A Thief’s Starting | Lupin III Share 1 Retrospective

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Foreign part one simply known as loop on the third in Japan is the first loop on anime TV series consisting of 23 episodes airing from October 1971 to March 1972. considered by many to be the first anime created strictly for an adult audience part 1 Stars the lupon.

Gang in a number of Adventures sometimes adapted from the manga and sometimes based on Original Stories despite only lasting for one season and suffering from generally poor ratings throughout the show eventually became popular enough to kick-start lupon's long-running anime career it successfully translated the manga into.

Animated form while establishing a lot of characteristics that would define the lupon formula this show is often given the reputation of being one of the darker and more serious lupon anime to date and while that is true to an extent I don't think that's the best way to describe part one instead it's more of an experimental series that was forced.

To change direction because of these circumstances surrounding its production after the first cut of the a loop on pilot film failed to attract a buyer for a film Project the team switched gears to try and get a television anime made instead yomiri television was interested and green led a 26 episode series to be broadcast starting in 1971. originally.

Sutomo shibayama was considered for the director's position but he was busy with other projects at the time Tokyo movie instead put masaki osumi in a director's chair and he was one of the few staff members still on board following the pilot film with a changing rotation of writers and key animators for each episode Tokyo movie president yutaku.

Fujioko was impressed with osumi's work on obake no cutaro and thought he would be a great fit for handling the loop on show Yasuo otsuka was also brought in from the pilot film staff to handle character designs with his Fascination for mechanical objects guns and vehicles also serving a huge role in the series at this time otsuka was working as an.

Animator at toei animation but after his work on the television cut of the pilot film Tokyo movie brought him on board full time osumi adapted the manga style as closely as possible carrying over the edgy yet still humorous tone and including as much adult content as he could though it couldn't be as profane due to obscenity standards for TV Monkey.

Punch himself wasn't sure about whether or not lupon would translate into anime especially because the medium was still assumed to be for Children and Families but after seeing the pilot film and especially seeing osumi's work he gave the project his Blessing part 1 officially debuted on October 24th 1971 and right out of the gate the show did.

Very poorly with very low ratings for its first few episodes as a comparison star of the Giants another contemporary Tokyo movie production would often get an audience share of 20 meaning 20 percent of Japanese TV viewers tuned into the program loop on the third by contrast only received a maximum of six percent audience share and at times it.

Could be as low as three percent I don't have a definitive source to prove of this but I have heard that to this day this is still a record low audience share for yumiori television in its entire history it was clear to Tokyo movie that this series wasn't going to find an audience with its initial Direction and the network was not happy.

About the results when they asked the crew what could be done about it osumi was apparently Resolute that he had done what was asked of him create an anime for adults fujioka on the other hand had the difficult task of trying to appease the network while keeping the show afloat after the second episode aired he requested that osumi make changes to the.

Show to make it more appealing osumi refused to comply resulting in the producers firing him from the project it's an interesting parallel to osumi's work on the 1969 Moomin series which he also directed he was thus responsible for introducing adult elements and themes to that series which angered the original author Tov Jansen and led to.

Tokyo movie Losing the license however osumi was a major creative force behind the Loop on anime and with him out of the picture someone else needed to step up now that his spot was emptied the studio brought in a relatively unknown pair of animators to take his place Hayao Miyazaki and Esau takahata these two are famous now for being two of the.

Co-founders of the legendary Studio Ghibli but at the time the two were animators at toei working under Yasuo otsuka and the two were known for the film The Great Adventure of Horus Prince of the Sun the two were working on an adaptation of Pippy Longstocking but that project was shelved and they decided to take on lupon mostly because.

Of otsuka's request for them to join him they accepted under the terms that they operate anonymously so they worked under the pseudonym of a production also coincidentally the original name of Shinee animation a division of toei Animation who would occasionally collaborate with Tokyo movie these two lessened the harsher elements and.

Focused more on making the stories and characters charismatic and appealing it came more from their disinterest in highlighting lupon's criminal behavior and focusing on action and adventure and to their credit the men excelled in those fields however since they came in during the middle of production with several osumi-led episodes left behind.

In various completion States many episodes especially towards the middle of the series feel like a mishmash of the two directorial Styles it's not until about the 14th episode when a production's directorial Bend really takes over and by that point the series had already undergone quite an identity crisis while ratings did slightly.

