Book & Music Collection: Lupin the Third

Lupin. Nice man. He smiles. And he gets angry sometimes. But he’s a groovy guy. He’s Lupin the Third.

Lupin III has been around almost as long as I have. This charming thief/rogue/adventurer first made the scene in 1967, two years after I was born. Created by writer artist Monkey Punch (real name Kazuhiko Kato), he debuted in Weekly Manga Action and quickly caught fire, launching an anime series in 1971. The manga was always adult-oriented, but said adults didn’t show up in large numbers for the series back then, since anime was still considered a kid’s medium. Then history did its history thing and turned it into a true classic. It was far ahead of its time, providing an important platform for animators who would later become legends.

Since then we’ve seen dozens of movies and hundreds of TV episodes with no end in sight. There have been highs and lows (as with every long-lived franchise), but like any good man of action, Lupin continues adapting to his surroundings. He and his gang haven’t lost a beat. And neither have the amazing musicians who set the pace.

My first Lupin exposure was the 1978 feature film The Mystery of Mamo (originally titled Lupin vs. Clone), followed by the sublime Castle of Cagliostro. Those twin punches showed two different shades of the character and made me a fan for life. This happened in the early 80s as underground VHS trading was on the rise, and sleuthing out the latest treasures kinda made you feel like the groovy guy himself.

By the time I gathered up the 1971 TV series, I’d seen a lot of what happened in its wake. Even then, it was a revelation. Not just for the art and acting, but the style and attitude. It was cool WAY before anime was cool, just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up. It’s a glorious time capsule of the late 60s/early 70s and is so self-assured it feels like it’s already been around for a lifetime as you begin to watch the first episode. It’s a benchmark in anime history and needs to be seen by everyone.

Books on the high shelf, music on the low

As a book hunter, I looked high and low for anything that would help me get a grip on this ever-expanding franchise. It wasn’t hard to find stuff on individual productions, but what I really wanted was an omnibus that rounded everything up between two covers. Those took a while to appear, but they brought a world of scholarship to our fingertips when they finally did. Though I haven’t collected every Lupin book under the sun, I think I’ve located the most significant ones, all shown below. (I also read all the manga from Tokypop, but it didn’t float my boat the same way. As I finished each volume, I knew I would never read it again. Today, all those volumes reside at another address while I continue to focus on the anime.)

Then there’s the music, which is as vital a member of Lupin’s gang as any of the characters. It’s as unique and timeless as the series itself. Once it grabs you, it never lets go. More about that – and LOTS of links – farther down the page.

For further reading…

Opening title and eye-catch collection

Wikipedia page

Lupin III Wiki

Lupin Encyclopedia website

Lupin Central news site

Official TMS website

Anime News Network’s Lupin page

Overview at Animation for Adults

From my international travels:

Lupin III: Sneak into Isetan’s Hideout (description)

Lupin III: Sneak into Isetan’s Hideout (photo gallery)


Lupin vs. Clone movie program book

ルパンVS複製人間 (クローン) パンフレット

Sold in movie theaters with the 1978 release of the film. General overview of the story and characters with a rare look at early merchandising.

B&W and color, 20 pages
Tokyo Movie Shinsha, Dec 1978

Dec 1978

Castle of Cagliostro movie program book

カリオストロの城 パンフレット

Sold in movie theaters with the 1979 release of the film. General overview and an early interview with Director Hayao Miyazaki, who called it a “love letter to Lupin fans.”

B&W and color, 24 pages
Tokyo Movie Shinsha, Dec 1979

Wings of Death Albatross anime comic

ルパン三世 死の翼アルバトロス オールカラー

The two most famous episodes of the 2nd TV series (1977-79) were directed by Hayao Miyazaki and got prime treatment. This book covered the first of the two, a scene-by-scene print version laid out like a comic book. By this time, two episodes from the first TV series had gotten the same treatment.

Color, 160 pages
Futaba Co., Aug 1981

Lupin III Castle of Cagliostro

100tenland Anime Collection 3

ルパン三世 カリオストロの城 In Wonderland
100てんランド アニメコレクション 3

An excellent sourcebook for the film with loads of stills, production art, interviews, and the complete script with selected storyboards. Highly recommended.

