A (human) index that likes to code
Also drinks way too much coffee
Published Feb 15, 2021
Moriarty the Patriot (憂国のモリアーティ)
In my opinion, this is the hidden gem of Fall 2020; perhaps I am too intoxicated by my love for the psychological genre, but I never expected an anime on the ever-so-popular Sherlock Holmes through the perspective of James Moriarty.
Sherlock Holmes is a repeating concept throughout many media, and individually has many interpretations attached to his name. In the context of anime, I am reminded of Aria Holmes Kanzaki from the Hidan no Aria series, an anime I consider a classical fundamental to the action-comedy-romance-school combo genre.
Aria H. Kanzaki illustrated on the Light Novel Cover | Source: Hidan no Aria Fandom Wiki
Aria is a descendent of Holmes, but she inherited none of Holmes’ wit and deduction skills - even in a action-comedy-romance-school combo genre anime, a tribute and interpretation of Sherlock Holmes is formed to better tell the story. However, while most media affectionately draw inspirations from Sherlock Holmes, none of them bat an eye on James Moriarty, who arguably is the most complex character in the tales spun from Sherlock Holmes’ legacy.
In Moriarty the Patriot, we see an interpretation of the prequel to the Sherlock Holmes novel in James Moriarty’s point-of-view. Minor spoilers: James Moriarty is a composite of three individuals; William, Albert, and Louis. These three individuals make up Moriarty’s intellect & cunning, nobility, and combat dexterity respectively. This creates an interesting dynamic between the characters, and opens up some possibilities to deviate from the “boring normal” of the typical Sherlock Holmes storyline.
Despite knowing the events that take place within the novel, “Moriarty the Patriot” creates a compelling story by telling it from a different point-of-view, not to mention the how easy it was to follow the plot thanks to the characters’ clear dialogue with one another.
James Moriarty 'William' | Source: Tumblr
Seeing the perspective of the antagonist of the Sherlock Holmes novels, and his overarching plan to achieve his goals is very refreshing - it made me think about how there is no difference in being overly good and overly evil; everyone is righteous from someone’s point-of-view. The true evil, is being neutral to it all.
Good. I mean, what did you expect? This anime is animated by the same studio in charge of Shingeki no Kyojin, Psycho-Pass, and the insanely popular shounen sport animes Haikyuu!! and Kuroko no Basket.
There is no need for world building; they are just locations to house the story. In other words, the locations have no real meaning, and can be replaced by any other city in Great Britain and have no impact to the story. The only exception to this is where the story is situated: in Great Britain - a place where nobility rules over commoners like farmers raising livestock. This is the only world-related thing that matters in the story, further serving as a main motive for James Moriarty; hence, is developed to hell and back in the anime.
It is important for certain characters to remain stagnant in terms of character building, to maintain the integrity of the story. Certain other characters, such as James Moriarty ‘Albert’, go through the typical character growth of resolution after confronting his source of hate.
Hidden gem which I personally enjoyed way too much; I even ignored my deadlines to binge the anime. Put this anime somewhere at the top of your anime bucket list, I’m sure you won’t regret it!