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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 Great Detective 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 Nausicaä 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.

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

Discotek Media has released the series on home video.


Tropes:

  • Actionized Adaptation: Sherlock Holmes focuses mostly on the titular detective's keen intellect and how he seems to solve the most improbable cases; even more action-heavy adaptations (like the Guy Ritchie movies) put Holmes' intelligence at the fore. Sherlock Hound is involved in at least one chase per episode, frequently has Stuff Blowing Up, and follows more of a Reverse Whodunnit with regards to where Moriarty is hiding now, and focuses more on Hound's tenacity to protect or reclaim the item, with most of the legwork of the case specifics done off-screen.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness : In the original stories, Mrs. Hudson is elderly. Here, she's an attractive young widow.
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  • 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.
  • An Aesop: Spoofed in one episode. Moriarty steals a giant gold statue filled with coins, accidentally kidnapping the rich businessman obsessed with the coins during his escape. Hound and the man's son eventually chase them down and rescue him, prompting the man to remark the son was his greatest treasure. This is immediately lost when the man realizes Moriarty's destroyed his statue and the coins are scattered all over the place, over which he and Moriarty get into a scuffle.
  • 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...
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Moriarty kidnaps Mrs. Hudson in one episode as a way of making Hound do what he wants. Mrs. Hudson does a remarkable job of cleaning his hideout (turning it from a disheveled mess to a nearly estate-like interior over the course of an afternoon) and makes his favorite meal because his underlings overheard it at one point. She is only momentarily surprised by her kidnapping and does it because she can. Moriarty is so touched that not only does he release her willingly even after Hound has revealed the scheme failed, he promises to her face to never involve her again.
    • One episode has a child pickpocket stealing a jewel - the episode's focus - from Moriarty's otherwise well-executed plan. While Watson, eager to get the jewel after piecing things together, continually gets rebuffed as to where the kid hid the jewel, Hound is much gentler, obliging the kid's invite to tea, inviting her over for dinner, and going to extreme lengths to protect her from Moriarty. The kid willingly relinquishes the jewel's hiding place to Hound at the end, mostly because Hound could have found the jewel and declared it a success, but instead gave chase when Moriarty kidnapped her and let her reveal it on her own time. Let's be fair, Moriarty could have used the girl as a hostage if he suspected that Hound found the jewel first.
  • 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. They obliged.
    • Holmes / Hound here is more of a Nice Guy than any of his predecessors and most of his successors. He's also frequently got a revolver in his coat and a damn good shot. Unlike Moriarty, the gun is never aimed at anyone and it is mostly for disruption of a plan (gun violence is not a good idea in front of kids, plus brandishing a revolver tends to get an equally belligerent response).
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Lighter and Softer it may be, but do not discount Moriarty. He's hammy, over-the-top, and chews the scenery at every opportunity. He was also willing to shoot someone and then axe that same person when the gun was out of ammunition (only stopped when Hound shot off the axe-head). Moriarty nearly backs Hound into a corner on a couple of cases.
  • Big Bad: Moriarty. Don't count on him doing anything remotely legal.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Moriarty fires at least ten rounds from his revolver at Hound without reloading once. Thankfully, Hound never gets hit.
  • 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: Anytime we have airplanes falling apart or people escaping doomed planes. Also, Lestrade has a habit of doing the Miyazaki "air-swim" to latch onto Moriarty's aerial vehicles.
  • Catch Phrase: Sherlock often says "Hellllo?" upon finding clues.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: At least three times Moriarty and his goons end the episode pursued by police. One of these chases had Moriarty in his "mole" car fleeing from a hammer-swinging steam tractor.
  • 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 Nausicaä 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' motor car. It gets surprisingly good mileage for a vehicle of its kind, but admittedly, Hound must have messed with the engine to make it more fuel efficient.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: One episode has a businessman who calls Hound over the loss of 20 coins... out of 300,000. He's so obsessed with profits the town he presides over HATES him and almost refuses to help Hound. His son isn't so bad, but the executive can best be summed up with:
    If I lose twenty coins a week, I'll be penniless in 200 years!
  • Daddy's Little Villain/Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Episode 21 reveals the story of a late thief named Christopher Hamilton, 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 due to Hound, but willingly quits the criminal life after Hound and Watson convince her to take up a different way of life.
