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Lupin the Third - The Woman Called Fujiko Mine

Naruyoshi Kikuchi

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Customer Reviews

Lupin From A Different Perspective

The problem with Naruyoshi Kikuchi's score is the same as the problem with the score to Lupin's first, or "Green Jacket" series, or with "The Fuma Conspiracy", or any other piece of Lupin media that isn't scored by Yuji Ohno. Yuji Ohno's scores have been linked with Lupin III scores so long that fans instantly recognize his readymade themes not just for Lupin but for his friends and foes and all the familiar situations they find themselves in.

But Yuji Ohno's scores were clearly written with the character of Lupin in mind. The theme song represented Lupin as a larger-than-life hero, a legend in his own mind. The theme for his nemesis, Inspector Zenigata, was a militaristic march that represented the oppression of the law. Even the theme most associated with Fujiko Mine, the lead of this new series, was really Lupin's love theme.

Naruyoshi Kikuchi's score is what the soundtrack to those heists would sound like in Fujiko's head. Fujiko's theme (Tracks 3 and 19) sounds like something out of a film noir, surpisingly not the slinky femme fatale tune but music you'd associate with the dangerous armed bank robber. Meanwhile, tracks like "Despair and Pleasure" (4) and "Temptation" (5), have all the raw sensuality best associated with the character. Lupin himself has a new theme that transports you straight to a smoky jazz club, with a frantic voice shouting "Lupin" rather than the chorus that sang his name in the Yuji Ohno theme, establishing him more as a lounge lizard than a folk hero (Tracks 7, 26, and 33). Daisuke Jigen's short riffs (13 and 18) are guitar licks that create the impression of an edgy hitman rather than a laid-back lug. And Goemon Ishikawa and his sword (8,9, 31 and 32) are represented by classical Japanese instruments forming something reminiscient of old cowboy movies, portraying him as a lone stranger rather than just a third wheel.

Tunes that represent the situations and locations the characters find themselves in have the same dangerous, jazz club sound that compliment's the animes darker, more dangerous portrayal of its classic femme fatale. While the main theme ("New Wuthering Heights", Track 2) doesn't quite fit (it was reappropriated from one of Kikuchi's earlier pieces), the soundtrack's only real sin is only including the "TV edit" of the ending theme, when a three minute-longer cut exists out there somewhere.

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