「二人の探偵 第二幕」 (Futari no Tantei Dainimaku)
“The Two Detectives Act 2”

Well, I have to say I’m pretty pleased with where Yuukoku no Moriarty parked the bus as we head into a season-long break for the series.  Not that the murder on the train case was especially interesting – indeed, it wasn’t especially interesting for our resident geniuses either.  But the murder wasn’t the point, it was merely a pretext to give Holmes and Moriarty a chance to feel each other out for a little while.  And to set up the second cour, of course – which the final moments of the episode had a lot to do with as well.

I don’t know what it says about Scotland Yard’s reputation in the provinces that the railway police (the mall cops of their day) immediately recognize Inspector Lestrade as “the competent one”.  But in common with Doyle, the Yard isn’t a font of brilliant detective work in this series.  The railway police certainly wouldn’t have been able to solve the crime in the 48 minutes they had before the train reached its next stop.  Lestrade on his own might have – he is competent, in a plodding sort of way – but probably not (eventually, maybe).  But again that’s not the point.  The point is the contrast in how red-eyed Liam and blue-eyed Sherlock approached the mystery.

No question, neither Holmes nor Moriarty make any mistakes in figuring out the parameters of the case.  An accidental murder committed in haste, a robbery gone wrong, a frazzled and panicked killer still on the train.  It’s pretty much Detective 101 stuff – size 10 muddy footprints, the scent of chloroform in the whisky (though that could just be Laphroaig).  The two detectives train of thought (pun intended) leads them to the same conclusion after a cursory examination of the victim’s compartment.  It’s what happens afterwards that matters.

Because of the nature of the crime – it had to have a been a crewman, who would have had no opportunity to ditch their monogrammed gloves and staff jacket (one wonders whether they would pack spares, though) – finding the actual killer is rather simple.  The rub, however, comes in proving it.  The murderer’s attempt to cast doubt on his guilt by cutting his own palms was pretty feeble but might have bought him a little time.  What William did – planting false evidence on all the potential killers – accelerated things to the point where the killer could be arrested before Grantham (and John could go free).

To be sure, Moriarty’s methods were effective, and faster than Holmes’.  But as Moriarty himself noted the coachmen would still almost certainly have been found guilty at trial.  So who was in the right here?  Moriarty certainly tipped his hand to Holmes if nothing else, as the great detective immediately sussed out what his rival had done.  The difference between the two men could hardly be more stark.  William is a man for whom results mean everything, and Sherlock is a man who cares only about the process.  William calls his foil “too trusting” but rather, I think Sherlock is a purist.  What’s clear is that this difference between the two men gives Moriarty an advantage, at least superficially.  In the end the opposite may prove to be true.

That settled, the episode wraps with a teaser of what looks like the main plot driver for the second cour.  Some incriminating papers have been stolen, and Queen Victoria is quite vexed about it.  Enter Mycroft Holmes (Yasumoto Hiroki), in Doyle’s words “the most important man in Britain”.  If Yuukoku follows canon it will depict Mycroft as Doyle did, a man with even greater powers of deduction than his younger brother but totally lacking in ambition or initiative.  Of course changing Mycroft from an overweight and indolent fellow into another bishie suggests that the series might be going in a different direction, but that’s a question for the second cour to answer…


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  1. The series was been good but I’ve complained about some choices to adapt and how they cut material, maybe to introduce Sherlock quicker, maybe because of IP-copyright issues overseas.

    In the manga, Mycroft is introduced before his brother, Sherlock. He is heavily involved in Albert James Moriarty’s arc (which the anime cut down) that culminates in the creation of the Queen’s Secret Intelligence Service, the MI6, with Albert as its leader “M” that receives orders from Mycroft to investigate and silence acceptable targets that threaten the Crown (there’s Herbert from Sherlock Holmes novels, as Q, and Albert has his own secretary, Miss Moneypenny!). Then there’s another Moriarty-Holmes relationship, different from William and Sherlock. The anime made Albert a non entity after the flashback episode, which is a shame, because I think his side of the “James Moriarty” trio is the most fun. We have a problem if they’ll adapt the missing documents arc without this established too.

    Things that were cut that I think important:

    More detail on the family past (including the domestic abuse from the real William and the mother).
    How the brothers turn the town they move in into a more equitative thriving, happier place, by lowering the taxes of the land they own and make it super cheap, likewise take care of that greedy Baron (the anime changed everything, except the revenge of the couple, maybe they thought making William show blatant empathy toward the needy instead of portraying him as fishing up someone suffering was uninteresting).
    More humanization moments with William and his students. This arc continues, with Albert asking William to take down the organization that’s trafficing drugs and people (the thing in his university was a branch), because is sponsored by a higher up with connections that’s stopping investigation. Mycroft silent approval behind the scenes, with them down, he approves the creation of the MI6 with Her Majesty’s Blessings with Alber as “M”.
    Moran’s backstory sent as one of MI6 agent (006), with Miss Moneypenny to investigate the Viceroy of India (by request of Myrcroft) who is trying to start a new war with Afganistan, which digs about how far would a patriot go and how far he’s willing to go. There are lines he wouldn’t cross.
    The bloodiest arc, after Noathic, also involving people hunting, street urchins this time courtesy of one of the Baskervilles and a few of his buddies. It’s very disgusting and pushes a lot of buttons. But I appreciate there was no client, but Fred pushed the case to be investigated, Louis got some exploration as he went along by his own insistence. There was this tension with the group got separated from William and Louis argued that they were here to punish the nobles not save the children who were currently hunted down, while Moran and Fred had different priorities, Louis realized his brother wanted to save the children in the end. While gory, it does give the group a much needed nuanced. Louis who seemed the most passive brother might be the less scrupulous one (episode 11 does show this too: Louis has no interest to get involved with Holmes, but Liam does; not only William likes Holmes a lot – something mutual and completely unlike most Moriarty vs Holmes portrayals as bitter enemies – but he wouldn’t stay still and see an innocent man like Watson to be incriminated).

    Anime did the mistake to erase some of those humanization moments with William, and the Moran and Fred development, and Albert’s entire arc, but I’m glad they kept that contrast in episode 11.

  2. All in all, it was pretty meh. I was expecting more evil mastermind keikakudoori, but I got Mustache-Twirling Villain Noble of the Week and another Sherlock Holmes series. I’m not gonna watch the second cour.


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