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"Lupin's Enemy is Lupin", with the English title "Return of the X Factor". Released in 2006 by Geneon on Volume 13: All's Fair in Love & Thievery.
The tiny impoverished kingdom of Cocodad is celebrating the 20th birthday of their beloved Princess Yasmin when an unknown aircraft descends on the celebration, dropping a giant birthday cake off for the princess. Wonder turns to terror as the cake's candles suddenly release a knockout gas, putting the crowds, guards, and princess to sleep and allowing the mysterious aircraft to steal the princess away to a nearby mountain hideout. They send their army after the princess, but the hideout's defenses nearly destroy their forces. Desperate, the king consults a humble wise man, who tells him he must hire a thief to steal the princess back from her kidnapper. With that, Prime Minister Kashim goes to Interpol to have them recommend a good thief, much to the fury of Inspector Zenigata. Interpol naturally recommends the best: Lupin.
Lupin himself is engaging in a new hobby, boxing, and failing miserably, so when Kashim approaches him promising the kingdom's great reward for the return of the princess, he rounds up Jigen, Goemon, and Fujiko for the job. On the prime minister's rather rundown little plane, Fujiko demands to know what the reward will actually be. Kashim informs the gang that the most prized thing in the kingdom is their special curry, considered a food fit only for the gods. Fujiko is out when she hears the news, taking a parachute out of the plane, but Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon decide to appreciate the humble kingdom's thanks and honor.
Said curry turns out to be a gigantic serving each, personally prepared by Cocodad's king. The meal is thankfully interrupted when a film projector is dropped off by the mysterious airship from before. It shows a masked man who clearly knows Lupin in some way. Gloating that he knew the thief wouldn't be able to resist saving the princess, he demonstrates his surveillance system by showing how he used it to destroy the Cocodad army with perfect accuracy. As he taunts Lupin to make an attempt anyway, the princess is shown being assaulted by a tentacle before Lupin unplugs the projector in fury.
As the gang makes their way scout out the hideout, Jigen observes Lupin knows the identity of their mystery assailant, and he and Goemon believe they've figured it out themselves. Lupin's bravado is unshakable, though; the next morning, he heads out with two giant mirrors and a herd of bulls. Using the bulls as bait to draw out the missiles, Lupin's gang uses the giant mirrors to have them target the hideout's own surveillance cameras. Confused, the missiles take out the security. Zenigata chooses that moment to arrive, and nearly gets blown to bits by a missile. The mystery man opens a door for the gang, congratulating them on figuring out how to defeat the outside security. As they enter, though; he warns them he has a few more tricks on the way to the princess. Sure enough, a thick metal door ahead is about to slam shut; the gang barely makes it through, Goemon almost getting his foot crushed.
The trip through the liar continues with attacking Yasmin-clone robots, giant rugs that roll up and nearly crush the gang, trapdoors, killer books, and a mad elephant. Eventually, the gang decides to split up, with Jigen and Goemon setting off the rest of the traps while Lupin focuses on finding the princess. He manages to find a room where he is shown a film of him and the gang defeating Mr. X back in the first episode. The films also shows how Mr. X escaped the exploding ship before it ends, and Lupin calls him out before turning to find none other than Mr. X himself sitting behind him. Mr. X, still masked, challenges Lupin: if he can best the Scorpion leader one last time, he can have Princess Yasmin back.
Mr. X produces a special weapon called a "water saber", a sword with a blade made of water that is specially pressurized to be as hard as diamond. He then rips off his covering, revealing he has physically altered himself further and now looks like Lupin! The two begin dueling it out as Jigen and Goemon arrive, unable to determine which Lupin is which. Jigen pulls his gun on both of them, and one of the Lupin's says he'd rather die at his friend's hand than be defeated by Mr. X. That's enough for Jigen to shoot that Lupin, saying the real Lupin is too cowardly to make such a brave speech. The dying Mr. X disappears through a trapdoor, and is replaced by the real Princess Yasmin.
As the greatful king thanks Lupin's gang for their service and offers the remaining curry to them, Zenigata, recovered from the missile, bursts forth to arrest them. Before he can do so, Lupin tells Kashim he wishes, as part of his reward, to grant all of the gang's curry to Zenigata instead. As a result, Lupin and his gang leave, but Zenigata must stay until he finishes all three servings of curry so he does not offend the king.
This episode features examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Not Zantetsuken for once, but rather Mr. X's water sabers.
- Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: In the form of curry. Even Big Eater Zenigata has met his match.
- Booby Trap: Mr. X has them in abundance.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Lupin, once the princess is rescued.
- Continuity Nod: Mr. X (and Scorpion) appear for the third time.
- Cool Plane: Mr. X's hawk-shaped helicopter. Averted with the prime minister's plane, which barely makes it off the ground.
- Distressed Damsel: Yasmin
- Evil Knockoff: Mr. X uses several of Princess Yasmin. He also takes Lupin's face for himself at the end of the episode.
- Gentleman Thief: Lupin promises to help for a simple symbolic reward.
- Incessant Chorus: The not-especially tuneful chorus of curry praise:
Chorus: What's curry without a side order of pickles? Or the fluffy riiiice?
- Knockout Gas: Used in the birthday cake to capture the princess.
- Naughty Tentacles: One starts ripping Yasmin's dress before Lupin furiously pulls the plug on the film Mr. X sends.
- Nipple-and-Dimed: Princess Yasmin, after her dress rips.
- Princess Classic: Yasmin. The end of the episode hints she might actually be a Badass Princess, though.
- Qurac: Cocodad, with a population of 3,000 and an area of less than 100 square miles.
- Spot the Imposter: Jigen has to figure out which Lupin is real. Luckily, Mr. X hasn't done his research on Lupin's personality.
- Written in Absence: Fujiko jumps ship...er, plane after she realizes there's no money in the deal.