Foreign III is a long-running Japanese media franchise whose humble beginnings as a surprise hit manga series for adults soon bloomed into a national phenomenon while slowly building an international audience it's gained most of its current recognition for its various anime series and movies with the most recent shows.
Especially finding a larger Global presence thanks to streaming services but what exactly is loop on the third and how did it come to be to answer that second question we need to examine the life and career of kazuhiko Kato a manga artist born in 1937 in hamanaka a small town in Hokkaido Japan the son of a family of fisherman he took an interest.
In drawing from an early age beginning his manga career in junior high school where he would draw manga for children's magazines and his school newspaper Cato began reading manga during World War II and was witness to the creative boom that Japan experienced following the war which undoubtedly influenced him to pick up the pen himself during his youth he.
Worked as an x-ray assistant at the Kushi zero Red Cross Hospital working under the hospital's director shunichi michihita while working at the hospital Cato continued his drawing entertaining patients with his cartoons and got his start publishing them in a local newspaper Michi shida noted his talent and encouraged him to keep up with his.
Art which certainly planted the seeds for his eventual manga career as he came of age Cato left Hokkaido to escape the family fishing business and moved to Tokyo to pursue other interests in 1959 at the age of 22 he began writing for a rental book company while also carrying on with his Comics now getting published occasionally in magazines around this.
Time he was also studying Electronics hoping to work at a TV station while also maintaining his drawing creating a number of dojinchi or self-published fan magazines with other manga artists sometimes seeking publishing in exchange for cash prizes or merchandise many of his creative Enterprises and employers went out of business but the Japanese.
Publisher fudabasha noticed Cato's work and hired him on as a staff artist where he began drawing simple four-panel gang Comics known as joncoma story wise Cato Drew from many different sources including classic literature like Treasure Island The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo Mysteries like the works of Agatha Christie Mission.
Impossible and Columbo the humor of man magazine and especially the slapstick of Tom and Jerry he even met Tom and Jerry creators William Hannah and Joseph Barbera at some point in his life and was even gifted with an illustration of loop on the third drawn by Hannah Barbera Stafford Davis doy himself apparently a big lupon fan anyway for.
His artwork Cato took influence from both the legendary manga Creator Osamu tezuka to more Global artists working at the time he has cited Popeye Creator EC Seeger pinup girl painter Alberto Vargas Blondie Creator chick young and especially Mad Magazine artist Mort Drucker and Sergio aragones as influences on his work a very Western.
Catalog of people to draw from indeed he often Drew caricatures of famous people and fictional characters in particular James Bond whose film series was gaining popularity at the time after making his debut in 1965 with Playboy School Cato was approached by futabasha to create a second limited series for their upcoming Weekly Magazine manga action founded in.
1967 this magazine was geared towards young adult male audiences and is still ongoing today and is responsible for several noteworthy series including 0091 crayon Shin-chan and old boy at this time Cato was also working on a series called pinky Punky about a rebellious female Outlaw and furobasha evidently trusted Cato enough to give him a new.
Series but for this new series Cato would take Chief inspiration from One Source in particular Arsen lupon created in 1905 by French author Maurice Leblanc arson lupon is a gentleman Thief known for his brilliant mind frequent use of disguises and Suave adorned outfit one of his most notable characteristics was his Robin Hood escatitude towards crime.
He certainly operated on the wrong side of the law but he often stole from Criminal elements that were even more Despicable than him the character's Adventures were serialized in novels and short stories and became a Mainstay in both French literature and pop culture as a whole you'll still find plenty of references to our sen lupon today.
Including the Arsen Persona in Persona 5 and the 2021 Netflix show loop on but for Cato the influence of Arsen lupon on his new work extended Far Beyond Simple references and Illusions as he would directly connect his story to the popular Thief he designed his main character as the grandson of Arsen lupon appropriately naming him Arsen lupon III.
Or lupon III for short it's set Kato's story apart from other manga of the era even if the series wasn't meant to be a direct sequel apparently Cato wanted to keep the family tied to Maurice leblanc's character a secret but he was convinced otherwise which led to many legal headaches Down the Road Cato and fudabasha never asked for permission to.
Use the lupon name and while the estate of Maurice Leblanc wasn't thrilled they couldn't really do anything about it as Arsen lupon had fallen into the public domain in Japan by that time letting the manga continue as planned this would later become a problem when lupon III began to make its debut overseas but we'll talk about that later this issue.
Over copyright is in some ways ironic as Maurice Leblanc once did the exact same thing inserting the famous detective Sherlock Holmes into an arsene lupon story when Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle requested he changed the name LeBlanc complied changing the character's name to the incredibly clever Hurlock shomes yes I'm not.