B&W and color, 146 pages
Futaba Co., Aug 1981

Castle of Cagliostro anime comics

All Color Revised Edition
ルパン三世 カリオストロの城 オールカラー 改訂版

Stills retelling the entire movie in comics form across four full-color volumes. They were published monthly from September to December 1981.

Futaba Co., 160 pages each

Lupin III Part 1

100tenland Anime Collection 4

ルパン三世 PART-1 • 100てんランド・アニメコレクション 4

With the success of the late 70s episodes and films, everyone finally gave the first TV series its due. This book gave extensive coverage to the first half (eps 1-12) with story guides, design art, a gun section, glossary, and more. Highly recommended.

B&W and color, 170 pages
Futaba Co. June 1982

Lupin III Part 2

100tenland Anime Collection 6

ルパン三世 PART-2 • 100てんランド・アニメコレクション 6

The followup volume gave equal time to the second half of the series (eps 13-23) with more design art, a car section, and a collection of preproduction art with early design works and stills from the pilot film. Highly recommended.

B&W and color, 154 pages
Futaba Co., July 1982

Lupin III Castle of Cagliostro Big Picture

ルパン三世カリオストロの城 大事典
Animec Rapport Deluxe 5

Animec magazine had been around for a couple years at this point, crafted with a by-fans-for-fans ethic. This special volume brought that sensibility to the film with equal parts production coverage and fan tributes in various forms.

B&W and color, 144 pages
Animec, Aug 1982

Wings of Death Albatross

Futabasha Anime Library 13, Lupin III series
(双葉社アニメ文庫 13 ルパン三世 シリーズ)

A mini-storybook of the Albatross TV episode with stills and captions. Smaller and slimmer than the anime comic mentioned above.

Color, 128 pages
Futaba Co., July 1984

Farewell, My Beloved Lupin

Futabasha Anime Library 11, Lupin III series
(双葉社アニメ文庫 11 ルパン三世 シリーズ)

This book covered the other of Hayao Miyazaki’s most famous TV episodes, same format as the Albatross volume (which was published a month later).

Color, 128 pages
Futaba Co., June 1984

Lupin III, The First TV Series
Visionary Lupin Empire

ルパン三世 • ザ・ファースト TV シリーズ

This thick, mostly-text book devoted a chapter of analysis to each episode of the first series with extensive notes and commentary. Features sporadic production art. Psycho-fans only.

B&W, 300 pages
Film Art Co. Nov 1994

Lupin III Dead or Alive
Memorial Collection

Dead or Alive was Lupin’s fifth theatrical film, and it got plenty of coverage here with story & character guides, design art, etc. But more significantly, this was the first book (that I’ve found, anyway) that started the task of rounding up material on multiple productions. In this case, it devoted a section to the four movies and seven TV specials that preceded it. (The Fuma Clan OVA was not included.)

B&W and color, 100 pages
Nippon TV, May 1996

The Lupin III Files, 25 years of records

THE ルパン三世 FILES • ルパン三世 25年全記録

Dead or Alive arrived on the 25th anniversary of the first TV series, and this was the first book that devoted itself to an overview of all the anime created in that time. The publisher put out the most popular movie magazine in Japan, so it had a lot of info to work with. It contains extensive staff interviews, a list of print, video, and music media, a complete production index for every episode, film, and TV special, and more. Mostly text with some stills and art.

B&W and color, 180 pages
Kinema Junpo, April 1996

Lupin III Research Report

Le Rapport Lupin • ルパン三世研究報告書

This thick and satisfying book covered the first 25 years in the manner of a visual encyclopedia with chapters devoted to each character showing their evolution, complete TV and film guides with descriptions, a merchandise catalogue, and a number of other interesting features all accented with French text. Highly recommended.

B&W and color, 288 pages
Futaba Co. March 1999

Lupin III Perfect Book
Complete Preservation Edition

ルパン三世 PERFECT BOOK 完全保存版

About half of this excellent book was devoted to in-depth coverage of the first TV series. The other half examined the second series, 6 feature films, and now 15 specials. Lots of stills, production art, and sidebar articles. Also includes a CD catalog up to the time of publication.

