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Anime / Sherlock Hound

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A co-production between the Japanese studio TMS Entertainment and the Italian channel RAI, Sherlock Hound (a.k.a. Meitantei Holmes) is a Funny Animal adaptation series of the English character Sherlock Holmes, featuring the characters... as dogs! Hayao Miyazaki, famous for his work with Studio Ghibli, directed six episodes of the series. Unfortunately, there were problems with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate, which led to a suspension in production. By the time the issues were resolved, Miyazaki had turned to Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, and the remaining episodes were directed by Kyosuke Mikuriya. It was broadcast on TV Asahi from 1984 to 1985.

This anime is really a Lighter and Softer interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, but there are really awesome moments (especially in the episodes made by Miyazaki). If you like anime with more innocence and more of a sense of adventure than fighting, like those of Studio Ghibli, you will like this one.

The series is not related to the children's novels by Karen Wallace, which have a similar premise.

Discotek Media has just picked up the series for a September release.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness : In the original stories, Mrs Hudson is elderly. Here, she's an attractive young widow.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: The main characters have different personalities compare to the books.
  • Adapted Out: Many famous characters from the books, including Irene Adler, Mycroft Holmes, Mary Watson and the Baker Street Irregulars are omitted from this adaptation, which instead runs on original characters to replace them.
  • Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation: Sherlock Holmes and the characters thereof are all portrayed by dog people.
  • Author Appeal: If you're wondering why all of a sudden Marie, the only female character in the group, starts to be more competent than Sherlock and Watson and about the reason for the flying scenes...well, the answer is obvious...
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Smiley, believe it or not. When he thought Moriarty's sleeping gas actually killed Mrs. Hudson, he starts chasing him and Todd with an axe. When she does finally come to, Smiley orders them to give her something to drink which they obliged.
  • Big Bad: Moriarty.
  • Camera Sniper: At the beginning of the fourth episode as Moriarty spies on Holmes to find out his weakness.
  • Canon Foreigner: Todd, Smiley and most of the secondary characters are original from this show.
  • Cartoon Physics: Pretty much any Crowning Moment of Awesome revolves around this, most notably the airplane scene.
  • Catch-Phrase: Sherlock often says "Hellllo?" upon finding clues.
  • Continuity Nod: One of Moriarty's men note while riding on a rowboat that they're former pirates. Depending on the order, this was only the second episode. See Early-Bird Cameo.
  • Continuity Snarl: In the second episode, "The Crown of Mazalin", Watson first moves in with Hound and meets Mrs. Hudson for the first time. Hound and Moriarty already know each other; however, in a later episode, "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", Hound and Moriarty face each other, and it is implied that this is the first meeting between the two. The reason for this, is because "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", as well as "Treasure Under the Sea", were released prior to the actual TV series with the release of Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind. The Japanese TV release version remedies this problem by removing the scene in question, but the scene remains in the English dub of the show.
    • This particular continuity error exists in the original books, although in different stories. Moriarty is discussed in 'The Valley of Fear', which takes place before 1891, but in 'The Final Problem' Watson has never heard of him.
  • Cool Car: Watson and Hounds' "steam car." It gets surprisingly good millage.
  • Daddy's Little Villain/Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Episode 21 reveals the story of a late thief named Christopher, whose last scheme was to steal a royal horse, but ultimately failed and had to retire due to breaking his leg. After he passed away, his daughter Alline found his journal and discovered his life as a criminal, which inspires her to become a thief herself and complete her father's work. She fails as well, but willingly quits the criminal life after Holmes and Watson catch her.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Professor Moriarty, with his cloaked attire and top hat (although they're all white instead of the traditional black), incompetent henchmen which he snaps at occasionally, Evil Laugh, and mustache.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Almost everyone gets their chance, though Watson and Lestrade do this the most.
    Lestrade: So Hound gets all the credit and I get stuck with all the medical bills.
  • Detective Animal: Sherlock Hound. It's sort of the entire point.
  • Determined Widow: Mrs. Hudson which also counts her as a Plucky Girl. She'll make sure, whoever is doomed in a plane crash, must be saved. Note that her husband died this way.
  • Disguised in Drag: Every time the villains need to disguise themselves, Smiley is often given the female role. Sherlock Hound does this briefly in at least one episode.
  • Disney Death: Hound near the end of "Treasure Under the Sea". Moriarty and his men even mourn his supposed passing. That is, before they all (save for Smiley) jump for joy.
  • Dub Name Change: A few characters' names were changed in the English dub, the most notable being Holmes (called Hound) and Todd's (called George).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Smiley and Todd appear in the first episode tending to the fire that the ship Sherlock Hound was aboard which they later sabotaged because the pirates chasing it are after one of the passengers. They officially become Moriarty's henchmen by the next episode.
  • Evil Gloating: Moriarty mockingly bids a goodbye to Lestrade every time he's close to catching him.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Professor Moriarty.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Implied at the end of "The Adventure of the Three Students", when Moriarty and his men try to flee across Loch Ness, and a familiar silhouette appears under the water.
