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Miss Sherlock is a Japanese drama series produced by HBO Asia and Hulu Japan, and premiered on April 27, 2018. Similar to other recent adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's series, Miss Sherlock reinterprets the titular detective in a contemporary time period. The series depicts Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson as Japanese women in modern Tokyo.

Surgeon Wato Tachibana returns to Japan from a volunteer doctors' mission in Syria to recover from her experiences. Almost immediately upon her arrival, her mentor is killed from an explosive device that somehow appeared in his stomach. She finds herself requiring the aid of Sara "Sherlock" Futaba, a consulting detective for the police who solves particularly bizarre cases. Without any other homes at her disposal, Wato and Sherlock are forced to room with each other and quickly become embroiled in each other's lives.

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While not particularly grounded or serious in its depiction of the Holmes story, the show nonetheless uses its premise to focus on Wato and Sherlock's growing friendship.


Miss Sherlock contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Being (borderline) Forced to Watch as your child is murdered right in front of you, right outside of a grocery store.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Sherlock. Her constant strange, anti-social, and oftentimes eccentric behaviour seem like possible signs of her being on the Autism spectrum, such as her retreating to a couch and covering her ears (possible sensory overload) when an antagonist is wailing loudly in despair, or the childlike glee on her face as she explains how a grieving mother went on a killing spree as revenge for the murder of her six-year-old daughter. Besides stimming by fidgeting with objects, she also sways from side to side whenever she's in a rolling chair.
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  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Hatano gives one to Sherlock after she can't compose herself due to Wato's disappearance. This gives Sherlock the confidence to continue her investigation.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: This is what happens to Shiina Yuma thanks to her abusive father. The trauma turned her into a Soft-Spoken Sadist Emotionless Girl.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Poor Wato. Sherlock choosing to Take a Third Option in Taking You with Me broke her out of it, though.
  • Death of a Child: The motive for the killer in Episode 1 is revenge for the death of her six-year-old daughter, killed ten years ago by a drug addict.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Irikawa never raises her voice. All of her brainwashed patients have emotionless as their default expression and a Creepy Monotone to go with it.
  • Downer Beginning: In the first scene of the first episode, Wato's plane lands in Tokyo. She gets off and meets her old friend and mentor, Dr. Mizuno—and he is promptly killed by a bomb that blows out his stomach.
  • Electric Torture: In Episode 3 Dr. Watanuki is brutally tortured with electric shocks by someone who wants a code. He's left a vegetable. Wato is subjected to this later on, and would have suffered the same fate had the police not arrived in time.
  • Finger in the Mail: The killer in Episode 6 sends an ear and a finger from two of his victims to the police.
  • Foreshadowing: Constantly. One such example is the motivation and the true identity of the mystery killer in episode 1 when Sherlock notices a recently widowed wife's reaction to being asked if she and her deceased husband had any children, and the ease and delight with which said widow fixes a little girl's hair for her, hinting at her motives for killing several people: the murder of her daughter by the hands of a drug addict.
    • When Wato's friends come to Sherlock's place, their conversation turns to psychological tests and their veracity. Sherlock asks everyone a question, which turns out to be a test for whether a person is a psychopath. Moriya, Wato's love interest, had the most eerily specific answer. He is later revealed to be part of a PTSD support group doubling as a breeding ground for terrorists.
  • Funny Background Event: Watch Sherlock whenever the camera isn't on her. She's usually a walking example of this trope as she pokes around with her customary lack of tact/manners/respect for personal boundaries.
  • Friend on the Force: Inspector Reimon is the one who most often brings Sherlock in on the cases, to the point Shibata accuses him of not having the confidence to even try solving cases.
  • Gender Flip: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are reinterpreted as women. Other Sherlock Holmes adaptations have done this (most notably Lucy Liu as a female Watson in Elementary) but few have done both of the principal characters.
  • Going by the Matchbook: Or the 21st-century, non-smoking equivalent thereof. In Episode 1, Sherlock sees a club re-entry stamp on the hand of murder victim Kurimoto, which leads them to the nightclub where they find a vital clue.
