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Anime / Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

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"Toys. They are miraculous buds that swell from the hearts of the chosen.
Some flowers are born pure, while others bloom laced with poison.
The Age of Detectives.
These two flowers, vying for beauty.
Their names are Detectives and Phantom Thieves."

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 aired on July 2013. A fourth season was greenlit and aired on January 2015. A movie titled “Milky Holmes’s Counter Attack” was released on February 27 2016. After that, 3 special TV episodes were released: one in December 31 2016 titled “Fun Fun Party Night - Ken and Janet’s Gift”, another in December 31 2017 titled “Arsene’s Great Desire” and a final one in December 31 2018 titled “Psycho’s Greeting” that works as the franchise’s finale.

Tropes in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes include:

  • Absurd Altitude: The final battle between Arsene and Milky Holmes takes place on a chunk of rock hovering into the upper atmosphere.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Henriette has complete control over the school and its students from her position as student council president.
  • Animation Bump: Very random. Even the Alternative OVAs, which clearly had a higher budget than the show, can't maintain high quality the whole time — Sherlock's jump from the plane in part 2 looks hilariously cheap.
  • Arranged Marriage: Claris has one she's trying to get out of, prompting her to switch with Sherlock. As it turns out, Pero didn't want to get married either.
  • Arrowgram: Gentleman Thief Stone River shoots an arrow with a note into Milky Holmeses room. But since the titular heroines are about as dumb as a bag of rocks, they don't even notice it. When they eventually see the fourth or fifth arrow, the proceed to read the vertically written note horizontally and have no idea what it's supposed to be. So Stone River shoots yet another arrow with a small tape player attached to it, reading the message out loud.
  • Art Shift: When Sherlock is about to use Baritsu in episode 4, her face is shown in the style of shounen fighting anime (thicker lines, bruises). Happens whenever it happens.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In the Visual Novel, Cordelia is a big fan of Kobayashi Opera and she becomes his disciple.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Baritsu, secret martial art(?) taught to Sherlock by her grandfather. It requires her to hold other people's hands. And then it does nothing.
  • 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.
    • Also Milky Holmes with their toys.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: The final battle versus Arsene takes place in outer space.
  • Beach Episode: Episode seven. Kokoro is in a School Swimsuit, among other things.
    • Ironically, while the rest of the cast appear in swimwear, Twenty is the only one who keeps his clothes on for the whole episode.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Especially when those bears can uppercut you.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted, Cordelia looks like a mummy after she was stuck in a coffin with the creepy narcissist Twenty.
    • Also in episode 4, Sheryl after being attack by the bear was seen with blood on her head.
  • Bookend: The first episode begins with a Detective and a Phantom Thief clashing against each other as the narrator explains what Toys are. The final special episode, Psycho's Greeting, ends the same way.
  • Brain Bleach: See Trope Below.
  • Brick Joke: At the end of episode 1 of the second season Milky Holmes' chicken get roasted by fire. Guess what they're eating at the start of the next episode.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the first episode, no less. Also Kobayashi's backstory in the game.
    • And in the last episode.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In episode 1 of the second season, Stone River, Rat and Twenty deliberately destroy Milky Holmes' farm to provoke them, but the only thing they achieve by doing that is awakening a murderous rage within the girls. It doesn't end well for the Gentleman Thieves.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cordelia during episode 2. This is probably a parody of the main characters of World Masterpiece Theater series, whose primary traits are perseverance and selflessness (and beauty).
  • Call to Agriculture: The first episode of the second season. To the point that they forget they're detectives.
  • The Cameo: Kobayashi in his commercials.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The plate from the princess wedding was used to block a blow to the head from a sword.
  • The Chew Toy: The entire Milky Holmes team, especially Cordelia and Sherlock, and don't forget Kokoro.
  • 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.