  • Eyelid Pull Taunt: Moriarty and the Captain exchange this in "Treasure Under the Sea".
  • Fat and Skinny: Todd and Smiley, Moriarty's men.
  • Furry Reminder: Some characters tend to have distinct canine growls whenever they get upset or angry (Lestrade and Watson are frequent examples), and can use their teeth to get out of certain situations (such as in one episode where Hound and Watson were bound in ropes).
  • Get Rich Quick Scheme: The crux of Moriarty's numerous evil plans.
  • Great Detective: Sherlock Hound.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Moriarty and his men. In later episodes they become increasingly comedic.
  • Inspector Lestrade: What Sherlock Holmes adaptation would be complete without him?
    • Although his depiction as a big, beefy bulldog fits more closely with the books' descriptions of Gregson. Lestrade was described as being small and skinny, with something of a weasel about him (perhaps a dachshund would have been more appropriate).
  • The Lancer: John Watson.
  • Lighter and Softer: As mentioned above the show is a more kid-friendly version of Sherlock. According to the art book it seems they were thinking of a darker storyline, with Sherlock digging up graves and using drugs, but decided against it.
    • That being said, at times the series comes close to implying some grisly violence, such as an episode where Professor Moriarty is prepared to strike a man dangling from a windowsill with an axe in any number of places. The fact that a gunshot from Sherlock breaks the axe handle and conks Moriarty on the head with the axe blade demonstrates aptly that the show still has a comic prerogative.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: More on Smiley since he has somewhat of a limited intellect and a bit of an optimist. Amongst the three main antagonists (who can also be jerks with hearts of gold), he's the nicest.
  • Off-Model: In the Miyazaki episodes, Smiley is coloured green and had a tiny spot under his left eye.
  • Only Six Faces/Palette Swap: Some of the guest character share character models, with different colour schemes. Somewhat interesting is an example in the final episode, where the groom and his father share character models with a father and son from the second episode.
  • "Pachelbel's Canon" Progression: Used in the theme song for the English dub.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Moriarty and his henchmen. Obviously, only Hound isn't tricked.
  • Pet the Dog: In the episode "Mrs. Hudson is Taken Hostage", Mrs. Hudson is taken hostage by Moriarty. Despite being kidnapped, Mrs. Hudson treats Moriarty very kindly. Moriarty is so moved, once his plan blows up in his face he releases her and vows never to involve her in his plans again.
  • Petting Zoo People: All of the canine cast consist of animal heads on human bodies (including the lack of a tail).
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The engaged couple from Episode 2, Zeal Sampton and Ms. Shields, have blue and pink hair respectively.
  • Savage Wolves: While everyone else is a regular dog, Moriarty is a wolf.
  • Setting Update: The series seems to be set in the 1900/1910s, with cars, aeroplanes and clothes (roughly) from this era instead of the traditional Holmesian Victorian London.
    • This is somewhat confusing, as one episode that centered around counterfeiting involved newly minted coins dated 1894 with Queen Victoria on them, and Holmes and Watson are seen travelling in what appears to be an early Benz/Daimler automobile of the period, suggesting either that the episodes are spread out over a number of years or the aircraft featured in the show are intended to provide a lashing of steampunk technology.
    • Though still within the Official Canon — Holmes was officially active from 1891 to 1917.
  • Smoking Is Cool: This is canon in Holmes' interpretation here. He's almost constantly seen with his tobacco pipe.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Interesting example. In the English dub, everyone addresses the main character as "Hound", but whenever his name appears in writing, it's Holmes. This never appears to cause any sort of confusion. In Japanese he's always called Holmes and the Japanese name of the series is Meitantei Hoomuzu which means Great Detective Holmes.
    • One of Moriarty's henchmen (the short, fat one) is either called "George" or "Todd" (also his name in Japanese) but they eventually settled with the latter.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Moriarty and his men.
  • Status Quo Is God: Moriarty's plans are always foiled. Even after getting paid for doing somebody else's dirty work, in one way or another, he loses it all through sheer bad luck. "Crime doesn't pay", indeed. To his credit, he manages to escape getting apprehended by Scotland Yard.
    • Speaking of which, Lestrade always swears that he'll get Moriarty. He never does.
  • Terrible Trio: Moriarty and his two henchmen.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Zig-zagged. Moriarty states that he doesn't need to kill anyone, but apparently makes an exception to Hound who he has attempted to shoot down a few times whenever they get into a showdown. He once had a man held in gunpoint by his two henchmen and attempted to strike him down with an axe when he tried to escape.
  • Token Human: Well not exactly, but there are some human artifacts that appeared throughout. Such episodes like "Mrs. Hudson Is Taken Hostage" and "A Sacred Image Disappears" featured the Mona Lisa (along with a few other paintings) and a golden angelic statue respectively.
  • Villainous Crush: Moriarty has one on Mrs. Hudson.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Holmes' runabout. It's lampshaded by several characters that his car is outdated even during the time period of the show. However, despite how many times it gets parted out and/or smashed to pieces, it is still quite fast and can even pull a traincar for a long period of time.
    • Considering how much time Holmes spends tinkering with it on-screen, and how it ends up when pushed hard for a long time, it's an exemplary representative of this trope.
  • Your Favorite: Kidney pie and lobsters for Moriarty.