Well, now we know that the stylish characters of the hit anime Lupin the Third look awesome as ukiyo-e drawings in traditional Japanese clothing!

We recently reported that the Lupinissimo in Isetan 2016, a collaborative event featuring the long-running anime series, will be taking place this week at the Shinjuku Isetan Department Store, offering menswear and even food and beverage items inspired by the Lupin franchise. Now it seems there’s even more that fans of the series can look forward to, as animation studio TMS Entertainment has come out with a stunning line of Lupin the Third ukiyo-e woodblock print-style art!

This is actually the first time the characters from Lupin the Third have been turned into ukiyo-e art, and the prints will be available for advance order at the Shinjuku Isetan event. They will be selling five large prints each featuring one of the main Lupin characters (plus a set of the five prints together if you want all of them) as well as a special print showing the gang in beautiful Venice.

Here are the five individual prints portraying the characters in kimono to match the ukiyo-e style. The 34 centimeter x 20 centimeter (13.4 inch x 7.9 inch) prints each are priced at 64,800 yen (US$540).

▼ Lupin is looking suave in a blue kimono, the same color as the suit he wears in the recent anime series set in Italy.


▼ Jigen still sports his trademark hat even while wearing a black kimono, and it’s interesting to see that his gun doesn’t really look out of place with Japanese-style dress.


▼ We’re of course used to seeing Goemon in a kimono, but that doesn’t mean he looks any less cool, with his precious Zantetsuken sword at the ready.


▼ Here’s the lovely Fujiko, about three-quarters dressed in a gorgeous kimono decorated with fuji (wisteria) patterns, which we’re guessing is a deliberate selection in connection with her name. Not exactly the proper way to wear a kimono, but that brash personality is what we love about Fujiko-chan, isn’t it?


▼ And last, but not least, we have the persistent yet lovable Detective Zenigata, shown wielding a jutte, a traditional weapon that was used by the police in Japan during the Edo Period (1603-1868).


▼ The set with all five prints costs 540,000 yen ($4,500), but it will come autographed by Monkey Punch, the creator of the original Lupin manga series.


▼ And here’s the 34 centimeter x 52 centimeter (13.4 inch x 20.5 inch) special print, priced at 162,000 yen ($1,350), a dynamic piece of work that shows the characters in the canals of Venice.


So, what do you think of the prints? We certainly like the vivid colors and particularly love the Japanese style patterns decorated with plum flowers in the background of the individual prints of the five characters. True, the prints don’t exactly come cheap, but the art is made by Takezasado, a Kyoto-based woodblock printing company with a history of over 120 years, and the character’s names written in traditional Japanese-style text in the individual prints is the work of respected calligrapher Tansetsu Ogino, who is known for creating the Suntory Hibiki label. In addition, the art is printed on Japanese washi paper produced by living national treasure Ichibe Iwano, so the quality is definitely top-notch.

All prints will be made to order, and orders taken at the Lupinissimo in Isetan 2016 event (from February 3 to 8) are scheduled to be delivered in early April.

Update (August 8): The prints are now available overseas via Tokyo Otaku Mode!

Source, images: @Press