Arsène Lupin

From Detective Conan Wiki

Arsène Lupin is a fictional character who appears in a book series of detective fiction/crime fiction novels written by French writer Maurice Leblanc, as well as a number of non-canonical sequels and numerous film, television such as Night Hood, stage play and comic book adaptations.


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 Terrai'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.

Its official last book, The Billions of Arsene Lupin, was published without the ninth chapter "The Safe" ("IX. Les coffres-forts"), and even the published book became out of print by Maurice Leblanc's son's request. However, in 2002, by the efforts of some Lupinians and Korean translator Sung Gwi-Su, the missing part became restored and the complete collection of Arsene Lupin happened to be published first in Korea, from Kkachi Publishing House.


  1. Arsène Lupin (Arsène Lupin, gentleman cambrioleur, 1907 coll., 9 stories) (AKA Exploits of Arsène Lupin, Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin)
  2. Arsene Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes (Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès, 1908 coll., 2 stories) (AKA The Blonde Lady)
  3. Arsène Lupin (Arsène Lupin (pièce de théâtre) Originally a 4-part play written by Maurice LeBlanc and Francis de Croisset, it was subsequently novelized by LeBlanc and published in 1909. It was then translated into English by Edgar Jepson and published in 1909 by Doubleday as "Arsene Lupin: By Maurice LeBlanc & Edgar Jepson"
  4. The Hollow Needle (L'Aiguille creuse, 1909)
  5. 813 (1910)
  6. The Crystal Stopper (Le Bouchon de cristal, 1912)
  7. The Confessions of Arsene Lupin (Les Confidences d'Arsène Lupin, 1913 coll., 9 stories)
  8. The Shell Shard (L'Éclat d'obus, 1916) (AKA: Woman of Mystery) Not originally part of the Arsène Lupin series, Lupin written into the story in later editions.
  9. The Golden Triangle (Le Triangle d'or, 1918) (AKA: The Return of Arsène Lupin)
  10. The Island of Thirty Coffins (L’Île aux trente cercueils, 1919) (AKA: The Secret of Sarek)
  11. The Teeth of The Tiger (Les Dents du tigre, 1921)
  12. The Eight Strokes of The Clock (Les Huit Coups de l'horloge, 1923 coll., 8 stories)
  13. The Countess of Cagliostro (La Comtesse de Cagliostro, 1924) (AKA: Memoirs of Arsene Lupin)
  14. The Damsel With Green Eyes (La Demoiselle aux yeux verts, 1927) (AKA: The Girl With the Green Eyes, Arsène Lupin, Super Sleuth)
  15. The Barnett & Co. Agency (L'Agence Barnett et Cie., 1928) (AKA: Jim Barnett Intervenes, Arsène Lupin Intervenes)
  16. The Mysterious Mansion (La Demeure mystérieuse, 1929) (AKA: The Melamare Mystery)
  17. The Mystery of The Green Ruby (La Barre-y-va, 1931) (Translated into English for Kindle Nov. 2012 by Josephine Gill)
  18. The Woman With Two Smiles (La Femme aux deux sourires, 1933) (AKA: The Double Smile)
  19. Victor of the Vice Squad (Victor de la Brigade mondaine, 1933) (AKA: The Return of Arsene Lupin)
  20. The Revenge of The Countess of Cagliostro (La Cagliostro se venge, 1935)
  21. The Billions of Arsene Lupin (Les Milliards d'Arsène Lupin, 1939)
  22. The Last Love of Arsene Lupin (Le Dernier Amour d'Arsène Lupin, unpublished)

Short Stories by Maurice LeBlanc

  1. The Last Adventure of Arsene Lupin Published in Vol. 1 Issue 1 of the periodical magazine (this is "Edith Swan-Neck" in The Confessions of Arsene LupinArgosy (UK), June 1926
  2. The Overcoat of Arsene Lupin (Le Pardessus d'Arsène Lupin) - Published in the periodical magazine The Popular Magazine in English on October 7th, 1926. Originally published in French as La Dent d'Hercule Petitgris then re-published in English as an Arsène Lupin story.
  3. The Emerald Cabachon (Le Cabochon d'Emeraude) 1928. Translated into English and published in the collection The Many Faces of Arsène Lupin (2012).