  • 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, stuck in the hospital: So Hound gets all the credit and I get stuck with all the medical bills.
  • Defiant Captive: Excluding Mrs. Hudson in one episode, most people Moriarty captures end up rebelling against him in some way prior to Hound's arrival. Hound and Watson are required to make sure Moriarty doesn't win and recapture them, but the captives aren't going down without a fight.
  • Detective Animal: Sherlock Hound. It's sort of the entire point.
  • Determined Widow: Mrs. Hudson which also counts her as a Plucky Girl. Whenever a plane crashes, she'll make sure that the pilot gets saved. Note that her late husband died in a plane crash.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Moriarty makes Smiley and Todd undergo a diet and exercise program in one episode. His plan mostly fails because Smiley and Todd are too tired to concentrate properly. Moriarty, being the Never My Fault type, blames it on their incompetence.
  • 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 and manages to fool female police officers.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: Moriarty attempts to shoot an escaping captive who's trying to clamber around the outside of the former's hideout. However, the revolver used was taken from Todd who'd shot away the door to the escapee's room, using up all his ammunition. Moriarty conks Todd with the useless firearm in frustration.
  • 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.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Most vehicles Moriarty commandeers will either blow up, suffer catastrophic engine failure, or just start breaking down close to the end of a chase, if not the end. The police department also has a lot of the Alleged Car variety; at least one gets wrecked if they're ever chasing Moriarty.
  • Evil Gloating: Moriarty mockingly bids a goodbye to Lestrade every time the latter'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.
  • Expy: Professor Moriarty's design is loosely inspired by another monocled wolf, Dr. Garigari from Puss in Boots: Around the World in 80 Days. In the Japanese dub of both works, the two even share the same voice actor, Chikao Ohtsuka.
  • Eyelid Pull Taunt: Moriarty and the Captain exchange this in "Treasure Under the Sea".
  • 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. They never work out, leaving him dirt poor most of the time.
  • Gold Fever: One bad guy has found a rich treasure and was unwilling to part with it no matter what. When Watson tried to reason with him, Holmes told him it was useless as the man has gone mad beyond reasoning.
  • Great Detective: Sherlock Hound.
  • Grenade Hot Potato:
    • In "The Stormy Getaway", Smiley and Todd play hot potato with a bundle of dynamite with a lit fuse. The dynamite eventually ends up going into the furnace of Moriarty's steam car. Smiley and Todd breathe a sigh of relief before realising exactly what has happened and jumping for cover before the steam car explodes.
    • A different episode has Smiley and Todd do this when they raid a Japanese exchange student's dormitory. Todd throws the grenade at the student, who bats it back with his walking stick. Smiley and Todd then try to foist the bomb onto each other before throwing it at the student again, only for the student to golf-whack the bomb into them.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Due to the large amount of the original characters created for the series. If a victim or target of Moriarty becomes aware of Hound's involvement, they'll quickly ally themselves with Hound. They'll also be instrumental in taking down Moriarty by the end of it.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Hound steals Smiley's bike! The latter calls him out, despite being a criminal.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Todd empties two revolvers at someone and fails to hit him. The victim had barricaded a door shut, so no wonder Todd missed, as he was shooting through the door.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • Moriarty is about to chop someone with an axe. Hound runs up, shoots the axe handle, at the base of the head, with a quick-draw from a revolver, through a window, from at least 20 feet away, and doesn't even scratch Moriarty. The most damage that Moriarty gets is getting bonked on the noggin with the blunt part of the axe head.
    • Mrs. Hudson shoots Moriarty's anchor rope with Watson's revolver, while riding a speeding sports car. Note that the anchor was buried in the wing rib of an airplane and there was a bottle of nitroglycerin about to go off.
  • Improvised Parachute: In "The Stormy Getaway", Moriarty, Smiley and Todd use Moriarty's cloak as a parachute (while it is still around Moriarty's neck) after their steam car plunges off a cliff.
  • Improvised Weapon: Several times this will happen:
    • Watson manages to weaponize the contents of a picnic basket during an air race after Moriarty nearly machine-guns him and Mrs. Hudson out of the sky. First he drops a chicken leg into the slipstream of Mrs. Hudson's plane and hits Smiley. Then Watson pours a flask of tea into the slipstream, hitting Todd. Last, but not least, he unleashes a large cake, hitting Moriarty right in the face.
    • Three kidnapped French art students weaponize their art supplies (canvas and paint tubes) to attack Smiley and Todd in order to steal a key ring from them.
      Smiley, getting hit by the painting canvas: "We've been framed!"
  • 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).
