"The Lovesick Pig"
Synopsis: Lupin tries to cut his love in two when he promises both Rebecca and Fujiko to take them as a date to a private party to auction off a dead count's wine collection. He attempts to split his affections and time between the two women, hoping neither of them notice the other or his swift switching between them. Both women, however, are after the same thing: a special wine said to make people fall in love, Rebecca for the thrill of the steal and Fujiko for profit. But when the whole crowd is lovestruck, will this potion prove poisonous or will Lupin have his best treasure yet, the hearts of two beautiful women? This Lupin adventure will have you exclaiming, "In vino veritas!"
Lupin is an incorrigible womanizer. Well, not a successful one, by and large, but when he sees a pretty face (and a body to match), he's driving it pretty strong to the hoop. In the manga, he's a bit more, ahem, forceful in the matter, and ends up getting lucky just as often as rejected, but in the anime, he usually ends up with a case of something blue, and it isn't his jacket. Such is the case with this episode, sadly for him, but it's probably for the best under the circumstances. Who even knows how this love potion works?
Well, the episode's set up is so basic it's a sitcom plot, promising a date to two different women on the same night, and dashing in between them to try to keep them none the wiser. You can almost hear the laugh track in the background it's so rote. Actually, there are a couple of funny scenes with this, such as jealous partygoers who can't see what Fujiko sees in Lupin, with his monkey face. It makes you wonder if Lupin is intended to be somewhat handsome or everyone realizes his physical shortcomings in the conventional looks department. I also like him flubbing the ladies' drink orders and getting Rebecca a plate of fries, her favorite (is she Italian or American?). But honestly, I'm happy they eventually shift gears into the contest for the love wine.
I hate to be one of those people, but that love potion element is uh... kind of rapey? And it's implied that once under the influence of the love potion, you'll fuck anyone. Man, woman, whatever. A bunch of men grab at Lupin (which, given his behavior in the manga, is somewhat just deserts), when previously only having been interested in the ladies. Are they implying that the men there are all bisexual (at least) or that the "love potion" overrides your mind and sexual preference? Because either of those possibilities is... a little disturbing. I could be overthinking it, though. It's supposed to be another "wacky hijink" element, but I can't help thinking that it raises a whole host of questions in my mind that I can scrub off the face of the episode.
It's an okay episode with a decent dark twist towards the end, though the twist is mostly ignored for more hijinks. We also get a little bit of the upcoming story threads with Rebecca reflecting on Fujiko's question about whether or not she ever had really been in love before. Obviously something has been on Rebecca's mind for a while, and we're about to find out just what.
3 out of 5