Lupin III: A Woman Named Fujiko Mine Episode 08 Review

 Episode 08, "Dying Day"

Synopsis: Shitoto, a fortune teller who can predict you're dying day is the common link between several victims of Lupin's theivery. Jigen is hired to destroy the man's beloved lithograph, while Zenigata and Oscar seek him as well. However, Jigen discovers that the lithograph has already been destroyed. Jigen is then arrested by the police, but is rescued by Lupin, and the two team up. Lupin confronts Shitoto with the theory that he probably had his clients killed to be accurate. Shitoto wants to buy a copy of the lithograph from Fujiko, who had made a copy and destroyed the original. When they meet, Fujiko has Shitoto pegged as Lupin in disguise, while the real one is in the trunk of the car. The real Shitoto claims that he really could read the future at one time, but the power gradually faded until he couldn't read the lithograph anymore. He reveals that he was hired to do one last death reading: Fujiko's. The police appear and a shootout commences, but Jigen assists Lupin. Shitoto is about to reveal Fujiko's dying day until she shoots a downed power line which electrocutes him. 
This is probably my favorite episode thus far. Interesting set up, great character interaction, some insight into Fujiko's past, and some fun scenes (Monkey Delivery Service, anyone?). 
We finally learn the identity of the mysterious "LYA", a man named Count Luis Yu Almeida, who seems to have designs on Fujiko's life. He's connected to the owl men in Fujiko's flashbacks, likely the leader who gave Shitoto his abilities (if he really has any). He also seems to have an interest in Lupin, with Shitoto telling him that he was told to test him. The mere mention of his name to Fujiko sends her into brutal mode. I hope we'll be seeing him sometime soon. 
I loved the interaction between Lupin and Jigen. Jigen complaining about the Gitanes cigarettes (a real French brands), Lupin cooking Jigen dinner, Jigen complaining about the wine, and just the casual attitude they have towards each other. The last time they met, they were determined to kill each other, but I suppose finding themself in a new sitaution changes things. These scenes help to establish the bond between these two that will last for many years. I'm reminded of some of the scenes in Episode 0: First Contact. 
The interaction between Lupin and Fujiko is interesting, too. She sees through his disguise immediately, subverting the usual trope where Lupin fools nearly anyone. I love the sound of frustration he makes when he starts turning pink over it. I liked the bit where Lupin says, "Don't die. I haven't slept with you yet." and she answers, "If I die, you'll have to settle for a description from Zenigata.". Poor guy. 
The question is, did Shitoto ever have real powers? He insists he once did. But why does he need a lithograph to tell him the future? It seems less like a lithograph and more like a giant construct of crystal, without any writing on it. How is that a lithograph, which is usually stone? Did he really predict people's deaths or was it, like Lupin said, all set up? It was pretty clever to target Lupin's victims, because it would obviously draw his attention. But the poor bastard made a mistake mentioning LYA to Fujiko, because she killed him for it, in a vicious fashion. That look on her face as she watches him burn to death is cold. 
The episode seems a lot like an episode of the original series in the setup and the atmosphere. There's sort of a charming cruelty to it. 
Overall Score:

4.5 out of 5



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