Fujiko might simultaneously be the most enigmatic and most popular member of the Lupin cast. She’s essentially the First Lady of Anime, as she’s been around since the mid-70s, making appearance in every one of Lupin’s television series, films, and TV specials. She stands out not just for her longevity though, but for her incredible fashion sense, and how often she makes her way out of an episode making everyone else look foolish, sometimes (usually) even Lupin himself.
She’s the only character to ever have an entire series where they were the focal character aside from Lupin, in the 2012 series The Woman Named Fujiko Mine, so this list delves into ten facts anime fans don’t know about Fujiko Mine.
10 WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED TO BE MULTIPLE WOMEN
Interestingly enough, despite being one of the most three-dimensional characters in anime, Fujiko wasn’t really intentioned to have the role that she does in the series. Initially, Lupin’s creator Monkey Punch wanted to do something similar to the Bond movies, where a different “Bond Girl” would show up for each new story. The problem was, like most manga, Lupin was coming out once a week, and creating a new woman every week for his stories was more work than he cared to do. So Fujiko wound up being a character who could be used repeatedly, joining the cast later.
9 NAMED AFTER MOUNT FUJI
While both Lupin and Goemon are based on legendary thieves, Fujiko isn’t quite so lucky with her name. After all, Monkey Punch only created her because making a bunch of different girls every week was too much work. He decided to name her after Mount Fuji, adding the suffix -ko to signify her gender. Mine was used as her family name because it meant Summit, adding to the mountain analogy. This almost certainly had something to do with the way she was drawn, considering it directly translates to “the peaks of Mount Fuji”.
8 HAS WORKED WITH GOEMON SEPARATELY
Typically, when people think of all the Lupin characters, they think of them pulling off heists and capers together. And to some extent this is true, as by the end of many missions they wind up running off together from Zenigata. But that’s not always how missions start out, and in fact many of them have been Lupin and Jigen only, with Goemon only coming in occasionally.
Pulling off heists with Fujiko is rare, because she’s often working against them in an attempt to rip them off. But that hasn’t stopped Goemon from working with her occasionally to achieve mutually beneficial goals.
7 GOT MARRIED TO LUPIN ONCE
In the episode “A Wedding Ring is An Accursed Trap”, Fujiko comes up with scheme related to marrying Lupin. She tells the famous thief she’ll marry him if he finds her a cursed diamond ring. Naturally he finds one, and so they wind up going to the altar. But Fujiko tricks Lupin by dressing as an old woman, which terrifies Lupin and causes him to run off. However, he’s unaware of this until after they’ve both said “I Do”, which means the two of them were technically married. However, the show never acknowledges this fact again.
6 WAS ORIGINALLY AN ASSASSIN
During the episode from the Green Jacket era of Lupin, “Killer Sings the Blues”, we learn a bit more about Fujiko’s background. Apparently, there was once a group named the Golden Couple, who worked for a group known as the Syndicate. The Golden Couple were a pair of contract killers made up of a female assassin and a man named Killer Poon. Eventually, the woman betrayed the organization and Poon was asked to kill her. Unable to go through with it, the woman disappeared, and Fujiko appeared, complete with total amnesia prior to three years before meeting Lupin.
5 LUPIN KILLED HER FATHER
The original manga adds some additional backstory to the Lupin characters that even some long-time fans of the characters wouldn’t necessarily be aware of. Like for instance in chapter eleven of the manga, a man named The Doctor was asked by a villain named King to kill Lupin. He comes to Lupin’s estate with the intent of killing Lupin, but of course is unable to, and is killed in his attempt. After his death, Fujiko explains that the man Lupin killed was her father. Though we don’t know just how her relationship was with her father, it still complicates her relationship with Lupin.
4 WAS ORIGINALLY CHASED BY ZENIGATA
In 2002, TMS Entertainment released a film to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Lupin’s television series. Called “Episode 0: The First Contact”, the story recounts the tale of how Jigen first met Lupin and everyone else. The story starts out with Jigen being hired to guard the Clam of Helmeth, a cylinder made of unbreakable metal.
During this storyline, Zenigata starts his neverending mission, but doesn’t seek to arrest Lupin...but Fujiko instead! This is a huge difference from later arcs in the series where Zenigata is often willing to give up on the others if it means catching Lupin.
3 IS BISEXUAL
As the Queen of all Femme Fatales, for better or worse Fujiko’s sexuality is constantly on display. In the past, many of her missions have involved seducing men to get what she wants, but in the sixth episode of her solo series “The Woman Named Fujiko Mine”, she actually seduces a woman. While posing as a teacher in the episode, she has no problem encouraging girls to fall for her, and winds up stealing from a girl named Isolde after convincing her of her affections. It seems her sexuality is just as fluid as the rest of her personality.
2 HAS GROWN MORE TALENTED
Over the years, Fujiko’s developed increasingly more skills to keep up with Lupin and the others. Of course back in the day it was revealed she was an assassin who lost her memory, but there are many ways to be skilled in the art of mysterious deaths without necessarily being good at more overt forms of violence. This has changed massively in the years since then, as Fujiko has shown herself not only to be a crack shot with a pistol (favoring the Browning M1910), but also pretty skilled with martial arts, even capable of beating people twice her size with ease.
1 IS IN LOVE WITH LUPIN
It seems unbelievable given how many times she’s betrayed Lupin, but it’s true. She’s never left Lupin in a situation he couldn’t get himself out of. The truth is, both of them are afraid of being honest with themselves about their emotions, with Fujiko only admitting how she feels about Lupin when his life is in danger. The most recent series Lupin III Part V, sees her frustration boil over with him after their last attempt at being a proper couple fails, and much of the storyline is about Lupin finally displaying something “real” to her.