By other writers

  • By Boileau-Narcejac:
    1. Le Secret d’Eunerville (1973)
    2. La Poudrière (1974)
    3. Le Second visage d’Arsène Lupin (1975)
    4. La Justice d’Arsène Lupin (1977)
    5. Le Serment d’Arsène Lupin (1979)

Notable pastiches

  • The Adventure of the Clothes-Line by Carolyn Wells in The Century (1915)
  • The Silver Hair Crime by Nick Carter in New Magnet Library No. 1282 (1930)
  • Aristide Dupin who appears in Union Jack Nos. 1481, 1483, 1489, 1493 and 1498 (1932) in the Sexton Blake collection by Gwyn Evans
  • La Clé est sous le paillasson by Marcel Aymé (1934)
  • Gaspard Zemba who appears in The Shadow Magazine (December 1, 1935) by Walter B. Gibson
  • Arsène Lupin vs. Colonel Linnaus by Anthony Boucher in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine Vo. 5, No. 19 (1944)
  • L’Affaire Oliveira by Thomas Narcejac in Confidences dans ma nuit (1946)
  • Le Gentleman en Noir by Claude Ferny (c. 1950) (two novels)
  • International Investigators, Inc. by Edward G. Ashton in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (1952)
  • Le Secret des rois de France ou La Véritable identité d’Arsène Lupin by Valère Catogan (1955)
  • In Compartment 813 by Arthur Porges in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (June 1966)
  • Arsène Lupin, gentleman de la nuit by Jean-Claude Lamy (1983)
  • Auguste Lupa in Son of Holmes (1986) and Rasputin’s Revenge (1987) by John Lescroart
  • Various stories in the Tales of the Shadowmen anthology series, ed. by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, Black Coat Press (2005-ongoing)
  • Arsène Lupin is also referred to as the grandfather of Lupin III in the Japanese manga series of the same name. He appears in chapter 37 of the series.
  • Arsène Lupin and Sherlock Holmes have been the basis for the popular Japanese manga series Detective Conan. Kaitou Kid (originating from Magic Kaito) resembles and represents Lupin, while Conan Edogawa resembles and represents Sherlock Holmes.
  • In the Adventure of The Doraemons, the robot cat The Mysterious Thief Dorapent resembles Lupin.
  • A funny animal pastiche of Arsène Lupin is Arpine Lusène, of the Scrooge McDuck Universe.
  • Případ Grendwal (A Grendwal Case), a play by Pavel Dostál, Czech playwright and Minister of Culture
  • Tuxedo Mask from the popular Japanese manga and anime series Sailor Moon, also resembles Arsène Lupin.
  • Arsène Lupin et le mystère d'Arsonval by Michel Zink
  • Qui fait peur à Virginia Woolf ? (... Élémentaire mon cher Lupin !) by Gabriel Thoveron
  • Crimes parfaits by Christian Poslaniec
  • La Dent de Jane by Daniel Salmon (2001)
  • Les Lupins de Vincent by Caroline Cayol et Didier Cayol (2006)
  • Code Lupin by Michel Bussi (2006)
  • L'Église creuse by Patrick Genevaux (2009) (short story)
  • The Many Faces of Arsène Lupin collection of short stories edited by Jean-Marc Lofficier & Randy Lofficier (Black Coat Press, 2012)

Other Reading

  • Dorothée, Danseuse de Corde (1923) an eponymous heroine solves one of Arsène Lupin's four fabulous secrets.

Arsène Lupin and Sherlock Holmes

Leblanc introduced Sherlock Holmes to Lupin in the short story "Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late" in Je sais tout No. 17, 15 June 1906. In it, Holmes meets a young Lupin for the first time. After legal objections from Conan Doyle, the name was changed to "Herlock Sholmes" when the story was collected in book form in Volume 1.

Sholmes returned in two more stories collected in Volume 2, "Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes", and then in a guest-starring role in the battle for the secret of the Hollow Needle in L'Aiguille creuse. Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmes was published in the United States in 1910 under the title "The Blonde Lady" which used the name "Holmlock Shears" for Sherlock Holmes, and "Wilson" for Watson.

In 813, Lupin manages to solve a riddle that Herlock Sholmes was unable to figure out.

Sherlock Holmes, this time with his real name and accompanied by familiar characters such as Watson and Lestrade (all copyright protection having long expired), also confronted Arsène Lupin in the 2008 PC 3D adventure game Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin. In this game Holmes (and occasionally others) are attempting to stop Lupin from stealing five British valuable items. Lupin wants to steal the items in order to humiliate Britain, but he also admires Holmes and thus challenges him to try to stop him.

