Apr 142012

Jigen’s always hated Fujiko. They don’t have a frenemy relationship. They aren’t playful rivals. There’s no hidden lust boiling beneath the surface. They’re two completely incompatible people forced to deal with one another because of a mutual friend. Least that’s the vibe I’ve always gotten seeing the two of them interact in the various Lupin series and whatnot.

And Jigen has plenty of reasons to feel this way. Fujiko’s essentially Lupin’s only weakness. She’s all about the double cross and the backstab, and despite all of that Lupin comes crawling back to her like the slavish puppy he is. All of that’s a game to Lupin– he’s all about the flirting with danger and dames– but to Jigen all that flirtation’s nothing but bullshit.

At the same time, I always felt that Jigen’s loathing of Fujiko was a bit petty. She doesn’t always play turncoat, but Jigen questions her regardless. He’s a bit of a dick towards her to be honest, but that’s part of the charm of their interaction. Sometimes you just plain don’t like someone. It’s irrational. You know it. You don’t care. That’s Jigen and Fujiko’s relationship.

Then this episode of the new Lupin happened.

Jigen’s loathing of Fujiko is fully warranted now. It’s explained. It has meaning that’s fully rational. You don’t easily forgive someone involved in a scheme that results in the death of the woman you love. Fujiko may have been a mere pawn in the scheme, but it was her actions that led to the end result. Without Fujiko, Jigen’s love would likely still be alive.

Jigen will no longer seem like such an asshole for instantly questioning Fujiko, at least within the context of this particular take on the Lupin mythos. And I think we’ve lost something with that.

Don’t get me wrong. This was a fucking brilliant episode within its own context. I’m absolutely loving this series. I’m loving how we’re getting a new, more nuanced take on this classic characters. It’s all within the spirit of the original shit while doing new shit. It’s awesome.

But at the same time, this one little tidbit is different in a way that’s different. The dynamics of two of the characters have been changed. Not for the better. Not for the worst. Just different. Knowing that this series was gonna explore the relationships between Fujiko and the other characters, I was hoping we’d get to see my initial take on these two characters get expanded upon. In the end I got something that goes in the opposite direction.

Yeah. It’s just different. Different enough to warrant babbling about. And different enough to make me dig the series all the more.

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