Author Topic: My pet thesis on the meaning of "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine"  (Read 15052 times)

Red Dear

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My pet thesis on the meaning of "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine"
« on: October 04, 2013, 05:17:07 am »
Dear members,

This is a topic I wanted to write for months but could not bring myself to do it.

A recent incident helped me to find the courage to finally write down my ideas.

First of all, a warning, destined to avoid any risk of misunderstanding, trolling, etc.

This "thesis" of mine is in no way meant to be an attack to the people who did not like the series or have a different opinion as mine. Every opinion is valid as long as it is not meant to hurt people.

What I am presenting here is not what I think to be the truth. It is merely the conclusion of my own analysis of the series, my own point of view.

So I gently ask the people who would respond to this topic to respect my opinion and not trying to hurt me in any way as I am not trying to hurt them.

And I am not saying the series is without flaws. It has some major problems and I will not deny it.

Finally, as a native french speaker, it is highly possible that I did some mistakes and that this could undermine the meaning of what I'm trying to convey. So don't hesitate to ask for clarification or giving me grammatical corrections.

End of the warning.

context: I have recently suscribed to the infamous Tumblr platform and, as a Lupin III fan, I could not resist but participate to the "Lupin the Third confessions". This is the quote of wich I am the author:

This free opinion of mine has recently been crudely answered by another "confession":

I will not make any further comment about this note but instead I will use this piece as the introduction to the matter of my thesis.

The spin-off series "The Woman called Fujiko Mine" is certainly the most controversial installment of the Lupin franchise and in some ways, it is justified.

We can't argue with the fact that this series tried to take the franchise in previously unexplored territory and dared to challenge our classic view of the characters and their history while staying more or less true to the pseudo canon the three original series installed.

The main argument against the series is that it seemed to take itself too seriously, trying to be more than we could accept. This resulted in critics such as "too artsy" or "pretentious" etc.

Now comes the tricky part. I think than most of those critics are partially founded on the people's lack of interest in interpretation and multiple layers of narration. We tend to look for simple, fun entertainment when we think about Lupin III and even though the 4th series has its fair share of fun and games, it is far more gritty and dark than every other series or TV special (with the exception of Walther P38).

I, on the other hand, saw something that goes further than just "pretentious, artsy fallacy".

I watched and rewatched the series several times and found out my meaning of the series:
you can't change a character.

Let me explain. Throughout the series, the main plot is that Fujiko seems to have been traumatized as a child, victim of some horrendous experiments and probably rape and that it is the reason of her behaviour. Then, by the end of the series, we found out this traumatic past was artificially implanted by another person (the real victim) who tried to control Fujiko's life and also projected her own frustrations on her.

Do you see where I'm coming with this ?

I think the Glaucus organisation of Luis Almeida (and then her heir) is an allegory for the movie/anime production (with writers, directors, producers and so on) who desperately want to make old characters interesting for new generations by giving them the "90's DC comics" treatment of a traumatic gritty past. This allegory is renforced by the fact that the "Owls" have planned Fujiko's encounters with Lupin, Daisuke (and possibly Goemon). They acted like mad directors, trying to control every move and every step of Fujiko's destiny. They wanted to possess her and her history.

But in the end, Fujiko has never been traumatized, hasn't experienced this terrible childhood and always was the sexy thief we (and Lupin) know and love. The core of the character is unbreakable and nothing you could throw at it would change it or make it better than it already is.

And Lupin worked as the one who revealed everything and gave Fujiko her true identity back. He cut the strings that were used by the directors to control her.

Although, in the end, it seems the gang has been united thanks to Glaucus' manipulations, the characters are too strong to be something else than they already are.

In conclusion, if we watch the series with that perspective in mind, Mine Fujiko To Iu Onna has done an impressive job at making a meta-commentary about what makes those characters so compelling.

I am open to discussion and constructive criticism but keep in mind I don't want tu ruffle any feathers and I hope you'll do the same.

Thanks for your understanding.
Time to play the game, time to get a chance !


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Re: My pet thesis on the meaning of "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine"
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 12:33:34 pm »
Wow I get the first reply ?
 I enjoyed your thesis .  It boils down to what I came up with , despite daunting obstacles and horrendous psychological torture , Fujiko's free spirit prevails in the end.  She fits Monkey Punch's description of the Lupin character as someone who is "bad" who matches wits against people who are worse than him.
Some fans were annoyed at a conclusion that restored Fujiko's veil of mystery , we were raping her of her secrets , and to Fujiko her secrets are everything , and in the end she has the last laugh on her fans , much as she often outsmarts Lupin . Some folks started off hating Fujiko while watching this and enjoyed seeing her get tortured and see her suffering, and the ending robbed that from them . Others have no tolerance for the stylistic , surreal elements , and their brains aren't wired for anything not immediately self explanatory , so they immediately reject it , because it makes them uncomfortable to have to think outside the box for themselves. Still others had a preconceived notion of how a Lupin series is to be depicted and how the characters act , and this didn't fit the mold.  Zenigata and Goemon fans primarily fell into that category . Then there are the hardcore Fujiko Mine fans who hated the idea that she was once innocent and the scenes were too disturbing for them.   I really enjoyed the fresh take on the classic series, and was grateful that finally somebody tried to present a story featuring the classic cast as the stars and not cameo appearances in some convoluted plot with second string characters .

Red Dear

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Re: My pet thesis on the meaning of "The Woman Called Fujiko Mine"
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 12:39:51 pm »
Thank you very much for this first and extensive reply, dear Mr.Lupin !

I think you summed up the series and the different points of view about it quite well.

I appreciate greatly and I am happy to have contributed, even a little.  ;D
Time to play the game, time to get a chance !