Author Topic: Period piece or contemporary?  (Read 4469 times)


  • Just Stupidly Unfunny Enough
  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 1195
  • The hero of today, yeah!
Period piece or contemporary?
« on: November 12, 2015, 02:27:41 am »
Apparently, the official word on the Fujiko Mine series is that the series wasn't set in any particular time period, even though it's pretty obvious that it's set in the late 1960s. And (please correct me if I'm wrong here!) I believe Jigen's gravestone in the movie of the same name gave his date of death as being sometime in the early 70s. And Cagliostro explicitly takes place in 1969.

So, this got me thinking...could Lupin III work better staying as a 60s-70s period piece, or should it keep running on Comic Book Time and strive to be up-to-date?

Personally, I think I like it better as a period piece. Partially because of the fashions of the characters (especially Jigen and Zenigata. Ever seen how people react to fedoras these days?). And while we all love it, Lupin's ensemble is pretty firmly set in the 60s. (Fujiko gets a pass because she's always been able to change her look based on the times, and Goemon's outfit is always a few centuries out of date, which is the point). And I've given myself a headache trying to figure out how Arsene Lupin, who was born in 1874, has a grandson in 2015 who seems to be in his early 30s. And Yuji Ohno's jazz/funk score really feeds into that vibe, too. And the second manga series has a scene where Zenigata's superior is reading about his recent failures, the dates of which are given as "196?", despite being published in the late 70s.

However, aside from that, I do understand that Monkey Punch never aged or updated the characters, and the franchise seems to run on negative continuity a lot of the time, and that the retro look of the characters is part of their charm, giving the series its own unique flavor (likewise with music).

What do you guys think?
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
Weird in a Can! (Updates weekdays)


  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 85
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 04:00:08 am »
My general idea of Lupin anime is that it takes place in the late 60s-early 80s.

With that said, Blue Jacket has internet and cell phones thus is an exception.


  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 333
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 10:31:52 am »
err im sure there is some other tv special that has mobiles ..........

Red Dear

  • Lupin The Third analyst and crazy penciller
  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 573
    • DeviantArt gallery
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 07:20:08 pm »
err im sure there is some other tv special that has mobiles ..........

Most TV specials happen during the time period they were made so yeah, plenty of cellphones in the last ones
(remember Goemon's IPhone in Last Job ?).

You ask an interesting question, Furball. I think that Lupin is so old and still going that he can be allowed to be in both period pieces
and contemporary narratives. The core concept of a free thinking, globe-trotting gentleman thief is broad enough to make it work in different

That said, I think the main problem with the recent "modern" entries in the franchise is that they usually use the same tropes and structure of the old series in a modern setting, wich creates a clash sometimes and is a disservice to the franchise.

However, the latest period pieces (Mine Fujiko To Iu Onna and Jigen's Gravestone) wrok perfectly. Not because the concept can't work oustide of its little time bubble but because the writers seem to be more inspired by this time period.

I am convinced you can keep Lupin and folks mainly the same and still do something truly contemporary. You just need to find the right angle and writers.
Time to play the game, time to get a chance !

Fujiko Lover

  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 445
    • Not A Hoax! Not A Dream! (my blog)
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2015, 09:28:54 am »
Period for me. There are certain things I believe work best in the era in which they were created. Lupin is one of those; he should always be set in the seventies. I feel the same way about James Bond. I really think when they rebooted with CASINO ROYALE, they should've taken the opportunity to set the movies in the sixties (or even the fifties when the original novels were written ).


  • Guest
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2015, 04:11:41 pm »
As long as the wit, charm, humor and creativity are still there, I couldn't care less.


  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 24
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2015, 12:55:30 pm »
Since it's such a long running series and you can take each film and even TV episode as there own stand alone piece in many ways, I think it can work in pretty much any time period. And I love that and glad they get to experiment with it in that way, it's probably part of whats kept the series going too, as it's a simple concept in many ways that you can adapt to fit the time.

But I do like the 60's/70's feel and look the best, as the style and class just fits that time period so well. You can't beat the style of the car either, although I do like the mini in the later ones :P

I'm glad Jigen's Gravestone went back to that period too, I feel it benefited a lot from it. I hadn't really thought about it before this thread though. I think it was a great return to form, but I don't think it was just because it was set in the 70s (60s?).


  • Part of the Gang
  • Posts: 14
Re: Period piece or contemporary?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 04:01:15 am »
As long as the wit, charm, humor and creativity are still there, I couldn't care less.

That's pretty much what I think.

Actually sometimes I like to think Lupin and co. are what I call "eternals."  They're always going to exist, no matter what.  Not exactly immortal like a Highlander, but more like the concept of dreams and destiny and such.... they just are.  The gang's form took shape in the 1960s but the idea has lived on, it just happens to really like that form.  To me its pointless to try and insist on a logical explanation for their agelessness--especially considering all the other logicless, unbelievable things in the series (like Lupin having fake skin that he somehow uses to blow up a door in one Pink Jacket episode).    Around these five, reality bends.