#38 - Arsène Lupin Fans


Upon arriving in France, we are swept away by a mysterious man who is out to steal our riches… and our hearts! This week, we’re talking about one of the first, classic gentleman thieves: Arsene Lupin! Why was he less popular than Sherlock Holmes? Where is he now (figuratively)?

Next week, we’ll be on our way to Italy to listen to an inspirational movement (at the time), both progressive and traditional: Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI)!

Episode outline

Last Episode’s Famous Last Words

G: Arsene Lupin is an old-timey thing and isn’t relevant anymore.

Z: Why… did Japan think there would be enough of a fandom for an anime?

T: Why was Sherlock Holmes so popular compared to this guy? A good guy (gentleman thief) on the wrong side of the law? That sounds like it should be more popular!

Fandom Facts

Arsene Lupin is a gentleman thief and master of disguise, and is the creation of Maurice Leblanc (author of short stories and often described as a French counterpart to Arthur Conan Doyle). Lupin (originally Lopin, until a local politician of the same name protested) was featured in 17 novels, 39 novellas since his debut in 1905 (18 years after Sherlock Holmes), five authorized sequels in the 1970s (Leblanc passed in 1941) and many other different mediums.

While often portrayed as a force for good, Lupin tends to operate on the wrong side of the law. His stories some time take on a fantastic tone, with some stories having involved the fountain of youth and a radioctive ‘god-stone’.

Fandom Origins:

Most Active:
The fandom was definitely most active towards the inception of Arsene Lupin. Google trends data indicates that there is not a lot of search traffic for the term, especially compared to some of the related fandoms. Nonetheless, there was a recent spike in interest in the term in October 2004 (2004 French crime-adventure film of the same name), May 2005 (Tales of the Shadowmen, an annual anthology of short stories that features Lupin from time to time), and December 2007 (probably the Filipino TV show, Lupin, that ran from April to August of 2007).

Around the world:
Popular in France, Europe, and Asia (in particular, the Philippines and Japan)

Related fandoms:
Possibly an example of a fandom where its descendants are immensely more popular today than the original: Night Hood, Lupin III, Kamen Rider, Fantomas, Detective Conan (to some extent, with Phantom Thief Kid / Kaito Kid)

There are 18 fanworks on Archive of Our Own related to Maurice Leblanc’s Lupin, and 161 fanworks related to Lupin III.

The Verdict

T is in.

Z is in.

G is in.

This week’s spotlight

Tiger Mask Donation Phenomenon
…Not related to Lupin, but came up as an interesting search result when looking for different charity causes. To sum up: In Japan, people were donating money to folks randomly under aliases which were popular Anime characters including Lupin III).

The Race Against Time
Now in its third year of running, the Race Against Time is the Nickscast’s annual charity livestream where we work our way though Chrono Trigger, obtaining all its endings, and also raising money for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Last year we raised over $1200 CAD, and have plans to surpass that!

This year, the event will be held August 12 through to August 13, starting at 10am ET. You can also subscribe on Twitch.tv/theraceagainsttime in anticipation of the event!

Famous Last Words

This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom as we travel to Italy, Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI)!

Are all of the prog rock bands in Italy fans of each other?

How much of Italian prog rock is taken from British prog rock? How much is taken from Italian music?

Who is the RPI equivalent to Phil Collins?

Where can you find us online?

We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:

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  • You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
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  • … You’re still looking for ways to reach out? You can also use the hashtag #fanthro on Twitter!

What is “Fanthropological”?

How did you read this far without asking this question?!

Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.

Who is “The Nickscast”?

We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative. Dare we say, the most creative.


We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.

We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.



Music / Sound

  • All music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!


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