Sherlock Hound (1984 IMDb)

Categorization

Children's mystery TV series with lots of very non-fatal action. Not actually anything like Conan Doyle's detective books. Six episodes (out of 26, spread evenly through the first half) are directed by Miyazaki Hayao.

Subject

Young Sherlock Holmes is an anthropomorphic dog, just like everyone else in Victorian England. He and the trusty Dr. Watson eat the very lovely young Mrs. Hudson's cooking and always outwit dastardly Professor Moriarty, a purple wolf inventor with two clownish henchmen invented for the series.

Commentary

The first episode is unfortunately the worst, featuring sails that do not react to wind and huge boilers that can be repaired in half an hour after literally exploding. Miyazaki's six are noticeably a cut above all the rest: I tested this on myself by not looking it up first.

The biggest systemic problem with this series is the total consistency of Moriarty as the villain past the very beginning, limiting the province of mystery to imagining steampunk methods of forgery and theft, as opposed to ever wondering who did it. Secondary perpetrators compete with Moriarty and do not last beyond the episode. It's no wonder that Lestrade is always there with a dozen officers to hunt for him. There is nothing else happening in England. Partly as a result, the last handful of episodes feel like an ordinary Western children's show. Great choices of music, creating a soft nostalgic frame. The antropomorphism is well done. I assume the choice of it was influenced by RAI's Italian co-producers.

References here: Ghibli movie titles.

Japanese production Miyazaki Hayao animation series Ōtsuka Yasuo

Based on the same stories:

Sherlock Holmes (2009 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2013.

movie