Thieves and bounty hunters. Same difference. Stylized space drama vs. a pre-digital age. Just settings. But if you aren’t getting vibes of Cowboy Bebop when watching
Lupin III Mine Fujiko from the first two episodes, then you are blinder than a bat. Not only does the new series have the same kind of plots (a drug centered first episode and the reunion of lost loves only to be cut short through tragic consequences in the second) and action scenes (that church scene in episode 2) as Cowboy Bebop, but the endings of both of the episodes that have thus far aired, suggest that the themes in this series will be very similar to those found in Cowboy Bebop.
If there was one theme that permeated Cowboy Bebop, it would be fair to say that running away from, and then dealing with memories was the main theme. The second episode of Mine Fujiko was able to capture this type of feel, based on themes alone, through Jigen’s back story. To top it off, we even got a quick montage scene of his past which was quickly followed by a fight in a church (If you watch the church fight scene from episode 5 of Cowboy Bebop, I could swear that one of the frames was almost identical). That said, I digress. While Jigen’s story was interesting, it was hopefully only the appetizer to the main course. Fujiko’s quote from the end of the second episode saying that she will always outrun her memories reminds me of Faye Valentine. Like Faye, I think Fujiko will eventually face her memories, whatever they may be, because this is a television show and it would make for a good story. What those problems may be? To be honest, I have no idea, as I have no prior familiarity with the Lupin III series, but to risk life and limb as a thief, I bet it will be good.
But that’s only half the equation. Though he didn’t appear in the second episode at all, Lupin’s parting shot in the first episode was reminiscent of Spike’s parting shot in Cowboy Bebop. Possibly a coincidence? Sure. But there is too much here for that. Instead, it seems like there has been more than enough references from these first two episodes alone for it to be coincidence. As anyone who can watch Cowboy Bebop can attest, the show was far from serious all the time. The show had its fair share of filler and humor. I would expect, from the limited sample size thus far, that there may be some of that in this Lupin series, mostly from Lupin himself.
As someone who has never watched another Lupin series, probably like most readers of this blog, I can’t proclaim to know if Cowboy Bebop was the chicken for this Lupin’s egg, or it was the egg of the original Lupin, thematically or otherwise. But it really doesn’t matter. My point is this. If you’re looking for a story with good themes and good action that calls back to your youth, but with an adult sensibility, then this is something you should really check out.