Art Detective

August 4th, 2022 in Anime, General Reviews by

There are a group of fictional characters that have been played to death, either in movie or on stage. These include such ‘people’ as James Bond, Frankenstein’s monster, Hamlet and Sherlock Holmes. This also includes anyone billed as such, like “Basil of Baker Street”, which was a cartoon approach to Sherlock, and, with what you have with this show, “Kyōto Teramachi Sanjō no Holmes” (or, “Kyōto Teramachi Sanjō no Hōmuzu”, or “Holmes of Kyoto”).

Our Holmes is actually Kiyotaka Yagashira (The Suit), but he does not bother himself with a Scandal in Bohemia or the Red-Headed League. No, he is involved with antiques, an area just as fraught with misdirection and deception as anything else. He helps run the family antiques store, Kura. The people who come to him, trying to sell their precious items, fall into two broad categories: those who are unaware the items they have are fakes and those who KNOW the items they have are fake.

Into his shop comes Aoi Mashiro (Pinky), second-year in high school. She is trying to sell off a family heirloom for money, but Kiyo sees something more in her and decides to take her on as an apprentice, so she can learn how to distinguish between the gloss and the dross.

Well, you cannot have a Holmes without a Moriarity and that presents itself in the persona of Ensho (Mr. Baldy). Actually, he tries to present himself as a monk (as no one would question the good intentions of a monk) but still attempts to put one over on Kiyo. So, what we have are some seductive and involving cat-and-mouse games, not only with Ensho, but others who try to proffer a silk purse, when it is a sow’s ear.

I just wish that the hero in these type of shows wasn’t so stand-offish and anti-social. No wonder you don’t have a girlfriend, if you treat everyone like a criminal. Aoi is such a marvelous person, and yet, she is always a day late and a yen short in his eyes, even when she builds her abilities and talents to discover fakes.

Ensho, on the other hand, is a very worthy foe, as he used to make fakes. However, he decided this was not the life for him and tried to go straight, but Kiyo proved too much of a temptation and, so, they go after each other, hammer and tongs. It appears that Ensho doesn’t have to win, but if he can plant the seed of doubt into Kiyo, that is a moral victory.

A problem this show has are too many whimsical characters, like Kiyo’s father, who is always on some kind of antique hunt, and good friend Rikyu, who tries to prove that Aoi is not a good match for Kiyo. I think the show would have operated better without these folks. I mean, the stories are very good, as you try and figure out what is the key element that has Kiyo go good or bad for the art work. And when the fake is discovered, it is destroyed, so Kiyo has got to be always right on target.

Shows like this do not binge well, as you see the identical thing day in and day out. I mean, the back stories as to how we got here are involving, but the nuts-and-bolts are the same. I would be cautious, but no more than four episodes at a sitting. You want to savor and revel in the path of Discovery, not jam it down to get it done.

And for the record, he does bristle at the Holmes tether to his name. He is just a simple antique appraiser, trying to help people understand better. And the moon’s a balloon.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (Solid anime approach)
Plot                  8 (And you learn about antiquities)
Pacing              8 (Strong use of tension)
Effectiveness   8 (Great interplay between all the characters)
Conclusion      5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service     0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingeability    5 (Moderation in everything)

Overall            8 (It kept my attention)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. This is a fake.

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