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Arsène Raoul Lupin is a French gentleman thief who took France by storm. He is the father of Lupin II and the grandfather of Lupin III.


Synopsis

Manga

Unlike the anime counterpart, the manga version of Arsène Lupin was still alive, albiet very old. He is a mass womanizer and known to frequently be surrounded by women.

While Lupin III was getting attacked in his bed, Arsène challenged him by sending him to his training facility to go into 10 rooms within an hour and come back alive. Lupin III's prize was supposedly that he could have Arsène's estate, but he forced his grandson to sign a contract without reading it. The contract turned out to state that when Lupin III died, Arsène Lupin would receive his heart. However, another contract was written so when the assassin that was sent to kill Lupin III died, he would give his heart as well.[1]

Arsène Lupin then decided to split his inheritance via a lottery as he appeared to be deceased, it was divided into five lots. His henchmen within the Lupin Empire had received gifts of high value while he left Lupin III with a mansion and the Book of Thievery. This was an advantage as Lupin III did a trade so the other henchmen who had received the exchange ended up with a rundown mansion with a wall that was painted appearing to be full of money.[2]

He later resided on an island that was the center of the Lupin Empire along with his son who was thought to be dead as well as Lupin III's mother. In his wheelchair, he was annoyed that his grandson had become soft and he had six women that gave birth to multiple children. Three women from the Pandora clan had arrived on the island to spy and he held one of them into custody. Arsène told Lupin III that the Pandora clan were the guardians of the world's oldest and greatest secrets as he revealed that a woman who claimed to be Fujiko Mine was a member as she had a tattoo on her back, she was after information regarding the Lupin Empire. The Lupin lineage is thinking of a plan to stop the Pandora clan.[3]

He was also mentioned in the Lupin III H manga chapter, The Splendid Target however he was deceased due to the manga series following the anime rather than the original work by Monkey Punch.

Anime

Not much is known about Arsène Lupin I except for his great reputation as a Gentleman Thief. According to his grandson, he also had multiple jobs however he did not go into much detail. He appears several times in flashbacks and mentioned several times by Lupin III, commenting on how he was a great thief that left a great mark in the world for his techniques that led to the creation of the Lupin Empire, talking with great pride and respect about his grandfather.

In Part 1 Episode 13 his grandson mentions that he is the grandson of a farmer named Jirokichi of Kawamuko and Mylene Lupin, a French woman. However, Lupin III says this to trick Mamo so it is unknown if this is really true.

He was the greatest thief of the 19th century[4] and his main opponent was Inspector Ganimard who continually tried to arrest him, this feud lasting for at least three generations.[5]

His goal was to steal the treasures of the world to build up the Lupin Empire. His skills were stealing treasure from aristocrats, cracked safes and stole jewelry while escaping by jumping out of windows. One of his earliest crimes was stealing the First Supper from one of Judas' descendants however there was a struggle between the two tearing the painting away. They ended up getting each half of the painting.[6] He stole the Book of Secrets detailing how Goemon Ishikawa's Zantetsuken, the "sword that cuts steal", was forged in the Kurotori Mountain area during the 19th century.[4] Due to his experience he had wrote the Thieves' Rule Book while on the Island of Thieves, inhabited by descendants of the vikings, the manual was later stolen by Lupin III after they used his identity for themselves.[7]

Sherlock Holmes framed him out of envy by disguising himself as the gentleman thief and stole a bra that belong to Empress Catherine of Russia, a pick axe that George Washington used to cut his father's cherry tree and an ear-pick used by King Arthur. According to Lupin II, he was angry when he heard the news and Lupin III told this story to Holmes III.[8]

There were a few failures in terms of his thefts, he was unable to steal the Bresson Diary[9] or to steal the real Mona Lisa from the Louvre.[10]

In terms of romance, Arsène was a womanizer where he had a gathering every night at his palace to have parties full of women. He appeared to be very happy as he had two women around him in one occasion.[11] One of his lovers was called Marianne where a portrait of her was painted. [12] He also got married to a nameless woman who had stolen from a drawer Napoleon's Dictionary from Napoleon III, she had a resemblance of Fujiko Mine however she was not happy when he threw coins at a party that he hosted.[11]

Arsène Lupin had a gambling addiction that caused the downfall of the Lupin Empire as well as his extravagant lifestyle that he could not sustain. The result was that his palace had been destroyed and Napoleon's Dictionary was handed down to his son. Despite his heists, no amount of money could fund it so his unnamed wife hid the treasure with a clue that she wrote in Napoleon's Dictionary. He managed to steal an invention that turned out to be a vacuum tube radio, due to that he had a patent and written a letter addressing to his children and his grandchildren claiming that it would be enormously profitable allowing them to have luxurious lives.[11]

