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Wed, 21 Mar '12

Nerves of Steal: 40 Years of Lupin III

The smoothest of criminals ages like a fine wine (that he stole).

When most criminals do something that earns them 40 years, they're locked up for a long time, never to be heard from again. When that criminal is Lupin III, we want him in the spotlight for 40 years-to-life. The venerable cutpurse turns 40 years old this year and no expenses are being spared to celebrate. With an upcoming anime series, a limited-edition car and pachinko machines, things have never looked better for an over-the-hill thief who makes Carmen Sandiego look like a run-of-the-mill shoplifter.

Created in 1967 by the incredibly named Monkey Punch and fittingly "lifted" from the pages of French author Maurice Leblanc's Arsène Lupin crime novels, Lupin III made his technical debut in 1969 with a forgotten pilot then truly became an animation star in October 1971 with the first of three Lupin III television series. Now, 40 years later, Lupin will return to Japanese airwaves on April 4th with Lupin III - The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, directed by Sayo Yamamoto, the series' first female director, featuring animation direction by Redline's Takeshi Koike, writing by Cowboy Bebop's Dai Sato and music from Black Butler's Naruyoshi Kikuchi. With this all-star team behind it, the only criminal thing about this series is that it'll only run for thirteen episodes

If you're not familiar with the red-suited scoundrel, then April's exciting reinterpretation will be a great entry point. Plus, Discotek Media will be releasing the entire first TV series on DVD this June, which features episodes co-written by Studio Ghibli co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. No matter how many servings of Lupin they give us, we'll always be hungry for more.

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