There are many different interpretations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes book series. Some more resemble the source material than others, but few feature animals in the role. Sherlock Hound takes place in a world of anthropomorphic canines in Victorian England, though Jules Verne style steam tech is apparently a normal occurrence. A co-production between Tokyo Movie Shinsha and Italian broadcaster RAI, the show is meant for kids and thus has a lighter take on Holmes and friends. Although the director had originally planned something darker and including the drug use of the books (from a time before the full negative effects were used, a chink in Holmes armor of brilliance as he deals with the stress of his life).
That director was Hayao Miyazaki…at least for half the series, including tonight’s sample. During production the Doyle estate had some issues that needed to be worked out. By the time that was sorted Miyazaki was off on the project he would be most known for. This would be the last TV series he worked on.
For some reason many online posting orders start with episode three as their episode one, I guess because “A Small Client” features all of the cast, including their take on Moriarty, who in typical adaptation fashion shows up more often than he does in the books. However the real first episode, “Four Signatures” (an odd dub rename of “His Name, Detective Of Rumor” given that no signatures are involved really), features the first meeting of Sherlock Hound and Doctor John Watson. (Holmes is the only one to get a dog-pun name.) It’s a rather important meeting as they work together to protect a cruise ship from pirates out for revenge against one of the passengers. And just to make them happy I’ll include what TMS’s YouTube channel thinks is a better first episode, in which Moriarty starts a counterfeit money racket while Hound is hired by a little girl to find her cat…and the two cases end up related. Enjoy tonight’s double feature.
I can understand they’re wanting to start on something more typical but leaving this until episode eleven? I really don’t see how that makes any sense. This how our daring duo first meet up. That’s rather important. Although I do wonder how a police inspector shows up with the Navy. Instead they want to start on episode three, so here’s what they thing you should watch first.
You can see more of the changes in this episode. Moriarty may still be smart but he’s something of a goofball. (Also, his underlings remind me of the two pirates from the other story. I wonder if they kept the designs in mind when creating Smiley and Todd, or if the Sherlock Holmes wiki entry on the show is right about them being the same characters?) Lestrade often gets dumber in other adaptations and here he tends to be a hothead. They also de-aged Mrs. Hudson to (according to the wiki; these are the only two episodes I’ve seen) make her a potential love interest for Hound. I don’t know if anything came out of it in 26 episodes produced.