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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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Karandi James