Lupin III (ルパン三世, Rupan Sansei), also known as Lupin the 3rd, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kazuhiko Kato under the pen name of Monkey Punch. The story follows the adventures of a gang of thieves led by Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc's series of novels. Lupin and his gang travel throughout the world to steal treasures and escape from the law.
The first Lupin III manga, which first appeared in Weekly Manga Action beginning on August 10, 1967, spawned a media franchise that includes numerous manga, various animated television series, feature films, direct-to-video releases, yearly television specials, music CDs, video games, and a musical. Several different companies own the English-language distribution rights to various Lupin III properties. Geneon licensed the second television series, which was broadcast in 26 episodes on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim during 2003, and Tokyopop acquired the license to publish the original manga. WhiteLight Entertainment, purchased the live-action theatrical rights to Lupin III in 2003.
Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of the fictional gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, is considered the world's greatest thief, known for announcing his intentions to steal valuable objects by sending a calling card to the owners of his desired items. His right-hand man and closest ally is Daisuke Jigen, an expert marksman who can accurately shoot a target in 0.3 seconds. Although Lupin and Jigen frequently work as a two-man team, they are often joined by Goemon Ishikawa XIII, a master swordsman whose sword can cut anything, or Fujiko Mine, a femme fatale and Lupin's love interest. Although Fujiko usually works together with the others, she occasionally exploits Lupin's interest in her to steal a treasure for herself. Lupin and his gang are constantly chased by Inspector Koichi Zenigata (Pops) of the ICPO, who has made it his life's work to arrest them, chasing Lupin across the globe. On the rare occasions he catches Lupin, Zenigata secretly hopes Lupin will escape so he can continue to chase him. Regardless of whether Lupin and his followers succeed or fail, they are always looking for the next heist.