Improve after a production took over reaching around nine percent audience share it wasn't enough to convince yomiori TV and Tokyo movie to keep the show running for more than one season the series ended after only 23 episodes leaving three unplanned ones to bite the dust probably because it left the airwaves relatively quickly part one was.

A pretty cheap show to run an empty time slots just a few years later particularly at night it's in these reruns that the show finally gained its popularity reaching very high ratings for a series that was already a few years old many at the time had attributed the popularity to Miyazaki and takahata's course Corrections in the.

Series later half and that is likely what cemented the direction the rest of the series would take because of its popularity in reruns Tokyo movie would continue to pursue loop on anime projects but those are subjects for another time for now let's analyze part one it's largely because of the shift in directors that part 1 style is kinda.

Difficult to nail down many call this incarnation of loop on the most immoral depicted in an anime as the early episodes echoed the tone and maturity of the manga but that doesn't tell the full story even before Miyazaki and takahata took over there's still elements of the playful and mischievous side of lupon who doesn't take everything super.

Seriously all the time the osumi episodes weren't shy about portraying lupon as a criminal who is willing and able to commit violent hateful acts on a whim up to and including straight up murder though thankfully much less sexual assault than the manga due to the restrictions of television we see the events from lupon's perspective most of.

The time so we still ultimately root for him since the people he targets often deserve it but his sense of morality is certainly more Twisted here osumi era episodes also favor atmosphere and suspense over mindless action as these Adventures are never afraid to slow things down a bit to draw out the tension the show has more of an edge.

With these stories with this version of lupon dialing up the misanthropy but also showing him more as a cool guy who's out seeking Thrills and will stop at nothing to get them and honestly lupon being a thief doesn't play into the story all the time yes he steals things but most of the time during the osumi era the thievery is born out of a.

Major plot point and not the reason why an episode storyline Begins by contrast the a production episodes are sillier and more comedic placing an emphasis on high Jinx and Antics over slow brooding atmosphere lupon's violence and sexual desires are heavily toned down in favor of portraying him as a goofy and carefree yet still in intelligent and.

Determined Thief who's always looking for something to steal the pacing is more frenetic in these episodes with the animation showing quicker speed and wackier faces matching the lighter personalities lubon and the Gang definitely ramp up in frivolousness with these episodes relishing more and having fun and the joy of stealing things.

Rather than the more unsavory Pleasures that they would seek previously a production stories revolve more explicitly around theft and crimes than the osumi episodes with the thievery plot often being the Genesis behind an episode's storyline and it's only once the heist plot is either underway or finished that the non-thievery plot if.

There is one kicks in despite the criminal elements lupon is also more heroic if he's not rescuing someone then he's being positioned against a much greater evil so you root for him regardless a force of Retribution rather than a force of good if you will if you want a more direct comparison between these two directorial Styles then.

There's no better place to look than at lupon's car of choice during the osumi era lupon favors the the Mercedes-Benz ssk a car that the pilot film attributes to being a favorite car of Adolf Hitler although this technically isn't correct while Hitler did own several Mercedes-Benz vehicles and was a fan of the brand the ssk itself apparently.

Wasn't one of them however the idea of evoking Hitler as a comparison to lupon even if thankfully not in thought or deed was meant to show the characters killer Edge and darker mindset giving the ssk's larger longer frame it takes up a lot of space and looks more cold and mechanical even with its bright yellow paint job and considering its.

Open-air design it makes lupon seem more intimidating as he isn't shielding himself behind anything and he has so much more room to move around him for the a production episodes however the loop on game will more often than not be driving a Fiat not necessarily the famous yellow Fiat 500 that later installments show him in but a close.

Approximation the Fiat itself is a legendary vehicle in the lupon series and its association with lupon can be attributed to Miyazaki and osuka both of them loved European vehicles and Miyazaki himself owned a Fiat as he worked on part one the castle of cagliostra would be the vehicle that cemented the Fiat as lupon's vehicle of.

Choice but its appearance in part 1 is certainly noteworthy this car is more Compact and Road tons squeezing its occupants into a tiny space and confining its characters more or less into one comfortable shape it better matches his Carefree personality and makes him seem much more like an ordinary guy rather than some daring.

