New shows: Lupin/Fujiko, Kimi to Boku II, Kuromajo-san

I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch Lupin III – Mine Fujiko to lu Onna. All I’ve seen of this iconic franchise is that one movie and that 1980s arcade game that stood there in a movie theatre I once worked at (showing you how old I am). I’d heard that the later versions of Lupin had been toned down and that this was supposedly a throwback to earlier, more risque years. They weren’t kidding.

Fujiko Mine as you've never seen her before!

This latest incarnation shows you precisely what you’re going to get with the introductory credits: a Fujiko monologue about theft and eroticism accompanied by eye-opening images–and not just for the nudity. Right from the start you know that this show will have a lot of visual style, and the fusion-jazz soundtrack isn’t something the older Lupins had, either. This week’s caper involves a cult which uses a drug on its followers. Fujiko is out to steal the secret of the drug and so “marries” the decrepit cult leader with some disgusting kissing, thus drugging him, and is ready to get at the source when a guy in a green jacket ambles in, messing up her plans, and they’re both captured.

They escape death (Fujiko has no qualms about killing if necessary) in their own ways, go after the drug again, one-up and double-cross each other, not out of any malice that I can see. Rather, they seem to be testing each other’s ability to not only overcome but top the other’s latest trick, to see if they’re worthy of affection, well, maybe that’s how Lupin looks at it. I’m not sure what’s in Fujiko’s mind. Everyone else who’s around, the followers, the goons with guns, are just tools for one to use on another.

Look who else shows up.

It ends up the way these things usually do. For all the extra sensuality and violence, not to mention the art style, this is still a Lupin III show. I wonder what the purists will think of it. Will they cry foul or embrace the new look? I’m not an expert, much less a purist, and certainly not a puritan, so I liked it, at least episode one.

Same as always.

I don’t know if I really want to watch another season of Kimi to Boku. The first season got pretty annoying, Yuuta and Yuuki’s dryness were funny at times but they spent too much time trying to piss people off, especially Kanade. Meanwhile, Chizuru was just annoying. The second season looks to be pretty much the same. The boys invite themselves over to Kanade’s house, look at constellations, and piss each other off about baths. Dunno. Masaki will appear next week, so maybe things will pick up a bit.

Kuromajo-san ga Tooru isn’t a bad way to kill seven miinutes. We got a girl named Chiyoko who’s interested in the occult and accidently conjures the black witch Gyubid while she tried to conjure Cupid when she had a head cold. Now she’s a witch-in-training whether she likes it or not. Unlike that other show where girls with magic might become witches, this one is lighthearted and silly. And it has an interesting premise: beings from the spirit world are actually manifestations of the living’s fears and anger. This will give Chiyoko opportunites to solve her friends’ problems. Episode one had a few too many infodump moments but mostly rolled cheerfully along.

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