The first four episodes of the blue jacket series have just finished airing on Italian TV. What a roller-coaster ride! We figured we would quickly post up some initial impressions after watching the dub. Find them below!
The following post contains SPOILERS for the show, so read on at your own risk! Also, please keep in mind that this is all our opinion. There is no right or wrong - if you disagree with what we think, then that's no problem! We're all friends, after all.
The show felt like it went off to quite a bumpy start. Episode one was a little all over the place, with too much happening at once. Things opened quickly, starting straight away at the wedding ceremony of Lupin and Rebecca. Zenigata crashes the party, gets locked away for ruining the princess (and Lupin's) wedding, and Jigen, Fujiko and Goemon all leave our hero behind...
... that is until, they realise that it's all a ruse! Lupin goes to steal a crown, but only gets away with the goods thanks to the help of Rebecca. She's crafty, energetic and at some points, very spoilt and childish. The first episode felt like it was geared towards a young audience, but things change with episode two!
Episode two sees Lupin and the gang steal some medical documents to help out a famous footballer, who's being blackmailed by some nasty folk. The story was interesting, the characters well designed and there was plenty of action - including a super cool car chase!
This felt like a more typical Lupin episode, and it was our favourite of the bunch. It was less frenzied than episode one, had better pacing and some memorable scenes. This is the Lupin we know and love, only looking absolutely gorgeous thanks to Studio Telecoms incredible art style and animation!
In episode three, Jigen is captured by the MI6. A special agent is in Italy, and he wants Lupin dead. He uses Jigen to try and find the whereabouts of our favourite thief, and tries his hardest to put a bullet in his dead.
The special agent is basically James Bond. He's British, drives a fancy car and has flashy gadgets. He's very much the type of character you would expect to see in the old red jacket show, but less goofy. This episode definitely had a darker edge about it, but it was a very entertaining watch. We love how Lupin had everything figured out by the end of the episode. He was one step ahead of "Bond", and he explained everything to him just as he did with villains in the 1971 show. This gets a big thumbs up from us.
In episode four, Jigen ends up doing every day things (such as going to the dentist), and looks as out of place and ridiculous in them as he always does. He ends up getting mixed up in some heavy stuff with a mob boss, but as always, he comes out on top and helps out the pretty dental surgeon in the process.
This one really did feel like something from the older series. It was a very Jigen focussed episode, but a one off story with a lot to offer. There weren't many action scenes, but what was there made for a memorable and exciting climax. I doubt it's an episode we will remember for many years to come, but it was still solid from start to finish.
The Italian voice acting is a little hit and miss. Whilst Lupin, Zenigata and Jigen all sound great - Fujiko, Goemon and Rebecca are disappointing. There certainly isn't the energy and character of the Japanese voice cast here, but it's by no means absolutely terrible. Definitely still watchable, and it's nice that Italy got a full fledged dub first!
The broadcast itself was a little messy. Mediaset had chosen to treat the two hour slot as a "film" slot, rather than four episodes. This did mean less ad breaks, but when the commercials did hit, it was rather sudden and with no consideration for what was happening in the show.
Overall, the blue jacket series is a strong entry in the Lupin franchise. It's still very early days, but three of the four episodes shown today were great and we can't wait to watch more.
It's unclear whether or not the background music here will carry across to the Japanese dub, as it does sound a little different to the usual Yuji Ohno style, but we sure hope it does. It's a strange cross between the music from the red jacket show and Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone, but it works very well. There are strong hints of Yuji Ohno here and there, but since none of the characters previous theme tunes make a return here, it's hard to tell.
Looking forward to next week. See you later - ciao!Back