Criminal on the subject of characterizations let's look at how this first loop on animated series adapted The manga's Eccentric cast of Misfits lupon is portrayed by Yasuo Yamada a voice actor who was the official Japanese dubbing actor for Clint Eastwood and Kermit the Frog and who also had dubbing roles for several.

Classic Disney animated characters he isn't as notable as far as anime roles go but it did have voices in big ax and kamui the ninja Yamada was evidently already a fan of lupon having been given the manga by the director on a previous acting job to shape his performance it's because of this that when osumi asked him to voice lupon he accepted.

Immediately he would go on to voice the character in every loop on anime except fuma conspiracy until his passing in 1995. later Yamada obviously had his work cut out for him contrasting the many different faces of lupon's personality but it does it all with a surprisingly gentle sense.

Of Grace lupon is often an over-the-top character but Yamada sounds like he's intentionally restraining from bursting out too much letting his voice meld with the animation to combine into something that works wonders there's a reason why Yamada played him for so long his voice is a major factor in making lupon's intelligent yet jillville demeanor works.

So well as I mentioned last time jegan is played by kiyoshi Kobayashi who at least in the initial episodes balances a cooler laid-back personality with a more Goofy and bubbly side of jegan especially in the a production episodes jigan often acts more lackadaisical and spirited in part one in a sharp contrast.

To his grittier and weirier personality later on he still does his job as a foil for lupon by prompting him to explain the situation but it's done in a way that makes him seem more clueless it's kind of a weird point but I definitely picked up on a lot more silliness in this version of jegan that feels out of place apparently AKO masayama wasn't.

Brought on from the pilot film to voice Fujiko because she couldn't tackle fujiko's sultrier scenes in detail instead she's portrayed by Yukiko nikayo who doesn't appear to have a lot of other acting credits and would only be involved in the lupon series for this show does a serviceable job here portraying a.

Softer and more doting Fujiko their horror performance does feel all the more noticeably off because she only got one chance to play the character a production purposefully de-emphasized fujiko's sexiness and cold-heartedness in favor of a character who yes is sometimes manipulative and often acts independently but can also be a major.

Supporter and voice of reason within the group later shows dialed up her sex appeal quite a bit and make her a more active participant in the series but in part one she never gets the chance to take center stage and grow her character barring a few moments here and there even in the episode where she has the most development she's out of commission.

For most of it leading to an odd situation where she hovers in the background for a lot of the show last time I mentioned how goemon's voice actor in part one chicao otsuka actually voiced anygada in the TV cut of the pilot film and he was brought on to voice our favorite Samurai instead his work on the loop on franchise didn't.

Extend beyond this show and if I'm being honest I'm sort of glad for that not to demino tsuka's talent because he is an absolutely fantastic actor but his performance is going on never really resonated with me it's a little bit too nasally too unrefined not really capturing the calm unwavering Swordsmen we've come to know him as I understand.

They're capturing a younger goemon here one who doesn't have the full training of a samurai Master but I never felt like goemon ever had much of an impact Beyond his first few appearances and part one is one of the only loop on anime where I think he doesn't need to be here finally inspectors anygada who's a Tokyo metropolitan police officer in.

This show is voiced by Goro Naya who played goemon in the cinemascope pilot film and would continue to voice zenigatta in every loop on media except fuma conspiracy until he officially retired from the role in 2012. evolution in the world throughout the years is something that's immediately.

Noticeable if you compare the eras and when you consider zenigan as character it's not hard to see why zanigata spends a lot of screen time screaming his lungs out and it could not have been easy for Naya to maintain in over the decades but that's also why zenigata is my favorite character in this series because he's so intentionally dedicated to his job and.

To catching lupon and Naya nails that right out of the gate also I would like to mention since we're talking about voices that part 1 has recently received an English dub with the current standard crew released on high dive and on discotheque's part 1 Blu-ray set unfortunately due to time constraints I'm not able to cover this dub in depth.

In fact as of writing this video I haven't even seen it in full yet from what I have seen however it's a very solid dub faithful to the script while adapting it well for an English audience and of course the voice actors all do a great job we'll talk more about this dub crew once part 2 rolls around since I think it's more appropriate to talk.