In a novella "The Prisoner of the Tower, or A Short But Beautiful Journey of Three Wise Men" by Boris Akunin published in 2008 in Russia as the conclusion of "Jade Rosary Beads" book, Sherlock Holmes and Erast Fandorin oppose Arsène Lupin on December 31, 1899.

Fantasy elements

Several Arsène Lupin novels contain some interesting fantasy elements: a radioactive 'god-stone' that cures people and causes mutations is the object of an epic battle in L’Île aux trente cercueils; the secret of the Fountain of Youth, a mineral water source hidden beneath a lake in the Auvergne, is the goal sought by the protagonists in La Demoiselle aux yeux verts; finally, in La Comtesse de Cagliostro, Lupin’s arch-enemy and lover is none other than Joséphine Balsamo, the alleged granddaughter of Cagliostro himself.


  • The Gentleman Burglar (B&W., US, 1908) with William Ranows (Lupin).
  • Arsène Lupin (B&W., 1914) with Georges Tréville (Lupin).
  • Arsène Lupin (B&W., UK, 1915) with Gerald Ames (Lupin).
  • The Gentleman Burglar (B&W., US, 1915) with William Stowell (Lupin).
  • Arsène Lupin (B&W., US, 1917) with Earle Williams (Lupin).
  • The Teeth of the Tiger (B&W., US, 1919) with David Powell (Lupin).
  • 813 (B&W., US, 1920) with Wedgewood Newel (Lupin).
  • Les Dernières aventures d'Arsène Lupin (B&W., France/Hungary, 1921).
  • 813 - Rupimono (B&W., Japan, 1923) with Minami Mitsuaki (Lupin).
  • Arsène Lupin (B&W., US, 1932) with John Barrymore (Lupin).[1]
  • Arsène Lupin Returns (B&W., US, 1936) with Melvyn Douglas (Lupin)
  • Arsène Lupin, Détective (B&W., 1937) with Jules Berry (Lupin).
  • Enter Arsène Lupin (B&W., US, 1944) with Charles Korvin (Lupin).
  • Arsenio Lupin (B&W., Mexico, 1945) with R. Pereda (Lupin).
  • Nanatsu-no Houseki (B&W., Japan, 1950) with Keiji Sada (Lupin).
  • Tora no-Kiba (B&W., Japan, 1951) with Ken Uehara (Lupin).
  • Kao-no Nai Otoko (B&W., Japan, 1955) with Eiji Okada (Lupin).
  • Les Aventures d'Arsène Lupin (col., 1957) with Robert Lamoureux (Lupin).
  • Signé Arsène Lupin (B&W., 1959) with Robert Lamoureux (Lupin).
  • Arsène Lupin contre Arsène Lupin (B&W., 1962) with Jean-Pierre Cassel and Jean-Claude Brialy (Lupins).
  • Arsène Lupin (col., 2004) with Romain Duris (Lupin).
  • Lupin no Kiganjo (col., Japan, 2011) with Kōichi Yamadera (Lupin).


  • Arsène Lupin, 26 60-minute episodes (1971, 1973–1974) with Georges Descrières (Lupin), Arsène Lupin at the Internet Movie Database.
  • L'Île aux trente cercueils, six 60-minute episodes (1979) (the character of Lupin, who only appears at the end of the novel, was removed entirely).
  • Arsène Lupin joue et perd, six 52-minute episodes (1980) loosely based on 813 with Jean-Claude Brialy (Lupin).
  • Le Retour d'Arsène Lupin, twelve 90-minute episodes (1989–1990) and Les Nouveaux Exploits d'Arsène Lupin, eight 90-minute episodes (1995–1996) with François Dunoyer (Lupin).
  • Lupin, Philippines (2007) with Richard Gutierrez (Lupin).


  • Arsène Lupin by Francis de Croisset and Maurice Leblanc. Four-act play first performed on October 28, 1908, at the Athenée in Paris.
  • Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès by Victor Darlay & Henri de Gorsse. Four-act play first performed on October 10, 1910, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. (American edition ISBN 1-932983-16-3)
  • Le Retour d'Arsène Lupin by Francis de Croisset and Maurice Leblanc. One-act play first performed on September 16, 1911, at the Théâtre de la Cigale in Paris.
  • Arsène Lupin, Banquier by Yves Mirande & Albert Willemetz, libretto by Marcel Lattès. Three-act operetta, first performed on May 7, 1930, at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiennes in Paris.
  • A/L The Youth of Phantom Thief Lupin by Yoshimasa Saitou . Takarazuka Revue performance, 2007, starring Yūga Yamato and Hana Hizuki.
  • Rupan -ARSÈNE LUPIN- by Haruhiko Masatsuka. Takarazuka Revue performance, 2013, starring Masaki Ryū and Reika Manaki (after Le Dernier Amour d'Arsène Lupin)

