Lupin Zero season 1, episode 1 recap – “Young Lupin Meets a Wolf”

By Nubia Brice
Published: December 16, 2022 (Last updated: January 8, 2023)
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Whether you’re a longtime fan or just meeting Lupin for the first time, this first episode is the perfect introduction to a world of fun antics and crazy wild heists.

We recap the HIDIVE anime series Lupin Zero season 1, episode 1, “Young Lupin Meets a Wolf,” which contains spoilers.

Lupin the Third is one of the longest-running anime franchises out there, but it never disappoints. For years, fans have watched Lupin, a young man from a family of thieves, and his friends as they engage in elaborate heists with varying results. Whether or not they succeed, and they generally do, each episode is guaranteed to be filled with plenty of jokes and fun tropes, making it easy to enjoy.

Lupin Zero takes the same iconic characters fans already know but paints them in an entirely new light. It not only gives viewers new heists and adventures to enjoy but also shows us exactly how they became the talented criminals from the original series. The anime follows teenage Lupin (voiced by Tasuku Hatanaka) growing up in the 1960s. His father would prefer he not end up in a life of crime, but Lupin has other plans. He’s determined to make his own way; if that involves being a thief, so be it. This is the story of how the world’s greatest thief got his start.

Lupin Zero season 1, episode 1 recap

The episode starts at Lupin’s school, where he has just scored at the top of his class in mid-terms again. On the roof, he swindles several of his classmates in a dice betting game but quickly seems bored.

Down below, Lupin and his friends see a biker gang pull up, looking for a boy named Jigen. At first, no one seems to know where he is, but soon a boy in a large hat walks up. He shoots at the gang, scaring them away, and then walks out just as casually as he entered. This cool kid is Jigen, and he’s immediately piqued Lupin’s interest.

That night, Lupin takes his friends out. Despite being in an adult club, he sees Jigen across the room making a deal with an older man. As he attempts to sell an antique gun, Lupin strolls up, expressing his interest in learning more about Jigen. Jigen is uninterested, saying he does not get involved with pampered rich kids like Lupin.

On the stage in front of the club, a woman and a man get into an altercation, and the woman runs away. The man follows, but Lupin sticks his foot out as he passes, tripping him. When he goes down, more men appear from the hall, clearly after this unnamed woman. Lupin grabs her, encouraging her to follow him to safety. As they run, she introduces herself as Yoko before the men catch up. As Lupin and Yoko find themselves on stage with guns pointed toward them, he calls out to Jigen for help. Confused, Jigen doesn’t understand how or why he would assist them before Lupin reveals that he already stole the antique guns Jigen was trying to sell. If he wants them back, he will have to help Lupin out of this jam.

Reluctantly Jigen steps in, pulling out his gun and proving to be a skilled sharpshooter as he disarms the men. They flee, but Lupin is caught, and forced to outsmart the men before escaping his car with Yoko and Jigen. She reveals to them that the men are actually part of the Yakuza gang called the Kanto Fujioka gang, who are trying to cut in on a deal she’s making.

Lupin drives them to his home, a large mansion complete with a gate and staff. Outside, his housekeeper Shinobu scolds Lupin for going against his father’s wishes and getting involved in something crime related. While Lupin’s father would prefer he walk the straight and narrow, Lupin would prefer to take part in the “family business”. This conversation confuses his guests, especially Jigen, who just assumed that Lupin was a spoiled kid who came from money.

Yoko calls her friend Jiro for a ride from Lupin’s, but he says he’s in the middle of loading cargo at Port 11 in Harumi, so it will have to wait until later. Lupin returns the guns he stole to Jigen, thanking him, but when Lupin tries to ask him personal questions, Jigen attempts to leave. He only stays when Yoko stops him, saying she must express gratitude to them. To thank them, Yoko performs for them, singing a song so lovely that Lupin and Jigen are both immediately enamored by her.

