Moriarty The Patriot Season 2 Series Review – The Lord Of Crime Less Interesting Than Expected

Moriarty the Patriot Season 2 Anime Review

Sequels are tricky things to get right and The Promised Neverland demonstrated in spectacular fashion how wrong a second anime season can go. Moriarty the Patriot hasn’t fallen to such a low point in this second season follow up but it also hadn’t risen to such lofty heights in the first place.

Season one of Moriarty the Patriot was a bit of a mixed bag and after a solid opening act seemed to struggle to maintain momentum or really capitalise on its strengths. However in season two we see those issues, and the issues the writers were clearly faced with in trying to write for not one but two super genius characters, cause the story, particularly in the mid-season to really flounder.

Moriarty The Patriot Season 2 – Not What I Signed Up For

Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

When the spring 2021 season kicked off I wasn’t really sure what I would watch and review though I ended up agreeing to review a couple of anime with Irina and then there were the series that were sponsored by readers. Moriarty the Patriot I decided to cover because I’d been looking forward to seeing the story continue and I’d hoped that I would be satisfied with how it went.

The opening episode of Moriarty the Patriot Season 2, with the heavy focus on Sherlock rather than Moriarty, wasn’t great but had some intriguing ideas. However, those who followed my episode reviews will know that by the mid-season I was pretty much over this anime and ultimately I stopped doing episodic coverage entirely, choosing instead to wait out the final arc and then watching in a single binge session.

As cool as that image is, it belongs in Dracula and not Moriarty the Patriot.

However it did make me wonder just what it was about this second season that really didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t like it took a huge deviation from the set-up in season one. Though a lot of that set-up ended up feeling superfluous with the final plan really feeling kind of thrown together and not well thought out.

Going back through my episode posts, I realised episode 15 was where I more or less admitted I wasn’t really enjoying watching it and a large part of the problem was that our title character, Moriarty, wasn’t really the main character anymore.


In season one, William James Moriarty was almost always in the centre of things and his plans were nicely detailed. He also seemed to be actively involved in their execution even if he didn’t deliver the final blow. The introduction of Sherlock during season one shifted the dynamic and as more and more cast members stepped up Moriarty’s role diminished.

And Moriarty is going to need to take centre stage again - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

Despite this being the story of Moriarty and supposedly telling the story of him actually being a patriot and not just a criminal foil for a master detective, Moriarty’s presence becomes increasingly irrelevant. Sure his brother’s defer to him and his gang all revere him, but his own actions becoming increasingly less important – you know until the anime just kind of throws its hands in the air and sends him on an outright murder spree.

Given a lot of the appeal for me in season one was his character and how much I enjoyed seeing the reframing of his villainous acts, season 2 of Moriarty the Patriot just felt like it wasn’t giving me what I wanted from the anime.

And a lot of what we were getting felt like bloat just to stretch out the conclusion of a story that really could have been told in a single twelve episode season without all the unnecessary additions and complications that ultimately added nothing.

Let's get to the point indeed Sherlock - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

Whether we are talking about Irene’s character arc and conversion into one of the gang or the entire Jack the Ripper near rebellion incident, neither of these ultimately contributed anything to the end story and really we could have got to the same place faster and felt a better connection with the central players without it.

Likewise, an attempt to bring in a third player who could rival Holmes and Moriarty, Milverton, proved just another distraction and ultimately he and his plots amounted to nothing. Admittedly, at least his interaction with the main pair forced the main plot into action but again, it just felt like he existed to give Moriarty the Patriot another handful of episodes before we limped over the finish line.

However, if I wasn’t going to get more of a character I loved, I was hoping at least that the plot would hold itself together. Yet season 2 of Moriarty the Patriot more or less doubles down on the same issues that plagued season one with the mob characters, both nobility and commoners, being particularly stupid and the schemes of those manipulating the masses being pretty transparent and poorly executed.

I really wish it had been fun, Albert - Image from Moriarty the Patriot.

There’s little joy in seeing a plan succeed when it seems so incredibly weak.

Moriarty the Patriot wants to delve into serious issues of class warfare and seems to want to explore the character of individuals when placed under duress. Yet at no point does it have the ability to really write these scenarios in a way that makes them feel anything more than a superficial nod to themes that are kind of essential for the story to hold together.

From start to finish my main complaint about Moriarty the Patriot season 2 would be that I wanted more. More from the characters I liked, more from the writing, and more intrigue from the plot. It all just fell that little bit short leaving the viewing experience feeling lacking.

