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"A Present For the President"[1], with the English title "The Sleight Before Christmas". Released in 2003 by Geneon on Volume 2: Love Heist.

A news report features a report on a special bottle of Bordeaux, commissioned by Napoleon to honor his wife Josephine, that is being given to the President of the United States as a Christmas gift. The Lupin gang watches the report, and Lupin decides to steal the bottle to impress Fujiko, make Jigen happy, and convert Goemon from sake.

Meanwhile, in Paris, a lonely Zenigata is dining on stale bread and bad wine when he receives a note at his hotel room from Lupin; the master thief tells him he plans to steal the wine. Zenigata rushes to the French countryside, and Lupin's gang follows him, hoping the challenged officer will lead them to the wine's hiding place. The local police chief takes Zenigata to the chateau where the wine is stashed, while Lupin follows, disguised as a local wine maker and with his gang hidden in barrels in the back of the truck. There, the disguised Lupin persuades the guards to help him move the barrels into the chateau's wine cellar, presumably where the special bottle is being kept. Instead, Zenigata springs a trap on the gang after they reveal themselves. The thieves manage to escape by slicing and smashing several of the wine barrels and bottles, flooding the cellar with wine.

The next day, as everyone recovers from their hangovers, the police chief praises Zenigata for helping foil Lupin, and offers to let him personally accompany both the chief and the special wine to the White House. At the airport, Lupin and the others scout the scene, watching not only Zenigata and security, but a mysterious crate being loaded on the plane that they soon find out is a Christmas present from France to the U.S. Lupin decides to target both the wine and the crate, and sets his gang into action.

Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko board the plane, disguised as the flight crew. While Zenigata and the chief gloat over their foiling of the master thief, the gang gasses the plane, knocking everyone out. As the plane flies over New York, they look for Goemon, who flew over earlier. Meeting him with a truck, Goemon and Jigen relieve the plane of its crate as Lupin switches the real bottle of wine for a cheap bottle of wine with the same label. Lupin leaves a note for Zenigata taunting him about the switch; luckily, the chief does not spot Lupin's note and lauds Zenigata a second time for saving the day.

Christmas Eve comes, and Zenigata panics, fearing that the President with taste the fake Bordeaux and be revolted. Instead, the President declares it delicious. Meanwhile, Lupin and his gang, watching on TV, laugh themselves silly before helping themselves to the real thing. Their joy is cut short when they quickly find out the two-hundred year-old bottle has turned to vinegar over time. They also find out that the crate they stole is full of dolls, destined for needy children. Admitting he's made a mistake, Lupin flies over D.C, releasing the dolls on little parachutes to the kids and feeling a bit more Santa-like than before.


This episode features examples of:

  Fujiko: So, is this one of those "Gift of the Magi" things? Because I hate that story.

  Lupin: Must be kind of...breezy under that robe.

  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Goemon opens a crate of dolls via katana without damaging the contents.
  • Invisible President: Averted; Carter, who was President when the episode was made, is clearly shown.
  • Knockout Gas: Employed by Lupin on the plane.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: In the course of one episode, Zenigata is called "Origami", "Epiglottis", "Terra Cotta", "Pennsylvania", and "Sanitation".
    • And in Japanese, he becomes "Zenigame" (pond turtle).
  • Shout-Out: Jigen repeats the famous "Don't call me Shirley" line from Airplane!
    • Also, Zenigata keeps mispronouncing "bonjour" as "Bon Jovi".
  • Strange Salute: A whole series of them between Zenigata and a disguised Lupin.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: In spite of massive amounts of wine being sprayed everywhere, Lupin seems to think himself immune to its effects.

Notes

  1. 大統領への贈り物 (Daitouryou e no Okurimono)
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