Why ‘Lupin III: The First’ is the Perfect Gateway to the Franchise

Keep an eye out for those for gentleman thieves, they'll steel you heart.
Lupin Iii The First

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores 2019’s “Lupin III: The First” and why it’s an exemplary entry in modern 3D animation.

At the risk of showing my whole ass here, I was a late convert to the Lupin III franchise.

Lupin III: Castle Of Cagliostro was one of my few blindspots in Hayao Miyazaki‘s filmography. I assumed that I wouldn’t “get it” because it was pre-existing IP … and I assumed incorrectly. I can only imagine what audiences thought when the film premiered in 1979. My heart goes out to all the movie theater employees who had to mop blown minds off the screening floor every night.

It’s hard to overstate Lupin III‘s popularity within the franchise’s native Japan. Originally created in the mid-1960s by manga artist Monkey Punch (no, really), Lupin is canonically the grandson of Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief created by Maurice Leblanc in 1905.

Lupin didn’t just inherit his grandfather’s nimble fingers and reckless charm. Over the years, Lupin has graduated to the ranks of folk hero, mutating accordingly over the years as he jumped from page to screen and small screen to big. And in 2019, the Lupin franchise pivoted once more, this time to 3D feature animation.

While 3D anime films are divisive, to say the least, Lupin III: The First was cut from a different cloth. The video essay below digs deeper into what makes the film work both as a Lupin film and as an entry point for newbies.

Watch “Lupin III: The Best Looking 3D Anime Ever”

Who made this?

This video essay on why Lupin III: The First rules is by Accented Cinema, a Canadian-based YouTube video essay series with a focus on foreign cinema. You can subscribe to Accented Cinema for bi-weekly uploads here. You can follow them on Twitter here.

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Meg Shields: Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.