Thursday, 10 May 2012

Lupin III: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna - Episode 6

For this week's instalment of Lupin III, we find Fujiko Mine taking on the role of a teacher at an all-girls school - needless to say, her ability to seduce anybody in her presence doesn't simply extent to men...

While Fujiko's charms work their magic on her entire class to some degree or other it seems, both our own and her focus seems to be on one particular pupil - quiet, bookish transfer student Isolde.  Although we quickly come to realise what Isolde wants, it takes a little longer to reach the subject of Mine's own desires - a pendant which is part of a greater (and more valuable) equation.  The path to reaching this pendant seems easy for someone with Fujiko's talents, but all is not as it seems when it comes to the truth about Isolde...

So begins a second half to this episode full of the smart and sneaky twists and turns which have become one of the hallmarks of this series, as Lupin himself enters the fray while the tables turn this way and that between our two titular thieves and those who would look to prevent them from committing their crimes and have them locked away.  It's a battle of wits rather than strength, and somehow the outcome is all the more satisfying because of it, even though it only seems like a small battle which is likely to lead to a much bigger war between its opposing forces.  All this is without mention of another brief, confusing and surreal dive into the mind of Fujiko herself, which is surely going to be given more traction as we reach the second half of the season.

Perhaps it isn't as striking as some of its earlier episodes, but this is yet another hugely accomplished episode of Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna; one that teased a predictable male wish fulfilment "girls at single sex schools are all lesbians" before, much like Fujiko herself, turning the tables on its viewers and heading off in a rather different direction.  It isn't incredibly clever in its story telling, but it remains sufficiently so to be both great fun to watch as it makes the most of its characters throughout while still keeping you guessing as to where it might head and (more importantly) how it'll explain that progressing.  Although I keep expecting it to trip up and fall flat on its face at some point, Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna staunchly refuses to do so as it hits the heights as my favourite anime, episode for episode, of the season thus far.

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