Categories
Personal

Say Hello to Lupin III

Lupin heading out for his twice-daily walk.

On this Lunar New Year’s Day, I’m very happy to share that we’ve welcomed in a new family member. Please say hello to Lupin III, or Lupin for short (which I pronounce the Japanese way as “rupan“).

Lupin was rescued in mid-December in nearby Hangzhou after being hit by a car and not being able to walk. As he was then blocking traffic, a nearby security guard who knew of someone who supports an animal rescue organization contacted him, and he was able to save Lupin by coming to get him and bringing him to a vet. He was there for about two weeks, and was eventually able to walk again (it was apparently a spine-related injury).

My wife was looking at a rescue animal site, and came across a photo of him, and decided to contact the person who was temporarily watching him (the person who rescued him). After discussing things for a week, we decided to give it a try for 2-3 weeks, and so the person drove him over to our place in Shanghai (on January 6), and he’s been with us since.

And we made the decision to permanently adopt him.

He appears to be a Golden Retriever — blonde like the English type (like I’ve had in the past), rather than the reddish/brown of the American type — and according to the vet he’s probably around 1 years old, although we think he’s younger, maybe more around 9-11 months, as he’s still on the small side, but that could be because he’s just on the smaller side, or that he’s a mix. The fact that a good part of his body is shaved due to treatment after the accident (he was very dirty as well) makes it hard to guess as well.

We got a him a little red raincoat for walks in the rain.

He’s incredibly loving, and seems to be very happy to be with us, and we love him very much as well. We of course don’t know what kind of life he had before the accident (the rescuer did post messages on various sites to try and see if he had an owner who had lost him, but never got any responses), but we’re happy to now welcome him in our family.

Oh, and yes, he’s named after one of my favorite anime characters, Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin.

Categories
Anime

My Ten Favorite Anime Series

At work I like to organize some fun times at the end of every week — I even have a name for it, the “Friday Fluke.” Part of it is getting a drink, relaxing a bit with colleagues, and playing some games (our go-to tends to be various forms of Werewolf). Last week I introduced a new part to it, and that’s to encourage everyone to do a presentation about something they’re passionate about using the PechaKucha format. The idea is to have fun and get to know each other better, so it can be about anything, like your favorite albums, a trip you took, etc. I kicked it off with a round-up of my 10 favorite anime series (not including movies), and so here’s what I came up with, in alphabetical order.

Captain Harlock
Or to me, Albator, as he is known in French, which is the language I watched it as a kid. I believe it was the 1978 series, and it’s my favorite cartoon from my childhood. It’s a bit surprising in a way, because I’m sure so much of it went over my head, but I was obsessed with Harlock’s ship, and my go-to building project with my LEGO blocks was to create giant ships that looked like it.

Cowboy Bebop
I always consider this as one of my very favorite series, and I think it’s as close to perfect as a series gets for me. Great characters, an awesome soundtrack, and fun space adventures. What else do you need?

Future Boy Conan
Another series from the 70s (and in fact, 1978 as well), I only watched it a couple of years ago, and found it to be hugely enjoyable. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, you do get a lot of proto-Ghibli feels, despite the admittedly crude animation (standard for the time).

Junji Ito Collection
I’m a huge fan of Junji Ito’s horror manga — favorites include Tomie and Uzumaki — and this is a fantastic adaptation of his short stories (each episode is made up of a few shorts). It was produced last year, but I already consider it a favorite.

Lupin III
I’m a longtime Lupin fan, and I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve seen, which includes various TV series, TV movies, and movies (Miyazaki’s Castle of Cagliostro is a fave). Most recently we got the Part V series, and it’s just as fun as any other Lupin series.

Monster
Based on the manga by Naoki Urasawa — one of my favorite mangaka — this anime adaptation is massive (over 70 episodes), and riveting. I absolutely loved watching it as it was airing, anxious to see where it would end up going (I had never read the manga, strangely).

Neon Genesis Evangelion
Well, it is a classic, and not for being a giant mech show, but rather for everything it did to deconstruct the mech genre, and mess with everyone’s expectations. I haven’t re-watched it since back in the day, but I am excited to revisit it when it shows up on Netflix this summer.

Paranoia Agent
I’m a huge fan of Satoshi Kon’s films, and loved this series — the only one he created — just as much. Psychologically daring and visually aggressive, same as with his movies.

Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter
Goro Miyazaki — Hayao Miyazaki’s son — doesn’t get a lot of love, but I quite enjoyed this series he directed a few years ago, the only Ghibli TV production. The use of CG was criticized, but I thought he managed to create a lovely series, with a lot of fun character moments.

Samurai Champloo
I usually consider my top 3 series to be this, Cowboy Bebop, and Monster. Just like Bebop, you get the fantastic soundtrack (here hip-hop instead of jazz), the great characters, and the fun adventure. Even better is how the hip-hop influences the aesthetics and pacing of the show.

Categories
Anime TV

Lupin the Third

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As I mentioned in my post about re-watching The Castle of Cagliostro, it got my in a Lupin mood, and so after watching a bit from the early shows I’ve now settled on watching a series that aired last year. Simply called Lupin the Third, it’s considered the fifth Lupin series, and is set in Italy — it even first aired in Italy, where it has the subtitle The Italian Adventure. The animation for it is really beautiful, and it feels classic, with a great soundtrack and the portrayals of the characters as you’d expect. I’m quite enjoying it so far, and look forward to watching the whole thing (there are 26 episodes).