Color and B&W, 160 pages
Takarajima Co., Feb 2003

Lupin III Perfect Book Part II


The second volume (also excellent) was devoted entirely to the second TV series with heavy-duty episode guides and support articles.

Color and B&W, 160 pages
Takarajima Co., March 2003

Lupin III Millennium No. 9

This was a very unexpected find, which picked up on a European trip; an officially-sanctioned Italian magazine devoted to Lupin III. Its main feature was a very well-drawn (and entirely textless) manga story very much in keeping with Monkey Punch’s own brand of storytelling. Backup features were articles on franchise news from Japan. I’ve never seen another issue, but they at least made it up to number 9 back then.

B&W, 64 pages
Kappa Edizione, Dec 2005

Lupin III, Lupin the 40! The Animation

ルパン三世Lupin the 40! the animation

This was the first Lupin book I bought in Japan, the first day of my first trip to Tokyo. It coincided with the 40th anniversary of the original manga publication, so it was good timing. This is a concise digest of all the anime made up to that point (TV specials now numbered 18) with interesting support articles including character evolution and a large collection of tribute illustrations by animators.

Futaba Co. Aug 2007
190 pages

Lupin III Green vs Red Official Guidebook

ルパン三世 Green vs Red オフィシャルガイドブック

This unusual 40th anniversary OVA production got a substantial book that was obligated to review some history, since the gimmick of the story was to put every version of Lupin on Earth all at once. In-depth coverage with lots of stills and production art.

Color and B&W, 128 pages
Gakken, May 2008

Lupin III Official Magazine Vol. 20

ルパン三世 official マガジン v.20

Found on another Japan trip, this was as big a surprise as the Italian magazine; a digest-size monthly with multiple manga serials by different artists focused on different characters. Also includes side articles. Not the sort of thing I felt the need to collect, but it was nice to know it existed. Some quick online research tells me it ended sometime in 2015.

B&W, 258 pages
Action Comics, Futaba Co., April 2009

Lupin the 3rd
40th Anniversary TMS Collection

2011 marked the 40th anniversary of Lupin III animation, and this multimedia box set was released in April 2012 (co-produced by Futaba Co. and Tokyo Movie Shinsha). It included three books and a custom DVD, as follows…

Illustvision Lupin III Project Proposal

イラストビジョン ルパン三世 企画書

A curious object, this hardcover book reproduces the text of the first anime proposal. It consists in equal parts of an examination of late 60s culture and an overview of what could be done with a Lupin III TV series in the context of that culture. Includes spot illustrations from non-cited sources.

Master File DVD

This was quite a production, fitting for the 40th anniversary; a 2-disc set loaded with interesting features. The first was a new 10-minute animated short called Lupin III Family All Stars, followed by a mini-documentary on the voice cast and accompanied by a facsimile script. Also included is a mini-doc on Lupin music, the unfinished pilot for Lupin VIII, a sample of Lupin in CG, TV commercials, a longform 90-minute documentary on the franchise, and a preview of A Woman Named Mine Fuji, which would debut on TV in 2012.

Yasuo Otsuka Lupin III Art Book

大塚康生 ルパン三世 作画集

The other two books in the box set were also sold separately; the first was devoted to the art of animator/designer Yasuo Otsuka, who had been involved since the first TV series. About a third of the pages contain illustrations from many different Lupin print media projects with the rest occupied by a manga story.

Color and B&W, 130 pages
Futaba Co. April 2012

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Lupin III Anime Complete History
Complete Edition

ルパン三世アニメ全歴史 完全版

The last item in the box set, this impressive encyclopedia was essentially a redo of 1999’s Lupin III Research Report with updated material to cover additional anime; now 22 TV specials and three OVAs. The book design was identical, but this time, the accent text was in English instead of French. Highly recommended.

B&W and color, 400 pages
Futaba Co, April 2012

Lupin III Anime Complete History
Definitive Edition

ルパン三世アニメ全歴史 決定版

Somehow the “Complete Edition” wasn’t complete enough. The “Definitive Edition” was a slightly smaller, full-color paperback that was split about in half between character guides and an index of all the anime productions. Good to have in a pinch.