It was always watchable. At no point does this anime derail and become a terrible incomprehensible mess. At no point are the characters so stupid that watching them another minute would be painful. But there’s little joy in watching it either. It just kind of is and the most disappointing thing is the potential that is in this premise and plot that feels like it was just missed.

Moriarty the Patriot

What I will say is that at the very least we were given a conclusion. It is as satisfying as could be expected from the series given how the second season plays out and while there’s room for a follow-up any such attempt would undermine what little good this season did bring to the characters (so let’s hope this is the end).

It is kind of tricky because this anime isn’t all that bad and I’m sure that there will be some people who quite enjoyed it for what it was. I can’t personally recommend it because ultimately I feel that Moriarty the Patriot just squandered too much of its own potential leaving me feeling more frustrated while watching than anything else. Still, there’s certainly worse anime out there and at least this one finishes.

Images used for review from: Moriarty the Patriot. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I. G. 2020.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot 2nd Season Episode 17 Review

Moriarty Episode 17
Moriarty 17 7
The final line and yet I feel like we’ve waited too long already for him to do anything.

Moriarty the Patriot’s return remains a disappointing affair with little excitement to follow up the brief entertainment of episode 16. Instead of getting into the Moriarty plan we instead get to watch other characters set up their plans for the future and move their pieces. The end result is one that gives us a launch pad for future events but there’s only so much set up one can sit through before you realise it is all set-up and we aren’t actually getting anywhere.

Admittedly, the intrigue in the yard is interesting enough with corruption and hidden ledgers all in the mix. However, none of the characters there have been developed enough for me to truly care personally so the reshuffling of power in that building, while fundamentally important to future plans, could have been played off screen and still would have resulted in much the same outcome.

Moriarty 17 2
Person with only one personality – angry and enttitled.

There’s so little to actually discuss I’m instead going to narrow in on Bond’s scene where he gets a cool gun that makes people go to sleep and an autocar. While it is far and a way from the cool gadgets a modern James Bond would brandish, it was a nice diversion in an otherwise fairly sleep-filled episode. Unfortunately, while he does use the sleeping gas once, the car merely is a talking point and then forgotten and realistically both could have been removed from the story with little to no difference identified.

Moriarty 17 4

Basically this story is just full of bloat at this point. While the basic premise was fine and the central character, when he’s actually in the story, is charismatic and interesting, the longer they stretch things out and the more characters that get introduced, the less interesting the story becomes. Wrap it up and move it forward because this one doesn’t have any more staying power.

Images from: Moriarty the Patriot 2nd Season. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I.G. 2021.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot 2nd Season Episode 16 Review

Moriarty Episode 16
Moriarty the Patriot - Jack the Ripper
You wanted Jack the Ripper?

After finding the last few episodes of Moriarty the Patriot to be a rather tepid affair, it was nice to see episode 16 just let the characters loose. With the scene already set and the Yard and the locals ready to go to war we wasted precious little time on re-establishing the Jack the Ripper Plot before Moriarty and his merry band launched into their offensive to de-escalate the potential revolt and take down the one using Jack’s name and killing prostitutes. That isn’t to say their plan was particularly good. It was showy and it was fun to watch unfold but realistically it just shouldn’t have worked.

Basically their plan came down to give everybody else a Jack the Ripper to chase around town which would also cause the real group behind Jack the Ripper to gather. Then the would take out the real Jack the Ripper. I mean it isn’t as if half-a-dozen things couldn’t have gone wrong with that including the real culprits being smart enough not to gather at the commotion or even either the commoners or the yard still firing on the other sparking the revolution rather than chasing the old guy around for an hour.

Moriarty the Patriot denies reality – this plan will work.

Moriarty Ep16 4
Insane, illogical, unlikely to succeed and yet still pretty fun to watch.

However rather than continuing to take shots at the plan itself, there were some things this episode did very well. An no, that wasn’t show discerning supporting cast members given all the background characters continue to have about as much subtlety as a brick to the face.

Whether it is the commoners seeing a member of the Yard and contorting their faces to scowl in an exaggerated fashion or the idiotic way that the actual culprits dismiss the death of the weak as meaningless the writing of the larger cast remains incredibly flat. Though given Moriarty himself wasn’t particularly brilliant this episode I guess it stands to reason everyone else needed to be even stupider in order for his plan to play out.

Moriarty Ep16 2
Like, seriously. We get it, they don’t like each other.

