Lupin the Third (TV 2015) Episode 24
by Rose Bridges,
How would you rate episode 24 of
Lupin III: Part IV (TV 2015) ?
Lupin III: Part IV has finally come to a close. As with many an anime finale, it's half thrilling chases and confrontations, and half anticlimax that lets us play around with the whole gang one last time. The combo particularly makes sense for this show, since the final battle was mostly between Lupin and Da Vinci over Rebecca's consciousness. The rest of the main cast still don't show up until after it all ends in Lupin's favor. At the same time, it does cause the main battle to feel a little rushed.
Still, the animation team does all it can with that shorter runtime. Lupin and Da Vinci wage war within Rebecca's head, but the show makes it clear that Da Vinci still holds all the cards—for now. Showing off his famous artistic skills, he gets to paint the landscapes of her mind that Lupin runs through to reach her, only to foil him at the last minute. In this sequences, the art and animation reach heights beyond that of any previous episode—which is saying quite a lot, as the series has looked gorgeous from start-to-finish. Watching the cool watercolors melt around Lupin before cutting off his access to her at the end is stunning. The way colors and characters move is nothing to sneeze at either; this sequence features some of the best animation in the series, with the possible exception of Nix's fight scenes in previous episodes.
At the end, Lupin does manage to reach Rebecca, but it looks like the fight might be lost anyway. Da Vinci was always too far ahead of him—or was he? It looks like there was one crucial memory that Da Vinci forgot, and Lupin uses that to help Rebecca regain control of her brain. When she locks into that memory of falling on their honeymoon, Rebecca takes back her agency. Even Lupin says she doesn't need him anymore. It would have been nice to see how Rebecca manages to best Da Vinci herself, and Da Vinci's death came a little too suddenly. Still, it's a satisfying end to her damsel-in-distress story from these past two episodes.
The episode could have explored Da Vinci himself more. There's a little bit at the end about him fretting over his own irrelevance. He worries that he is not the real Da Vinci, and the world will forget the version of him as it gives credit to Lupin, and of course this is exactly what happens. Lupin reassures Da Vinci that he'll live on in Lupin's memories and those of the rest of the people who encountered him. That doesn't seem like enough for a man with as grandiose of ambitions as this version of Leonardo Da Vinci, but it still manages to put him at ease. Perhaps he just was so close to death that it didn't matter, anyway. For the viewer though, this resolution leaves too many unanswered questions.
The rest of the finale was a lot of fun, with Lupin and the gang riding off into the sunset in their car after Zenigata arrives, attempting to arrest Lupin again. As the rest of Italy wakes up—because Lupin did battle in all their dreams, due to the whole "single consciousness" thing—they race across the country. This leaves Rebecca behind, but luckily, Lupin gets one last meeting with her after it's all over. She insists on keeping the "Mrs. Lupin" name as a way for him to continue to keep an eye on her and live up to the memories they've had together. This moment is great for tying a bow on their story together, but leaving open the possibility of Rebecca entering future Lupin adventures. I hope this is not the last we see of her, but even if so, it's a satisfying ending for her part of the story. Lupin saved her, but mostly he helped her save herself.
Overall, this finale is not as strong as the episodes that preceded it. The actual action feels rushed, and there are too many moments that are not quite explained. It might have been better stretched across a couple of episodes, giving the actual action enough time to breathe and iron out the details and leaving enough time for denouement. As it stands, Lupin III is not the type of franchise where everything needs to make perfect sense. This final episode preserves the series' spirit of fun, energy, and most of all, brilliant aesthetics. In that sense, it perfectly fulfilled its duties as a send-off, but it would have been nice to get something more here at the very end.
Lupin the Third (TV 2015) is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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