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Sherlock Hound

a.k.a. Famous Detective Holmes

a.k.a. Meitantei Houmuzu

sherlock-2
Genre: Action
Company: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 11/6/1984 to 5/20/1985

Big or small, all cases are important for the legendary Sherlock Holmes. With the self-proclaimed criminal genius Professor Moriarty roaming the streets of London with his two lackeys, the world’s greatest detective will need to demonstrate his renowned perspicacity to thwart the schemes and technology of his archenemy. His faithful partner in justice, Dr. Watson, and the slow on the uptake but authoritative Inspector Lestrade are always there to give him a paw when assignments get a bit less elementary.

summary by Kjeldoran

 

Reviewed: 02/08/2003 by
Grade: 76% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Some enthralling episodes; endearing characters

Lows: Some second-rate episodes; chases over investigations

This series originally had anime VIP Miyazaki Hayao as director, but copyright troubles with the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle held Sherlock Hound back for years until the project was, alas, cancelled after only six episodes. Two of such episodes were still released theatrically along with Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind in 1984. The public’s response was such that Tokyo Movie Shinsha decided to resume the making of this anime and dispersed the previous episodes throughout the series. Since Miyazaki had moved on to other works, things took a turn for the worst.

What I was expecting of Sherlock Hound were elaborate, yet believable, puzzles that would keep me pondering as well as entertained. A few episodes (especially the ones directed by Miyazaki) do manage to include important parts of the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon, but many episodes simply consist of Holmes finding something with his magnifying glass then chasing Professor Moriarty across London. The charismatic characters developed before the cast-switch still makes it easy to sit through an entire day of Sherlock Holmes adventures, however.

Simply thinking about how brilliant this series could have been had Miyazaki remained the brain behind every episode makes me weep. The ones he directed are vastly superior in terms of animation, music, storyline and character development. Mikuriya Kyosuke, who was recruited to take his place, pulls off a few excellent episodes but inconsistency in animation, generally simpler plots and the halt in character development take away most of the original appeal, leaving us with uneventful pursuits replacing investigations.

This series remains an entertaining ride, especially when re-watching your favorite episodes afterwards. However, I must still consider all the mediocre episodes sprinkled amid the outstanding ones. Definitely not all it could have been. *sigh*

 

Sherlock Hound can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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