Episode 0, "The Times"
Synopsis: Daisuke Jigen finds himself at odds with the changing landscape of thievery and the world in general and wonders if he should quit. Plastic guns, drones, restricting foam, it all becomes too much for him. But the world's gratest thief, his friend Lupin III, is confident that he still has value, and he wants to utilize it to escape from Inspector Zenigata. Has Jigen's time run out, or does the gunslinger have a few more rounds?
"You're not old, you're a classic... Jigen."
Lupin The 3rd Part 5 was all about how the times have changed and the Lupin gang has to try to keep up with the cutting edge to continue their heists. But it was also about how no matter what happens, they're all "classics". Lupin said in an episode where Jigen challenged their value in the tech-savvy world that he wants to see how things turn out. He wants to play things out to the very end. Here, he opines, "You know that when the times change, all we have to do is change with 'em." But Jigen counters by saying he won't just jump in bed with any era like his partner. Usually Goemon is the most "out of time", a living anachronism, but he sees everything as just more training, while Jigen is more reflective and probably a little sentimental.
Here we have an extension of Part 5 for our "zeroeth" episode of Part 6, sort of a capper on that last series more than an episode of this one. But mostly it's a farewell to Kiyoshi Kobayashi, the Japanese voice actor who has played Jigen almost completely uninterrupted for over fifty years (the only exception being in 1987's The Fuma Conspiracy). He's finally retiring this year after being the iconic voice of an iconic character for so long, so it makes sense that the character himself would consider hanging up the hat and Magnum. The episode is very personal and character-driven and introspective, probably not good for newcomers to the franchise. It's a special goodbye and an acknowledgement of a job well done by Kobayashi. It couldn't possibly have the same gravity when it's eventually dubbed into English.
One of the interesting things about all this character interaction, besides how naturally it flows, is Jigen's admission that while he and her don't really get along, Fujiko is a "mighty fine woman". I don't know if that's just because of the subs I had for this episode, but "mighty fine woman" is also the phrase used in The Woman Called Fujiko Mine when Lupin describes her. I thought that was an interesting callback, even if that series and this are probably different continuities.
A great sendoff to Kobayashi that paves the way for Jigen's new voice actor Akio Otsuka and a brand new journey for the Lupin gang.
4 out of 5