Lupin III: 10 Things Only True Fans Know About Jigen

When it comes to this long-running anime series, everyone always thinks about Lupin, Fujiko, and Goemon. Lupin’s the face of the group, while Fujiko is the sultry seductress who always gets away with the score, even if she has to betray the others to do it. And Goemon is remembered off his absurd feats of beating literally entire armies with nothing more than his samurai blade.

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But how many people think about Jigen? The hard smoking marksman who plays the straightman to Lupin’s ridiculous antics? The one member of the group who can always keep his head, Jigen is seen the most compared to any other character besides Lupin, but we talk about him the least. This list is devoted to ten things only true fans know about Jigen Daisuke.


While Lupin and Goemon are both inspired by characters from history/historical fiction, and Fujiko is basically the personification of All Bond Girls, Jigen came from a different source. Series’ creator Monkey Punch claims the sharpshooter is based off of James Coburn’s character in The Magnificent Seven, Britt. Like Jigen, Britt was also good with guns, though his expertise also extended to knives as well. Interestingly enough, the character’s voice actor is Kiyoshi Kobayashi, a voice actor who’s dubbed many of James Coburn’s characters into Japanese.



Everybody has a weird cameo on their resume somewhere. The only people who don’t tend to be those who aren’t even approaching famous. But Jigen doesn’t have that problem, which is why he appears in the classic Warner Bros.’ series the Animaniacs. In the first season during episode 26, Sir Yaksalot, the character appears in the background pulling a yak-drawn wagon. Since the Animaniacs were characters deemed too wacky for even other cartoons, it makes sense to have cartoon characters from other series guest-star occasionally.


It’s always interesting to see the range certain voice actors have concerning their characters. In America, Jigen has had multiple voice actors, largely due to the series’ age and how the rights to each of the series has bounced about over the years, as everyone from Discotek to Manga Entertainment at one point dubbed either a series or film.

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The voice everyone knows from the Adult Swim/Discotek version was Richard Epcar, who was also responsible for Joseph Joestar, from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Starlight Crusaders. More recently, the Funimation dub has used the legendary Christopher Sabat, Vegeta himself.


Everyone has their weaknesses. Jigen’s terrible with women (mostly because they all wind up betraying him or dying), but his real problem is that he’s afraid of the dentist. He’s outright refused to go before, and this has turned into something of a running gag in one series, where his achy tooth indicates danger, causing him to become anxious. He’s even created problems for himself and the team before in the 1998 TV special Crisis in Tokyo, as he refused to get it fixed and it started making him miss his shots.


Jigen’s a caricature of tough guys past. As such, he’s well known for liking dark liquor and smoking. We see him smoking pretty much all the time, as it’s what he does when he’s feeling relaxed—the only time he puts a cigarette out is when he’s on edge. We’ve seen the character go through two brands of cigarettes—Marlboro boxed and Pall Mall. Supposedly, he’s known for going through sixty cigarettes a day, as listed in the DVD booklet for the Mystery of Mamo. This is not someone anyone should try to emulate.


In the same way Goemon is cartoonishly good with a blade, Jigen is that great with a gun. He’s done the impossible and taken people out by quickdrawing in three tenths of a second. He’s made missiles explode by hitting the warhead, and caused bullets to miss by shooting them while they’re actually aimed at a target. He mainly sticks to his own weapon, but the truth is he’s used countless others to get the job done over the years: machine guns, sniper rifles, anti-tank rifles. He’s simply a master in long range combat.


Much like all the characters of the series with the exception of Lupin, Jigen’s experienced massive changes from what was originally intended for the character early on. When he was first introduced, he was less of a friend and more of a hired gun Lupin had picked up during the seventh chapter of the series. They don’t go into his backstory, all we know is that he’d kill anyone for the right price, including Lupin. As the series continues, they develop his character into becoming the close friend of Lupin’s he’s been since then.


The nature of a series like Lupin is that we’re often more focused on what’s happening in a character’s present, with the past only being brought up to tell a specific story. However, we’re given a glimpse of Jigen’s past in The Woman Named Fujiko Mine, where we learn Jigen was a part of not one, but two different mobs.

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Originally he was a member of the New York mob, but sometime later he chooses to move to Europe and join the Italian mob. The second mob leads to the character becoming tired of being a hired gun and moving towards his own path in life.


The Woman Named Fujiko Mine gave us the origin of Jigen’s weapon. While in the Italian mob, he got close to the mob boss’s wife, Cicciolina. When the boss realizes this, he attempts to have them both killed, but his wife kills him first on accident. Jigen takes the gun and allows her to continue living while he ran off and joined the Chinese mafia. Later, Fujiko is responsible for stealing the gun from Jigen and giving it to Cicciolina. When the two meet up again, Cicciolina fakes using it to get Jigen to kill her. In doing so, she successfully takes her own life, and makes Jigen tired of being used as a hired gun.


In one episode of the Red Jacket era of Lupin, we learn that Jigen uses the notch of his hat to help aim. However, this is something we’ve only seen from the character once or twice. He’s by no means completely helpless without his hat, and on the contrary he’s made several shots that no real life marksman could ever hope to hit without even wearing it. More importantly, he’s made shots while wearing the hat that the notch on his hat would be completely useless in helping him hit. It’s not the hat, he’s just that dang good.

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