Creation & Overview
A contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Maurice Leblanc (1864–1941) was the creator of the character of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin who, in Francophone countries, has enjoyed a popularity as long-lasting and considerable as Sherlock Holmes in the English-speaking world. There are twenty volumes in the Arsène Lupin series written by Leblanc himself, plus five authorized sequels written by the celebrated mystery writing team of Boileau-Narcejac, as well as various pastiches. The character of Lupin was first introduced in a series of short stories serialized in the magazine Je sais tout, starting in No. 6, dated 15 July 1905. He was originally called Arsène Lopin, until a local politician of the same name protested, resulting in the name change. Arsène Lupin is a literary descendant of Pierre Alexis Ponson du Terrail's Rocambole. Like him, he is often a force for good, while operating on the wrong side of the law. Those whom Lupin defeats, always with his characteristic Gallic style and panache, are worse villains than he. Lupin shares distinct similarities with E. W. Hornung's archetypal gentleman thief A. J. Raffles who first appeared in The Amateur Cracksman in 1899, but both creations can be said to anticipate and have inspired later characters such as Louis Joseph Vance's The Lone Wolf and Leslie Charteris's The Saint. The character of Arsène Lupin might also have been based by Leblanc on French anarchist Marius Jacob, whose trial made headlines in March 1905, but Leblanc had also read Octave Mirbeau's Les 21 jours d'un neurasthénique (1901), which features a gentleman thief named Arthur Lebeau, and had seen Mirbeau's comedy Scrupules (1902), whose main character is a gentleman thief.
Not much is known about Arsenè Lupin I except for his great reputation as a Gentleman Thief
Arsenè Lupin appears several times in flashbacks and mentioned several times by Lupin III, commenting on how he was a great thief that left a great mark in the world for his tecniques that led to the creation of the Lupin Empire, talking with great pride and respect about his grandfather.
Lupin I wrote a manual that fell in the hands of pirates that copied his techniques, the manual was later stolen by Lupin III
Some time after his death, his suit and items fell into a museum
In Which of the Third Generation Will Win! Lupin III vows to steal back his grandfather's belongings after being proposed a challenge by his grandfather's archnemesis' grandson Inspector Ganimard III, succeding.
In The Great Caribbean Adventure Arsenè Lupin I appears in a flashback of 50 years before where he was part of a expedition to raid the Devil temple that resulted in the death of the majority of the temple cultists.
Lupin II, Arsenè Lupin's son, wore a suit that was similar to the one used by his father.
- Everytime Lupin I is featured in any of the anime adaptions, his appearance would resemble that of the original Arsene Lupin from the original LeBlanc novels, dressed with a black overcoat with a top hat and a eye monocule. The only difference is that his face would greatly resemble Lupin's.
- In the anime flashback Arsenè is seen with a walking stick, most probably his weapon.