But wait, I was getting to the positives. Such as the chase sequence itself. Now the old guy was newly introduced so we didn’t have a lot of a connection with him and yet he’s probably the best character we’ve met in a while. Admittedly, his stamina and agility are near to supernatural in this particular sequence but it was good that we got to know him a bit and that even he was feeling true exhaustion as he got close to the one-hour mark Moriarty and demanded from him. Still trying to figure out how you leap over multiple people while wearing an armoured cloak but let’s not dwell on the details because it just looked super cool.


It was also kind of cool seeing the rest of Moriarty’s extras supporting the old guy from the roof-tops by giving directions or taking out the weapons of snipers. Again, the combined efforts to take down the Gatling Gun leave me with an eye-brow raised at how ridiculous that was, but again we could forgive it just for being a really great moment. I do question their fitness given that old guy was running all over town and they always seemed to be keeping up with him while going over roof-tops, which one imagines would require significant athletic stamina. Just don’t think about that part.

Moriarty Ep16 5
There’s never a Gatling Gun when you need one.

However, the confrontation between Louis and William Moriarty and the gang responsible for the Jack the Ripper incidents was my favourite moment. While we had been told these two were trained, we’ve never seen either really in action before as Moriarty has usually stayed out of the direct action. Here however we see the two back to back and they have definitely got some moves.

Moriarty Ep16 6
I won’t be arguing.

With yet another player introduced into the story who is now aware of Moriarty’s identity there’s a chance this season of Moriarty the Patriot may actually pick up a bit going forward. I know that I enjoyed this episode a lot more than any so far since the story’s return.

Images from: Moriarty the Patriot 2nd Season. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I.G. 2021.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot 2nd Season Episode 15 Review

Moriarty Episode 15
Moriarty Ep15 3
Some rivalry within the team could have been interesting – and yet this resolves about five minutes later.

You know, I was seriously looking forward to the continuation of Moriarty the Patriot and yet this follow up (second season/continuation of season 1) has so far been pretty dull. Moriarty isn’t anywhere near as interesting as he was and we’re getting very little of his presence at all. He even just full on goes to sleep for part of this episode leaving the support cast to do their thing only it isn’t all that interesting or believable as they take out a whole bunch of bank robbers and then convince all the potential witnesses that the security cop guy actually did it.


Affiliate Link

Live a Live – RPG Game

Likewise Irene’s new character, Bond, is actually pretty dull compared to how she first entered the story. Possibly it is because she’s no longer playing off of Sherlock and trying to outwit him all the time, instead she’s playing safe and trying to work with a team, but it means that instead of being a source of entertainment she’s now just another in the ever expanding Moriarty crew.

Moriarty the Patriot - Bond
Though if they’d kept her and Moran at odds we could have had some fun moments.

That the entire bank scenario may have just been another ploy by Moriarty to get his team to work together doesn’t make it any more interesting a situation to have spent half the episode on and realistically we learn little about the team in the process. There’s not even a hint that the group might at any point fail or struggle so there is no tension whatsoever in the scenario and there’s no one that they are really trying to outwit so it all just feels empty.


Now that Moriarty is done on side quests that feel like filler…

We then move on to the rest of the episode as we’re introduced to the Moriarty brothers old teacher who apparently earned the nickname ‘Jack the Ripper’ once upon a time. Turns out he isn’t really enjoying a serial killer using his name and so they are now going to stop the killings that the yard apparently haven’t sorted out. Of all the reasons to get involved in such a big case, this one seems pretty petty and Moriarty adding onto the end that they can’t stand by while the weak are getting preyed on seems really too late. It’s an after-thought or a justification for the actions they intended to carry out regardless.

Moriarty Ep15 6
Let me stand here and pose for the transition into the second half.

It is probably clear by now that I didn’t really enjoy this episode. I am curious as to what Moriarty The Patriot’s take on Jack the Ripper will be, but my expectations of this series are definitely lowering as it continues. The drive that Moriarty and his team seemed to have early in season 1 feels very much dissipated now and part of that is because of the shifting focus to other characters but part of it is because they don’t seem to be doing very much. All and all, I’m hoping this picks up again but otherwise it is watchable but not a lot else at this point.

Images from: Moriarty the Patriot 2nd Season. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I.G. 2021.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot 2nd Season Episode 14 Review

Moriarty Episode 14
Sherlock in Moriarty the Patriot
Sherlock looks like he’s had one too many frozen cokes.

