Fujiko Mine (峰 不二子, Mine Fujiko) is a professional criminal, burglar and confidence trickster. In The Castle of Cagliostro, Fujiko states that she and Lupin had been lovers, but also that she ended the relationship.
She routinely makes deals with Zenigata or Lupin's current enemy in an attempt to gain freedom or loot, which causes Jigen and Goemon to distrust her, since they know that she will obviously double-cross them in a heist to claim what they're after for herself. While Lupin normally is able to outsmart Fujiko, she is able to make off with some or all of his loot on occasion.
As the Lupin III series was to be published in a magazine targeted at adults, Fujiko Mine was created to add a female presence. Her name was inspired by a picture of Mount Fuji, Monkey Punch added the -ko female suffix to create her first name, and chose "Mine" for her family name because of its meaning as "summit". She was developed from the intention to fulfill a "Bond girl" role. Creating a new female each week was too difficult for Monkey Punch so she evolved into a single character. At the beginning of the series, many of the women Lupin encounters are all named Fujiko, but are treated as different characters from chapter to chapter. This concept was later changed to make Fujiko a single character who changes style frequently. Monkey Punch believes the characters of Lupin and Fujiko are similar to the characters of D'Artagnan and Milady de Winter, and describes them as "Not necessarily lovers, not necessarily husband and wife, but more just having fun as man and woman with each other".
While Fujiko is not part of Lupin's gang, she often participates in their exploits either as a partner or a competitor. Her principle tactic is to stick with Lupin and company until the plunder is made available then double-cross her colleagues. Frequently, she finds it necessary to betray Lupin to get close to the enemy, then after ingratiating herself into his trust will acquire the swag and escape (rarely, she will help to extricate Lupin, Goemon and Jigen for the trouble she put them into, as if to atone). Of this two-faced nature Lupin is surprisingly forgiving. In the 1995 movie Farewell to Nostradamus, Lupin carefully treats the amnesiac Fujiko, hoping she gets better as he "looks forward to her betrayals".
Fujiko is an excellent shot, her favorite weapon being a Browning M1910, typically holstered in her garter. In recent years, she's revealed superb martial arts skills, capable of rendering an attacker twice her weight unconscious with a single blow. She is as well very good at disguises and accents and apparently can speak dozens of foreign languages in addition to her native Japanese. Like the other members of Lupin's team, she is able to pilot virtually any land, sea, and air vehicle, with her personal preference being a conventional Kawasaki motorcycle. She can be very promiscuous when necessary to complete a job, and has kissed and even slept with different men for information or to escape a situation. The 2012 anime series implies heavily that Fujiko is bisexual. Whether this is simply another means to get what she wants or her actual orientation has not been made clear.
Jigen despises Fujiko and sees her showing up as a sign of rough times ahead, although despite this, in the original manga he was still one of her suitors. Goemon, who had a brief romance with her, has been known to work on capers with Fujiko independent of the other gang members, but can be equally distrustful of her when he thinks she is manipulating Lupin.
Lupin is completely infatuated with Fujiko, and will do anything for her. While Fujiko is aware of this and always uses it to her advantage, she never gets Lupin into troubles he cannot escape. Monkey Punch has said that the two "enjoy each other", and are quite content with their bizarre yet amicable relationship, comparing it to his own marriage. In episode 107 of the Red Jacket Series, Fujiko has a dream about marrying Lupin. This gives her an idea: she tells him that she’ll marry him if he gets her a cursed diamond as a wedding ring. When he pulls through, so does she, but except she’s in disguise as an ugly old woman. After they say their I DOs, she looks up at Lupin and he sees that he has actually married a hideous old woman and runs away screaming. That doesn’t change the fact that they were actually married, something never again addressed in the anime.
Although she is more willing to contain her feelings, Fujiko does have a love for Lupin. She is rarely wishing to fully reveal her affection except if she thinks one or both are dying. On occasions where Lupin appears to have died, she grieves and has even stated that her life has no meaning without him. However, her not-altogether-hidden feelings submerge again when she finds him alive.
Ms. Mine usually dresses in the height of fashion, with formal gowns and fine jewelry her trademark; when informal, she typically wears outfits that accentuate her robust figure. Fujiko's favorite pastimes appear to be shopping, attending social functions, disco dancing, horseback riding, and dating wealthy gentlemen. She enjoys champagne, fine wine and has been seen more than once consuming a martini; she also smokes cigarettes and occasionally uses a kiseru.
