16th Animation Division New Face Award
LUPIN the Third :The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Animated TV series
MONKEY Punch / YAMAMOTO Sayo [Japan]
LUPIN the Third sneaks onto a desert island to steal a valuable treasure. There he meets the beautiful MINE Fujiko, a stylish thief shrouded in mystery. This chance encounter between two thieves kicks off the story. In short order Fujiko is faced with four annoying and quirky figures: LUPIN, given to sudden appearances and disappearances; JIGEN Daisuke, a gunman known for his 0.3-second draw; ISHIKAWA Goemon, who lives and kills by the sword; and Inspector ZENIGATA, whose goal is to arrest LUPIN. As we follow these five characters the plot takes unpredictable twists and turns, personalities clash, and sparks fly. Created in homage to the original manga by a new generation of animators, this first LUPIN series in 27 years is also the first by a female director.
Reason for Award
I believe that the director deserves special recognition for her ability to create an innovative narrative and pictorial structure for a story that has repeatedly been made into animated works and is by now a standard in the field, while also managing to avoid clinging to memories of the earlier films. Moreover, compared to the many series that adhere slavishly to depictions of the “everyday,” her use of the female character’s perspective conveys her unyielding intention to tell a story, and distinguishes the work from other series released over the past year in terms of both quality and the highly accomplished staging. I am looking forward to seeing more of the director’s work in the future.