In a World in the not too distant future, where people have "Toys", inherent supernatural powers, detectives and thieves square off. To aid the detectives in proper use of their Toys, the Holmes Detective Academy has been established. Four trainees, Sherlock Shellingford, Nero Yuzurizaki, Hercule Barton and Cordelia Glauca, have formed a unit by the name of Milky Holmes. Under the guidance of Opera Kobayashi, they seek to defeat Arsene and her band of thieves. Though they need to get along with each other first.In the Anime series, the Milky Holmes are now established detectives after successfully solving many cases and are universally admired by the students of the academy and the city of Yokohama. That's before losing their Toys during a battle with the Gentlemen Thieves and degenerating into complete and utter failures. Arsene, guising as the Student Council President Henriette Mystere, tries to help them regain their toys, by throwing them out of their fancy rooms into a dusty attic, until the end of the school term, in which they are expelled. This is the start of a Gag Series Anime, driven mostly by the character's (not only the Milky Holmes, but also the G4 and the Gentlemen Thieves, save for Arsene) incompetence, simple-mindedness, and just plain idiotic actions.While conceptually based on a PSP Visual Novel, the series was Anime First. It aired in the fall of 2010 with a sequel starting in January 2012. Available online through Crunchyroll and the sequel through niconico. A pair of OVAs which follow the Visual Novel more closely was aired on August 2012 and December 2012. A third season under the name Futari wa Milky Holmes was greenlit and started airing on July 2013.
Tropes in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes include:
10-Minute Retirement: After being expelled from the school, Milky Holmes gives up. Or would have, if it wasn't for Sherlock's utter refusal to accept defeat.
Affably Evil: For all that she is the greatest thief ever and the eternal nemesis of both Milky Holmes and G4, Henriette generally comes off as a very nice girl, who's using tough love to help Milky Holmes get their toys back.
Axe Crazy: Milky Holmes in Season 2 after, the Phantom Thief Empire destroyed their garden.
Badass Adorable: In contrary with her strangely adapted anime version, Cordelia in the game version has shown to be a very capable fighter, to the point able to fight off Stoneriver quite easily and counter high kick Arsene.
Cipher Scything: Kobayashi Opera is nowhere to be found, Sherlock Shellingford is now the main character (sort of).
Cloudcuckoolander: Cordelia. In fact, her delusion can manifest to certain degree in reality.
In episode 6 of the second season, Cordelia sacrificed herself by jumping out of the train to dispose of a time bomb. After that, she chased the train and jumped back in, while still holding the time bomb, telling her friends that they live together and they DIE together.
Darkest Hour: By the end of episode 10, Milky Holmes have lost all credibility as Great Detective, unable to use their Toys at all, is expelled from the school, losing friendship with Genius 4, losing sympathy from Arsene, Losing the Team Spirit, and even Kamabokko left Sherlock in shame.
Episode 7 of season two has Arsene finally give up for good. Destroying the flower of hope given to her by Milky Holmes and proceeded to destroy the school and abandon the Gentleman Thieves.
Decoy Damsel: Henriette in episode 11. Yes, Arsene kidnaps herself.
Demoted to Extra: The eponymous characters take a distant mentor role in Futari wa. Of G4, only Kokoro has a meaningful role (mainly in being one step behind the new protagonists, the Feathers). Thief Empire only appear as The Cameo, Color the Phantom are the new antagonists.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Buta, a minor character used only for gags up that point, becomes the greatest threat to all of Yokohama in late season two. His desire for lard threatens to drain the life out of the whole city.
Funbag Airbag: Sherlock gets stuck in Henriette's breasts, which are animated (at that moment) to be larger and bouncier than usual.
This becomes a Chekhov's Gun. Sherlock realizes that Arsene's breasts are as bouncy as Henriette's. The exact same breasts, in fact.
Gag Series: The first anime season and second anime season. Anywhere else though, the series is more serious (as much as superhero detectives can be taken seriously).
Futari wa goes the opposite direction. In it, the eponymous characters are legendary, and the new protagonists try to emulate their competence as best as they can. No more fun allowed...
Large Ham: Twenty, Cordelia and Cherry the artist Hercule models for.
The driver in episode 2 of Season 2.
