「ホワイトチャペルの亡霊 第一幕」 (Howaito Chaperu no Bōrei Daiichimaku)
“The Phantom of Whitechapel Act 1”
So Yuukoku no Moriarty is basically the crime thriller “Romeo, Juliet, & the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Return of the Kings” at this point. Did you hear the one about Moriarty and James Bond teaming up to take on Jack the Ripper, as a bemused Sherlock Holmes looked on? It’s got me scrambling to refresh my memory on what other famous figures real or fictional were roaming England at this time, because it seems a sure bet all of them will be showing up sooner or later.
Yes, this is all pretty silly. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that embracing the silliness is really the best way to appreciate this series. It is, as a commenter said last week, fanfiction – and not even Holmes fanfic so much as British pop and literary culture fanfic. If there weren’t copyright issues I really would be convinced Doctor Who was going to show up, because (s)he’d fit it seamlessly with this story.
This was, in fact, the first episode in a good while that lacked any Sherlock whatsoever (apart from an imaginary cameo). As the Ripper murders have Whitechapel in a tizzy, Irene struggles to fit it on Team Moriarty – mainly because Moran is giving her a hard time. William apparently stages a fake bank robbery in order the help “Bonde” earn her way onto the side – which again, is pretty darn silly when you stop and think about it. Which I guess means the smart thing to do is not to think about it. That was a pretty forgettable sidebar anyway so it’s no great loss.
Of more interest is the arrival on the scene of Jack Renfield. Not least because he’s played by the great Uchida Naoya, and it’s always wonderful to hear him in what’s seemingly going to be a major role. He’s the “real” Jack the Ripper in this mythology, a nickname he earned as a solider in Afghanistan. He was also the butler at the estate of Lord Rockwell, the noble who took the Moriarty boys in after they burned their own house down and killed their family. If Renfield is an actual character in any of the Holmes stories canon or otherwise I’m not aware of it, but he seems like he’ll be an interesting addition to the cast.
I could certainly see William going after the serial killer Jack, as these crimes clearly cut against the grain of his sense of social justice even if his mentor’s name wasn’t being besmirched. But with Whitechapel boiling over and the cops of the Yard ordered to take down the vigilantes patrolling the streets (rather than try and find the killer) it’s hard to imagine Holmes himself isn’t get to get drawn into this too. And why not, bring it on I say – if it worked for Class 1-B, or can work for Yuukoku no Moriarty.