  • Grail in the Garbage: In Episode 2 everyone thinks that the mystery revolves around the old painting in the art gallery that was defaced by a vandal. It doesn't; the real objective of the bad guys is the frame, which just happened to have been made by Antonio Stradivari, of "Stradivarius" violin fame.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: One of the antagonists of episode 2. He is quite easily swayed by unscrupuluous business persons to perform some truly terrible crimes, all for the promise of own art gallery in spite of how unrealistic that is. Lampshaded when even the other antagonists specifically berate him for this when the jig is up.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Sergeant Shibata fills the role, deeply resenting Sherlock's sway with Inspector Reimon as he's forced to gather essential clues.
  • Left Hanging: Why does she call herself Sherlock? The question remains unanswered by the end of the series.
  • Light Is Not Good / Dark Is Not Evil: The heroic Sherlock dresses in dark colors, usually black. The villainous Irikawa dresses in light colors, usually blue.
  • Myth Arc: Stella Maris.
  • No Social Skills: Sherlock is capable of following social cues for people she cares for, but she has little patience for it and can be seen fiddling with various knick-knacks or twirling her chair when other people are talking.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In order to snap Wato out of her brainwashing, Sherlock finally acknowledges her as her friend. It seems to rattle her enough to not shoot Sherlock immediately, but it takes Sherlock and Irikawa jumping off a building for Wato to fully come back to her senses.
  • Punny Name:
    • Wato. Combined with Japanese honorifics, she's referred to as "Wato-san," which is pretty much how Japanese people pronounce the name "Watson."
    • Moriya Toru. Moriarty. He's not the Big Bad, but he works for her.
  • Race Lift: Other than the obvious examples of Wato and Sherlock, the few remaining characters from the original text are similarly translated into modern Tokyo. Mycroft Holmes, for example, is depicted as "Kento Futaba."
  • Reality Ensues: Not only did Wato's breakdown during her volunteer mission require her to get counseling, but she struggles to find work right away once she's returned to Tokyo.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Both Episodes 7 and 8 have rooftop confrontations, one with a plague carrier and Sherlock, the last a confrontation with Sherlock, Wato, and the Big Bad.
  • Room Full of Crazy: In Episode 6, the killer, a father looking for revenge for the murder of his daughter, has a wall festooned with dozens of pictures of the victims he was stalking. More plot-relevant than usual, as the Big Bad uses said pictures to send a message to Sherlock and the cops.
  • Running Gag:
    • Sherlock, whenever people call Wato her friend: "We're not friends!"
      • Running Gag Stumbles: At a moment of crisis, Sherlock tells Wato that Wato is her first and only friend.
    • Kento only ever has 20 minutes to talk.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Wato-san was traumatized so badly by her time as a doctor in combat zones in Syria that she's having flashbacks and hallucinations.
  • Sherlock Scan: But of course! An early example would be Sherlock deducing Wato was on a medical mission in Syria, one of the pieces of evidence being the surgery thread tied to Wato's baggage.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Shiina Yuma, the supposedly shy and deferential Shiina sister turned out to be a sadistic torturer who lacks empathy.
  • Suck Out the Poison: It turns out that the woman everybody thought was a vampire for drinking her baby's blood in episode 4 was really doing this. (It Makes Sense in Context, and is a reference to "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire".)
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. While Sherlock dismisses their usefulness, Wato attends counseling after her experiences in Syria. The Reveal makes this into There Are No Good Therapists.
  • These Hands Have Killed: In Episode 7, Sherlock, eternally calm and unflappable, comes completely unglued after having to shoot Toru In the Back to prevent him from spreading a deadly virus all over Tokyo. She's left a sobbing mess, even as she figures out who the real Big Bad is.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Overlapping with Mind-Control Eyes, it's Wato's cold, unflinching stare under Irikawa's control.
  • Title Drop: In Episode 7 Wato's boyfriend Toru says he's starting to dislike "Miss Sherlock" for continually distracting Wato.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: In Episode 1 a child murderer is traced to an addict support group.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Wato and Sherlock don't particularly even like other once they've become roommates, but continue to work together on cases despite having little reason to keep up their partnership after the first case.


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