Speak Out With Your Geek Out: Lupin III

Most of my Lupin III collection (I left out most of the toys)

It doesn't come up very often on this blog, but I'm an anime fan.  I have been since "Battle of the Planets" premiered stateside, but it wouldn't be until a couple of decades later that I would discover my all-time favorite Japanese import: Lupin the Third.

How to describe Lupin III?  James Bond meets Inspector Clouseau?  Matt Helm meets Bugs Bunny?  Sergio Aragones draws "Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD?"  Manga-ka Monkey Punch debuted the character in 1967 -- the same year that James Bond came to Japan in the film of "You Only Live Twice" and a glut of wasted talent spoofed the spy in the original cinematic "Casino Royale" -- and the British spy seems more obviously to share DNA with the Japanese character than the French burglar Lupin III claims as his ancestor.  Lupin III has cool gadgets, drives fast cars, and pursues beautiful women while fending off international assassins, but he has more fun than Bond ever did.  Lupin III, you see, is a free-spirited criminal mastermind, not a civil servant.

I first encountered Lupin III in the wake of "Princess Mononoke"'s 1999 USA release.  Everyone wanted more Miyazaki, so a dub of "Castle of Cagliostro" wound up at our local video store.  It was not an auspicious introduction; "Cagliostro" is rightly regarded as an animated classic, but it makes no sense at all if you don't already know the characters.  It wasn't until Adult Swim premiered the second TV series in 2003 that I got a proper introduction to Lupin III and his cast.  It wasn't long before a hanuman criminal called Monkey Mask worked his way into our Land of Eight Million Dreams game, and the rest was history.

I've bought most of the stateside Lupin III releases: the DVDs from Discotek, Funimation, and Geneon, the manga from Tokyopop, the soundtrack albums, and the videogame (which I suck at).  I don't have the boardgame yet, but that's on the Xmas list and I eagerly anticipate further releases from Discotek (someone please release the rest of Shin Lupin Sansei; we know Geneon dubbed the whole series).  My impression of Tony Oliver's Lupin III voice has become one of the staple character voices I use at the gaming table and no campaign feels quite complete without using it at least once.

I love the free-wheeling id Lupin III represents.  I can't honestly say he's nothing like the real me, but he's certainly the me I never dare to truly be.  Carefree, sex-obsessed, foolish, brave, brilliant, and sentimental, Lupin III is many things -- but mainly he's one of my favorite characters of all time.


I prefer to create Savage Worlds characters using the same character creation rules as PCs, but Lupin III breaks all laws

Attributes: Agility: d12, Smarts: d10, Strength d6, Spirit d10, Vigor d12

Skills: Boating d8, Climbing d10, Driving d12+2, Fighting d8, Gambling d8, Intimidation d8, Lockpicking d12+2, Notice d8, Persuasion d10, Piloting d12, Repair d8, Riding d6, Shooting d12, Stealth d12+2, Streetwise d10, Swimming d8, Taunt d10, Throwing d10, Tracking d8.

Charisma: +2, Pace: 8, Parry: 8, Toughness: 8.

Hindrances: Arrogant, Curious, Delusional (Minor: Fujiko loves him), Greedy (Minor), Loyal, Poverty

Edges: Ace, Acrobat, Ambidextrous, AB: Weird Science, Charismatic, Combat Reflexes, Common Bond, Danger Sense, Elan, Fleet-Footed, Gadgeteer, Great Luck, Harder to Kill, Improved Block, Improved Dodge, Improved Extraction, Improved First Strike, Improved Level Headed Improvisational Fighter, Jack-of-All-Trades, Marksman, New Power(s), Professional (Driving, Lockpicking, Stealth), Quick, Quick Draw, Scavenger, Strong Willed, Thief.

Power Points: 10, Powers: Confusion, Disguise, Dispel, Entangle, Fly, Teleport

Equipment: Walther P-38 (2d6+1, range 12/24/48), throwing knife (Str+d4, range 3/6/12), one or more wacky devices


  1. You forgot his Weird Science skill.

    While I haven't delved in Lupin III as extensively as you, I have done some sampling and mostly like what I've encountered. Of the various dub actors, I prefer the Funimation crew. Reason #1 is because Christopher Sabat avoids using a goofy-sounding voice that other dubbers tend to employ when performing as Jigen. Reason #2 is because I find that Phillip Wilburn does such a great job capturing Zenigata's frustration.

    Funny thing, I've been recently thinking of how Lupin III would fit into the Deadlands setting. I see Lupin as a thief who specifically targets relics. Goemon would obviously have the Enlightened AB and Jigen perhaps Jigen would be a hexslinger. Zenigata would of course be from the Agency.

    While the idea of giving Lupin the Weeird Science AB is an interesting concept, I think maybe a modified version of Gadgeteer would be equally fitting.

    1. I forgot Trademark Weapon, too! Heck, I should have included the Fiat and Mercedes SSK in his gear. I'll get that updated later this week.

      That Deadlands approach is pretty cool. I wonder how well the team would fit into Iron Dynasty?

      Thanks for not complaining about me intruding into your territory!


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