Larynx Dissonance: Arty, for some reason, is voiced by Motoki Takagi. A male voice actor.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Milky Holmes in the end after crash forgets that Henriette is actually Arsene and apparently everything about them being detectives at the start of the second season. Hercule seems to remember some of it.
Laser-Guided Karma: G4 knows it's going to happen to Kokoro in episode eight, and when it does, they treat it as expected.
In fact nearly anything bad that happens to Kokoro is her fault.
Last Episode New Character: Mori Arty, the girls' new roommate, who doesn't appear until after the credits have rolled in the finale.
Arsene Illusion Toy has evolved to the point that she is now a Reality Warper.
Merchandise-Driven: The series is not subtle in being a glorified TCG commercial. The main reason for new protagonists and antagonists in Futari wa is so that Bushiroad can print new cards with new characters.
Mind over Matter: Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes shows his mastery over it in episode 9.
Mishmash Museum: Yokohama Museum holds, amongst other things: a desiccated corpse of an alien, the Rosetta Stone, and Venus de Hama, the last of which is about to be stolen by Arsene.
Once per Episode: One or more members of the Milky Holmes thrown into jail. Which is hilarious, considering they are supposed to be the detectives. It's made even worse that Henriette is always behind their detainment.
Onee-sama: Cordelia (more prominent in the Visual Novel), and also Irene: even though she's younger than the detectives.
All four girls look up to Mary and Kate this way, despite the fact that they're clearly thieves.
In episode 10 of the second season, which is the prelude to the climax, the scenes of the narration are replaced with spoilerific scenes of the episode itself, while still receiving the usual voiceover. Thankfully, it doesn't make any sense until one watches the episode itself.
Absolutely DEFIED in episode 4, with a huge bribe of bananas.
Powers via Possession: In episode nine, the girls get possessed by the ghosts of their grandfathers and Cordelia's grandmother (the famous detectives for which they are named) and gain some of their physical attributes in addition to their brainpower.
Prince and Pauper: Sherlock and her body double, Queen Claris, swap places for a day so Claris can get out of marriage.
Reality Is Out to Lunch: When Henrietta/Arsene's power is out of control due to a combination of sickness and Sheryl's very poisonous looking medicine. Everyone in the vicinity is suddenly put into a bizarre version of Momotaro. And the effect stays for sometime for the thieves.
Real Place Background: Season 2 episode 6 takes them to Kamakura by train, passing Enoshima island along the way, however the Great Buddha statue has been replaced by a meditating Great Detective.
The OVA is full of it, including Sheryl making remark how the room is lonely without Kokoro, which is a parody of the (not-)ending of Doraemon. Of course, the room is cramped with other characters and isn't anywhere close to lonely.
Stupidity Inducing Attack: The Failure Toy, one of the most dangerous toy around is capable of turning everyone into complete failures. Doesn't work on the Milky Holmes, because they are already complete failures.
Taken for Granite: Stoneriver's Toy. To be precise, he temporarily turns them into mannequins.
Taking the Heat: Cordelia sacrifices herself rather than let Kamaboko, who she believes to be the one thing gelling the girls together, be thrown out. Her innocence is proved and the cat is allowed, though her brief time in prison did involve Cordelia drawing a Room Full of Crazy.
Team Mom: Tsugiko is this to G4 in the game. She watches out for the other members of her team and is always the first in line to discipline Kokoro whenever she gets out of line.
Team Pet: Kamaboko, the cat Sherlock finds and brings home.
Thunder Shock: When Milky Holmes are about to be expelled. Lampshaded by Rat, who wonders if anyone else saw the lightning.
Could also be foreshadowing: Look at Sherlock's eyes right before the lightning: They went into Toys mode.
Arsene can do this in season 2.
Time Bomb: In the first episode. The girls fail to defuse it.
Tomboyish Name: Our heroine "Sherlock" is just one of many, since the girls tend to have names that reference famous (male) detectives.
Too Dumb to Live: Sherlock, but especially in episode 10. It's the last straw for everyone. Even Arsene, who was awed with her altruism, got fed up with her.
Took a Level in Badass: Arsene and her three followers show off how much more powerful they are in Season 2 when they she fights them.Arsene wins.
Vague Age: According to the Milky Holmes Twitter, Sherlock and Nero are 15, Hercule is 16, Cordelia 17, and Henriette? "You should never ask a lady her age." She's young enough to be the student council president, but is also an established Phantom Thief...