Passing the mantle

Today on September 7th, 2021, the official website for Part 6 of the Lupin the 3rd TV anime series announced that voice actor Akio Ōtsuka 大塚明夫 would be replacing Kiyoshi Kobayashi 小林清志, the veteran voice actor who had played the role of sharpshooter Daisuke Jigen for 52 years. When Part 6 airs on October 9th, "Episode 0 - Jidai" (historical era) will be Kobayashi's final appearance as the character, after which Ōtsuka officially takes the mantle.

A new trailer for the series, which has Lupin and the gang facing off against Sherlock Holmes, and features scripts from guest writers like Mamoru Oshii, Masaki Tsuji, Taku Ashibe, Kanae Minato, and Akio Higuchi, was also revealed today:

Ōtsuka, known for his calm yet stern, deep voice, has worked extensively in animation, film, and video games both for domestic works and in dubbing. He is known for villainous and jokester characters and famous for such roles as Solid Snake (Metal Gear), Batou (Ghost in the Shell), All For One (My Hero Academia), Wamuu (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure) and for voicing Hollywood actors such as Steven Seagal, Nicolas Cage, Antonio Banderas, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others.

An exclusive clip of a scene featuring Ōtsuka as Jigen, which was shown this morning on Nippon TV's Sukkiri morning variety show, left a strong impression on MC Kōji Katō, who said "That's really good." Praising how well Ōtsuka maintained continuity with the famous role that Kobayashi had played for over half a century, he added "there's nothing out of place (in his performance)."

Comment from Kiyoshi Kobayashi

The official Twitter account of the Lupin the 3rd TV anime released statements from both voice actors. Here's what Kiyoshi Kobayashi had to say:

Lupin has been a lifelong job for me. I gave my soul to it.
If I were to be selfish, I would have liked to work on it until I was 90, but it wasn't meant to be. I would have liked to keep sticking to it, but I couldn't.
As I get older, there's a certain depth to my work. The only problem is that there's a gap between me and the image on screen.

On a different subject, Akio-chan once asked me: "Why did your father quit Goemon?" My father is Chikao Ōtsuka, my senior (in the voice acting business).
He was at a loss for an answer. It must have been very disappointing for him.
I've heard some people say it's hard to listen to Jigen because he's gotten old. That's natural. I'm 88 years old. I made what efforts I could.

But I'll leave the rest to you, Akio-chan. Please do your best.
Just remember that Jigen's not just any common villain. He has that Edo spirit. It may sound strange, but Jigen is a native of Edo.
This is going to be tough, Akio-chan. He has a mood similar to Jazz.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who have supported me so far. Thank you very much.

Lupin, it's about time for me to blow this joint.
So long.

Twitter account of Lupin the 3rd TV anime, Kiyoshi Kobayashi

Akio Ōtsuka reacts

On the Twitter account of Nippon TV, which will be the main terrestrial TV station to carry the anime, Ōtsuka reacted to his sempai's message, saying: "I'll do my best to capture your feelings, hold on to them, and do my best (...) I've made up my mind to be a Daisuke Jigen who can even be convincing to me (...) Edo spirit, Edokko, Jazz, I'll take it to heart."

Pia's Complete History of the Lupin Anime

Fans of the series can find out more in a special mook (a magazine meant to stay longer on shelves like a book) entitled 『ルパン三世アニメ全史ぴあ』(rupan sansei anime zenshi pia, Pia's Complete History of the Lupin Anime).

Sure to be a collector's item, this publication features a panel interview with Ōtsuka, Kan'ichi Kurita 栗田貫一 (Lupin III) and Kōichi Yamadera 山寺宏一 (Inspector Zenigata), an interview with Daisuke Namikawa 浪川大輔 (Ishikawa Goemon) and Miyuki Sawashiro 沢城みゆき (Fujiko Mine), a special interview with Yuji Ōno 大野雄二, the composer and jazz pianist who has been in charge of Lupin's music for over 40 years, interviews with Part 6 director Eiji Suganuma 菅沼栄治 and other staff members, and a thorough analysis of the charm of the ever-evolving anime series. You'll also find the latest information on Lupin the Third Part 6.

『ルパン三世アニメ全史ぴあ』(Pia's Complete History of the Lupin Anime) is currently available for pre-order at online bookstores, and those who purchase it at TSUTAYA stores will be presented with a color print plastic file featuring Lupin from the new series as a bonus. (Some stores excluded. See the complete list of stores here).


  • Release date: September 29, 2021
  • Publisher: Pia Corporation
  • List Price: 1,100 JPY + tax
  • Edition: A4 size / 96 pages
  • On sale at: Bookstores, online bookstores, some convenience stores, etc.
  • Special version with plastic file at TSUTAYA
  • Normal version at, Rakuten Books, Seven Net Shopping, etc.


By - Ben K.