Lupin III

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Name: Lupin III
Katakana: ルパン三世
Hiragana: るぱんさんせい
Romanji: Rupan Sansei
Abbreviation(s): n/a, though L3 is sometimes used
Creator: Kazuhiko Katō, aka Monkey Punch
Date(s): 10 August 1967 - TBA
Medium: Manga, Anime, Live-Action Films, Video Games, Musicals
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: On Wikipedia
Official Website
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Lupin III, aka Lupin the Third, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Monkey Punch and debuted in Weekly Manga Action in 1967. It follows the escapades of master thief Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc's series of novels. Joining Lupin on his adventures are his sidekick Daisuke Jigen, a marksman; Goemon Ishikawa XIII, a samurai who possesses a sword that can cut through anything, who like Lupin is also the descendant of a legendary heroic thief; and Fujiko Mine, a sexy rival thief and Lupin's (sort of) love interest. Rounding out the main cast is Inspector Koichi Zenigata, a police detective and INTERPOL official who will stop at nothing to catch Lupin and the others and bring them to justice. It spawned its own franchise with various animated series, films, video games, and even a musical from the famous Takarazuka Revue.


Virtually unknown outside of Japan for many years, mainly due to a copyright claim from the Maurice LeBlanc estate. In France, he was renamed "Edgar, The Detective Burglar".

The 1979 film adaptation, The Castle of Cagliostro is notable for being the feature directorial debut of Hayao Miyazaki. It was also a huge inspiration for several Disney animators including Pixar co-founder John Lasseter. In 1983, footage from the film was adapted into a US arcade game called "Cliff Hanger".

In the mid-2000s, a newly dubbed version of the 1977 series aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim/Toonami block. The Lupin III fandom itself was relatively small, until Part IV (colloquially known as Blue Jacket, or the Italian series) was released in 2014. It gained a resurgence in popularity throughout the screening of Part IV, and into Part V, with the peak of it's numbers found presently - likely due to the production of the mainstream, family-friendly, CGI film 'Lupin the Third: The First'.


Shipping is common for fanworks. Because only five characters appear in every adaptation, they are shipped the most with each other as opposed to one-off characters featured in only a single film or a TV episode. Boys' Love is commonplace, NL is uncommon, and Girls' Love is very rare because Fujiko is the lone main character eligible for Yuri. Multi/Polyshipping is also common.

Common ships are:

  • Lupin x Jigen -- Friends to Lovers. This is the most common fan-pairing. Its portmanteau is LupJig in English-speaking Lupin III fandom.
  • Lupin x Zenigata -- Enemyslash. Its portmanteaus in English-speaking Lupin III fandom is LuZeni and LoopZoop.
  • Fujiko x Lupin -- Canon compliant one-sided relationship. A series-wide gag is that Fujiko will steal what Lupin stole from under his nose by seducing him.
  • Goemon x Jigen -- Pairing the loners with each other. The portmanteau in English-speaking Lupin III fandom is Jigoe.
  • Goemon x Jigen x Lupin x Fujiko -- Pairing the gang together. Some see it as implied in canon or that the series makes more sense when viewed from this lens. Called Polygang by the fandom for convenience.
  • Yatagarasu Gorou & Zenigata Koichi -- "Yata" breaks the mold established by past canons to be one of the few characters seen occasionally in fanworks that is not a part of the main five. Like canon, he is often Zenigata's assistant. Seen sometimes in Lupin x Zenigata fic.


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