I really enjoyed this conclusion to Irene’s arc. We get some of Sherlock and Watson, a bit of Irene, a bit of the Moriarty brothers, a dose of Mycroft, and none of the characters seem to over-stay their welcome or seem superfluous. The arc concludes nicely wrapping up loose ends and opening up the next phase of the story and really it does what it needs to do.


None of that meant that when we got to the end of the episode that I didn’t want to smack my head into the desk in front of me as I sat, and realised exactly what the character was about to say and desperately wanted them not to say it, and then they said it anyway… It was one of those moments where you can see a terrible punchline coming but you are powerless to gag the person who is about to say it.

Moriarty the Patriot definitely got me emotional, just not in a good way.

So unnecessary and such a lame ‘twist’ or development. At the end of what has been a very solid arc. I could go on but I’d rather not give specific details of the conclusion of a three episode arc so we’ll just leave my complaint about that line right there, though there will be a small spoiler in the final image for the post so if you haven’t watched the episode I’d suggest do that first.

Moriarty Ep14 2
You’re right Sherlock, I could have exited the episode before they said it.

Anyway, the episode picks up with Irene leaving Sherlock and Watson for her appointment with The Lord of Crime and Sherlock having a bit of a mental hissy-fit because he can’t figure out a way to keep Irene alive and not make the deal. Ultimately, Sherlock accept the assurance of the sealed letter perfectly fits his character, but at the same time tells us a lot about his character. If the ‘great’ detective would just open the envelope he’d know who the Lord of Crime was, however because he gave his word, and more, because he can’t stand someone giving him the answer to a riddle, the Lord of Crime knows his identity will remain safe.

So, Sherlock will allow more people to be murdered because he doesn’t like someone spoiling a good mystery? Admittedly, it isn’t as though Sherlock has ever been set up as a bastion of good. He’s just looking for a good mental challenge and we always kind of knew that. Equally, we know that he’s not above bending or even breaking the law if it is required.

Moriarty Ep14 4
Loved the colouring in this scene.

If I actually had a complaint about this arc, outside of the very final lines of it, I would probably have to turn that complaint to the Moriarty brothers. Previously, they’ve been a joy on screen. Sure they talk a bit too much, but they usually are interesting to listen to as they interact and there’s a certain amount of playful malice in some of their comments. I kind of felt that this episode, a lot of their personality was removed in favour of… well, straight-out exposition.


Sure it was great finally getting a nice detailed explanation of what their intentions are going forward, or at least what they want a certain someone to think their intentions are, but honestly it was one of those tedious moments where the villain seemed to connect all the dots for the audience and it just went on too long and in the process kind of made them less interesting. I am curious to see if they were being truthful or if this is just another ploy but either way it made their main scene this week somewhat less than thrilling to watch and for the first time in this series Sherlock’s scenes held my interest far more than Moriarty’s.

Moriarty Ep14 7
The gang’s all here.

The undeniable positive about this episode is it opens up a lot of paths for this story to take from here forward and I am absolutely curious about where it will go and how it will build from this point forward. So many possibilities and realistically I very much want to see the Moriarty’s push forward with their plans and I will be curious as to how Sherlock will respond.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot 2nd Season Episode 13 Review

Moriarty Episode 13
Moriarty Ep13 1
Albert’s idea of fun may not be the same as those around him.

Irene continues to be in hot-water in this episode of Moriarty the Patriot. However, the episode focuses more on Albert Moriarty as he makes contact with Irene rather than on Irene herself. It is a definite change in tone from the more amusing return episode we had last week where a lot of the screen time was eaten with shenanigans between Irene and Sherlock. Here, Albert is coldly business like as he plays the next move in the long game he and his brothers have been working toward. The only question left is whether Sherlock will manage to throw a spanner in the works before they achieve their goal.


The masquerade ball as a meeting place was a little bit much but served its purpose. However, in the tradition of Moriarty the Patriot, the writers used this setting as a chance to once again portray the aristocratic class as inhuman. Whether it was the over-the-top rancour expressed by the victim of the week or the callous disregard the others had when he died later in the piece, I can’t help but feel I’d be more impressed by the Moriarty clan if those they were seeking to bring down felt more like people and not so much like caricatures.

Moriarty continues to struggle with characterisation of the classes.

Death in Moriarty the Patriot
Probably that ugly tie is the culprit.

The younger two Moriarty brothers had very little to do in this episode but Albert most definitely carried it. His negotiations with Irene were well delivered and the matter-of-fact way he cut off her other potential escape routes before throwing her the life-line he wanted her to take all worked pretty perfectly. Perhaps a little too perfectly given Irene had previously been shown to be fairly adept at getting herself out of trouble but maybe it was just a sign she really was at the end of her rope.

