Posted on 28 June 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Lupin III - Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna



As the spring season approached, it seemed clear what would be the series with the most interesting staff working behind it: Sakamichi no Apollon, the director of Cowboy Bebop coming back after many years of absence to work with some of Madhouse’s top animators and the always lovely music from Yoko Kanno. And then a new Lupin series got announced.

Seriously, the people involved in this project: it’s directed by Sayo Yamamoto, who directed Michiko e Hatchin, the scriptwriting powerhouse of the recent years Mari Okada wrote the series composition, Shinichiro Watanabe (the same director of Cowboy Bebop) did the music production, Takeshi Koike is behind the character-designs, and on top of them there are some episodes written by Dai Sato (the guy who wrote Ergo Proxy and Eureka Seven) and Junji Nishimura, the director of Simoun. All of these people are responsible for masterpieces, and here they were stuffed into one single project. The result is a breath of fresh air.

Now, I do have to admit one thing:: the influence of all of them is clearly visible, but don’t expect any of them to surpass themselves here. Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna is far from as good as the series that these people became known for. When you set the standard lower and compare it to the series that have come out in the recent years though, it really stands out as something unique that anime definitely needed.

This series just oozes style from beginning to end. The character-designs are just gorgeous and every episode is just chock full of inspired images and artwork that go completely against the trend of current anime. There is a TON of nudity in this series, but the fanservice is completely different from the juvenile fanservice you see in all the other shows these days.

This series is really focused on adventures, just like the Lupin series it’s based on. This time though, the one who stands in the center is Mine Fujiko. The episodes are all varied and very different from each other, and they all are chock full of references and homages to other works of fiction that use often-used female character tropes, which it then proceeds to subvert completely. Seriously, the huge amounts of boob in this series may not make it so apparent, but Mine Fujiko is a very strong and independent character.

Beyond this, this series is also a whole lot of fun to watch: there are some episodes that have great chase scenes, others have great action scenes, yet others are much more focused on well written dialogues and yet again others thrive on using weird plot twists. It’s a really well made series.

There are a few things that do hold this series back though. First of all there are the character-designs in this series: they look gorgeous and really detailed. But they also are really hard to animate consistently, and yet, the creators definitely try to animate as much as they can. The result is unfortunately a lot of jerky movements and facial movements that just look off or strange.

The second is that this series has little character-development, but that’s just a minor issue. The creativity that went into the characters and their re-imaginations, complete with how they play off each other more than makes up for this. This is why I love remakes for anime: a lot of them are really made by fans of the franchise who don’t care about trying to recreate them as accurately as possible, but want to give their own spin to them, and Mine Fujiko to u Onna is no different. the more I write about this series, the more complete it starts to feel, and that’s a sign of a really good series.

Storytelling: 8.5/10 – Loads of variety and a bunch of great scripts that come together really well.
Characters: 8.5/10 – The characters are used really well and play off each other wonderfully. This excuses the sometimes jerky acting more than enough.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Very artistic and unique. The art is where this series set itself apart among the many shows with gorgeous graphics this season.
Setting: 8.5/10 – Where this series rocks is how there is so much to be read in between the lines. It’s a homage and a parody at the same time, and it references a wide variety of different works and uses this really well.

Suggestions:
Michiko e Hatchin
Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin
Ultraviolet: Code 044

7 Responses

  1. Kyah says:

    No mention of Sayo Yamamoto? Michiko to Hatchin was one of the best (if not the best) animes that came out in 2008. And I think Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna is one of the highlights this year.

  2. Tomtom says:

    This show had fantastic characters, music and art. I liked this series, but ultimately it is didn’t reach greatness/ it misses lasting appeal. I would love to see Fujiko and Lupin in a follow-up story someday, in a longer and more coherent adventure that ends in in a climax instead of an anti-climax.

    86/100 is a fair rating, imo.

  3. Sei says:

    Yes, it has awesome art style, awesome music. If only it has a story that left you with more…impact I guess? In the end, I feel a bit empty after the journey.

  4. Oroboros says:

    Wonderful show, wonderful production values and excellent results. Great balance between cheeky humor and soulful, gothic elements. Must admit the feminist streak runs through this show like a vein of blood, making the nudity rather sticky.

    I really don’t have any complaints all around.

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:36 AM)
    At this point they have become a caricature of their own subcultures lol
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:25 AM)
    I mean we like the edgy, dark, gory sex stuff with a grotesque twist but the J-pop inspired art with star-shaped eyeliners, Ganguro, the green hair and accessorizing with 16 belts and dog collars … probably not as much.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:23 AM)
    @K-off: yeah that and a misunderstanding of the nature of the world’s infatuation with Japanese culture.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:15 AM)
    @Bam They started falling apart when they began streamlining the game for casual players. Same story with so many good developers.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I mean I get it, SquareEnix has lost quite a lot of face. I like action RPGs tho so I think given the graphics and the gameplay framework this could’ve been something special, but it seems that bad character designs, writing, and the J-popification of the series is continuing on with this one.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Bam: Lost interest in the FF franchise arounf FF10, had a love/hate relationship with 11.
  • k-off
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:04 AM)
    @Bam Eh, I’m already going to blow all of my money on Civilization BNW, Witcher, and Alien, so that’s the last thing on my list. I really refuse to buy into the hype for the FF franchise anymore.
  • WyattX
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:01 AM)
    @Bam Time to replay FF4 and reminisce about the old times!-Is what I think.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 06:00 AM)
    Nope! I’m too Tsundere for that. Come see me halfway through the 2nd season after you’ve gotten thru my hard exterior.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 19. 2014 05:58 AM)
    While we almost have everyone here, what do you FF fans (yeah fans of the old ones … clearly!) Think of this TGS demo of Final Fantasy XV? (Aside from the bad hairs and the bromance of course)
    http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=COZ4VDy5D0A

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