Seriously. Before they announced this new Lupin series, my interest in the upcoming spring season was all but dead.
Yeah, there’s that noitaminA series that Watanabe’s directing and Kanno’s scoring, but A) I’ve never had faith in noitaminA and B) watching kids form a band isn’t really a thrilling concept. It’s reminds me of when David Fincher made that Benjamin Button movie. I love Fincher’s style, but it’s wasted on some fucking reverse aging movie. The Cowboy Bebop crew are coming back together to do a coming of age story set to music? Really? I mean, I’ll give it a try to all, and I seriously doubt it’ll suck, but I’m not really excited either. And tossing it up on the noitaminA block does nothing for me, especially I consider the live action Moyashimon to be the pinnacle of the programming block. Its more serious fare has done nothing for me.
There’s that Jormungand thing about arms dealers and mercenaries, but it’s done by the same studio that did Steins;Gate and Katanagatari. Those series were of the “let’s talk about our feelings instead of doing all that cool sci-fi and fantasy shit that’s happening just offscreen” variety and bored me to death, so I’m afraid this studio has a thing for tackling these sorts of series. And I’m especially worried when the series is about arms dealers yet one of the main characters’ defining points is “I hate arms dealers.” There’s some serious Vash/Kenshin crappiness potential there. I loathe it where one of the main characters does their best to bitch and complain about the very premise of the series the way those two characters did their best to pacify samurai action and westerns. But again, I could be wrong, but that’s the vibe I got from Jormungand. It’s frustrating when that sort of “history” is getting in the way of me getting hyped over something I should be all over.
And is there anything else to get excited about? Maybe that Matsumoto series that seems to be rifting off of Star Wars and, well, everything else the guy’s done in the past. I bet that’ll be fun to some degree, but I haven’t really cared much for any of his stuff since that Harlock OVA from 2002. And there’s some vaguely interesting thing about dudes in space that only interested me because there’s a pug wearing a space suit. And… I don’t know… that thing that merges gun porn with moe porn where all the girls are anthropomorphized weaponry? I’ll watch one episode of that just because.
A whole lot of “eh.” Which is how I feel about almost every season, so it’s nothing new. That’s why I rarely bother with these season preview things. I usually end up digging one or two series, but it’s usually despite my initial misgivings. For me to be genuinely hyped about an anime before it airs is pretty damn rare.
And that’s what makes this Lupin series special, as far as my expectations go. I’m hyped. Fucking hyped. Hyper Super Fucking Hyped Turbo Edition.
From what we’ve heard about this thing, it sounds like someone read my old Lupin Conundrum post and took it to heart. It’s playing like a fresh start– the Daniel Craig Casino Royale I wanted to see from the Lupin franchise. They claim they’re getting back to the old school vibe of the early Lupin manga, and on top of that they’re making Fujiko the primary focus. These tweaks are the sort of changes the franchise needs. They aren’t “modernizing” things by having Lupin bend to current trends, but they also seem to be shedding some of the old baggage that probably makes Lupin feel stuffy and out of date to younger fans.
Or at least that’s what seems to be taking place based on the scraps of knowledge we’ve been given. Just the very idea that this series might be striving to take Lupin and evolve him into something familiar yet different is enough to get me excited. And damn, it feels good to be genuinely excited for a new anime rather than taking the usual “I hope something turns out good” approach. Wish that’d happen more often.