Kidding and if you're wondering that is indeed the reason why the great Ace Attorney Chronicles changed Holmes's name as well and since lupon part 6 features Sherlock Holmes as a main character I guess you could say this whole thing is come full circle speaking of name changes kazuhiko Kato used a pen name for loop on the third writing under.
The odd name of Monkey Punch Cato is actually given this name by his Editor to make his name matches more for an inspired art and while he didn't like it himself he figured that since the manga was only supposed to run for three months he could ditch it then and start a new but of course that plan never came to be for a long time it was believed.
That monkey punch actually referred to both kazuhiko Kato and his brother teruhikokito and that they both created lupon III but this isn't actually true while teruhiko did help his brother out with the manga it was strictly as an assistant and he had no creative input on the project this misconception apparently stems from the fact that.
Kazuhiko and terohiko both wrote Under the pseudonym aegi muta although they didn't collaborate on other works Beyond layout and assembly assistance lupon III debuted on August 10th 1967 and quickly became a surprise hit leading to futabasha Commission additional chapters from Cato far surpassing the initial plan of three months the manga was.
Published weekly for nearly three years ending its run in May of 1969. additional chapters were published as Shin lupon III also known as loop on the third new adventures and released in English as loop on the third World's Most Wanted from 1977 through 1981. the manga delighted audiences in Japan and soon became a highly popular series.
Beginning the franchise we know and love today I plan to talk more in depth about the manga series at some point I've already got a big task ahead of me remastering these videos but I do want to give the manga its full do for now let's stick with a brief overview of the characters in particular how they appeared in the original series where.
They came from and how the original manga set up the franchise we all know and love the titular protagonist Arsen lupon III is a master Thief whose life goal is to steal all the world's Treasures Cato also took a lot of inspiration from James Bond when designing lupon bringing in his Suave charms and womanizing personality while.
Making him significantly more Carefree always armed with his trusted Walther P-38 pistol lupon is a man of many faces figuratively as he's alternatively silly cocky mysterious laid-back and intelligent and literally as one of his most famous tricks is being able to disguise himself as anyone he's a cunning Sly and daring individual who's.
Not just in this business for the material reward and to live up to his family name he loves the thrill that comes with stealing and does what he does to have a good time by his side is jegan Daisuke Sharpshooter extraordinaire and all-around cool dude inspired by American Western Heroes and tough guy actors like James Coburn.
Particularly in The Magnificent Seven his name is inspired by Cato's love of the word Dimension which translates in Japanese to jigan in fact his full name more or less translates to the phrase I love dimensions which doesn't really factor into his character but is fun nevertheless jigan is an expert at just about anything that fires a projectile.
But favors his Smith and Wesson model 19 which he handles with unparalleled speed and precision he's usually a voice of reason compared to lupon's more zany personality often preferring to hang back if he believes that a plan isn't worth the risk while his willingness to participate in loop on schemes fluctuates depending on the circumstance.
He remains loyal to loop on and can always be counted on in the end then there's Fujiko mine another thief willing to do whatever it takes to get her hands on a treasure no matter how many backs she needs to stab originally Cato introduced a new female lead each week that was always named Fujiko mine but this would later be retcon to make.
Them all the same person a smart move in my opinion she's named after Mount Fuji with mine being a Japanese word for Summit which also has a double meaning when you equate mountains to breasts and I'm not just pointing that out for the hell of it sexuality is a major opponent of fujiko's personality and one that she owns wholeheartedly monkey punches even.
Cited pinup girls as an inspiration for Fujiko so clearly the sensuality was there from the beginning she's often the object of lupon's affections but the two share a complex relationship with Fujiko sometimes working with him and often working against him but never doing anything unless it benefits her in some way and yet no matter how many times.
Fujiko betrays him lupon always seems to find room in his heart for her introduced later in the series is goemon Ishikawa the 13th a samurai whose zentetskin blade can slice through anything and I literally mean anything he was introduced to bring an Eastern perspective to a manga that was very Western influence with Cato making him a.
Descendant of the legendary Samurai goimani shikawa this guy isn't seen as often as the others and really only shows up when the plot needs him to cut something for whatever reason but it makes every one of his appearances memorable he conducts himself with the traditional samurai code of honor and like jegan is another more conscionable.
Mind within the group contrasting well with the others who are far greedier and more violent finally there's koichi zenegada a Police Inspector working for Interpol whose sole mission is to capture lupon and bring him to Justice he's named after the mythical Japanese policeman hey jizinigata and originally he was in fact the descendant of that.
Character just like lupon and goemon that would be semi retconned later but modern sources do sometimes play with the idea of the zennigana lineage and how he lives up to his family name zenigatta is essentially lupon's polar opposite fighting on the side of the law but being just as dedicated towards his goals while lupon isn't Bound by the.