    • Taken to the logical extreme in episode 8 of the second season, in which she dragged the rest of the Milky Holmes and the Gentlemen Thieves into her flower garden of fantasy via a literal flood of flowers.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Milky Holmes are kept at the brink of starvation, living in conditions that make some prisons look luxurious.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Kobayashi and Ellery in the games.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Denser and Wackier: The entire anime series compared to the much more serious Visual Novel it's based on.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The openings are sung by Milky Holmes.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Seen in the finale.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Henriette before her Despair Event Horizon, only with Oolong Tea.
  • Dying Message: When Rat has been mistakenly (he's still alive) murdered, he writes a message that looks like "MH". It's actually I-3. Sonia's room.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Buta, after becoming the fake God of Lard, attempted to suck the lard out of everyone and planned to cover the world in lard in order to make a Lard Age.
  • Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Episode 10. Kamaboko returning to Sheryl and co in episode 11 marks a turning point for the Milky Holmes.
  • Expy:
    • Don't you think that Sherlock looks like Tsukasa? And Kokoro is strikingly similar to Sousou Motoku?
    • For that matter, Saku Touyama looks a lot like Luka Megurine. One of the eyecatches even shows her as TakoLuka.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Both Milky Holmes and the Genius 4.
  • Four Is Death: There are four thieves serving as the primary villains.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sherlock is sanguine, Nero is choleric, Cordelia is melancholic and Hercule is phlegmatic.
  • 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...
  • Gender Flip: Episode three of season two does this in its eyecatch, providing more or less official male versions of Milky Holmes. The fanbase seems okay with it.
  • Gentleman Thief: It's a Gender-Neutral term since there are female Gentleman Thieves.
  • God Is Good: The God of Lard.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The finale sees Mary and Kate, Princess Claris, Irene, and Sonia helping the girls towards their goals, directly or indirectly.
  • Gratuitous English: Twenty uses a lot of English, like describing his "beautiful face and looks".
  • At the end of Episode 11 of Season 2, we also have "We are the lard. We are the childlard of the new century.".
  • Identical Stranger: Sheryl switched with Princess Claris.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episodes also share their name with detective fiction.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: Pink Phantom test Kazumi's thief resolve. She fails, because what she truly wants is to be with Alice.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Irene stuffs Kokoro into the trunk of her father's car and then goes home. The rest of the Genius 4 don't even notice.
  • Informed Ability: Everyone. Milky Holmes, Genius 4, and the four thieves are all played up to be massively competent in some way or another. From what we see of them, this is, um, not the case.
    • Arsene finally shows she is competent in season 2. When she curbstomps everyone and destroys the school by herself.
    • Milky Holmes acts competent when they have their Toys. Otherwise, they'll acts like a useless detectives and carefree high school girls
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Cordelia's paradise is a flower garden, and she has flowers in her hair. Yet, it's subverted. She's probably the most demented member of Milky Holmes beneath her exterior.
  • Kaizo Trap: Happens in one Quick-Time Event; you have just told all of your little detectives to use their Toys, got back the gems, the music has stopped and the screen has turned black... before the theif jumps out of nowhere trying to fetch the gems.
  • 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.
  • Living Statue: The Sherlock Holmes statue in front of the school comes to life, jumps through the window (and gets a perfect 10!) then possesses his granddaughter.
  • Living with the Villain: Arsene/Henriette is the student council president, Stoneriver/Ishinagare is a janitor, Twenty/Mr. Nijuuri is a teacher, and Rat/Nezu is a classmate of the Milky Holmes.
    • And at the end of episode 12, Mori Arty becomes Milky Holmes' roommate.
  • Losing the Team Spirit: Happen amongst both Milky Holmes and the Thieves.
  • Lovely Angels: The protagonists of Futari wa, Vigilante Man Kazumi and Alice. Their misadventures are rife with troubles, mainly because they don't have the same level of expertise as real Detectives.
  • Made of Iron: Stoneriver
  • Magic Skirt: In episode 4 Sherlock and Kokoro end up buried head first in the ground, and in both cases their skirts stay upright.
  • Marshmallow Hell: In episode 6 Sheryl actually gets stuck in Henriette's breasts and tries to struggle to get out, for about 20 seconds.
    • 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.
  • Most Definitely Not a Villain: Arsene keeps denying that she is Henriette, even after her identity's been revealed.
  • Mouthful of Pi: In perhaps the most extreme example, Claris (as Sherlock), only needs to say the first two digits, the ones everybody knows, to convince Milky Holmes and G4 that she isn't Sherlock.
  • Mundane Utility: During the Beach Episode Stone River uses his sword as a fishing rod.