Color, 92 pages
Futaba Co, April 2012

Lupin III, A Woman Called Mine Fujiko
Original Art Book

Lupin the Third ~ 峰不二子という女 ~ 原画集

When Lupin finally returned to TV for a new series, it re-energized the franchise with a more stylized approach that captured the wild spirit of the first 1971 and reset the standard for everything that followed. This book is a fantastic collection of production art and layouts. Highly recommended.

Color, 128 pages
Futaba Co. March 2013

Lupin III Pia

ルパン三世 ぴあ

This one was published to tie in with Lupin III Part 4‘s debut on TV with extensive coverage. Includes a backup feature with a cursory overview of all productions up to that point.

Color, 88 pages
Pia, Oct 2015

Lupin the Third Forever

We can’t leave out the fans; there are generations of them in Japan, and some can create art that looks just as good as anything official. Lupin fanzines have been around since the early years; this is just one of the latest and coolest efforts, rounding up the best fan art around.

Color, 40 pages
Kiyo Club, December 2015

Lupin III Great Analysis

ルパン三世 大解剖

2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the original manga, and Lupin was hotter than ever. This retrospective did a terrific job of gliding over the entire history, up to and including the two most recent boundary-pushing OVAs Jigen’s Gravestone and Goemon’s Blood Spray. Dominated by art and stills, highly recommended. An updated edition was released in 2019.

Color, 128 pages
Sanei Shobo, Mar 2017

Yasuo Otsuka Art Collection
Lupin III, Cars, and Trains

大塚康生画集 「ルパン三世」と車と機関車と

Lupin art occupies about a quarter of this impressive book, and a lot of it was found in the 2012 edition shown above. The rest of the pages are filled with Otsuka’s passionate illustrations of real-world vehicles, starting with intricate sketchbook drawings he made as a teenager. Highly recommended.

Color, 160 pages
Genkosha, July 2020

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Lupin III Anime Complete History Pia

ルパン三世 アニメ全史 ぴあ

The latest overview book (as of this writing) marks the 50th anniversary of the first TV series and leads with coverage of the latest version, Lupin III Part 6. The latter 2/3 of the content is another historical roundup, which now comprises seven series, eight movies, eight OVAs, and no less than 28 TV specials. And still no end in sight.

Color, 98 pages
Pia, Sept 2021

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Lupin III Part 1 Storyboards

(TV 1st series) Treasured Materials Collection
ルパン三世 PART1 絵コンテ集
「TV 1st series」秘蔵資料コレクション

As further proof of the enduring charm of the original, this book unearths some amazing artifacts; the complete storyboard for the original pilot film and several for different episodes of the 1971 TV series. Includes several support articles that examine the early production process. More like this, please, Japan.

B&W, 160 pages
Futaba Co. Oct 2021

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A huge body of globetrotting animation requires a huge body of music to keep it moving, and the world of Lupin III music is gigantic. Like the man himself, it’s smooth and cool and a constant surprise. It’s full of key themes that never seem to wear out no matter how many times they are covered and remixed and rearranged, and they’ve become a franchise unto themselves with an enormous number of soundtracks and spinoff albums.

I have yet to find any English-language scholarship on Lupin music, so I’ll do my best to summarize based solely on my listening experience.

This body of work can be broken into two major categories: Series 1 and everything else. This division comes from their respective composers, Takeo Yamashita and Yuji Ohno. It’s a fascinating aural experiment to compare a Yamashita track with an Ohno track. Both had different backgrounds and approaches, and both made strong, enduring tonal statements that perfectly represent the characters.

Left: Takeo Yamashita. Right: Yuji Ohno and the Lupintic Five

Yamashita scored the first TV series in 1971, emerging from a background of late 60s live-action TV shows. His work was reckless, raucous, and playful. He was an “anything goes” type of composer who brought spontaneity to every moment. His work was an important part of what made that first series so groundbreaking and memorable, and it’s just as fresh on its 100th listen as its first.

Ohno took the reigns with the second TV series in 1977, bringing with him an entirely new slate of jazz-based sound that became inextricably linked with the world of Lupin. The voice of the world itself. He’s still at it today, cranking out new soundtracks and covers that keep all those themes as alive and vital as they ever were.

