What They Say:
A fortune-teller supposedly able to predict his clients’ deaths is for some reason seeking out Lupin’s prior victims and giving them some very disturbing readings. What’s the connection to Fujiko Mine, and how far will she go to see this job through?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Fujiko has spanned in the globe, we have teased with glimpses into what is presumably her past. These bizarre images haunt her, but we have had no insight into their meaning until this episode. And what we learn will certainly be talked about for quite some time. The MacGuffin that leads us to the big reveal is a psychic that can predict the day of your death. Currently, all of his clientele appear to be former victims of Lupin.
Fujiko seemingly destroys the lithograph the psychic uses, while Jigen becomes entangled in events by taking a job from one of the psychic’s victims. Toss in Oscar once again bungling an attempt to capture them all, Lupin just being Lupin, and you have a decent but not exciting story. What makes this episode, apart from the ending, work is once again the development of the characters and their relationships.
Lupin saves Jigen from prison, and Jigen thanks him by proclaiming Lupin’s cigarettes, cooking, and general plans to be crap. Jigen is being stubborn out of spite, not wanting to admit that Lupin is not only skilled but someone that Jigen could eventually consider a friend. Fujiko also gets her digs at Lupin by telling him that Zenigata has already tasted what Lupin desires most. And something about Lupin simply cooking a recipe from his grandmother gives a bit of warmth and depth to his character.
However, this all pales when the psychic reveals that he has been working for Count Luis Yu Almeida, who is testing Lupin to see if he is worthy of Fujiko. This triggers a memory deep within Fujiko that causes her to kill the psychic before learning anything more of these plans. As Fujiko soaks in a bath afterwards, her memory expands to show the Count in an owl mask choking her as a child and fading from a scene that implies he is beginning to rape her.
Hopefully, this is not merely done for shock value and has some significance in the remainder of the plot. Given the bizarre nature of the past flashes of her memory, there is room to wonder if there might be something more sinister at work, something that has truly stolen her past and left something terrifying in it place. I am intrigued to see how they build on this moment for the remainder of the series.
The ending of this episode of Fujiko is certain to polarize the audience, as it has tread onto very tricky material. It certainly is a bold step for the series, but it now must build a solid story around the Count, his plans to find a worthy suitor for Fujiko, and his motivations to do so. Otherwise, this is simply a cheap ploy to shock the audience and distinguish it from the rest of the material from the last forty years of the Lupin franchise.
Streamed By: FUNimation
24” iMac booted into Windows XP Home, using FF11.