Episode 03, "The Lady and the Samurai"
Synopsis: Fujiko poses as the tudor for the king of Astria's three grandchildren as valuable artworks are within reach on a train. A mysterious samurai, Goemon Ishikawa, appears on the train, claiming to be an entertainer. His mission is to assassinate the king. The train becomes out of control after sabatoge and Goemon is determined to stop it. Goemon cuts the rear cars away from the main body and saves everyone. At the castle, Fujiko encounters Goemon again, her only captured treasure the king's belt. She kisses him and retreats. He runs off as well.
This episode introduces the anachronistic samurai, Goemon Ishikawa XIII, who uses his sword, the Zantetsuken ("Iron-cutting blade"). He's a man who believes in honor and has a great pride. In this, they have him as an assassin, but he ends up saving the day. He's the kind of guy who is a little awkward, because his ideals are so out of place with modern society. Despite his hard looks and stern nature, he's some times got a naivete when it comes to women, as it shows in this episode. He tries to be a gentleman, and even averts his gaze from Fujiko's nakedness (well, he averts it after a while). You can say that he is entranced much in the way Lupin is, but Lupin is a bit more savvy and understands that women can be fickle.
By the way, I have to applaud Daisuke Namikawa's performance as our SAMURAI FRIENDO. He makes Goemon sound very sharp and serious. I was a little skeptical when they brought him on in Blood Seal~Eternal Mermaid to replace the aging Makio Inoue. Inoue, who had played Goemon for decades (also Captain Harlock a few times), was so great in that role, and Namikawa was known for boys and young men, and I wasn't sure he could pull it off. However, he does an excellent job in sounding battle-hardened, if a bit misplaced.
We get a bit more look into Fujiko's psyche in this episode. Just as she told Jigen in the last episode that she's constantly outrunning her past, she tells Goemon here that just like with him, "There's no place for me anywhere, either." She's constantly moving around, as a thief, never settling anywhere. And there's a bit of sadness to her regarding that. Whereas Lupin is happy just having a challenge, Fujiko seems to be trying to fill a hole in her life (no, not that hole, pervs). I wonder if we're going to get any further insights into her past. It's also worth noting that Fujiko sacrifices her chance to get a lot of those treasures for the sake of helping to save the king's grandchildren. We get some softness from her, a kindness she was lacking before. We see that Fujiko is indeed capable of caring for others.
The only flaw of the episode was that, well, I'm no train expert, but won't that type of train stop on its own without coal being fed to it?
Favorite scene of this episode was, of course, Goemon cutting all those bullets in half. Priceless.
4.5 out of 5