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Series / Miss Sherlock

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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, while fighting crime and taking down the agents of the mysterious Stella Maris, a Diabolical Mastermind with a sinister agenda.

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.

The first season has eight episodes in total. It’s doubtful whether the series would continue, given Yuko Takeuchi (Sherlock)’s death in September 2020.

See Sherlock Untold Stories, another adaptation of Sherlock Holmes which aired in Japan in Fall 2019 under Fuji Television with 11 episodes.

Miss Sherlock contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Kento Futaba, the show's take on Mycroft Holmes, is far nicer and more sociable than any previous incarnation of the character. He even shares a fairly warm relationship with Sherlock.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Miss Sherlock, even by the standards of Sherlock (which this version is heavily inspired by). She unapologetically invades the personal space of strangers, displays zero sensitivity to others, and frequently belittles and insults people, including Wato-san (whom she spends most of the series being indifferent or even outright hostile towards).
  • Adaptational Wimp: Arguably Wato-san. Unlike John Watson, who's a military veteran and practising doctor (skills that make him a useful companion to Sherlock Holmes during cases), she has given up medicine, has no military training or background, and is often The Load to Sherlock.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Moriya's autopsy, as revealed in the end of the series, reveals that he didn't die when Sherlock shot him: he died moments earlier as a result of the virus he injected himself with.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Stella Maris, aka Akira Moriwaki and Dr. Mariko Irikawa, is the mysterious Moriarty Expy and Diabolical Mastermind behind most of the series' killers.
  • Big Eater: Sherlock can often be seen eating something. Not even other peoples' food are safe from her appetite.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Poor Wato. Sherlock choosing to Take a Third Option in Taking You with Me broke her out of it, though.
  • Break the Haughty: After being forced to shoot and kill Moriya, Sherlock suffers a Freak Out that leaves her trembling and on the edge of a complete nervous breakdown.
  • Composite Character: Dr. Mariko Irikawa AKA Akira Moriwaki is one of Ella Thompson, Watson's therapist from Sherlock, and Jim Moriarty.
  • 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.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In Episode 8 the moment Sherlock mentions the Reichenbach Building, you know that the episode is going to end with her taking a fall.
  • 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.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: Chocolate is Sherlock's vice.
  • 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.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Since the series is an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Wato Tachibana (aka Wato-san) naturally fulfills a lot of roles in her dynamic with Sherlock that would go to a love interest in another work. While their dynamic is colder than most versions, their growing bond forms the emotional core of the series. Wato is even kidnapped at one point to get Sherlock's cooperation in an I Have Your Wife situation. Sherlock even gets out of her funk in the finale for the specific purpose of saving Wato and sacrifices herself to save Wato from the Big Bad, with Wato shown to be devastated by her death in the way a Love Interest would normally be.
  • 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.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Irikawa. Wato went to her for help managing her PTSD caused by her time in a warzone, and ended up becoming her pawn via some method of Mind Control (or possibly More than Mind Control given that Irikawa preyed on Wato's anger and grief resulting from Sherlock shooting Toru).
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Sequel Hook: The series ends, after Sherlock's Heroic Sacrifice, with a familiar woman walking towards Wato as she grieves for Sherlock. Given Yuko Takeuchi's passing, however, another sequel is very unlikely...
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Stella Maris

Sherlock uses some red yarn to tie the thumbtacks on the wall, which were strategically arranged to form the Little Dipper. Solving it also allowed Sherlock to receive an unexpected message.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / StringTheory

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