Background & Continuity
In the original manga series, Fujiko originally arrives in the third chapter of the first volume, thus being the first of Lupin's three associates to arrive. She initially appears as a con-woman attempting to worm her way into the fortune of a rich family, whose heir has hired Lupin as security. Immediately upon arriving, she recognizes Lupin through his disguise, and by the end of the arc, Lupin has sided with her to rob the entire family.
Due to the episodic nature of the manga, many of Fujiko's appearances treat her and Lupin as meeting for the first time, even after the incident where Lupin kills her father. Many of the stories feature her trying to capture the same object as Lupin, usually being bested by Lupin, only occasionally being the one who gets the prize. It should also be noted that unlike his anime version, Lupin is a ladies-man in the manga, with he and Fujiko having slept together numerous times.
This is the opposite in the anime adaptations (excluding the fourth series), which often has Fujiko betraying Lupin and for the most part denying his flirting. In episode 9 of the first series, Fujiko states that maybe she loves Lupin. The two ride together in a car as if on a date, and conclude the episode dancing together at a club. However, in the very next episode, Fujiko has betrayed Lupin and is hired to kill him.
Fujiko's professional background is most likely connected with Japanese organized crime, as hinted by the TV episode, "An Assassin Sings the Blues". During the episode, Lupin's sidekick Jigen recalls a story of the Golden Couple; a partnership formed between a mysterious female assassin and the notorious Killer Pun. The couple worked for an organization Jigen refers to only as "the syndicate." The couple was famous for carrying out contract killings without failure. However, the partnership ended abruptly when Pun's employer ordered the woman's execution for her supposed betrayal. Pun failed to kill the woman, due to emotional attachment, and she disappeared. Furthermore, Lupin and Jigen were led to believe that Fujiko suffers from amnesia. Fujiko claims not to remember anything prior the three years she first met Lupin. The timing of her memory loss coincided with the disappearance of Pun's partner. Her connection with Pun was later confirmed in the episode.
As the entire franchise of Lupin the Third runs on Negative Continuity, the characters have had several background stories and explanations.
In Episode 0: First Contact, Lupin meets Fujiko who is partner and girlfriend of Brad. Zenigata is traveling the world to arrest not Lupin, but Fujiko. In The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Lupin is hired by Count Luis Yu Almeida to first capture Fujiko and later kill her. Fujiko meets Lupin in the first episode, when both are trying to steal the same treasure. She meets Goemon when she masquerades as a governess and he is hired to kill her charges' grandfather. She meets Jigen after losing a bet and being ordered to get close to him by a former lover of Jigen's. It is unrevealed in The Woman Called Fujiko Mine how she met Zenigata, but the two have a sexual relationship in which she helps him (and provides sexual favors) and he keeps her out of jail. And finally, in the Green Jacket series, Fujiko was stated to have had amnesia about what happened to her in the years before meeting Lupin. It is later revealed that she was an assassin with a partner named Killer Pun. The Woman Called Fujiko Mine somewhat uses that premise by having Fujiko as an amnesiac until the end of the series at which time we still don't know what her life was exactly before coming to the Almeida mansion, except that she was a thief, occasional killer, and a "loose woman." it is implied heavily in flashbacks that Fujiko's back story was a thief and a sex slave in multiple occasions. This is shown in the episode of 4, Fujiko immediately was concerned at the time of losing her past giving a flash back/ rather drug influence vision of a younger Fujiko.
In 2007, Oricon polled readers on which characters they would most like to see in their own series. Fujiko appeared in the seventh position among female voters, and fifth place overall. The company also asked their readers in the very same year who they believed is the most beautiful woman in manga. Fujiko Mine was crowned the title by scoring first place overall with high rankings from both male and female voters. She was listed as the second most iconic anime heroine by Mania.com. In 2012, in a Japanese poll on which character's voice actor should never change, Fujiko came in second among males and third amongst females. In 2013, eBookJapan polled its female customers in their 20s and 30s on which manga heroine they felt had the ideal body. In the poll that considered their sexiness, physical fitness and health, Fujiko was the first place answer. A 2015 Charapedia poll, which asked fans to list their favourite "cool" women in anime, had Fujiko Mine placed seventeenth. In a 2017 survey that polled 12,000 Japanese, Fujiko Mine was voted the Most Splendid Heroine of the Shōwa Era and the third most of the Heisei Era.
