Spoilers My Unreasonably Long Overanalysis on Manga Lupin [Shin Lupin Spoilers]

Posts using this prefix WILL spoil plots. Reader beware.


Lupin and Goemon should kiss
So this was originally from tumblr but i felt really proud about it so ill put it here as well. The analysis was a reblog from a friend, here's their post: https://at.tumblr.com/waddlehekk/i-know-i-already-talked-about-186-lupins-before/314rjf77n78z (It's recommended that you read that link first to have any idea what im talking about)

Ok so I had intentions of tackling this post since it gave me the opportunity to talk about my babygurl, but i had a lot of school work to do so that wasn’t great :c BUT im a bit free now, and it’s 3/3 so what a perfect time

The part about Lupin not wearing the jacket/tie in Chapter 8 (186 Lupins) intriguiged me a lot, because for the longest time I only figured that MP drew him without the jacket simply because it looked cool and nothing else. It makes sense though that he would use it in this chapter figuratively for Lupin pretending to “hang up his hat” and retire from thieving
^ Chapter 3 (I count it bc lupin is wear a completely different jacket without a tie) and second image is from Chapter 4
^ Chapter 5 and Chapter 7

I looked into his non-jacketness a bit more and found even stranger stuff. Lupin sports his nonjacket look very often from Chapter 3-8, but after that point, he stops doing it for a very very long time. I’m not sure what point does Lupin do it again, but I checked up to Chapter 25; no trace of a jacketless Lupin.

Which is strange isn’t it? Why did Lupin (or MP for that matter) decided specifically after Chapter 8 to keep the jacket indefinitely?

My interpretation of this is perhaps, after Lupin faked his retirement in that chapter, he decides to no longer take off the jacket as a sign of his resolve to continue being a thief, to continue being Lupin III. The red jacket is a symbolism of his identity as Lupin III -the great thief that isn’t bound by society- the most free man in the world.

MP most likely wanted to highlight Ch.8 as a point of significance, because if Lupin continued to be jacket-less after that point, the message communicated in Ch.8 wouldn’t hold any weight. ( The message being that Lupin wouldn’t give up for a very very long time, and that the adventure of Shin Lupin has just started c: )

But obviously, that wholesome and optimistic energy doesn’t stay for long, because this jacket motif comes back around the ending :333
Like Waddle said, jacketless Lupin comes back around the ending, although I’m not sure when since I haven’t looked at the scans carefully yet. One detail I’d like to focus on though is around the San Francisco and the beginning of the Yap Land arc is that he strays away from his typical outfit, whether it’d be a diff jacket, a turtleneck, or jacketless.
To me it feels like a sign that he’s starting to give up, or perhaps having a conflict of whether to continue or not. Which, now that I realize it, is probably why he pursue such dangerous adventures around that part, because he wants to distract himself from those thoughts that he has to quit eventually.

Which brings me to the second point of Waddle’s original post: Lupin’s unwillingness to show his true identity!!!

This is going somewhere I swear

Lupin is obviously, a very suspicious man. He doesn’t show his true self that much, and his true appearance is still a mystery even after the ending of the manga. When he does show glimpses of his personality though, it’s significant in a way that he only shows it towards the gang or those he wants to cooperate with.

It shows that he trusts Jigen and Goemon a whole lot, and you can clearly see the progression from them simply being business partners to actual friends from the OG Manga -> New Adventures -> Shin. In the OG Manga, when interacting with the two, Lupin still has that smug aura, but that mask slowly slips out from the 7-year progression to Shin Lupin.

In fact, they’re one of only people Lupin actually trusts. It takes a lot to really get Lupin to act honest, because it is VERY CLEAR that Lupin hates the possibility to ever confronting his true feelings with how often he tries to mask it by acting arrogant, silly, or just plain evil. He even sees this quality as something that protects him, as shown in Chapter 56, where he states that being “suspicious” is the reason “…why I’ve(he’s) been alive all this time.” From this, it really emphasizes that he doesn’t see Goemon and Jigen as those that could harm him, thus he sees no reason to put up the mask.

The mask is there to protect him from feeling hurt from others, but on the other hand, it also serves as an important tool that makes him such a great thief. By acting incompetent and silly, he’s able to catch people off guard when he busts out them smarts

What I’m saying is, at the end of the day, his act is still a part of him and something that allows him to live the way he wants to. Despite striping off some of his identity, he’s willing to put that risk to be a thief and live out his definition of freedom, which is to go against society and do whatever he wants. (Which is interesting, because wouldn’t limiting your expression of identity be the opposite of freedom? He has very interesting priorities.)

Which brings me up to my next point. Around the end of Bad City, I noticed (from visuals so take this with a grain of salt) how Lupin slowly stopped being serious and like his true self around the gang, which ties in very well with how he inconsistently changes jackets or takes it off around that period of the manga. Heck, he also interacts less with the gang overall around the last chapters, possibly hinting that he was trying to avoid them, which means avoiding his true feelings, WHICH consequently meaning avoiding the thoughts that just maybe, he has to give up.

The mask ends up becoming his shield, protecting him from such thoughts. He becomes even more reckless and obsessing with doing more fun adventures as a result, possibly faking it so hard that at the final chapter, it explains why he still wears a smile acting like everything’s alright.
This to me, doesn’t seem like a genuine smile at all.

Most of the visuals at the end doesn’t communicate that Lupin has really grasped the situation- like he’s in denial that this is the end.
Which makes sense, he was determined from Ch.8 that he will continue being a thief, and the real Lupin III would never give up on getting what he wants. He never confronts that his selfishness lead the gang to become emotionally broken and he never has a serious conversation with them.

The mask that was fake from the beginning probably became the real thing to cope- by avoiding his true feelings for so long, his real self begins to slip away slowly, letting the fact act becoming the real thing instead.

All the signs were there, his jacket is gone, his gang became ever more distant from him, and HE LITERALLY KNOWS THE ISLAND WILL EXPLODE.

But he doesn’t take any of the signs into account, he doesn’t reflect back on what he’s done, his life is not flashing before his eyes, it’s almost like the Lupin that was serious, logical, and genuine was buried to the point of nonexistence, and if he snaps back to reality last minute, he might not be able to handle it.

So, was the pursuit of freedom really worth it?
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international house of paincakes
this analysis is so good...

just to shed some more light on the dialogue in the last chapter, it opens with the gang talking about how they'd like to die with each other/Lupin (in a roundabout way because none of these characters ever talk about their feelings lol. for instance, fujiko's like "I don't wanna die with you, but I wanna watch YOU GUYS die lmao get wrecked") and then Lupin's like "ok sick let's go to hell" and they're very like
about it.

unfortunately I can't really nail down the specifics beyond that general overview, because the scans I have aren't like, 4k HQ for that crisp crisp kanji, and my Japanese isn't good enough to extrapolate/look up what the words I can't identify are... like wtf are these kanji, these are just pixelated boxes to me 1677959361078.png1677959271959.png

anyway, from what I can read, there is a certain sense of finality in the dialogue, even though the visuals don't get that across very well. they know it's the end, in kind of a meta way.