Other composers entered this world in the 2010s, adding their own signatures to the growing library, and tribute/cover albums continuously appear at a regular pace (also covered below). I haven’t even tried to count the number of Lupin albums and spinoffs that exist, and don’t intend to collect them all, but as long as they keep making ’em I’ll keep paying attention.

Thanks to the efforts of several generous souls (including Yuji Ohno himself), many of the albums can be heard in full for free on Youtube, and I’ve included lots of links in this collection so you can dive right in!

Japanese titles and serial numbers are included for online search purposes. Good hunting.


Here are the various albums I’ve found that relate to Takeo Yamashita’s work on the 1971 TV series. Another key figure was singer/guitarist Charlie Kosei, whose soulful voice made him a lifetime member of the Lupin gang. He’s still active today and still covering those songs.

Find Charlie Kosei performances on Youtube here. See his Wikipedia page here.

Lupin the 3rd ’71 ME Tracks

ルパン三世 ´71 ME TRACKS

The first Series 1 BGM album was released in 1980, but it wasn’t exactly what was heard on TV. This CD finally brought that into the sunlight, but owing to studio limitations, the original music tracks were permanently mixed with sound effects. (That’s what ME stands for, Music/Effects.) The result is an engaging Lupin soundscape that the music publisher actually apologized for on the front. No apology was necessary.

VAP, 1999 VPCD-81271

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Lupin the Third Rebirth
from ’71 original score

This is one of my favorites, an updated and re-engineered version of the best music from Yamashita’s tenure. Highly recommended.

VAP, 2002 VPCC-81406

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Lupin the 3rd The 1st Series Anthology


Columbia launched a Lupin Chronicle series that collected and reorganized previous LP releases and added a lot of unreleased material. This one combined a large collection of “TV size” theme songs with the 1980 BGM album.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32149

Hear the entire album on Youtube
Hear just the 1980 BGM album on Youtube
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Guy’s Heart, Charlie’s Lupin Songs

A Charlie Kosei collection. Contains 12 tracks; 9 Lupin songs with variations and three originals.

VAP, 2002 VPCG-81430

Hear the entire album on Youtube

Theme of Lupin III, Charlie Kosei

A limited-edition 9-track EP with several song variants and two originals.

ルパン三世のテーマ / チャーリーコーセイ

Team Entertainment, 2005 KDSD-00064
Available for download at Apple Music

The Man with Charlie Kosei
Taboo Killing Song

A great collection of live and studio performances, a modern Charlie Kosei at his best.

ザ マン チャーリー・コーセイ Taboo 殺しの唄

Victor Entertainment, 2015 VICL-64394
Available for download at Apple Music

All the rest of the CDs in this category cover the work of Takeo Yamashita. Many contain Lupin tracks, but each is as diverse and eclectic as the man himself. If you’re intrigued by what he did for Lupin, it’s completely worth your time to hunt these down.

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 1

山下毅雄 MISSION 1 • アニメ編

Volume 1 is referred to as the “Anime Edition” but includes live action titles as well, such as Giant Robo and Golgo 13.

Nippon Crown, 1999 CRCP-20203

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 2

山下毅雄 MISSION 2 • ドラマ編

“Drama Edition,” various live-action TV dramas and variety shows

Nippon Crown, 1999 CRCP-20206

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 3
Lupin the Single

山下毅雄 MISSION 3

A 3-track EP with remixed Lupin songs.

Nippon Crown, 1999 CRCP-20

Hear the entire album on Youtube

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 4

山下毅雄 MISSION 4 ヤマタケマニア

Remixes of various favorite themes to make them even crazier.

Nippon Crown, 1999 CRCP-20228

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 5

The Genius Who Came Too Soon
The Complete Story of Takeo Yamashita
Undiscovered Edition
早すぎた奇才 • 山下毅雄の全貌 ~未発掘編~

Presumably a roundup of various nuggets never previously released.

Nippon Crown, 2000 CRCP-20252

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 6
Lupin the Force

山下毅雄 MISSION 6 • ルパン・ザ・フォース

A blistering collection of Lupin song covers by 2001 artists.

Nippon Crown, 2001 CRCP-20266

Hear the entire album on Youtube

Professor Takeo Yamashita Mission 7
Yamatake Carnival

山下毅雄 MISSION 7 • ヤマタケ・カーニバル

Mainly a collection of songs from a live-action series called Playgirl, remixed and covered by 2001 artists.