Moriarty Ep13 3
Judicious or disastrous? One has to wonder.

Sherlock and Watson’s screen time is minimal in this episode, only claiming the scene after Irene return from the party, and honestly the episode is better for it. In the single scene, Sherlock manages a brilliant piece of manipulation (who blows up a room just to trick someone), finally getting the upper-hand over Irene, and it works beautifully with the rest of the episode, without becoming a Sherlock show.

It would be great if the rest of the series manages to find that balance between Moriarty and his brothers and Sherlock’s investigations because when it veers too much into Sherlock’s story it makes it too easy to unfavourably compare Moriarty the Patriot to so many other Sherlock stories. When focused on Moriarty, it really feels like its own thing.


However, the story of Irene and the stolen papers still isn’t resolved at the end of this episode meaning that this mystery is running into a third episode (making it the longest individual story so far in the series). It makes me really curious as to whether this season is going to return to a more episodic approach or if we are now going to bring everything together in this show-down between the Lord of Crime and the great Consulting Detective. Time will tell, but I do know I’m very interested in where this is all going so glad I’m sticking with Moriarty the Patriot.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot Series Review – I Appreciate The Attempt

Moriarty Review

Moriarty: The Greatest of Villains Have Equally Great Ambitions

I will admit I was a little intrigued by this title when I first had this recommended to me as an anime to catch up on. While Sherlock Holmes movies haven’t done a great deal for me, I have enjoyed a number of TV shows that have updated the characters or taken great influence from the world’s greatest consulting detective, and even though many anime attempts at borrowing these characters haven’t exactly been brilliant, the attempts are usually intriguing for a whole bunch of reasons.

I also didn’t mind revisiting Victorian London as the setting is one that various anime have utilised again and again with varying results. But when they get it right, something kind of magical happens and long time readers of my blog will know about my love of Black Butler which is also set in the era (though I’ve learned my lesson and will never watch another historical anime set in this era with one particular friend of mine who spent the entire run time of Black Butler pointing out historical inaccuracies).

Click here for more anime reviews.

What made me particularly interested in Moriarty the Patriot (or Yuukoku no Moriarty) was that from the title it was clear we were going to be focused not on the detective but on the man who becomes his antagonist. More than that it seemed like we were going to very much explore Moriarty’s motives and worldviews that shaped him into the criminal mastermind we are somewhat more familiar with.

Moriarty preparing to board ship from Moriarty the Patriot
Indeed – let’s see what this anime had to offer.

This review is going to end up being a bit strange because my impression of this anime very much changed from my initial impressions in episode 1, to my half-way impressions, to my final impressions. That is largely due to the fact that the opening act is strongly written, atmospheric, and generally intrigues, the mid-way point has kind of settled into more episodic and predictable patters, and then just after the half-way mark we finally meet Sherlock Holmes and from there the anime begins to split its focus away from Moriarty and to be honest I felt that was to the show’s detriment.

However, let us start with the first three episodes, which to be perfectly honest were everything I could have wanted going into this anime.

Outside of the fact that these apparently very English characters have largely standard anime hairtstyles (there’s some attempt to localise them but really, these boys are all rocking fairly contemporary anime looks), I loved the visuals in the first episode. The cuts to old statues, the use of a dark colour palette in the appropriate scenes, the fog and gloom that we associate with the city and era just worked.

Even the music in the episode relied heavily on the organ and while it might have been a little on the melodramatic side it still served the purpose for the story as did the periodic thunder in the background. Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely sold on the boppy techno-esque music that hit us at the end of the episode as it was just a little on the jarring side.

Albert - Episode 1 - Moriarty the Patriot
Albert’s really perfected that bored expression.

Equally, the first episode delivered in terms of story and character introduction. We meet the three Moriarty brothers, Albert, William and Louis and learn a little about the dynamics of how they operate as we see them investigate a series of murdered boys in the town and then organise for ‘justice’ to be served.

There is definitely a bit of a comparison to be made between these characters, particularly William, and Light from Death Note. Admittedly, Moriarty doesn’t go as over-the-top in being drunk on his own power and also has no particular supernatural assistance, but both Light and Moriarty see their world as rotten and in need of fixing and both take fairly extreme measures in order to repair what they perceive as broken.

I also like that Moriarty has a great ambition here. He wants to improve the world even if he has to break the existing society down in order to achieve that and he isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty even if he usually prefers to work via proxy leaving him clear to take the next step in his grand plan.

