When crafting the character, more important that their personality, backstory or appearance, are their motivations and dynamic with the people around them. And it is these two elements I too often find neglected in media.
Either their motivations are too vague, like Rusty find a sense of belonging in the clan, or something that’s takes a back seat and isn’t very plot relevant like Natsu wanted to find his adopted-father.
For Zenigata this is not the case. For those of you who aren’t Lupin fans, he’s the stubborn detective of the cast, and main antagonist of the franchise. His an old fashioned cop who fights for justice always. There’s no question what his motivations are and he sticks to it constantly and relentlessly.
At first glance, he might just seem like the dime-a-dozen stereotypical obsessed cop; the beacon of virtue, defending the law and swearing to arrest Lupin III at any cost, while having a bit of an alcohol habit. But Zenigata takes obsessiveness to the next level. He’s rabid levels of obsessed.
There’s sitting at a desk and intensely thinking about what your target’s next move will be, and then there’s knowing his exact every move and diving straight into it. Waiting inside safes for a hole to be cut in the floor, leaping onto the tops of airplanes and running down the street shouting “LUPIN!” with a pair of cuffs swinging wildly through the air.
His entire character is build around his motivation and he pursues it with so much energy, you can’t help but feel excited just watching him. Not to mention, he’s just freakin’ adorable!
His relationship with Lupin III is also quite unique as cops and robbers go. I always let out a little squeal whenever Lupin calls him “tottsan” (Pops). Although Lupin is constantly teasing him, it’s obvious they both have an enormous amount of respect for each other, teaming up on several occasions (a trope which I adore).
He’s no Law and Order cop, but watching him at work for any amount of time and most will agree, he’s definitely irresistible.