About it then but I did want to bring it up now what's cool about part 1 is that it doesn't feel the need to shoehorn in each of the five main characters in every single episode of course lupon always appears and G can only rarely misses out but Fujiko is inigata and goemon don't show up just for the hell of it they're only used when it's deemed.

Necessary for the story that makes part 1 story lines a little tighter overall especially in the osumi era which is especially impressive seeing as how each episode has less than half an hour to tell its narrative part 1 is also unique in its aesthetic elements but this is mostly because the series hadn't found its full identity yet and the creators.

Were experimenting with how lupon should look and sound that includes the music composed by Charlie cosei and takayo Yamashita this soundtrack was following up the pilot film score by norio maida whose Jazzy funky tunes for that project would ultimately establish the tone of lupon's music going forward part 1 however goes in a different direction.

That stands out as it was created before lupon composer Yuji Ono started working on the series this soundtrack takes on a smooth Rock Style with a number of influences from folk Western Funk and jazz music also featuring more vocals that mostly boil down to a guy singing loop on the third over and over again as if it needed to remind audiences what.

Show they're watching unlike Ono's songs for this series which have this sort of Timeless jazz band kosei and yamashita's music is very 70s almost acting as the sort of Time Capsule for the era it's a good soundtrack overall though not my favorite in the series it does fit part 1 very well and the show is more minimalist use of its soundtrack helps.

Mitigate the repetitive use of some of these songs unfortunately the original tapes for this soundtrack have gone missing meaning it's impossible to transfer over high quality versions of the original music without re-recording it which is a shame as it's definitely worth a listen you can find some transfers from the Show's music and.

Effect track online but this isn't a perfect solution as these renders contain sound effects that often get in the way of the instrumentation there are official soundtrack releases of course but these are remixed versions made specifically for home media as far as the original tracks those aren't available anywhere as far as I'm aware.

Since this is a show from 1971 it's somewhat dated in the animation Department it was incredible for its time and you have to remember that these animators were doing something unprecedented so all things considered this is objectively pretty good especially when the action gets going but you can definitely see the seams.

Coming apart and spot all the little mistakes and errors in particular the lip movements there's a number of instances where there are absolutely no mouth movements despite the characters talking this is nitpicky but the fact is a lot of viewers aren't able to watch older shows like this because they get distracted by the older production.

Values and I think it's fair to warn people who are interested in watching part 1 of that ahead of time it should also be noted that lupon wears a green jacket in this series as opposed to Monkey Punch's preferred Red Jacket which was also used in the pilot film because of that it's often associated with more mature loop on stories but the.

Reasoning behind it is much simpler apparently this color was chosen because televisions at the time had difficulties processing red and green was a safer option for the main character's outfit let's briefly talk about some of the episodes from the show before we wrap up there's a lot of Classics like lupon going up against the magician pie Cal.

Zenigata watching over lupon in prison for a year kyosuke Mamo and his time machine lupon and jegan forced to perform a heist for a villainous nightclub owner and Police Inspector ganimar III teaming up with zedigata to take lupon's gang down many of these episodes end with a climactic and often explosive finale with lupon usually.

Ending up either in a worse spot than he was before or getting the last laugh over his opponent but usually without a treasure to show for it part 2 would really play off that last part but the best episodes of part 1 not only build on suspense but also released the built up tension at just the right moment and that doesn't mean part one is always a.

Winner as some of its episodes definitely strike out most of them result from just not having enough good tension or not giving us enough reason to care about the conflict I couldn't tell you anything really about the episode with the flower girl or fujiko's attempts to revive a mob boss or lupon and jigan fighting Fujiko over stolen.

Diamonds for instance these episodes Don't invest the viewer as much and leave them little to remember compared to the better ones at some point I would love to talk about all of these episodes in detail but for now I will say that part 1 does have more hits than misses on the whole what's interesting is that the best episodes at least for me are.

Split between the osumi and a production eras and while I do slightly prefer the tone of the later episodes there's still lots to enjoy in the Early Adventures I have come to seriously appreciate this series since it balances a mature tone and elements from the manga while upping the action and adventure to create something truly special I don't think.

We've really ever gotten anything like this show in the series since because it feels both incredibly of its era and very Timeless as well the show can get pretty crazy sometimes but this iteration has so many subtle elements that it all comes together in an excellent package and as its success in reruns would prove it was able to find.

Its audience in the end even if it took a little time foreign

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