Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple (アガサ·クリスティーの名探偵ポワロとマープル Agasa Kurisutī no Meitantei Powaro to Māpuru?) is an anime television series that adapted several Agatha Christie stories about Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Ran on NHK from 2004 to 2005, a total of 39 episodes.
A new character named Maybelle West, Miss Marple's great-niece, who becomes Poirot's junior assistant, is used to connect the two detectives. The series is a generally faithful adaptation of the original stories given the time constraints (typically one 25 minute episode for a short story, four episodes for a novel). Despite being a modern Japanese adaptation, the original (mainly English) locations and time period are retained. The most obvious story change is the addition of Maybelle West and her pet duck, Oliver. However, apart from her soliloquies, most of her lines are taken from the incidental dialogue of other characters in the original stories, so her presence does not materially alter the plot development.
Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Hastings looks much younger and better looking than usual. Also, Miss Lemon was ugly in the original stories, while here she has good-looking features.
- Adaptation Name Change: Possibly due to his name sounding like an offensive racial slur, "Inspector Japp" became "Inspector Sharpe".
- Big Fancy House: As per the norm in Christie's work.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Many characters in this series have big eyebrows, like Hercule Poirot, Inspector Sharpe, Constable Hearst or Alexander Bonaparte Cust.
- Canon Foreigner: Maybelle West and Oliver were not created by Agatha Christie.
- Catchphrase: The series gives one to Poirot, for when he's had his "Eureka!" Moment but has yet to give his summation of the case. "There are no unsolvable mysteries! The truth has smiled upon me again."
- Cat Stereotype: In one of the episodes, a black cat crosses someone's path. In keeping with British and Asian tradition, it is associated with good luck.
- Composite Character: Most of Maybelle's lines are taken from the incidental dialogue of other characters in the original stories. Also, Inspector Sharpe, who only appears in Hickory Dickory Dock, takes the role of Japp. It is believed that this is because Japp sounds like Jap, a racial epithet that gained popularity during WWII.
- Genteel Interbellum Setting: The setting of the stories.
- Great Detective: Both M. Poirot and Miss Marple, hence the title. Maybelle also has the makings of one, though she has a ways to go.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: Agatha Christie, the original author of the stories portrayed, is mentioned in the title.
- Inspector Lestrade: Inspector Sharpe is a Scotland Yard police detective that works with Poirot on most of his cases. While he is reasonably competent, it is always Poirot that is able to solve the mystery first. There is also Inspector Slack in Tape-Measure Murder.
- Kid Detective: Maybelle, with Poirot and Marple helping to nurture this into something far greater.
- Little Old Lady Investigates: Miss Marple is an elderly Amateur Sleuth that investigates various mysteries.
- The Mafia: Plays a role in "The Riddle of the Cheap Flat"
- Previously On : Present in the cases that last two or more chapters, like adaptations of novels. At the beginning of them, Maybelle does a recap of the advances in the case within the previous chapter.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Oliver (Maybelle's pet duck).
- Sailor Fuku: Maybelle on occasion.
- Setting Update: Because some of the original stories adapted were set during the 1910s, the new 1930s setting led to a change of context for many of the stories that involved the Great War. For instance, the adaptation of The Kidnapped Prime Minister, the Prime Minister was now involved in multinational talks about dealing with Adolf Hitler. The kidnapper, Captain Daniels, was a Nazi sympathizer, trying to waylay British intervention.
- Spot of Tea: Pretty much every episode will include characters having tea together, which is something common to both Japanese and British culture.
- Spy Fiction: "The Riddle of the Cheap Flat" involves stolen US Navy plans.
- Travel Montage: The anime uses the method of having a moving line on a map to indicate traveling long distances, notably in The ABC Murders chapter.