Picture this. You’re up all night to find any show interesting enough to watch. Something that’s not only engaging, but fun and smart and backstory-loaded too. And then you find Lupin and you decide to check it out.
A perfect story, no? If you’ve seen the show, maybe. But if you haven’t because you’re not that sure or you find its French-ness weird, well, you can read up here because we’ll tell you if it’s worth your time!
warning: will contain spoilers and mentions of suicide
We begin the show by a heist on the Louvre. Yes, this is right from the get-go, though it takes us some time to get there. See, our protagonist, Assane Diop bides his time, undercover in plain sight as he stakes out the place.
Inspired by the genius of the Arsène Lupin adventures, Assane sets out for the heist of a lifetime as he manages to trick a trio of thugs to help him steal an antique necklace that belonged to Marie-Antoinette…and effortlessly gets away with it.
Although it may first seem like an ordinary antique necklace, Assane’s family history is severely tied to the necklace. His father, a chauffeur at the home of the necklace’s family, had been accused of stealing it. And at prison, Assane’s father commits suicide after he’s made to sign a false confession.
Stealing the necklace isn’t Assane’s first act of revenge, though. As he tracks down his father’s old accusers and the people responsible, Assane decides he’ll do anything in his power to take them down and expose the truth at last.
Meanwhile, the French police force is in shambles. They keep trying to bust Assane and he keeps outsmarting them with tricks straight out of Lupin.
Soon enough, Detective Guedira (also a Lupin fan) catches on. Piecing the details of past crimes and predicting others, Guedira is dismissed despite being the only one who really knows what’s going on.
Just as Assane feels like he’s gotten away with most of what he does through the course of the series, including infiltrating a prison almost undetected, one of his tricks backfires and nearly hurts the one person he loves the most. His son, Raul.
The character we spend the most time with is none other than Assane Diop, a Senegalese-French man who knows a thing or two about Arsène Lupin.
And throughout the series, we discover that Assane knows a whole lot more about injustices and racial discrimination…as well as knowing how to use them to his advantages, an aid for his plans.
Set on his goal of clearing his father’s name, Assane doesn’t shy of doing anything, no matter how extreme and manages to do so while being kind to those who deserve it as well as try to be more present in his son’s life.
Every other character gets their moments in Lupin. Though they’re not leads, we see into their souls and motivations with simple flashbacks and scene nuances that gel the plotlines even more together.
Perhaps the most interesting of them is Guedira, a North African-French man, who’s just as overlooked as Assane is. Playing foils in a way that will surely ring clearer in Part 2, Guedira and Assane are on different sides of the equation…for now.
Everyone loves book-based adventures. And there’s just something both intriguing and whimsical about Lupin, in how it doesn’t solely rely on those adventures.
No, it adds to them and thickens them with plot and character journeys, making for one story that will have you at the edge of your seat because that is how much you’ll want to see it through.