“Now cease everything you are doing to gaze at me, only letting your heart still strum.”
Around the sixth episode (“Prison of Love”) of Lupin The Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, I started to feel slight glimmers of what the show may have been after. After the ninth episode (“Steamy Desire”), I had a bead on the series. By the end of series, I realized I had been more accurate than I thought. Fujiko Mine is, from the onset, about gazing, what that gaze is capable of, and how it entangles all of us, male and female. It’s about spectatorship (in the broad, psychoanalytic sense, not an individual’s reception) and its ability to satisfy wish-fulfillment impulses when we sit down to consume media.
I’m stating the obvious, though. The series isn’t shy about its aims (the words of this post’s epigraph are the first words you hear at the start of each episode), but despite its willingness to show how gazing and vicarious thrill rides through fiction fulfill us (or even sustain us), it still ultimately reaffirms the power and importance of the straight guy’s looking, and that’s hardly anything new.
This will be a spoiler-heavy discussion of the series, so if you’re at all interested in watching it (and you should be), come back later. I linked to the show’s Hulu page above, and you can watch it there. If you’ve already seen the series in its entirety, let’s continue. Just let me don my owl mask first. Read more »
- July 10, 2012