5 Point Discussions – Lupin the III Part V, Ep. 9: “The Man Who Abandoned Lupin”

by Sage Ashford

Alfred isn’t the only person who’s after the Black Notebook. Even with Lupin defeated, there are still many other opponents standing between him and his goal. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.

1. When we left off last week, Lupin had been gutshot and Albert was gloating with the Black Notebook. He gets to enjoy victory all of fifty seconds before getting attacked by a pair of mercenaries and losing the book immediately. Whatever plans he had are short-lived, as he has to watch them escape with the book only to have it end up in the hands of the enemy.
Though even that gets a bit sketchy. The head of the DGSE gets double-crossed by his mercenaries once they get the notebook, refusing to give it to him because they found a better offer. This would be the downside to trusting specialized mercs instead of your usual goons.  Sure, it’s cool to have a reject cast member from a cyberpunk cable TV series do your work for you, but how are you going to make them honor your agreements? This was foreshadowed last episode too, as Detective Camille informed Lupin that the DGSE were employing a guy who spent way too much time in deep cover to get the notebook back. The other downside of spending too much time in deep cover? There’s a chance they’ve been flipped.

2. Because Lupin has the best bros in the game, they bail him out seconds after he gets shot.  But recovering from a gut wound is no small feat, so he spends the next couple days in hiding under the city of Paris until he finally wakes up. Learning he spent the last few days tossing and turning while complaining about Alfred, Lupin decides to explain who he is and why he’s so frustrated by having to deal with him again.
….And, as suspected, I was right last week about Lupin’s issue with Alfred. The episode title, “The Man Who Abandoned Lupin”, has a deeper meaning.  Alfred didn’t abandon Lupin the III, he abandoned the family name of Lupin in order to achieve a different goal. A fellow thief, the two of them once worked together on cases, and Alfred might actually be the only person smart enough to out trick the ultimate trickster. We see Lupin attempting to rob a bank in a flashback–not only did Alfred beat him to it, but he replaced the money with useless stacks of paper so his cousin would still waste his time stealing what was there. There’s even a moment where Lupin believes Alfred left the stacks with real money on each end to fool him…but nope, even that turns out to be a poor counterfeit.
Seems like the reason Lupin doesn’t want to see Alfred again is his pride. To possess the talent superior to Lupin only to abandon the family name has really stuck with him. Meanwhile Alfred has become “bored” with regular crime and decided it would be more interesting to steal the entire nation of France by supplanting it’s current power structure and ruling behind the scenes.

3. Once the black notebook is stolen, it’s revealed Jose and his clique of mercenaries are helping a terrorist group called Cry for Truth for a more specific, long-term plan. Guillaume, the head of the DGSE, is supposed to have tabs on the group–but with the black notebook in their hands, he’s unable to act as the organization commits crime after crime.
Turns out, this is all to help entrench a far-right French political candidate with a strong anti-immigration stance. Considering how shades of this resemble events that have occurred in America and Europe over the last couple years, this is a surprisingly topical episode. With Guillaume’s hands tied, Alfred is quickly watching his chances at being in control of France evaporate as support for the far-right candidate starts to grow, as fear often tends to stoke the desire for “security”.

4. Despite having lost the black notebook, Team Lupin can’t really rest easy. Since they know what’s in the black notebook, they’re now a liability, and so they spend a great portion of the episode either running from or battling the mercenaries and mooks. They have an apartment blown to pieces by an army of dudes with SMGs, and then wind up battling Jose’s mercs, as the powers that be seek to close up as many loopholes for this dangerous information as possible. After being convinced to let it go at first, this forces Lupin to get back in the game and get everyone off his back.
Meanwhile, Alfred refuses to be outdone and winds up falling back into old habits–taking his signature trenchcoat and weapon from his thief days to hunt down Guillaume. But for once, Lupin’s one step ahead of him, having tracked down Guillaume in order to get him to back off his attacks. Realizing their goals align, the two of them decide to work together to bring an end to this black notebook case.

5. Next Episode: Well, I felt the action would calm itself after this turbulent episode, but I was wrong. With Albert and Lupin teaming again, things look even more hectic than last week! Lupin doing battle with Revenant, the jester from last ep who’s apparently alive, with an old school mace and shield? Goemon putting down the pierced assassin lady?
By the by, all the proof we needed Lupin was just mad at Albert for turning good is the grin he’s got in the thumbnail. Having dragged Albert away from the cops for a bit, he seems his usual devil may care self once more. But how long can this allegiance last? And does Lupin have a trick up his sleeve for when his cousin finally betrays him?
Or will he even need that?  I’ve got this feeling that Albert really shouldn’t be playing thief after so long out of the game. He’s playing to old strengths instead of current ones, and it might just get him in trouble.
Lupin the III Part 5 is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

%d bloggers like this: