"High School Undercover"
Synopsis: School's in session when Lupin is forced to pose as a high school teacher when a diamond he stole ends up in the backpack of a budding juvenile deliquent in a school full of attitude problems. The teachers themselves are up to no good, looking to use a bomb to take out criminals who've been threatening them, and when they get their hands on the stolen jewel, Lupin has to restrain himself in handling them. Does this ragtag bunch of scholastic schemers have what it takes to match wits with the world's greatest thief? By the end, somebody will certainly have to be saved by the bell when Lupin teaches an important lesson!
Hey, kids, would you like to see master thief Lupin III, whose stolen priceless art, fought assassins and monsters, befriended ghosts, received curses from dead kings, defied dictators, and encountered alien clones, and seen and performed cosmic miracles... go undercover in a local high school to retrieve a diamond from a teenager? Well, while I maintain that most of Lupin's best adventures are a bit more grounded than fighting vampires, and the best writer can make the most maundane situations compelling, it's safe to say that nobody, anywhere, on the face of this earth, including probably the people who made this episode, wanted this.
Okay, so an episode of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine saw Fujiko go undercover as a teacher at an exclusive girl's academy to seduce a demure debutant to retreive her father's research while secretly working with Lupin to fool Zenigata's junior partner Oscar. But somehow they managed to make that spicy and atmospheric. Here, it's just Lupin bumbling a mission and ending up solving a pretty common (outside of the teachers building a bomb) jevenile deliquency problem in his bid for his missing prize. Posing as a teacher named Pierre, he hopes to locate and extract the jewel, but the troubled teachers plan to use it as... I don't know, some kind of conductor for their bomb. They can't choose a less expensive method to make an explosive device? This seems a might bit contrived.
The whole episode ends up being about the teachers (especially one in particular, Mario) overcoming their fear of the gang that threatened them and sticking up for their students even if they're thuggish pains in the ass. Which is fine, I suppose, if it didn't seem like they completely crowbar Lupin into this situation. It makes it seem like it's not really an episode of a Lupin TV series at all, because Lupin's sole contribution is a pep talk and his many, many interesting facial expressions. Lupin doesn't even care about the diamond at the end, he just threw it into a stream after the trouble he went through to retrieve it.
Then there's this really bizarre ending where the diamond ends up in the ocean and a dolphin that jumps into the air near a boat Fujiko is relaxing on ends up depositing it betwixt her ample bosoms. Fujiko just thanks the dolphin. End of episode.
Honestly... this episode kind of sucked. While there were some interesting character interactions, and seeing Lupin in a new situation has its novelty, that novelty wore off before the mid episode eye catch. Sorry, Telecom, you can't make the boring interesting with production values.
2 out of 5