Like any potentially great anime, the new Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna has given us much to talk about already. It’s a beautifully animated, adult series the like of which we haven’t seen in TV anime for a while.
Reading about it in various places since Wednesday evening, people have tended to talk about how the main character, Mine Fujiko, is seen in various states of (*ahem*) undress. Its detractors have pointed out that such things, like nipples, don’t an adult series make, and I agree with that, but I still think it’s an adult anime.
It’s often said that Cowboy Bebop, and Spike, in particular, was influenced by Lupin, but I also see a lot of Faye Valentine in Fujiko. They both share an (ostensibly) unshakable confidence in themselves and a willingness to use their sexuality to get what they want (not to mention, a talent with guns!) That last, cool image of Fujiko on a motorbike riding off into the sunset could easily be Faye on her hover-bike, heading back to the Bebop; both in a bad mood, just exuding that Hard Luck Woman vibe.
Anime isn’t known for its frank depictions of sexuality. In most series, sex is something to be embarrassed by. We’re used to seeing busty, provocative anime girls, but it’s inevitably accompanied with a blush, reluctance, or a male character not knowing how to deal with it. The difference here is that Fujiko isn’t embarrassed by her body and that Lupin isn’t afraid of her. That’s why Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna is adult and why it’s so refreshing: nothing to do with the sheer amount of nudity, but rather, its attitude towards sexuality and what that can communicate about its characters. Such brazen, light-hearted eroticism is not something we often see in anime.