I spent a good chunk of the holidays watching random anime — some of which were playing way back in spring at Tokyo Anime Fair 2012. Of all of them (including such notables as Chihayafuru and Ookami Kodomo), the one that really stuck to mind was “Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna”.
A spin-off of Monkey Punch’s infamous “Lupin Sansei” series, “Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna” (“The Woman Called Fujiko Mine”) follows the footsteps of Lupin’s femme fatale on-and-off girlfriend Fujiko Mine. Highly skilled in both thievery and seduction, Fujiko’s main claim to fame is her fabulous set of knockers — the stuff of many teenaged fantasies since 1967.
The show was directed by Yamamoto Sayo, making it the first Lupin title to be directed by a woman. It is also the first show in the franchise not headline by Lupin himself. The show is less comedic and more sexually-charged compared to the long-running TV show, and follows the manga storyline a bit closer as well.
The pilot episode shows the very first job where Lupin and Fujiko met: the plot to steal the secret of the Fraulein Hoyle cult. The guru of the cult drugs his followers with a mysterious and thus highly sought-after substance called “Euphoria Ash”; the source for the ash is the cult’s most highly-guarded secret.
Fujiko tries to gain entry to the cult’s inner sanctum by becoming one of the Fraulein Hoyle guru’s brides. Lupin, on the other hand, prefers the more open approach of attacking the cult’s main temple. They end up imprisoned after both of their plots go awry. Fortunately, they also manage to escape incarceration, and proceed to Plan B of their individual schemes.
When they eventually end up in the secret chamber of the temple, they find that the treasure is a massive reclining Buddha statue made entirely out of Euphoria Ash. It is now a mad dash for Fujiko and Lupin to get the treasure out of the temple, escape the guru and his henchmen, dodge the cops in the form of Detective Zenigata and his attractive young junior assistant Oscar, and steal the treasure out from the other thief’s nose.
During its broadcast run, Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna was aired at midnight and for good reason. Full-frontal nudity, ultra-violence, even *gasp* bed scenes were shown, and shown often. However, I would also like to point out that they were handled with taste and humour, and were more likely to amuse fans than freak out prudes.
Take the main theme for example — it shows Fujiko wearing a pair of heels, a gun, and a smile, however it blends so well with the jazz theme that the nudity becomes irrelevant. On the contrary, in the opening sequence she is full clothed, and yet she exudes mystery and eroticism.
Mine Fujiko is lots of fun for adult anime fans who appreciate artistry beyond the norm. There are no magical girls, no slick mecha, and no fluffy mascots — just a lot of guns, semi-nudity, and witty repartee. The next time you find your self craving for some anime that’s a little more mature, bite into the temptation that is The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.