Lupin III mentions to that his grandfather was penniless when he died. It was revealed that Arsène Lupin tricked the locals on an island into building a crypt in his name however they were annoyed and ganged up on him outside the door of his tomb, it was why he hid the location of his real grave.[8] At some point after his death, his silk hat, glasses and cape were exhibited on a French Fair by Inspector Ganimard III, the grandson of his rival. Lupin III steals back his grandfather's belongings after being challenged.[5] In Part 2 Episode 121, one of his hats was being held in a glass cabinet in a shop, but it was not for sale. Lupin III then stole it as it turned out that there was a note on the hat that mentioned that Johnny Gregoir received from Arsène Lupin an opal statue of Venus.[13]

In Part 2 Episode 14, Arsène Lupin I appears in a flashback of 50 years before where he was part of a expedition to raid the Devil temple that resulted in the death of the majority of the temple cultists.

His son, Lupin II, wore a suit that was similar to the one used by him.[4][14] He also had the same problem regarding gambling and being a womanizer.

Source material

A contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Maurice Leblanc (1864–1941) was the creator of the character of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin who, in Francophone countries, has enjoyed a popularity as long-lasting and considerable as Sherlock Holmes in the English-speaking world.

There are twenty volumes in the Arsène Lupin series written by Leblanc himself, plus five authorized sequels written by the celebrated mystery writing team of Boileau-Narcejac, as well as various pastiches.

The character of Lupin was first introduced in a series of short stories serialized in the magazine Je sais tout, starting in No. 6, dated 15 July 1905. He was originally called Arsène Lopin, until a local politician of the same name protested, resulting in the name change.

Arsène Lupin is a literary descendant of Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail's Rocambole. Like him, he is often a force for good, while operating on the wrong side of the law. Those whom Lupin defeats, always with his characteristic Gallic style and panache, are worse villains than he. Lupin shares distinct similarities with E. W. Hornung's archetypal gentleman thief A. J. Raffles who first appeared in The Amateur Cracksman in 1899, but both creations can be said to anticipate and have inspired later characters such as Louis Joseph Vance's The Lone Wolf and Leslie Charteris's The Saint.

The character of Arsène Lupin might also have been based by Leblanc on French anarchist Marius Jacob, whose trial made headlines in March 1905, but Leblanc had also read Octave Mirbeau's Les 21 jours d'un neurasthénique (1901), which features a gentleman thief named Arthur Lebeau, and had seen Mirbeau's comedy Scrupules (1902), whose main character is a gentleman thief.

