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Holmes of Kyoto Episode 9: And Then Nothing Happened

And dropped.

Holmes9a

Last week I was already comparing this story to about as exciting as watching paint dry and episode 9 was, if anything, more dull. So what analogy can I use for this one? Maybe like following lint flowing on air currents with your eyes? Potentially like waiting for a monument to erode from old age? I’ve got it!

Like being asked to read a compendium of political speeches from the last hundred years on tax reform.

And in case you are wondering why I haven’t gotten to the review yet, that is it. In a nutshell. I was so incredibly bored while watching this. The off-model characters and the fact that the background characters are faceless and almost motionless doesn’t even come into my decision to drop at this point (though – really?). Because nothing about this episode made me care in the slightest.

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Please let it say ‘run away’.

Holmes and Aoi go to some market and along the way Holmes tells her about some shrines in Kyoto that they could see on the walk (and really this is just one more moment that makes me believe that somewhere some tourism board were behind the funding of this anime). But instead of that being any kind of focal point we just kind of get a mashed up montage of Holmes and Aoi doing shrine like things with the random guy who tags along because he was in one episodes once and maybe we care about him.

Then we meander to part two where Aoi wants to see Holmes’ room because he saw hers and they are at his house, and oh no he is not a neat freak. Shocker. Then we go to the party where a staged game gets interrupted by Ensho because why not? Ensho challenges Holmes to a game and for some ridiculous reason he agrees but there’s just no reason to care.

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I was done with this series about five minutes into this episode and by the end of the episode I can clearly state that I have zero desire to watch any more. It isn’t broken, but it also isn’t good.

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Karandi James

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Holmes of Kyoto Episode 8: It’s Christmas and Alibis

I’m not sure that there was any real focus this week. We have Aoi asking Holmes about what he meant to tell her, some random hiring at a cafe, some I’ll help you study moments, before we finally get a case, and even then it is all just all over the place. Despite all that, I’d argue this was a long, slow twenty minutes watching the tedium unfold.

Holmes of Kyoto Episode 8 - Aoi

You know when someone tells you something is about as interesting as watching paint dry, they are probably referring to something that is about as exciting as episode 8 of Holmes of Kyoto. Once again we have a contrived set up where Holmes is working at a cafe for four days leading up to Christmas Eve, even though he already has a job and doesn’t really get anything out of it. I’m not even really sure that working in the cafe added anything to the plot given they did discuss the ‘case’, such as it was, in the cafe but they could have as easily done that in the antique shop.

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We also get some stuff about Aoi and her parents with Aoi’s still unseen mother inviting Holmes over after he tutors her and Holmes goes through Aoi’s grandfather’s collection to determine everything is pretty much a reproduction. See that story alone could have actually been a story. Instead it was just kind of another thing that happened, nothing came of it, and then it got swept up in the debris of everything else that happened that nothing actually came of.

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Throw in some weird facial issues for both Holmes and Aoi and you have the makings of an episode that doesn’t even manage to scrape average. Even if I judged this anime purely as a slice of life rather than a mystery, romance, or any other genre, this episode is incredibly dull, poorly paced, and generally unfocused. All and all, not a highlight of the season and for a show that was barely managing to remain mediocre, episodes like this are not great.

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Holmes of Kyoto Episode 7: Ensho Appears Again

Well, our resident counterfeiter who for whatever reason has decided his life’s goal is to humiliate Holmes as turned up again, this time playing a fairly obvious game before confronting the young appraiser. I’m just not sure this is as thrilling as it sounded in someone’s head before it became an anime.

Holmes of Kyoto Episode 7

In terms of heroes, Holmes leaves a lot to be desired given he isn’t exactly motivated to do anything beyond his job and he doesn’t have a great personality. It kind of makes sense that the rival character introduced to play Moriarty to his Holmes is equally uninspiring and that their clashes, while undeniably one of the more interesting elements in the series, are pretty underwhelming.

Holmes of Kyoto Episode 7
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Why are you even in this episode?

It’s a shame, because the idea of Holmes being an art appraiser and Moriarty a counterfeiter by trade actually works quite well on paper. If the series had exclusively stuck to actually building up this binary opposition and these characters it potentially could have been quite interesting. Instead though we’ve spent far too much time on Aoi who is as generic and forgettable a character as they come (though seems to have some kind of knack for appraisal) and now it feels like we’re supposed to accept an epic rivalry between two characters that don’t really have enough presence to carry it off.

Holmes of Kyoto episode 7
What is going on with their faces?

It isn’t that this episode was bad. Except perhaps the visuals (because what was going on with some of these characters in this episode). It is more that there is so much unrealised potential with the concept and the show itself is strictly remaining pretty ordinary.

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Holmes of Kyoto Episode 6: Something About Pride

Holmes of Kyoto Episode 6

Last week I mentioned that Holmes of Kyoto suffers from very little happening in each episode, and episode 6 is a prime example of not much happening. Not sure that’s a good a thing.

Holmes of Kyoto Episode 6

In episode 5 we were introduced to a potential villain/rival but much like the gap between episodes 1 and 5 where the story meandered about doing very little of consequence, episode 6 decides it is time for Holme’s grandfather to have a birthday party with a petty bit of mystery tossed in during the final five minutes just so the episode didn’t feel totally empty. While I guess you could argue that there are some character interactions and introductions that might be important, the bland nature of most of this episode with an excess of panning over still images means that all I could see this episode as was downtime for the animators. Maybe they used up all their energy with that minor action sequence last week where Holmes went to hit the guy with his fan.

Holmes of Kyoto episode 6

That isn’t to say that learning a little more about the grandfather is bad as learning about his time on TV and the fallout when a professional maintains his integrity in the face of ratings and the pride of others is interesting enough. Yet the meandering pace of the story and the yawn inducing locked room mystery that is solved in an instant really kind of kill any kind of goodwill I may have felt towards the slightly more intriguing parts of the episode. All and all, not sure this one needs to stay on my watch list, and yet it isn’t horrendous enough to really be bothered dropping either.

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Karandi James

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