Nippon Crown, 2001 CRCP-20272


Here’s where maestro Yuji Ohno takes over the franchise and guides it to the present day. His bands have gone by different names over the years, including You and the Explosion Band, Lupintic Five, and Lupintic Six. His partners are world-class virtuosos who can always find something new to do with a standard they’ve been playing for decades. Another component is a female vocal combo, which goes by the name Fujiko-chans.

Find more info here:

VAP Store website (enter search term: ルパン三世)

Yuji Ohno’s Youtube channel

Complete live Lupin concert from 2015

Lupin the 3rd Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 LP

This is the only Lupin LP I own, partly because practically everything has migrated to CD but also because they didn’t make it easy on overseas collectors. There were three of these in the 70s, all containing different music from the 1977-79 TV series, and all with the exact same title. If you didn’t have photos or serial numbers, it was a total crap shoot.

Nippon Columbia, 1978 YP-7072-AX

Hear all three of the original OST albums on Youtube: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle 1977 Music File

ルパン三世 1977 ミュージック ファイル

This was a much more sensible way to collect the Series 2 music, Yuji Ohno’s first outing. The LPs were random, but these are in exact broadcast order and packed full. The first disc alone contains 45 tracks.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32278

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle 1978 Music file

ルパン三世 1978 ミュージック ファイル

Since the music is organized by broadcast order, some of the 1977 tracks overflow into the 1978 volume. But it doesn’t get more complete than this.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32377

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle 1979 Music File

ルパン三世 ミュージック ファイル

Same story here; lots of 1978 music before the disc gets to 1979, which incorporates the first LP. And this still wasn’t everything.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32461

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle 2nd TV Music File THE FINAL

ルパン三世 2nd TV ミュージック ファイル

The last installment of this series was a 2-disc pileup of odds and ends with everything left over from the second and third LPs, other miscellaneous tracks, and a handful from Castle of Cagliostro. With all the discs in this set, ALL of the second TV series was finally covered.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32517~8

Hear the entire album on Youtube

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle
Lupin vs Clone Music File

ルパンVS複製人間 (クローン) ミュージック ファイル

Next up in the “Chronicles” was the soundtrack for Mystery of Mamo with every track in narrative order and bonus tracks from the LP.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32440

Hear the entire album on Youtube

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle
Castle of Cagliostro Music File

ルパン三世 カリオストロの城 ミュージック ファイル

This was the definitive Cagliostro disc, placing every track in narrative order for the first time and eclipsing the previous soundtrack album from 1983.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2003 COCX-32227

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Hear the 1983 album on Youtube

Lupin the 3rd Chronicle
The Legend of Babylon Gold

ルパン三世 バビロンの黄金伝説 ミュージック ファイル

The final production to get the “Chronicle” treatment was the third feature film, again with all the music in narrative order. Also included were a few more 1979 tracks that didn’t fit onto previous discs.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2004 COCX-32535

Hear the entire album on Youtube

Lupin the Third Part III Music Collection

ルパン三世 PART III 音楽集

Reproduces the LP soundtrack from the 1984 TV series, including full-length versions of the opening and closing songs.

VAP, 2001 VPCG-84716

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin the 3rd Walther P38 OST

ルパン三世 ワルサーP38 オリジナル サウンドトラック

There were soundtracks for every one of the TV specials and OVAs, but I’m not as militant about collecting them, so I can only present a handful here. This one was from 1997.

VAP, 1997 VPCG-84638

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Lupin the Third
Episode 0: First Contact OST

ルパン三世 EPISODE 0 ファーストコンタクト
オリジナル サウンドトラック

A lot of the TV specials tend to blur together, but First Contact was an exception, chronicling a possible account of the first meeting of our characters. But even they admit it’s not a reliable version of the story.

VAP, 2002 VPCG-84770

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Isn’t it Lupintic?
TV special original soundtrack

Isn’t it Lupintic? ルパン三世 TV スペシャル
オリジナル サウンドトラック

Derived from the 1999 TV special Fujiko’s Unlucky Days, presumably with some rearrangements for album format since that’s often how Yuji Ohno would roll.