Stories

  • Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar / Exploits of Arsène Lupin / Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin (Arsène Lupin, gentleman cambrioleur; 1907)
    • "The Arrest of Arsène Lupin" ("L'Arrestation d'Arsène Lupin"; Je sais tout #6; 15 July 1905)
    • "Arsène Lupin in Prison" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsène Lupin in Prison" ("Arsène Lupin en prison"; Je sais tout #11; 15 December 1905)
    • "The Escape of Arsène Lupin" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsène Lupin: The Escape of Arsene Lupin"("L'Évasion d'Arsène Lupin"; Je sais tout #12; 15 January 1906)
    • "The Mysterious Traveller" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsene Lupin: The Mysterious Traveler" ("Le Mystérieux voyageur"; Je sais tout #13; 15 February 1906)
    • "The Queen's Necklace" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsene Lupin: The Queen's Necklace" ("Le Collier de la reine"; Je sais tout #15; 15 April 1906)
    • "The Safe of Madame Imbert" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsene Lupin: The Safe of Madame Imbert"("Le Coffre-fort de madame Imbert"; Je sais tout #16; 15 May 1906)
    • "Herlock Sholmes Arrives Too Late" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsene Lupin: Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late" ("Sherlock Holmès arrive trop tard"; Je sais tout #17; 15 June 1906)
    • "The Black Pearl" / "The Extraordinary Life of Arsene Lupin: The Black Pearl"("La Perle noire"; Je sais tout #18; 15 July 1906)
    • "Seven of Hearts" / "How I Met Arsene Lupin: The Seven of Hearts" ("Le Sept de cœur"; Je sais tout #28; 15 May 1907)
  • Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes / Arsène Lupin versus Holmlock Shears (Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès; February 1908)
    • The Blonde Lady (Je sais tout; November 1906-April 1907)
    • The Jewish Lamp (Je sais tout; September-October 1907)
  • Arsène Lupin (play co-written by Francis de Croisset; 28 October 1908)
    • Arsène Lupin: By Edgar Jepson (1909 novelisation)
  • The Return of Arsène Lupin (play draft co-written by Francis de Croisset; Je sais tout #177-8 15 September 1920-15 October 1920)
  • The Hollow Needle (L'Aiguille creuse; June 1909; Je sais tout; November 1908-May 1909)
  • 813 (813; June 1910; Le Journal Mars-May 1910)
    • 813 / La Double Vie d'Arsène Lupin (1917 reedition)
    • Les Trois Crimes d'Arsène Lupin (1917 reedition)
  • An Adventure of Arsène Lupin / Une aventure d'Arsène Lupin (play; 15 September 1911)
  • The Crystal Stopper (Le Bouchon de cristal; 15 December 1912; Le Journal September-November 1912)
  • The Confessions of Arsène Lupin (Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin, 15 June 1913)
    • "Two hundred thousand Francs reward!" / "Les Jeux du soleil" ("Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin : Les Jeux du soleil"; Je sais tout #75, 15 April 1911)
    • "The wedding-ring" / "L'Anneau nuptial" ("Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin : L'Anneau nuptial"; Je sais tout #76, 15 May 1911)
    • "The sign of the shadow" / "Le Signe de l'ombre" ("Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin : Le Signe de l'ombre"; Je sais tout #77, 15 June 1911)
    • "The infernal trap" / "Le Piège infernal" ("Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin : Le Piège infernal"; Je sais tout #78, 15 July 1911)
    • "The red silk scarf" / "L'Écharpe de soie rouge" ("Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin : L'Écharpe de soie rouge"; Je sais tout #79, 15 August 1911)
    • "Shadowed by death" / "La Mort qui rôde" ("Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin : La Mort qui rôde"; Je sais tout #80, 15 September 1911)
    • "A tragedy in the Forest of Morgues " / "The Man with the Goatskin" / "L'homme à la peau de bique" (EN 1913; FR May 1927)
    • "Lupin's marriage" / "Le Mariage d'Arsène Lupin" (Je sais tout #94, 15 November 1912)
    • "The invisible prisoner" / "Le Fétu de paille" (Je sais tout #96, 15 January 1913)
    • "Edith Swan-Neck" / "Édith au cou de cygne" (Je sais tout #97, 15 February 1913)
  • The Teeth of The Tiger / Les Dents du tigre (EN 1914; FR June 1920; Le Journal 1920)
    • Don Luis Perenna (1920 ed.)
    • Le Secret de Florence (1920 ed.)
  • The Shell Shard / Woman of Mystery / L'Éclat d'obus (November 1916; Le Journal 21 September-7 November 1915; Lupin appears in the 1923 ed.)
  • The Golden Triangle / The Return of Arsène Lupin / Le Triangle d'or (1918)
  • The Island of Thirty Coffins / The Secret of Sarek / L’Île aux trente cercueils (October 1919; Le Journal June 1919)
    • Véronique (1922 ed.)
    • La Pierre miraculeuse (1922 ed.)
  • The Eight Strokes of The Clock / Les Huit Coups de l'horloge (August 1922; Excelsior December 1922)
    • "Au sommet de la tour"
    • "La Carafe d'eau"
    • "Thérèse et Germaine"
    • "Le Film révélateur"
    • "Le Cas de Jean-Louis"
    • "La Dame à la hache"
    • "Des pas sur la neige"
    • « Au Dieu Mercure »
  • The Secret Tomb / Dorothée, Danseuse de Corde (August 1923; Le Journal 28 January-16 March 1923): Lupin not present but same universe
  • The Countess of Cagliostro / Memoirs of Arsène Lupin / La Comtesse de Cagliostro (1924)
  • The Overcoat of Arsène Lupin / Le Pardessus d'Arsène Lupin (FR 1924 ed. La Dent d'Hercule Petitgris turned into a Lupin story in the EN 1926 The Popular Magazine ed.)
  • The Damsel With Green Eyes / The Girl With the Green Eyes, Arsène Lupin, Super Sleuth / La Demoiselle aux yeux verts (September 1927)
  • The Barnett & Co. Agency / Jim Barnett Intervenes, Arsène Lupin Intervenes / L'Agence Barnett et Cie. (February 1928)
    • "Les Gouttes qui tombent" (Lectures pour tous October 1927)
    • "La Lettre d'amour du roi George"
    • "La Partie de baccara"
    • "L'Homme aux dents d'or"
    • "Les Douze Africaines de Béchoux" (Lectures pour tous November 1927)
    • "Le hasard fait des miracles" (Lectures pour tous January 1928)
    • "Gants blancs... guêtres blanches..."
    • "Béchoux arrête Jim Barnett"
    • "The Bridge That Broke" (EN 1929 ed. only)
  • The Mysterious Mansion / The Melamare Mystery / La Demeure mystérieuse (July 1929; Le Journal 25 June-31 July 1928)
  • "The Emerald Cabochon" / "Le Cabochon d'émeraude" (Les Annales Politiques et Littéraires 15 November 1930)
  • This Woman is Mine / Cette femme est à moi (play; 1930; L'Aiguille Preuve #17 bis 2015)
  • The Mystery of The Green Ruby / La Barre-y-va (1931; Le Journal 8 August-15 September 1930)
  • A Quarter-hour with Arsène Lupin / Un quart d'heure avec Arsène Lupin (play; 1932; L'Aiguille Preuve #17 bis 2015)
  • The Woman With Two Smiles / The Double Smile / La Femme aux deux sourires (July 1933; Le Journal 6 June-20 August 1932)
  • Victor of the Vice Squad / The Return of Arsène Lupin / Victor de la Brigade mondaine (January 1934)
  • The Revenge of The Countess of Cagliostro / La Cagliostro se venge (July 1935)
  • The Billions of Arsène Lupin (Les Milliards d'Arsène Lupin, November 1941 (w/o chapter IX "The Safe" / "Les coffres-forts"; L'Auto 10 January-11 February 1939)
  • The Last Love of Arsène Lupin / Le Dernier Amour d'Arsène Lupin (2011; written c. 1936)
  • The Justice of Arsène Lupin / La Justice d'Arsène Lupin (1977, written by Boileau-Narcejac)