  • Noodle Incident: How Kokoro got beaten up is, to her annoyance, completely left out of the How We Got Here of s2e6 until the end.
  • No One Else Is That Dumb: See the Mouthful of Pi entry.
  • 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.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Arsene wants to fight Sherlock on equal terms and won't let anything else get in her way.
  • Only Sane Man: Between the hilariously useless Milky Holmes, laid back G4, and over-the-top Phantom Thieves Empire, Henriette come across as the most normal character.
  • Opening Narration: At the start of every episode to date.
    Toys: miracle blossoms flowering in the hearts of the chosen.
    Some bloom into flowers of purity, others into flowers of poison.
    It is the age of the Great Detectives.
    These two flowers wage war to see which is the most beautiful:
    • 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.
    • In the next episode (Episode 11), the Opening Narration is skipped entirely.
  • Pet the Dog: Henriette got this when she let Milky Holmes keep Kamaboko. She gets plenty of these throughout the series.
    • Even after the events of episode 7 Arsene made sure that all the students except Milky Holmes were transferred to new schools without worry.
  • Phantom Thief: (see Gentleman Thief above)
  • Pixellation: When Kokoro insults the Toy-less Milky Holmes on TV, she gives them the middle-finger... which is censored.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Every chapter of the games. For example, in one case you forcefully open a locked door with Elly's Triascend, locate a time bomb with Cordelia's Hypersensitive, get it with Sheryl's Psychokinesis, and deactivate it with Nero's Direct Hack.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Kokoro is the Apparent leader of G4.
  • The Power of Friendship: Lampshaded, played straight, and parodied.
    • 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.
  • Psychic Powers: The Toys.
  • Pun: "My dad's company is going bankrupt" can be written in Japanese as "tousan no kaisha ga tousan", which Irene said at some point in eps 4. This is a somewhat common pun.
  • 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subverted with Hercule.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The Yokohama forests are home to bears and these in the form of giant lemmings.
  • Room Full of Crazy: What Cordelia draws during her short imprisonment includes, amongst other things, depiction of herself as Jeanne d'Arc.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The aptly named, Pandora's Pot.
  • Sequel Hook: The introduction of Mori Arty at the end of the first season.
  • Shout-Out: Episode eight has the Toys Ninja Magic - Phoenix!, a combined attack out of nowhere.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Every character is named after a famous character from detective fiction.
  • Shrinking Violet: Hercule.
  • Sick Episode: Episode eight. Milky Holmes gets sick (it's all Kokoro's fault) and Henriette takes care of them. Then she gets sick. Then things get weird.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Nero is suddenly wearing glasses while reading a book for a single gag in episode 5.
  • Smashing Watermelons: Tsugiko is attempting to do this in episode seven, but Sherlock gets in the way and gets a Cranial Eruption.
  • Standing in the Hall: In episode two, though everyone foists their buckets on Cordelia.
  • Status Quo Is God: Milky Holmes regains their toys in episode 12, but loses them immediately after the battle.
  • Stealth Mentor: Henriette/Arsene.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: All the thieves' human names are rather obvious giveaways for their code names.
  • Student Council President: Henriette.
  • 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.
  • Super-Senses: Cordelia.
  • Super-Strength: Hercule.
  • 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 Pet: Kamaboko, the cat Sherlock finds and brings home.
  • Technopath: Nero.
  • Teen Genius: Kokoro constantly mentions that she graduated from Harvard at 13, but compared to what Irene pulls off, she's laughably incompetent.
  • Teru-Teru Bōzu: The girls hang up a bunch of these during a heavy rainstorm. Sherlock also hangs up herself.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When the girls finally get their Toys back, the OP kicks in to help them.
  • This Is a Drill: There a guy actually called Drill.
  • This Loser Is You: Milky Holmes pretty much. Turns into a Chekhov's Gun against Buta's loser power.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Villainous Breakdown: Arsene, thanks to Sheryl. And no, it's not because Sheryl is a competent detective. Exactly the inverse, actually.
    • She gets an even worse one in season two. And this time, leaves and disbands the school for good.
  • Waif-Fu: Hirano, and in the episode 9 of the second season she is shown practicing martial arts at a dojo.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Henriette gives this to Milky Holmes every episode in season 2.
  • You Are Worth Hell: Kazumi wants to be with Alice no matter what— it matters not whether Alice is a Detective or a Thief. Fortunately, Alice choose to be a Detective.


Video Example(s):


Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

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