5 Point Discussions – Lupin III, Part V 18: “Fujiko’s Souvenir”

by Sage Ashford

What happens when the most talented thief in the world has nothing to do? Better yet, what happens when they’re trapped in an apartment without a working bathroom? 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. “Fujiko’s Souvenir” is yet another interlude chapter, but this time set in the modern day, and I’m not a fan. The interludes often have a completely different tone that’s more comedic than the main chapters of the series, and up til now you could write them all off by claiming they weren’t canon. Even the flashback episode one could say was embellished, with Lupin and the others all arguing over some events near the end. But it’s a little less ambiguous when it’s set during the modern era.

2. This week’s episode is set around our protagonists in their downtime. There’s no big heist planned, they’re not ticking off some government or rich shadowy organization by running off with priceless heirlooms or millions of dollars, it’s just Lupin and the others lying around being bums. It’s quite the change of pace, though not wholly unwelcome. At this point in their relationship, these guys have been friends for years, so seeing them interact when they aren’t up to something is still entertaining.
Though there’s a bit of subtlety to the price our cast has paid being legendary thieves. They constantly purloin all this stuff that’s worth millions of dollars and they have to pick some town no one’s ever heard of, and wear a disguise anytime they leave their apartment or they risk having to lose their hideout and go on the run again.

3. The plot of this episode is pretty basic: the toilet in Lupin’s room is stopped up. They can’t figure out why until Fujiko suddenly appears, dressed…incredibly comfortably for someone who can’t stand our leading thief. It doesn’t take long before them to deduce she’s likely stuck something in it, though none of them can ask because they’re all absolutely incompetent when it comes to women. They even speculate on whether it’s loot from a heist or just her leaving a bomb. Why she’d aim to kill them when she might need them later, who knows?
Goemon and Jigen have spent this entire series trying to get Lupin to ditch Fujiko, and the why’s pretty obvious: not only is she constantly seeking to betray them, but they can’t even interact with her without turning into nervous school boys. She keeps them wrapped around her finger the entire episode, somehow managing to outsmart three of the most talented thieves in the whole world by keeping them out of the restroom until she can finally retrieve the item she left there.

4. Impossibly, Zenigata manages to make an appearance this episode. Justifiying an earlier moment between Lupin and Jigen where they argue over the dangers of going out without their disguises, Zenigata “just happened to be in the area” when he notices the smell of some Japanese cooking and decides to ask for a bite to eat. Sometimes I think the Inspector is one step ahead of them the entire time, he just enjoys the chase. ‘Cause I mean, by all accounts this is very much a village in the middle of nowhere—a member of the ICPO should have far more important things to do. Plus who just runs in someone’s apartment asking for food?
The other theory is that there’s a cosmic spell happening that’s keeping these five people in constant contact with one another for the amusement of the universe, but that seems just a tad farfetched.

5. In the end, Fujiko takes advantage of Zenigata’s arrival to take the time to steal the item she wanted back before any of the guys could figure out what it was. It seems she’d arrived the night before in order to celebrate the anniversary of their first meeting, except by the time she showed up Lupin was already, as the anime put it, “three sheets to the wind”. She absconds with the gift in question, bemused at the entire incident while the gang is left wondering what brought her there in the first place.
In the end, their relationship remains just as puzzling and mysterious as it was when the episode started, but…that’s the point, isn’t it?
Lupin the III Part 5 is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

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