Animation and Manga

  • Les Exploits d'Arsène Lupin aka Night Hood, produced by Cinar & France-Animation, 26 episodes for 24 min. in (1996)
  • Lupin III, the grandson of Arsène Lupin, a character created by Monkey Punch for a series of manga, anime television shows, movies and OVA's based in Japan and around the world. Hayao Miyazaki directed one of the most acclaimed films of the series, The Castle of Cagliostro, and several television episodes. Because Monkey Punch did not seek permission to use the character from the Leblanc estate, the character was renamed in the early English adaptations and also had to be renamed when the anime series was broadcast on French TV.
  • Soul Eater episode 3, the introduction of Death The Kid and the Thompson Sisters initially depicts them chasing the demonic form of Arsène Lupin so that the sisters could claim and devour his soul. When Death The Kid begins panicking about the lack of symmetry with the sisters and their appearances, Lupin escapes down a manhole and is not seen for the rest of the episode.
  • Hidan no Aria episode 4, Riko Mine reveals that she is a descendant of Arsène Lupin after she hijacked the airplane that Aria took. She also reveals Aria's identity as the descendant of Sherlock Holmes.
  • The exploits of Arsène Lupin inspired an entire Phantom Thief (Kaitō) sub-genre of Japanese media.
  • Kaitou Kid from the manga series Magic Kaito and Detective Conan is often compared to Arsene Lupin. Lupin is also highlighted in volume 4 of the Detective Conan manga's edition of "Gosho Aoyama's Mystery Library", a section of the graphic novels (usually the last page) where the author introduces a different detective (or in this case, a villain/detective) from literature.
  • Meimi Haneoka, who "transforms" into Kaitō Saint Tail heavily inspired by Arsene Lupin, a thief with acrobatic and magician skills, from Saint Tail (by Megumi Tachikawa)


Arsene Lupin, as he appeared in volume 4 of Detective Conan
  • Arsène Lupin, written by Georges Cheylard, art by Bourdin. Daily strip published in France-Soir in 1948-49.
  • Arsène Lupin, written & drawn by Jacques Blondeau. 575 daily strips published in Le Parisien Libéré from 1956-58.
  • Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès: La Dame blonde, written by Joëlle Gilles, art by Gilles & B. Cado, published by the authors, 1983.
  • Arsène Lupin, written by André-Paul Duchateau, artist Géron, published by C. Lefrancq.
    1. Le Bouchon de cristal (1989)
    2. 813 — La Double Vie d'Arsène Lupin (1990)
    3. 813 — Les Trois crimes d'Arsène Lupin (1991)
    4. La Demoiselle aux yeux verts (1992)
    5. L'Aiguille creuse (1994)
  • Arpin Lusène is featured as a character in the Donald Duck & Co stories The Black Knight (1997), Attaaaaaack! (2000) and The Black Knight GLORPS again! (2004) by Don Rosa.
  • In Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, Lupin is featured as a member of Les Hommes Mysterieux, the French analogue of Britain's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Video Games

  • Sherlock Holmes versus Arsène Lupin (known in North America and some parts of England as Sherlock Holmes: Nemesis) is an adventure game for Windows-compatible computers. It was developed by the game development studio Frogwares, and released in October, 2007. The game follows Holmes and Watson as Holmes is challenged by the legendary gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, who threatens to steal England's most prized treasures.[2]
  • Various video games based on the Japanese manga Lupin III.


  • Jirokichi dog is named Lupin after the surname Lupin.
  • Kaitou Kid was clearly modeled after the fictional gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, by French author Maurice Leblanc.
  • Movie 3 has Mitsuhiko referred to Kid as "modern-day Arsène Lupin”.
  • Toichi Kuroba has word his Kaito kid outfit initially that was in homage for the great Arsène Lupin for his next magic show in Paris.
  • When Toichi meets Shinichi and Ran in Shinichi Kudo's Childhood Adventure, he's seen reading Arsène Lupin: Gentleman Burglar by Maurice LeBlanc.
  • In Nonchalant Lupin Kaito surname was Lupin.


External links