) and we have Billy Kametz voicing Bincam (Kametz also voices Josuke from JoJo Bizarre Adventures Part 4 and Naofumi Iwatani in The Rising of the Shield Hero). The ending of the movie feels like more adventures to come, but it also feels like a departure to the adventure.
Serving as the third (and maybe last) film of the IIIrd Universe, does Lupin the IIIrd: Fujiko’s Lie hold up as the same charm as the rest of the movies along with Jigen and Goemon? I think this movie surpasses these two and shows off the character of Fujiko Mine. We know her in many media of the Lupin world and it was interesting to see Koike transform Fujiko from a seductive thief to a woman with a motherly heart. While her plot was a ride, the other plot with Lupin and Jigen feels a bit weak. The main antagonist of the villain is not flashy like the other villains from before, but it’s interesting to see how a deadly killer comes across a dangerous woman like Fujiko. I actually enjoyed more of seeing Fujiko and her character more than the plot besides her. If there wasn’t a story build up, this movie would have been great as a stand alone. Overall, I highly recommend this movie to any Lupin fans who wants to see Fujiko get involved with action and see her more than a thief. If there’s plans for more of Koike’s movies, I am hoping to see more characters get some attention. Hopefully the next film will have Zenigata return or we get Lupin to take centerstage for a grand finale.
What do you guys think of this movie?