...I've ever seen!
Miyazaki has often brought good timing and pacing to Lupin, along with good animation, well constructed stories and surprises, which are often missing from other directors' versions.
And UNLIKE other Miyazaki versions, It's not toned down! It's still cartoony, the cast is "in character" and it has very good balance, it's not reduced to "general family audience" material, it keeps an adult theme tastefully, without being crude.
When so many things are done right, I shift from just liking a film to loving it.
While watching Lupin films I've made some studies,the version on the left from "Lupin vs. the Clone" is my favorite design, since it's the most cartoony and appealing.
later I wanted to merge him with other characters:
This was meant to be a 1930s Fleischer theme, but reminds me more of Bakshi's Malcolm and Melvin, which I also love.
Do Lupin and Fujiko ever get together, or are they fated to continue to tease each other?
"Actually, it's kind of interesting. I think men and women in general as... rather than saying tease, say they enjoy each other... using their weapons against each other, but in an enjoyable way. That's how I think of that."
Complete interview with series creator can be found here
My favorite element in the more successful Lupin films, besides good characters and funny drawings, is a true to life attitude, You don't find it in many animated films that look appealing.
Lupin lives in "the real world", a competitive place, where many others have selfish interests identical to his, and will stop at nothing to get there first, sometimes even con him out of a treasure when he gets it. There is no rigged order of justice or pure good and evil here, there is RELATIVE good and bad.
Miyazaki sometimes portrays him as "The Gentleman Thief" and originally that is not the case, Lupin is simply better than the other crooks. In the episode linked above, he's very in-character.
I can relate this to the society we live in, something I can't do with many Disney fairy tales, but there are exceptions, my favorite is "Br'er Rabbit Runs Away" from "Song of the South", which is very true to life, Some of the shorts have it too, Like Jack Kinney's "Fathers are People". Bakshi films are very good this way too.
It's the difference between what's comforting and what's real, comforting films have their place, but I liked them more as a kid. Today I like making fun of what's real.