For those who are a little on the squeamish side, there will be blood and vengeance in this story. Between stabbings, poisonings, potential shootings, and burning a building down with the family inside, this one isn’t a shiny-happy story full of happy characters. That said, it also ensures each of these deaths serves a narrative purpose and while it doesn’t shy away from showing the killing, it doesn’t really glorify it either. Here, death is a tool and murder a means to an end.

William Moriarty (the original) - Moriarty the Patriot
And some of these characters really are just asking for it.

Immediately after a strong first episode, the audience is given the background on how these brothers came together and how the dynamic formed, as we are given a two episode reminiscence of how Albert Moriarty came to meet William and Louis and just how they ended up ‘brothers’.

This is definitely what I wanted going into this anime as we see a young Moriarty developing his views on the England at the time, the class system, as well as his own sense of morality. Realistically, I could have been happy with this anime ending after episode 3 as seeing young Moriarty was a pretty solid viewing experience.

You know, aside from the fact that various noble characters are ridiculous caricatures rather than human beings in how they make their class prejudices and overall stupidity abundantly clear. A lack of subtlety in the characterisation of every character outside of the central protagonists is an ongoing issue with the series. Sure, you get the point across that things are really messed up and that the noble classes aren’t exactly to be pitied, however they are all just so blunt in their power abuse and general despicable attitudes.


The mid-season works rather effectively as we move back to the brothers being grown up and we end up in a fairly episodic sequence where Moriarty becomes aware of a situation and offers ‘assistance’ and we see just how clever he really is as he plans out and executes what he calls ‘perfect crimes’. Again, a serious failing here is that while Moriarty does appear to be quite the genius, it is difficult to really appreciate him when every character he’s up against is so very, very stupid.

Moriarty - I'd like to have a brief word with you - from Moriarty the Patriot
Ah, but what will come after that brief word.

Despite that criticism there’s a nice range of scenarios carried out over the episodes and Moriarty is actually quite fascinating as a character here. I just kind of wish the supporting cast and the villains and victims of the week were written better in order to really showcase him in a better light.

We also are introduced to two other members of Moriarty’s network who then hang around and support in all subsequent cases (which kind of makes you wonder where they were in the first episode). I’d like to say that the two brought something to the party, but other than anonymity (which none of the Moriarty brothers have) and some weapon skills, they ultimately don’t amount to much.

The turning point, is of course the two part episode in the mid-season where Moriarty boards a boat to stage a wonderful show for nobles and commoners alike and while on board encounters another young man who seems to have a gift for deduction. This particular story is great with the only negative I can find being again the seriously over-the-top villainous nature of the noble at the centre of the story. As a first encounter between Moriarty and the later-to-be-identified Sherlock, it also works exceptionally well.

Murder on stage? - from Moriarty the Patriot
Yeah, you aren’t talking your way out of that.

Unfortunately for me, this was where the series did take a turn for the less interesting with subsequent episodes focusing on Sherlock meeting Watson and Moriarty setting up an elaborate ‘test’ for the consulting detective. The only real high point from the end season comes when the two end up coincidentally on the same train and end up solving a crime on board.

Possibly it is because Sherlock’s story is so well-known and so seeing something that had originally provided a different take and perspective on the characters suddenly shift to the standard Watson meeting Sherlock narrative was a bit of a disappointment, or it could be that really once Sherlock comes along Moriarty’s screen-time is reduced and he was very much a selling point for me in this.

The other disappointment comes as episode 11 ends without really establishing where to next but leaves lots of loose ends. Admittedly, there’s a second half or season that’s supposed to air in the Spring 2021 season which may actually give this a bit more of a finish, but as it stands it just kind of stops leaving the audience without much in the way of closure or resolution.

When left wondering if I recommend this I’m in two minds. Part of me thinks yes, if you enjoy this kind of mystery story and don’t mind taking the villain’s perspective for the majority, there’s plenty to enjoy particularly in the early part of the series. Depending on how you take Sherlock’s episodes later in the season, there’s no real change in quality throughout, so you might find these more or less enjoyable depending on whether you like this particular anime’s take on the detective.

Despite that, this isn’t a must watch and while I really enjoyed this depiction of Moriarty, too many other characters just don’t feel nuanced enough or well written enough to really do the overall concept justice. I appreciate what it was trying to convey but felt it could have done it better.

Still, if you’ve watched Moriarty the Patriot I would love to know your thoughts on it.