Outside of the novellas; there were multiple films, a pan European TV series from 1971-1974, a cartoon known in English as Night Hood due to copyright regarding the Lupin name (other countries used the Arsène Lupin name such as France, Germany, Hungary and Quebec in Canada) and appeared in the game Sherlock Holmes vs Arsène Lupin renamed to Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis. There were also two TV series inspired by him both called Lupin, a 2007 Philippines series aired on GMA Network [1] and a French 2021 series that aired on Netflix [2].

He was popular in Japan and outside of Lupin III had inspired works such as Persona 5 and the Super Sentai series Lupinranger VS Patranger.

Trivia

  • According to Leblanc's novel The Countess of Cagliostro, he was born in 1874. The novel also has him meet a young man claiming to be his son, Jean, who in this continuity may or may not be Arsène Jr's half brother.
  • Part 1 Episode 13 suggests that he a quarter Japanese. However, Lupin III was saying this to trick Kyosuke Mamo.
  • In most appearances when Lupin I is featured in any of the anime adaptions, his appearance would resemble that of the original Arsène Lupin from the original LeBlanc novels, dressed with a black overcoat with a top hat and a eye monocle. The only difference is that his face would greatly resemble Lupin's. The exception is Part III Episode 10 where his face does not resemble his grandson and more of a traditional representation of the character.
  • The manga had a different character design where he resembles an old man; in the year 1967 he would be 93 years old.
  • In the flashback in Part 2 Episode 14 Arsène is seen with a walking stick, most probably his weapon.
  • In the Italian dub of Lupin the 3rd Part 2 due to copyright reasons, Arsène Lupin had aliases such as Lord Hamilton, Jed Marshall and Edward Roger. For the same reason, in the French dub of Lupin the 3rd Part 1 he was known as Gaspard de la Cambriole with the "de la Cambriole" being a title.
  • It is revealed by Lupin III that he smoked a peppermint pipe.[13]
  • Don Dorune from The Secret of Twilight Gemini was originally planned to be an elderly Arsène Lupin making both Lara and Lupin III his grandchildren. NTV however were aware of the copyright issues regarding the Lupin name since it would have been exported as Cliff Hanger: The Secret of Twilight Gemini at the time and told Hideki Mitsui that Lupin III cannot be connected to Arsène Lupin. [15].This meant that the final script only has a slight hint such as Dorune calling Lupin III "baby" (or Loopy in the English dub). His appearance resembles Arsène Lupin from the manga while the TV Special was itself inspired by The Teeth of the Tiger.[16]
  • According to Part 2 Episode 138 he hates snakes and that is the reason for why he did not steal Pompeii's treasure protected by venomous snakes.
  • George Orwell describes him in his essay Raffles and Miss Blandish as being a near-contemporary of Raffles, noting they both scored off the German Emperor and, similar to Raffles fighting in the Boer war, Arsène enlisted in the Foreign Legion.

Sighting

References

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