Conventions and regulations of the law zenigatta is forced to follow them to a t but over the course of chasing lupon he has learned how to bend those rules just a bit to catch lupon off guard Cato envisioned zenigata as the Tom to lupon's Jerry as he's absolutely relentless in his Pursuit gets closer than anybody else can to catching lupon.
And yet lupon will always remain one step ahead of him these first two manga series establish a lot of the details that would become Staples of a loop on adventure there's always some sort of treasure either in the form of actual riches or some object worth a ton of money lupon wants to steal it via a wacky scheme jigan and goemon help him.
Out whenever he needs it there's a lady involved that lupon attempts to have sex with and sometimes succeeds to a villain who's either incredibly inept or an evil scumbag Whose actions are even worse than the lupon gangs and Zenni got a hot on lupont trail who gets close to capturing lupon but never close enough to get him for good it's a formulaic.
Manga for sure with no real overarching plot threads only a few common plot strings if you will that can permeate multiple issues but never become a major driving force behind the manga's narrative you can jump into most chapters without any knowledge of what came before them and get the general idea as well there are some.
Multi-parters here and there the majority of chapters stand on their own there is a heightened sense of individuality here where the characters aren't forced to appear in every single chapter which contrasts with TV episodes where different standards and expectations meant that the full cast had to appear regularly stylistically.
The manga is kinda hard to pin down as it evolves over the course of its run and it feels like Cato is trying a lot of different things at once to see what would stick often the art is very comedic with characters drawn out of proportion or with exaggerated facial expressions but sometimes it's very serious and down to earth with some.
Panels featuring striking atmospheric visuals same with the writing which can occasionally get deep or emotional but on nearly every other page is filled to the brim with immature raunchy humor wordplay or fourth wall breaks including a lot of jokes at Cato's expense it all has a very underground feel to it and that it never feels the need to stick to.
Conventions and often dares to reach beyond what is expected of itself the manga is certainly the darkest and most adult loop on to date both in terms of the content and the characterizations lupon has always had a simultaneous maturity and immaturity to it but these first two manga series take it to the extreme on both fronts this is by far.
The most twisted and evil loop on ever depicted laser focusing on the criminal aspects of his personality lupon has various degrees of depravity throughout the years usually sticking to some form of Honor despite his thievery and debauchery but this lupon is straight up a psychopath this leads into the most infamous part of the loop on manga that.
Absolutely needs to be addressed before we move on throwing up a trigger warning right now as we're discussing sexual assault and rape in this next segment so if you want to avoid that skip to this point in the video it is essential that we talk about this as it is an unfortunate part of this manga's Legacy and I will treat it with respect but it.
Is certainly a heavy and problematic subject matter lupon's early manga is incredibly sexually charged and as I mentioned very rapey present in both the actions and personalities of its male characters especially lupon and the dialogue with men often forcing themselves on women and demeaning them to the status of objects there are a.
Number of chapters that feature depictions of sexual assault that are downright uncomfortable to read and jarring if you're used to the anime adaptations of lupon like myself the second manga is way more explicit displaying full frontal male nudity albeit through an abstract lens and no I'm not showing you any of it if you.
Really want to see how Cato Drew lupon's penis then do your own research lupon's horniness has always been an essential part of his character but after the manga it was heavily toned down usually with a target of lupon's advances striking him down and gaining the upper hand here it's front and center often being the main driving force of a.
Storyline as he either the object of a character's motivations or a cheap way to segue from one plot point to another even if it wasn't disgusting which it is it often makes lupon's personality one note future installments incorporate lupon's lost as one part of his character balancing it alongside his cool ruthless and playful traits but in.
The manga it sometimes feels like his sole reason to exist which apart from just being not acceptable is also unentertaining it's obviously difficult to address this part of the manga now and if you're not familiar with the rest of lupon rest assured that this is the worst event and it will be significantly toned down later on but even if you push.
Past that I still don't think the manga holds up anymore because of its weird grasp of structure and tonal issues as well as parts that aren't really explained well characterizations and plots are often inconsistent and you're not really sure what kind of story you're going to get until you start reading the chat there and I don't mean.
That in a good way there's occasional references to the loop on Empire Loosely defined as his criminal ring beyond the main quartet including henchmen and subordinates under his thumb this is an early idea that slowly loses importance as the manga goes on and by the time the first anime rolled around it would be dropped completely in favor of focusing.
On the main cast and sometimes it isn't even clear what lupon's scheme is occasionally depicting him doing menial tasks seemingly for the hell of it leading to some odd payoffs when his reasons for doing so don't make any sense many later issues also feature long stretches of dialogueless antics and violence like a classic Warner.
Brothers cartoon but because the action isn't paced very well it loses a lot of impact it makes sense in context considering Cato's love for Tom and Jerry yet it's not fully realized this fast-paced slapstick isn't always present in the loop on anime projects yet Cato's original manga series ramps up that carefree and violent action keep.