Images used for review from: Moriarty the Patriot. Dir. K. Nomura. Production I. G. 2020.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Moriarty The Patriot 2nd Season Episode 12 Review

Moriarty Episode 12
Moriarty ep12 2
Regardless of the Sherlock version, I always find Mycroft and obnoxious character.

I’m not actually sure if this is a season 2 for Moriarty the Patriot or just a continuation of the first season with a bit of a gap in the middle, but we are picking up where we left off and AnimeLab declares this episode 12 so who am I to argue.


That said, I was really looking forward to returning to Moriarty and this episode focuses more or less entirely on Sherlock and Watson. To say I was a little less than thrilled would be an understatement even if the episode was more or less a decent re-entry into the Moriarty narrative.

Moriarty ep12 9
Now the question is, will Moriarty appear for more than two minutes in the next episode?

While it might seem like I started this off critically, most of the rest of this post is going to be a pretty positive impressions post for this returning series. Watson and Holmes have some decent chemistry at the beginning of this episode and Mycroft’s appearance and cryptic (to the point of being practically useless) warning to Sherlock at least sets a solid scene to work from. Throw in the visual gag/shock of Sherlock being shot (by a paint-gun) and this opening is actually pretty entertaining – if only I wasn’t waiting for a different character to take centre stage.


As the episode continues, we get a somewhat overly complicated scenario which seems like it will put Sherlock and Moriarty on opposite sides once again. There’s the woman who disguises herself as a foreign king in order to hire Sherlock to steal a photo before returning to her house to wait for Sherlock to appear and then burns her own house down in order to move in with Sherlock and all so that… You know what, it is a slightly ridiculously convoluted plot and that’s just her plays.

Moriarty ep12 6
Here she is, miss perfectly innocent.

Meanwhile, Mycroft is selecting the older Moriarty to retrieve papers from a woman and he’s of course dragging his brothers into the scenario and really it is one of those situations that just wouldn’t occur outside of a mystery plot and probably won’t resolve in a way that makes it feel worthwhile but at least watching the set-up and opening moves has been fun.

Basically, if you liked season one, here is more of the same with more Sherlock and less Moriarty. If season one didn’t sell you on Moriarty the Patriot, there’s little in this episode that will change your mind. For me, I’m hoping for more Moriarty going forward and I’m curious as to where this current situation will go before it comes to some kind of resolution.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Why Writing Smart Anime Characters Isn’t Easy

Smart Anime

There’s smart anime characters, and then there are geniuses who surpass all others, but it isn’t always easy getting these characters right.

Genius characters in fiction aren’t new. They’ve appeared in detective stories, fantasies, psychological dramas and so on for a long time and while we remember the Sherlock’s and Moriarty’s who seem to have gotten the balance just right, many characters and their ‘genius’ are largely overlooked and quickly forgotten by those who encounter them.

Which seems odd given even a mediocre action based character can remain pretty entertaining just so long as he hits things hard enough (and the audience cares about why he’s doing it). So why are smart characters harder to write and have work well for the audience?

Random aside, earlier this week I ran a poll on Twitter to find out who my followers thought the best smart anime character was. Despite Lelouche getting an early lead, Light came back in the end and stole victory by the skin of his teeth. Though I will point out that there were a lot of comments for Senku and then Yang Wen-Li.

Light, L and Ryuk - Death Note
There’s genius and then there’s evil genius.

The reason I most recently started thinking about this issue again is my recent viewing of Moriarty the Patriot (Yuukoku no Moriarty) where I found Moriarty was a really well written character who I quite enjoyed but the anime as a whole suffered because of the efforts made to make him appear so much smarter than everybody else. The characters Moriarty interacted with and manipulated were at times blindingly stupid or at the very least incredibly naïve.

One particular character, having already murdered someone, just accepted Moriarty’s advice about next steps without actually thinking anything through himself. And while you might argue that the character in question was distraught by the events that had unfolded, a more appropriate reaction might have been actually just stabbing Moriarty (which would have upset his overall plan enormously).

Likewise, other characters follow along with plans seemingly without ever considering their own actions and while I’m willing to accept that given the era a general lack of educational standards there’s almost nobody in the anime even acting with what one would consider an average amount of thought; and all so that Moriarty could really rise above and shine with his incredible intellect that seemingly predicted all manner of events, circumstances, and human psychology.

Sebastian Moran from Moriarty the Patriot
First rule of being a support character when there is a genius protagonist – don’t think.