  • Kid Hero: A frequent Guest-Star Party Member, thanks to the large amount of original characters. While Hound is the one to find the scheme or stolen item, the kids featured all have at least one talent for the episode that comes in handy for taking Moriarty down.
    • In "The Green Balloon", the son of the lighthouse worker was the one sending messages when trapped, and knew enough chemistry to make a knockout gas to deal with Moriarty's men.
    • In "A Sacred Image", the dock kids tear down Hound's runabout for the engine to put in their boat. Aside from Hound and Watson needing to use the kids' boat to chase Moriarty, two of the kids sabotage Moriarty's boat so that Hound and the others can catch up and reclaim the episode's prize.
  • The Lancer: John Watson.
  • Lemming Cops: Taken to hilarious ends. If there are at least two police cars full of men in a chase scene, expect one of them to be picking up the knocked-out members of the first car.
  • 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's dull end demonstrates aptly that the show still has a comic prerogative. One episode shows that Mrs. Hudson's unrequited suitors were about to commit suicide (out of heartbreak) on her wedding day. Thankfully, they didn't really kill themselves.
  • Medium Awareness: When Mrs. Watson is Taken Hostage the duo need to escape the surveillance of Lestrade. L Ater that night keeping watch on their silhouettes at 221b Baker street the Inspecter is suprised to learn a couple had left earlier. He rushes up to check when an officer asks him why Lestrade retorts asking him if he even read the original work.
  • This is a reference to The Adventure of the Empty House
  • 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. And several times, he winds up giving the heroes hints to unraveling his boss's plans.
  • Never My Fault: Professor "YOU IMBECILES!" Moriarty.
  • Non-Indicative Name: In English, if you don't count Pun-Based Title. Sherlock Hound looks closer to a Corgi, a breed of herding dog, rather than anything in the hound group.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: An interesting twist on the "nothing at all" type. One episode has Hound stopping in at an estate of a girl and her uncle after his car breaks down. The episode's main reveal is that Hound meant to be at the estate anyways: her fiancee in America is worried because none of his letters were answered and he contacted Hound to check on her, while the "uncle" was Moriarty attempting to steal her actual uncle's studies to sell and hiding all of the letters so she couldn't get in contact with him.
  • Obviously Evil: Moriarty. In a world where every dog has a regular color scheme, Moriarty as a PURPLE WOLF with complete Dastardly Whiplash outline sticks out.
  • 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.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In "Mrs. Hudson is Kidnapped". Hound gets so distraught over Moriarty using Mrs. Hudson to threaten him he actually gets resigned to following Moriarty's orders. It takes some damn quick thinking on Hound's part to get out of it.
  • "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. Hound and Watson don disguises and Moriarty's henchmen are fooled, along with police. Lestrade manages to disguise himself as a Maharaja, fooling Moriarty for a bit.
  • 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 intentionally involve her in his plans again.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The engaged couple from Episode 2, Zeal Sampton and Ms. Shields, have blue and pink hair respectively.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: Moriarty did it in all but one episode, often in full-view of the viewer and sometimes right in front of Hound. Thus the main conflict of each episode is where Moriarty is hiding himself / the item in question, along with Hound figuring out how Moriarty pulled off the caper.
  • 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 a Benz Viktoria 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 (and to Moriarty's shock, the pipe is pretty useful in burning off ropes holding Watson captive).
    Polly: This bed smells like tobacco!
    Hound: Well, it is my bed. Sorry about that. Are you okay with it?
    Polly: Yeah. It smells like my dad's bed.
  • 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, though not without losing money to the tasks of repairing his vehicles.
    • Speaking of which, Lestrade always swears that he'll get Moriarty. He never does, unless you count that one episode where he and his men manage to grab back stolen gold which had been cast into a statue of Moriarty.
  • 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. Perhaps Moriarty just wants to kill on whims.
  • 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.
  • Vapor Trail: In "The Stormy Getaway", Lestrade's car is sabotaged so it is leaking fuel. A bystander tosses away a cigarette that lands in the trail of fuel; igniting it and blowing up Lestrade's car.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Moriarty and his henchmen seem to get away with this lots of times without getting spotted, even in broad daylight! Then again, one must remember that nobody expected criminals (least of all Moriarty) to take interest in motor pools and airfields.
  • Villainous Crush: Moriarty has one on Mrs. Hudson.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Holmes' runabout, a Benz Viktoria. 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 railway freight car 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.

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