"World Dissection, Part 1"
Synopsis: Leonardo da Vinci is ready to unveil his greatest masterpiece: World Harmony. Putting the population of the Italian Peninsula to sleep with an audio signal, the Renaissance Man traps each person, including Lupin's group, in a challenge at whatever they are best at, to gauge their worthiness to live in the new world he plans to build. Is Lupin up to the challenge? Is everyone else? A mind is a terrible thing to waste on this penultimate episode of the new Lupin series!
While I did find the Italian Dream episodes unique and inventive, I found the "Leonardo da Vinci clone" plot element that came out of it a little... much. I know, it's odd to complain about a cloned historical figure in a series where you can live inside a book of symbols representing your memories and knowledge, but that da Vinci remained a recoccuring presence just seems a tad askew. I think because it really didn't follow that because the Italian Dream research existed they could implant memories of a famous dead man into a cloned body. I mean, what does MI6 have to do with cloning? Why clone specifically Leonardo da Vinci? What did MI6 have planned for this technology? How odd. Maybe establish cloning as a thing in this world before you just spring this on us!
However, I do like the idea of da Vinci wanting to mold the modern world just as he molded the older one. And as the true polymath he is, it's not so hard to believe he took to modern technology (including the Italian Dream stuff he likely stole from the British) to accomplish this task. He's taken a bit of a social Darwinist turn in determining who is worthy of living in the new world, though, which makes him an antagonist who our favorite band of thieves has to vanquish, or at least meet the challenge of, but it seems like something a "villain da Vinci" would do. He's a bit of a megalomaniac, but he isn't doing this out of malice. He truly believes that he is helping society by "dissecting" it, and creatng this unique meritocracy that depends on its inhabitants being the best at what they do.
Naturally, Jigen beats da Vinci at shooting (I would expect so) and Goemon at swordplay. Fujiko defeats him in a card game (though it's implied she's cheating, her real skill). Zenigata is the best at... uh, arresting people? People who aren't Lupin, I supposed. Nix, meanwhile, is the best tracker, using his sound location skills. And Nix is deeply displeased by this game, because if his family is threatened with being "overwritten" by da Vinci, his rage mode is coming out. You do not screw with Nix's family. Of course, Lupin is the first person to be accepted into Leo's new world, because he figures out with observation that he's in a dream, proving his cleverness.
Unfortunately, whatever it was that Rebecca was trying to beat Leo at resulted in her loss, and so she's going to be overwritten by the artist. Lupin isn't taking that, and so he dives into da Vinci's dream world again to save her. After all, there's nothing in existence that Lupin III can't steal!
Still needed more Nix, though. That guy is aces.
4 out of 5