Part of this probably comes about because, let’s be honest, most of the authors are not super-criminal geniuses themselves. While they have the advantage of pre-planning and controlling all the narrative variables, ultimately the ploys and plans delivered by these genius characters were concocted by someone who was probably just hoping not to trip over their own logic and tangle their narrative in a knot.

What I found particularly interesting about Moriarty the Patriot is that ultimately it uses the same device as Death Note to ensure that there is some balance in the cast (though realistically Moriarty was always going to given the literary inspiration). That is, both anime introduce a character foil to ultimately oppose them in order to provide some sense of conflict into the story, and both anime end up having a genuine friendship, or at least respect, forming between the two characters despite their oppositional moral stances.

L from Death Note
Yep, he’s a genius.

Of course, Death Note had the same issue of the vast majority of the cast (particularly all the policemen and people investigating who were not L) were pretty much unable to add 2 and 2 together consistently (though some in Death Note did at least get the occasional moment of intelligent dialogue just to ensure we didn’t write them all off as incompetent).

However, outside of the detrimental effect smart anime characters frequently have on the intelligence levels of their supporting cast, other issues emerge. Code Geass fans will know how incredible Lelouche’s ability to plan and outwit his opponent is. Why we even start off the series with a chess game won from a more or less unwinnable position within moments just to show-off how smart he is.

Of course, Lelouche is one of those characters who very quickly goes from being a driven and smart character to being a super-human who seems to have pre-cognitive abilities because a lot of what he pulls along the way in his story is just so far-fetched it defies actual belief. It’s a lot of fun, but you can’t for a moment take him seriously as an actual person because ultimately he’s a step ahead because he is and he conveniently always seems to get the information he needs at just the right moment.

Lelouch Lamperouge - Code Geass
Alright, genius and drama queen.

Okay, in fairness, things do go wrong for Lelouche at various points in the story, usually because despite being a genius he is a teenager and sometimes doesn’t quite think before he speaks or plan things quite all the way through and his opposition has some god-level intel at times as well so really let’s just throw Code Geass entirely into the realm of fantasy and call it a day.


With difficulty balancing out a cast to make your smart character seem smarter without crossing into the realms on unbelievable some writers actually go the other way (and this is where we get a whole lot of forgettable supposedly genius characters). When I reviewed Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist I kind of pointed out one of the things that really didn’t work for me about the anime; the main character being ‘brilliant’.

My main point was that the audience is told again and again, by William, teachers, other students, the anime synopsis, that William is brilliant and yet I couldn’t point to one decision or action William takes in the entire anime that actually seemed to demonstrate it.

Of course, some anime try to get around these problems and largely succeed by simply making their super-smart character really, really quirky. I’m kind of feeling Ed from Cowboy Bebop but there’s a lot of these characters who the writer seems to have balanced their abundance of brilliance in one department by making them more or less non-functioning humans in others.

Professor Stein in Soul Eater with his obsession with dissection would be another example of a character whose overall intelligence and competence is balanced out by a fairly debilitating character quirk. However, on that note I actually thought of an anime that went with the quirky genius model and kind of pulled it off.

Steins;Gate - Kurisu and Okabe pose in their lab coats.
Yep, Steins;Gate.

Probably the only reason Steins;Gate works is the majority of the core cast are brilliant in their own way, and those that aren’t genius’ all have a particular personality trait or skill set that is necessary to make the plot continue to churn along. That, and Okabe is a fairly erratic character who keeps getting pulled up short by Kurisu. Kurisu meanwhile constantly needs to be pushed out of her comfort zone by Okabe in order for things to progress.

Still, it seems that a lot of writers do have a difficult time balancing their cast when building it around a genius. Or worse, they diminish their genius character in order to make the cast dynamics work but then the core personality trait they seemed to be aiming for is more or less abandoned.

Despite the difficulties, when it is done well, these smart anime characters (or any work of fiction really) definitely leave an impression. What that means is we will probably continue to see writers play around with this particular archetype with varying degrees of success.

Before finishing I did just want to share a link to my list of top 5 smart anime characters. Realistically, Moriarty from Moriarty the Patriot deserves a spot but I just haven’t figured out where on the list he should go. But I would love to know who your favourite smart anime characters are so be sure to give them a shout out in the comments.

Images used in article:

  • Moriarty the Patriot. Dir. K Nomura. Production I.G. 2020.
  • Death Note. Dir. T. Araki. Madhouse. 2006.
  • Code Geass. G. Taniguchi. Sunrise. 2006.
  • Steins Gate. Dir. H. Hamasaki. White Fox. 2011.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James