(Update: This video has since been removed from Youtube. Sorry.)
Here is the second episode of the 1971-72 "Green Jacket" series of Lupin III. I wanted to make sure that I showed as many of these episodes as I can. Hey, this sure is a cheap way to get out of writing, ain't it? Ack! I will do better...
Episode 2 is titled, "The Man They Call a Magician." In this show, a mysterious stranger appears to defy gravity, injury, even death. Lupin and his sidekick Jigen are naturally caught up in the affairs, and the mysterious Fujiko flies in, switches sides once or twice, then flies out.
These first couple episodes are pretty rough to my eyes, although I enjoy them more each time I see them. I think the general dynamics of the show are still being worked out, and there's the challenge of dealing with all these regular characters. The interplay between them only becomes more worked out over time, and I think they start to really hit their stride around the third or fourth episode.
For the Ghibli fan, Miyazaki and Takahata do not make their first appearance as series directors until episode seven, so this gives us a good chance to see the differences in the show's style. These early episodes are much more explicitly violent, as tonight's opening scene shows. This must have been mildly shocking for its time, since anime was still dominated by cutesy kiddie shows. Lupin III was aimed at the college crowd. Funny, isn't it, that even today, there's a hard-boiled grittiness here that modern Japanese anime can't even touch. The unique style of this series is what draws me back, again and again.
As before, embedding has been disabled for these videos, so I'll have to provide the direct links. Enjoy!