In Lupin’s room, Jigen and Lupin discuss what they know about the Kanto Fujioka gang. As the two banter back and forth, they end up fighting like brothers before Shinobu knocks on the door. She brings them the farewell letter Yoko wrote before she left, thanking them again.

Yoko leaves Lupin’s house to meet Jiro, but when she goes to get into his car, she sees that he has set her up. Suddenly a Kanto Fujioka gang member seated in the back grabs her and forces her inside the car. Lupin and Jigen barely manage to run outside and see her get taken. She tells them not to run after her, but they still attempt to anyway and fail. Upset at having a heist pulled on him right under his nose, Lupin vows to get revenge.

Yoko finds herself tied up on a board with the Kanto Fujioka gang as they attempt to drug her and coerce her into giving them a secret password they need. Just before they can administer the needle, a lacky rushes in to tell them they’re being followed. Just behind their ship, on a small speed boat, are Lupin and Jigen, and the boys are gaining on them.

The men wonder how Lupin could’ve known where they were, but a flashback soon reveals that Shinobu was eavesdropping on Yoko’s earlier phone call.

Lupin manages to evade every bullet as gang members shoot at him from their boat deck, but getting on board is more challenging as the gang members throw dynamite sticks into the water around them. A particularly large explosion sends Lupin’s boat flying, allowing him and Jigen to jump off onto the larger vessel.

Once on board, Lupin begins mocking gang members, declaring his intention to steal Yoko back from them. As gang member’s from every crevice of the boat start shooting at him, Jigen pushes Lupin out of the way, getting hit in the arm in the process.

Ending Explained

Jigen advises Lupin to run as he gets patched up. He says an amateur like him has no place in a fight like this, but Lupin claims he is no amateur. Jigen reveals that he’s had a hard life following his father through warzones, so this is nothing for him. To prove himself, Lupin dives out into the line of fire, retrieving the gun Jigen dropped earlier.

As he shoots back, he tells Jigen about his own background, coming from a family of thieves. He has no interest in taking the straight and narrow path, no matter how much easier it probably is. His goal is to live a life that hasn’t already been predetermined for him, reveals Lupin as he runs out of bullets. Jigen tells him that if he’s serious, now is the time to choose: fall back or charge ahead. Lupin decides it’s a no-brainer, and the two charge forward, kicking back a pair of dynamite sticks thrown at them by the gang members.

The gang quickly loses track of Jigen and Lupin, who have disappeared into the air ducts at this point. They manage to blow a hole in the ship, which quickly begins sinking.

Lupin and Jigen catch the men trying to abandon the ship and fight them off before finding Yoko tied up. Upon her release, she asks who they are really, to which Lupin replies that he’s still trying to figure that out.

Luckily for Yoko, the ship manages to hit land before sinking entirely, so she can still make her deal. As they wait for her contacts to arrive, Lupin and Jigen find themselves playing around just like earlier in his room, and the three end up laughing together.

Back at school, Lupin shows Jigen a picture of Yoko that she sent, letting them know she completed her deal. After they hey argue over what she could’ve been dealing in, they walk off, playfully arguing about grabbing lunch.

If the entire series continues like this, it’s bound to be an enjoyable six episodes. This premiere really captured the feeling of the original Lupin series, and it’s nice to see that he was just as playful and charismatic as a teen as he is as an adult. The familiar animation style makes this feel like part of the Lupin family, and if you’re a fan of any of the other Lupin animes, you’ll easily love this.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of a story can be packed into just six episodes, but even if this is your first introduction to Lupin, the series gives you a feel for his character. You get enough of his backstory and Jigen’s, to follow along and enjoy yourself easily without feeling like you’ve missed something. It feels like the kind of prequel you could watch without knowing the source material and still make out fine, which is great. Hopefully, it can introduce Lupin and his gang to a new generation of anime fans along the way.

What did you think of the anime series Lupin Zero season 1, episode 1? Comment below.

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