Since I am in no way a gentleman thief, I can only guess as to what that lifestyle must be like. I imagine though, that staying one step ahead of the law means a lot of meals on the run, so it makes sense that Japan Railway stations are rolling out a new batch of baked goods endorsed by anime’s most roguish criminal mastermind, Lupin III.
The timing no doubt has something to do with the upcoming release of the live-action "Lupin III" movie. Even purists who scoff at the shift away from animation might want to check out the Lupin breads though, as their packages feature redone anime designs for the cast based on the actors portraying them in the new film.
"Lupin III" started out as a comic drawn by Money Punch, one of the few manga artists with a more outlandish name than his best-known character. For many in Japan, though, their mental image of Lupin’s gang is based off their appearance in the "Lupin III" television series from the 1970s and '80s, or its follow-up theatrical features.
For the new live-action version, star Shun Oguri is a pretty good match for Lupin’s lanky build and rakish smile. His co-stars don’t look too far off either.
Now, things have come full circle, as on the packaging for the Lupin breads the cast reverts from flesh and blood back to ink and paint.
As for the bread itself, each character gets his or her own variety, since really, you can’t expect world-class thieves to share anything, can you? Perhaps as a nod to his French roots (the character is supposed to be a descendent of author Maurice Leblanc’s Arsène Lupin), Lupin’s mug adorns the package for the French toast with egg. Sidekick Jigen, always ready to follow his boss’ lead, does so with a steamed French toast cake, while femme fatale Fujiko gets the appropriately femininely-named Berry Berry pastry.
Meanwhile, Goemon’s long sausage cutlet bread seems to be inspired by the shape of the katana he wields, and the two discs of deep-fried chicken in Inspector Zenigata’s chicken namban dog are an even more subtle reference to his trusty handcuffs.
Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko’s breads are on sale now, with Goemon’s hitting store shelves on Sept 2 and Zenigata’s on Sept 9. All are being sold through JR’s in-station Kiosk and New Days convenience stores, and with prices ranging from 123 to 149 yen.
Sources: Comic Natalie, Jin
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