VAP, 1999 VPCG-84676

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Available for download at Apple Music

Isn’t it More Lupintic?

This followup album didn’t cite a TV special as its source, so it was most likely another album of rearranged pieces from across the catalog.

VAP, 2000 VPCG-84703

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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin the Third Stolen Lupin OST

Stolen Lupin ルパン三世 オリジナル サウンドトラック

Soundtrack for the 2004 TV special Stolen Lupin ~ Copy Cat is a Midsummer Butterfly.

VAP, 2004 VPCG-84810

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin the Third Green vs Red OST

VAP, 2008 VPCG-84869

Soundtrack for the 2008 OVA Green vs Red, which put dozens of Lupins into a single story.

Hear the entire album on Youtube
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Lupin the Third Part IV Italiano OST

In 2015, Lupin finally returned to TV for the first time in 30 years, and he came back with a sharper edge for a new generation of viewers. It was set in Italy, so Yuji Ohno brought a strong Italian flavor to the soundtrack. Includes five songs.

VAP, 2015 VPCG-83506

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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin the Third Part IV More Italiano OST

VAP, 2016 VPCG-83509

A 2-disc continuation of the first soundtrack.

hear the entire album on Youtube
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Available for download at Apple Music

The Other Side of Lupin the Third Part V
FRENCH original soundtrack

ルパン三世 PART5
オリジナル サウンドトラック ~ FRENCH

The fifth TV series debuted in 2018 and was set in France, so the music naturally followed him there for another 2-disc set.

VAP, 2018 VPCG-83527

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Disc 1 only | Disc 2 only
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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin the Third Part V Si Bon! Si Bon!

ルパン三世 PART5
オリジナル サウンドトラック Si Bon! Si Bon!

A followup with more music from Part V, including five songs.

VAP, 2018 VPCG-83526

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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin III The First OST

ルパン三世 THE FIRST • オリジナル サウンドトラック

Lupin finally crossed over into CG for the 2019 feature film The First. Your mileage may vary on the story, but the visuals are outstanding and Yuji Ohno’s score is right in the wheelhouse.

VAP, 2019 VPCG-83542

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Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin The Third Part 6 LONDON OST

ルパン三世 PART6
オリジナル サウンドトラック ~ LONDON

The sixth TV series is the newest production as of this writing, set in a version of London where famous literary figures lie in wait to lock horns with the master thief.

VAP, 2021 VPCG-83549

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Available for download at Apple Music

Other TV special soundtracks you can hear in full on Youtube:


When A Woman Named Mine Fujiko came to TV in 2012, everything leveled up. Decades of TV specials had shaved the sharp edges off the characters (with a few standout exceptions), but this series stuck them right back on. It was just as unique and striking as the first 1971 series, as if the makers of the original were pulled into the 21st century to combine their rebel spirit with modern production techniques.

The music by Naruyoshi Kikuchi was just as innovative, finding a path between Takeo Yamashita and Yuji Ohno that gave a nod to both but went to wholly new places with psychedelia, opera, synth, and more. It set a new standard that even Ohno began to adapt into his continuing work.

The next composer to step in was James Shimoji, who had previously scored the eye-popping feature film Redline. He created music for three consecutive OVAs that continued to sharpen the stylistic edges. These three tales were gritty, bloody, and lurid, and Shimoji’s compositions captured them perfectly. Visit his Youtube channel here.

A Woman Named Mine Fujiko OST

LUPIN the Third 峰不二子という女
オリジナル サウンドトラック

Nippon Columbia, 2012 COCX-37721

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Lupin the IIIrd Jigen’s Gravestone OST

オリジナル サウンドトラック

Composed by James Shimoji

Columbia, 2014 COCX-38843

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Lupin the IIIrd Goemon’s Blood Spray OST

LUPIN THE ⅢRD 血煙の石川五ェ門
オリジナル サウンドトラック

Composed by James Shimoji

Good Beat, 2017 GBCL-0007

Hear the entire album on Youtube
Available for download at Apple Music

Lupin the IIIrd Fujiko’s Lie OST

オリジナル サウンドトラック

Composed by James Shimoji

Good Beat, 2019 GBCL-0008

Hear the entire album on Youtube
Available for download at Apple Music


It should come as no surprise that a music library as vast and deep as this one isn’t limited to soundtracks. Favorite tracks and songs have found their way into numerous compilations, and countless tribute albums cover them in every way possible. Here are a few for consideration.