Dallas Marshall of THEM Anime Reviews called Fujiko one of the most iconic female characters in anime history and referred to her as "the sexy glue that keeps Lupin and his merry band of misfits together." Rob Lineberger of DVD Verdict described Fujiko as "The 70's answer to Lara Croft".
In his review of the first anime, Chris Beveridge of The Fandom Post enjoyed that while Fujiko has a bit of a "sexpot feel about her here, she's the one that's the most conniving here and does it all with a wicked grin and a smile."
Anime News Network's Mike Crandol reviewing the second anime felt that while Fujiko's main function is "eye candy in the best Bond tradition," her "double-crossing nature keeps Lupin and company on their toes and the plot-twists twice as much fun."
Reviewing The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Jacob Hope Chapman of Anime News Network wrote that Fujiko never has an answer for what she does, "but is always overjoyed to continue that life, making her fun to watch, but also an intriguing mystery to be solved." They also stated that "Fujiko's constant objectification" makes it one of the most feminist-positive anime in years.
Of Meisa Kuroki's performance in the 2014 live-action film, Matt Schley of Otaku USA commented that the actress comes as close to Fujiko "as any real human female can, I suppose."
Also Known For Stephen Squirrelsky
- She is also one of Stephen and Andrew's friends.
A manga called Lupin Kozō (ルパン小僧) starring Fujiko and Lupin's son ran in Weekly Shōnen Action for 18 chapters starting in 1975. A spinoff manga of Lupin III, titled M.F.C (Mine Fujiko Company) (M.F.C 女泥棒会社峰不二子カンパニー), follows three young female thieves who work for Fujiko. It was written by Suzuki Izo and published in two volumes on September 28, 2009.
Fujiko was a source of inspiration for the characters Yukiko Fujimine and Vermouth in Gosho Aoyama's Detective Conan manga; Fujimine representing the good side of Fujiko and Vermouth the bad. The former's name is a combination of Fujiko Mine and the first name of Fujiko's former voice actress Yukiko Nikaido. In the manga Azumanga Daioh by Kiyohiko Azuma, Tomo Takino is a fan of the Lupin III series and admires Fujiko. She constantly makes references to herself as Fujiko Mine, despite the fact the two are totally different in looks and personality. In the Aria the Scarlet Ammo light novel series, the character Riko Mine Lupin IV is the daughter of Lupin and Fujiko.
- Japanese: Eiko Masuyama (TV Pilot), Yukiko Nikaido (Lupin the Third Part I), Mami Koyama Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy), Miyuki Sawashiro (2011)
- Italian dubs: Piera Vidale (Lupin the Third Part I and The Mystery of Mamo First dubbing, Lupin the Third Part II and in video games: Lupin the 3rd: Treasure of the Sorcerer King and Lupin the 3rd: Lupin is dead, Zenigata is in love), Germana Dominici (The Castle of Cagliostro, First dubbing) , Jasmine Laurenti (The Mystery of Mamo third dubbing and The Castle of Cagliostro, second dubbing) ,Alessandra Korompay
- Eva in "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater" was modeled after Fujiko.
- Her hair and appearance always changes throughout the series. For example, in The first half of The Green Jacket Series and throughout the Red Jacket Series, Fujiko is sultry and fashionable with long auburn or brown hair. However during later episodes of The Green Jacket Series, she takes on a more dowdy and unnasuming appearance. In The Castle of Cagliostro, she sports an almost tomboyish appearance with blonde hair and a camo jumpsuit.
- Fujiko shares her current voice actress with Labra from Jewelpet.
- Fujiko is revealed to be very ticklish, as evidenced when Mister X tickle tortures her with robotic arms. Fujiko hates it, claiming within seconds of the 'torture' that she can't breathe.
- Her appearances in the Stephen Squirrelsky and Friends' Movie Spoof Travels are A Cartoon Character's Life, Nikki's Adventures of Sing Along Songs Episode 7, Here Comes Winnie the Pooh, Animals, Inc, Simba 2, Miss Bianca and the Bernard 2: Fievel's Adventure, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, A Pooh in Central Park, Bubblesrella 2: Dreams Come True, The Brave Little Piglet, Kung Fu Owen, Nikki's Adventures of Sing Along Songs Episode 8, The Thomas O'Malley Movie, Kermit Returns, Fievel the Red Nosed Mouse and The Island of Misfits, Nikki's Adventures of Sing Along Songs Episode 9, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Finding Alvin, Animated Tale, and The Forest Book 2 and will even be in more movie spoof travels.