As we reach the head-twisted core of Mine Fujiko's story, that can mean only one thing for this week's episode of Lupin III - owls aplenty!
With the "head owl", Luis Yu Almeida, attempting to coax Lupin into making good on his promise to "steal" Fujiko, and despite Lupin's disinterest in following through on this promise (at the behest of a third party, at least), we end up essentially right back where we started at the beginning of this series, with the strange cult and the narcotic power used to subjugate its followers coming to the fore as it ties in to the all-powerful organisation which is inextricably linked to the past of Fujiko herself.
The trouble is, our entry into this world is a surreal, drug-induced one, leaving us stumbling through a topsy-turvy story where reality and fiction are frequently indistinguishable - what does seem certain however is that Fujiko was part of the experiments used to try and find fear inducing drugs, seemingly experimented on by her own father in the search for the right concoction before the laboratory and factory of which he was part was closed down after an emergency. What that means for Fujiko herself is unknown, but having dragged at least Lupin and Detective Zenigata into this mystery, there's no shortage of mysteries for the closing episodes of this series to resolve.
Although it arguably teaches us little, and what it does reveal to us could have been done so far more simply, there's no denying the style and panache exhibited by this week's Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna - I'm always a sucker for a hallucinogenic, confused block of exposition, especially one such as this which refuses to place neat boundaries between the show's own reality and drug-induced fantasy, and along those lines what was delivered here was superb in every way - visually engaging and suitably mind-bending to boot. It's the kind of thing that certainly isn't for everyone, and I'd be the first to admit that this week's instalment bordered upon either the pretentious or the overly elaborate at times, but that doesn't stop me from loving it as another marvellous addition to an almost entirely excellent series.