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Lupin the Third, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine Episode #02 Anime Review

3 min read

Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight a long time…

What They Say:
A war is going down between the Italian and Chinese Mafias, and Fujiko ends up in the middle of it. A mysterious bodyguard named Daisuke Jigen stands at the heart of the matter, but who knows whose side he’s really on?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Lupin’s introduction to Fujiko in the initial episode, the series steps away from that rivalry to introduce Fujiko to Jigen. The introduction comes in a round about manner; Fujiko is enjoying a night of gambling. Well, she is enjoying a night of cheating the house out of its cash, a fairly routine and boring night. Things get significantly more interesting when the casino’s owner wagers the entire place on one turn of the roulette wheel. If Fujiko loses, her body is now casino property. Not one to pass up such a jackpot, Fujiko finds out that the house always wins in the end.

The casino owner wants Fujiko to grant her two wishes; the first is to steal the gun of Daisuke Jigen, the bodyguard of the Chinese mafia boss. Her second wish is to see the whole endeavor through to the end. As Fujiko works her way close to Jigen, she soon learns his reputation has not been exaggerated. His quick draw has few rivals, and his distrust of women also knows few equals.

Rather than focus on how Fujiko acquires his gun, the episode flashes back to Jigen’s past. He was once the bodyguard for the casino owner’s deceased husband. She was suicidal back in those days but found solace in Jigen’s words, actions, and attitude. The pair soon grew to love each other, a fact that drove her husband mad with jealousy. In a heated argument, the pair struggled over the husband’s .357 Magnum with the inevitable discharge killing her husband. Jigen rushed in, grabbed the Magnum, and shouldered responsibility for the shooting.

Branded a traitor and separated from the woman he loved, Jigen closed off his heart and accepted the life of the outsider, the hired gun no one could get close to. Once Fujiko steals his gun, he chases after it knowing that it will lead to a showdown with his former love. In the church where they first made love, he learns that he was being used as a pawn to eliminate the husband. His heart ache is complete, as he has finally found a woman he is willing to kill. Fujiko sees the matter to the end, an end which reveals that Jigen was used one last time to fulfill the owner’s wish to die by his hand. She had realized after he left that she did truly love him and knew that she could never undo the damage she did to him.

Just a wonderfully written story here; we get a back story to Jigen’s gun that also shapes the fundamental core of the character. He could be equally fast, if not faster, with another gun, but he chooses to carry this one and the emotional baggage that comes with it. I can only hope this sort of character development carries into the introduction of Goemon and a more involved introduction of Zenigata.

In Summary:
While the franchise has previously explored Jigen’s past, it never did more than scratch the surface of the character. This episode delves into the sad story that made Jigen so untrusting of women and into why he carries his iconic .357 Magnum. It may be predictable in spots, but the writing hits all the right emotional beats and makes you wonder what kind of man can draw a weapon with so much emotional weight so fast.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: FUNimation

Review Equipment:
24” iMac booted into Windows XP Home, using IE8..