In mind that a lot of my thoughts on the manga are carried over from a year half ago and I haven't read the Manga since then I do want to reread the manga at some point and make a better analysis as I redo this series of videos there are plenty of areas where I want to go deeper on aspects of the franchise and the manga really does deserve a better.
Look regardless of how the manga holds up today though it was a Smash Hit when I debuted in 1967. something about the series really connected with its audience perhaps the Western influence the unique sense of progression and tone or while I hope it's not the case the darker elements Cato is attributed the free spirit of the manga as creating a.
Universal appeal as in some way we respect the loop on crew for living by nobody's rules but their own even if their goals and actions are diabolical whatever the reason the manga success guaranteed that an anime adaptation would soon follow afterward a pilot film was created in 1969 that eventually led to the creation of an animated TV series.
In 1971. it only lasted for one season but its popularity in Arena runs led to the production of even more animated series movies tv specials and even a few live action adaptations throughout its history many famous directors and writers would be involved with the series including space Cobra director osamundezaki Studio Ghibli co-founders.
Hayo Miyazaki and Esau Takahashi Excel Saga director shinichi Watanabe branded to kill in Tokyo Drifter director sajin Suzuki Yu-gi-oh character designer shingo araki TMS series animator kazuhide tomonaga and Yuri on Ice director Sayo Yamamoto among many many others these anime adaptations would take the franchise in different.
Directions over the years based on the staff involved but they're undoubtedly responsible for continuing and preserving lupon's Legacy throughout the years it's in these shows and movies where the series really found its voice and it's the loop on anime that more than anything defined how the series would be perceived in pop culture for.
Years to come Cato would generally be he hands off with these anime merely requesting that those involved in the projects do the property Justice and letting the directors writers and animators breathe their own life into the series sometimes acting as a consultant and only rarely being directly involved while these projects.
Led to a huge explosion in popularity for the master thief the success would be mostly contained to Japan for a while due to copyright issues regarding lupon's name the number of territories lupon could be distributed to intact was slim limiting the ability for the series to take a foothold in other regions for decades English releases were sparse and.
Would often change lupon's name to either rupon or Wolf Among other names and it wasn't until part 2's English dub where lupon would be called by his real name in France lupon was known as Edgar detective cambriolur or Edgar detective burglar and in Germany for some strange reason lupon's name was changed to hearty man on the other hand the series.
Didn't require any name changes in Italy making it easy to bring the series into that region and as any Italian lupon fan knows its success in that country is nothing short of astonishing to the point where it influences Italian pop culture at large throughout the decade loop on the third has survived through not just these anime but through.
Continued manga merchandising and special events but what about kazuhikoketo well he would continue to ride and draw a loop on manga over the years as well as several other manga series and occasional anime work but loop on the third would always be his most well-known project outside of the series though Cato made major strides to.
Advance animation and Artistry in Japan and improve his own artwork in 1996 he moved to Sakura City where he'd live the rest of his days and was responsible for drawing artwork for the city's PR calendar in 2003 he enlisted in the Masters program at Tokyo University of Technology to hone his artwork even further he also co-founded the digital.
Manga Association in 2003 with several other contemporary manga artists including Devilman and cutie honey Creator go nagai prolific manga artist machiko satanaka and Galaxy Express 999 Creator leiji Matsumoto this group collaborates on digital manga and helps Advance the field and Cato was its first chairman from its Inception until he.
Stepped down from the role in 2012. this position makes sense as Cato had been in early adopter and proponent of digital art and animation using Innovative technology in his work as early as the 1980s in particular Apple's line of Home computers in his later years he became an advisor for the Sapporo manga anime Academy and taught as a professor at.
Various universities instructing courses on manga production and art he wanted to help train the next generation of artists and by the 2000s he felt that his legacy was already well established enough and that it was time to move on Cato passed away on April 11 2019 at the age of 81 from pneumonia leaving behind an impressive resume of works and of.
Course one of Japan's most well-known and beloved anti-heroes he had evidently been sick for a few years but still maintained his love for the character he created even attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the manga in 2017 albeit in a wheelchair while his death was tragic the legacy of his manga and characters has already been firmly.
Established without loop on the third you don't have series like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo and other series like fully cat's eye and uruseiatsura have made several references to lupon over the years as one of the forerunners of adult manga and animation kazuhiko Kato helped Pioneer a new wave of Japanese.
Entertainment and as we'll see by examining the anime there were plenty of avenues the series had left to explore so that's the brief history of lupon III I apologize for not being able to go into the manga more deeply but as I said it is something I plan to do later down the line even with my additions to the script this is far from a comprehensive.
Breakdown of the series and its history I wanted to provide an overview of the series The Original manga and the series Creator but we've got plenty of anime series and movies to visit and revisit so it's time to dive back into the Wacky World of lupon III thank you.