Enola Holmes is back on the fan radar, with Millie Bobby Brown returning as the sister of Sherlock Holmes. The literary sleuth is one of the most regularly reimagined characters in all of entertainment… anime included. And we’re not just talking Sherlock Hound (though we still have a soft spot for it).
The fact that Doyle’s stories almost always depict the consulting detective from the outside leaves a lot to the imagination. His peculiarities could mean any number of things, and we only have the opinions of Watson and others to go on. It’s why films and TV series have shown him in so many lights. From gentleman to self-diagnosed sociopath, jovial gentleman to action hero, he’s been everything. And these anime put their own new spins on him:
Moriarty the Patriot—A Worthy Adversary
Moriarty the Patriot turned the classic Sherlock Holmes stories on their ear—by giving his ultimate foe a sympathetic side. In this manga-turned-anime, the three Moriarty brothers use their social influence to fight for the rights of the lower classes in Victorian London. But of course, the consulting criminal needs his adversary… and Sherly does enter the fray.
This Holmes does cling relatively close to the original, with his incongruent emotions and fixation on solving cases at all costs. But Moriarty the Patriot reframes this behavior. Rather than knowing he’s the hero and dealing with his quirks, we’re welcome to view his attitude without having to feel a certain way about him.
Case File No 221: Kabukicho—The Failed Rakugoka
In the original stories, Sherlock Holmes makes use of a “homeless network.” In Case File No 221b: Kabukicho, he’s part of it. This version of the sleuth once dreamed of being a rakugoka: a traditional, highly trained storyteller in the traditional Japanese style. Failing that, he’s become a detective, picking up cases through Mrs. Hudson at the underground bar known as Pipe Cat.
He hasn’t fully given up on his dreams, though. One of the unique aspects of this series is Holmes’s delivery of his results. He’ll put on a rakugo performance to reveal his findings. Better still, he’s one of many detectives at work in this series. So expect to see more familiar faces pop up.
Lupin the Third Part 6—An Heir
Whether Doyle liked it or not, Sherlock Holmes and Arséne Lupin have always been closely connected. So it’s no surprise the rivalry would continue to this day. For the 50th anniversary of Lupin the Third, a modern-day version of the sleuth crosses paths with anime’s greatest thief… sort of.
In modern Lupin the Third, great historical and literary names—Lupin’s included—are passed down as titles. Which means that “Sherlock Holmes” isn’t so much a person as a prestige role. Our Sherlock lives at the real 221b and is afforded all the accolades that come with the name, but Lupin knows something is amiss. Also, his Watson is dead. How? Why? It’s worth catching up to Part 6 to find out!
Dive into more historical anime as we look forward to the return of Rose of Versailles!