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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Memorable Anime Character: Arsene Lupin III

Name: Arsene Lupin III First Appearance: "Lupin III" manga, 1967; anime 1971 (A movie was made in 1969, but not released in theaters due to budget constraints; it was turned into Lupin III SEcret Files in 1989)
What makes this character memorable? He's a thief, in fact one of the greatest thiefs alive.  That could be due to his lineage of being the grandson of another master thief, Arsene Lupin.  But he also has a sense of honor, in that he corrects injustices whenever he sees them.  He also has his one weakness -- women.  The character just exudes cool from his pores. When you have such directors as Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop) and Stephen Spielberg coming around to make your story, you have to be cool.
Lupin's Influence: You still see it today in a lot of anime works. Excel Saga is a prime example -- along with the director of the show, Shinchi Watanabe, dressing like Lupin III when he goes to events, The Director character in the show also has the same manner of dress.
Other Properties: Along with the manga and anime show, Lupin III has had adventures in 6 movies (one of those films, The Castle of Cagliostro, was directed by famed director Hayao Miyazaki), various video games, and audio CDs.
Trivia: When writer Kazuhiko Kato (who writes the series under the name Monkey Punch) created Lupin the 3rd, he didn't get permission from the estate of Maurice LeBlanc, who created the original Lupin.  In Japan at that time they didn't enforce copyright, so the character was only Lupin III in Japan.  In other countries (until the books fell out of copyright) he was known under different names such as "Rupin" and "Wolf."

Tomorrow: The son of Death as a good guy, if a little neurotic.

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