Lupin The Third Part I is the first animated television adaptation of the Lupin III (ルパン三世 Rupan Sansei) manga series written by Monkey Punch. The series was originally broadcast as Lupin III between October 24, 1971 and March 26, 1972. It is known as the Green Jacket series, after the colour of Lupin's jacket.
Initially, under the direction of Masaaki Ōsumi, this series portrayed Lupin as a morally ambiguous character and remained faithful to dark tone of the manga. Ōsumi was replaced by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, who took the show in a markedly more light-hearted and family-friendly direction that would become the blueprint for later Lupin III series.
Arsène Lupin III, grandson of the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, is an internationally wanted thief. His right-hand man is Daisuke Jigen, an expert marksmen who can shoot a target within 0.3 seconds. They are joined by Fujiko Mine, Lupin's primary love interest who often manipulates situations to her advantage. After several encounters with the samurai and expert swordsman Goemon Ishikawa XIII, he becomes part of the group. They are constantly pursued by Inspector Zenigata, an expert on Lupin from the Tokyo MPD, who has made the capture and arrest of Lupin and his collaborators his life goal.
- Yasuo Yamada as Arsène Lupin III
- Kiyoshi Kobayashi as Daisuke Jigen
- Chikao Ōtsuka as Goemon Ishikawa XIII
- Yukiko Nikaido as Fujiko Mine
- Gorō Naya as Inspector Zenigata
The first opening re-used footage from the 1969 Pilot Film, which was somewhat modified to show him in a green jacket instead of the red one he wore in this pilot.
Only 2 villians of this series returned in future installments, Mister X returned in the second series while Pycal returns as the main antagonist of the OVA "Return of the Magician".