「倫敦の不死者」 (Rondon no Fushisha)
“The Immortal of London”

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the week-late posting. Things are kind of crazy right now in the midst of a big move so my blogging schedule has been a bit off. At any rate, without further ado:

Phileas Fogg, Sherlock Holmes and Watson, the Phantom of the Opera, Lupin- all the big names and even bigger personalities on screen practically oozed the excitement and awe of Victorian fiction come to life. I’m really loving this fantastical universe where oni, vampires, werewolves, and legendary masterminds co-exist, like a giant crazy (but incredibly well done) fan fiction party.

The shoe is on the other foot, or should I say, the mask is on the other side, with Erik (aka the Phantom of the Opera) (Shimono Hiro) being the kidnapped instead of the kidnapper. Arsene Lupin (Miyano Mamoru) wants his help in stealing a big shot jewel, “the Penultimate Night” from Phineas Fogg’s mansion in London and so sequesters him in L’Aiguille Creuse (a rock formation in France that becomes central to the plot in one of the original Lupin stories, which has a title of the same name). Erik agrees and off they go.

And off our monster detective trio go- hot on the trail of Professor M with his cane as their clue, “borrowing” a client list from a local cane-seller. The whole bit with Shinuchi ordering a cane for his “3 apples high” mistress was a hoot. Who should they run into but Aya’s favorite person (scarcasm there)- Sherlock Holmes (Miki Shinichiro). The two are obviously birds of a feather with the rapid volleys of deduction fired across the carriage. While both deduce that the red-headed twins (a nod to the Holmes canon The Red Headed League mystery?) are in fact thieves from their hands, Holmes one ups her with the conclusion that the pair stole ceramics- something she isn’t too happy about.

As luck would have it, both detectives are hired to nip the impending Lupin thievery in the bud, so like it or not, they have to work together, which should be an amusing dynamic to see, the salt in the wound dynamic a foil the tongue in cheek camaraderie between her and Shinuchi. The mansion museum’s nod to Fogg’s Around the World in 80 Days trip was fun to see. Initially, it’s not really clear why Fogg (Tezuka Hideaki) would hire this trio, given that their specialty is the supernatural and everyone here is human (or so it would seem), but it all starts to make sense when Fogg opens the vault.

This “Penultimate Night” gem is no run of the mill thief-magnet, but a synthetic jewel made in the 1300’s encased in a vampire and werewolf proof silver box. A synthetic jewel from the 14th century and a silver box that took a couple of years to open- hmmmm. My first question was “If it’s in a receptacle that took so long to open- is it something that should be opened in the first place?”- sometimes it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. In this case, opening the jewel could mean sleeping dogs will lie- dead that is- as some sort of revenge tool against werewolves, created by dwarves enraged by their mistreatment and deaths at the paws of the wolves.

I’m hoping the werewolves will want in on this jewel too- the more the merrier. It would be neat to see how they tie these guys in with the other fictional beings- it certainly wouldn’t be the first time vampires and werewolves have been paired together in fiction.

As if two legendary detectives and their partners weren’t enough protection, a insurance agency/personal defence squad shows up, the mid-ranking Agent 5 Stingheart and low-ranking Agent 7, Agent Double Darts, there to lend a hand. As Shinuchi points out, there are way too many people in on this defense scheme (his reference to 108 being unlucky could refer to how in Japanese culture, odd numbers are considered luckier than even numbers) and I agree- the more people you have, the more room for betrayal and other fuck uppery. The yummy pot of drama and mystery starts to simmer at the end there when the point gets made that Lupin, as a master of disguise, could very well be among that number. Fogg’s mysterious exchange at the end is a huge tip off that there might be something more going on here than meets the eye. The whole scenario, thanks in part to Lupin’s flare for the dramatic in publishing his upcoming venture (even giving a precise time window when to expect him) has more than a faint whiff of “staged” to this.

Aya’s brain gears are turning for sure with that hint “Ishikawa Goemon”. For anyone not familiar with Ishikawa Goemon, he was a legendary 16th century thief who was eventually caught trying to steal from Hideyoshi (one of the 3 great unifiers of Japan) by either bumping a bell or encountering a magical incense burner, depending on which story you go by. The parallels between the two thieves are pretty striking, though I hope for Arsene’s sake it doesn’t end with him getting boiled alive in a tub like what happened to Goemon. How exactly Aya and Shinuchi will go about sniffing out Lupin with a bell or incense burner will probably be fodder for next week when presumably we get the legends of England vs. The legends of France with Professor M in the mix, judging from his “Lupin always steals what I want” reaction. Until then, au revoir!


  1. With all the fictional characters showing up so far, I am willing to bet that the big fellow in Professor M(oriarity)’s gang is Frankenstein’s Monster.
    Agent 7 is the front-runner for Silliest Hairdo of the Season by a lot. Or are those some kind of ear muffs?


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