Lupin the Third Theme Collection

ルパン三世 テーマ・コレクション

Songs and primary themes from the first part of the Yuji Ohno era, incorporating the 2nd and 3rd TV series and the first three feature films.

Nippon Columbia, 1991 COCC-9457

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Lupin the 3rd
Original Sound Best Collection

ルパン三世 オリジナル サウンド・ベストコレクション

Songs and themes from the first three TV series and first four TV specials.

VAP, 1992 VPCG-83245

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Lupin the Third Tribute Album
You’s Explosion

ルパン三世 トリビュートアルバム

Songs and themes from both Yamashita and Ohno, covered in a variety of styles and tones. Highly recommended.

VAP, 1999 VPCC-81286

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Lupin the Third TV Special
best opening & ending theme collection

ルパン三世 TVスペシャル BEST ~オープニング&エンディングテーマコレクション

Pretty much what the title indicates, a compilation of songs from various TV specials.

VAP, 2000 VPCG-84696

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In the mix

Punch the Monkey! was a series of tribute albums that put both scores and songs in the hands of DJs and mix artists to work their magic. This was a best-of compilation.

Nippon Columbia, 2000 COCP-50434

Lupin the DJ Battle

Four DJs took up the same challenge, each creating unique extended mixes that sampled from both Yamashita and Ohno.

Warner Music, 2001 WPC7-10107

Lupin the Best! Punch the originals!

Another compilation from the Punch series.

Triad, 2001 COCP-50668

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Lupin the Cover

Like the 1999 Tribute Album, this one consists of classic compositions re-interpreted by new artists. It’s wild, energetic, and all over the place. Includes a contribution by Charlie Kosei.

Nippon Crown, 2003 CRCP-40035

Drive Groovin’ Lupin

A compilation of fast-tempo Yuji Ohno scores. Two similar compilations were released called Cafe Relaxin’ Lupin and Night Steamin’ Lupin.

VAP, 2005 VPCG-84818

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Lupin the Third Chronicle Special
The Original New Mix 2005

With all the covering and remixing that was going on, Yuji Ohno himself went back into the studio to update his own works from the 70s and early 80s.

Columbia, 2005 COCX-33151

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A box set of three Punch albums and a bonus disc with two more Yuji Ohno remixes and a compilation of original song recordings by both Yamashita and Ohno. The “English Textbook” is a bit misleading; it’s a pocket-size manga chapter in which only one character speaks English.

Columbia Music Entertainment, 2006 COCP-50940~3

Listen to Volume 1 | Listen to Volume 2 | Listen to more tracks

Lupin The Third Dance & Drive official covers & remixes

A fantastic collection of new interpretations. This is the deluxe edition, which includes an animated music video for the first track. Highly recommended.

VAP, 2009 VPCG80640

Hear part of the album on Youtube
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UP with Yuji Ohno & Lupintic Five

Fresh versions of favorite classics, presented in the form of a nightclub act.

VAP, 2014 VPCG-84986

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Lupin the Third JAM

The most recent collection as of this writing, another engaging collection of remixes by modern DJs. Guaranteed to contain something you like.

VAP, 2021 VPCG-83545

Listen to tracks from this album on Youtube here
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More tributes and collections you can hear in full on Youtube:


Lupin the Third, The Mystery of Mamo multi-audio laserdisc

Toho, 1996 TLL2474

Mystery of Mamo has been dubbed several times, and the first version (commissioned by Toho) has always been impossible to find. One day, while searching through a Japanese auction site, I found this Toho laserdisc that indicated dual audio tracks, one in Japanese and one in English, so I figured hot damn, this must be it!

When it finally arrived, I was very disappointed to find that it contained the SECOND dub, done by Streamline Pictures. This was one of a handful of anime films released in Japan with an English dub for language instruction, and they all included a bilingual script for comparison. it’s still a nice keepsake, but don’t repeat my mistake, fellow hunters.

Read more about Mamo‘s dub history here.

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