I started this series back in 2014 so it’s cool to have finally taken it down for the count. It’s a pretty unique mystery series that did some things pretty well. That being said, it is held back quite a bit by the unnecessary fanservice that pops up throughout. Seriously, whyyyyyy? Fanservice is always a bad thing, but it’s even worse when it’s just thrown in for no reason like in Fairy Tail. Even the poor dead victims in this series are used for fanservice, which is pretty sad.
Takeru was just an ordinary kid when he ran into a magical dog. It turns out that Sherlock Holmes has been reincarnated as a dog for some reason. He doesn’t know exactly why this happened and the viewers won’t either since the series ended before we could have a resolution to that plot. Regardless, he tells Takeru that they should solve a bunch of crimes and this inspired Takeru to be a junior detective and then to eventually join the police force. He’ll have to catch a lot of criminals but with the help of the greatest detective in the world, it’ll be easy right?
One major switch that this series does instead of the conventional detective titles if you always know who the culprit is from the start. The chapters typically start off with us seeing the murder and then seeing the victim hide the evidence and create the alibi. It’s a rather interesting look at the crime because in other titles you only see these things through flashbacks or testimony like in Detective Conan. We then have to see how Takeru will put the pieces together and prove it. It’s a very unique method of showing a murder mystery and I thought that the series did a really good job of it.
Unfortunately, that couldn’t save the series from its biggest issue of all, fanservice. The series had a habit of throwing it in just about every volume. Victims would have their clothes tattered a little, Takeru would walk in on people still changing, and others would just strip because Sherlock couldn’t control himself. There is a plot twist at the end about how Sherlock actually could control himself though so that makes things even worse. Regardless, it was always added just for sales and more views I suppose, but it made the series a little more low-brow than it should have been. You never see Detective Conan using tricks like that now do you? It’s really just the author admitting that he/she needs fanservice in order for the volumes to sell and that’s sad.
Takeru is a pretty good main character. He gradually gets smarter as the series goes on and never loses his nerve. He does a good job of putting on the pressure and manages to solve quite a lot of cases. Sherlock does a lot of the work, but Takeru is still tasked with most of the hard jobs. That makes their partnership pretty equal. Takeru may not be Conan, but he’s still a fun lead to have around and the series would dip quite a bit without him. After all, Sherlock Holmes actually isn’t all that great as a main character. The running gag of him turning into a regular dog at times is really annoying and always leads to crude humor. As a dog, he talks a good game, but still manages to lose to his animal instincts after a while. He was needed as a character to get Takeru invested in the mysteries I suppose, but since his plot never actually went anywhere, it ultimately felt pointless. I’d have just preferred Takeru be a solo act by the end. Maybe Sherlock’s plot would have been cooler by the end if it had been resolved, but since it was not..the character wasn’t as impactful as you would have hoped.
Miki is Takeru’s friend and she shows up once in a while. As a reporter in training, she helps give Takeru an excuse to interrogate suspects at times and she loves being a part of the sleuthing process. She certainly came to Takeru’s aid quite a few times to save him from jams. Miki’s a nice enough character, but as she rarely got to appear, it is hard to say much else for her. That’s a nice start though. Airin is Takeru’s sister and she makes most of the actual arrests. After all, Takeru isn’t exactly authorized to do much once he finds the suspect so her police skills come in handy. She tends to underestimate him a lot though, but I suppose it’s warranted since he was never much of a detective before Sherlock came around.
Finally, we have Kento. He’s the hardcore rival from America and one of the more enjoyable characters. That being said, he is very extreme when he first shows up. He wants to spite Takeru so much that he actively tries to help criminals by giving them a good cover story and trying to poke holes in Takeru’s logic. Naturally, this doesn’t work since the truth can’t be covered up, but it does make him look bad. Still, Kento is supposed to be a genius in his own right and he does help solve some cases. By the end of the series, he does get along with Takeru and their partnership should be very effective in stopping crimes.
Sherlock Bones had good artwork. The characters are all very detailed and the art makes it easy to look at a page and see everything at once. It uses a lot of ink for dramatic moments and all of the villains have true faces which pop up. They end up looking pretty demonic and sinister which always adds a nice touch. The heroes are really the only characters who don’t suddenly turn crazy as everyone else goes bonkers once their plans are foiled.
Overall, Sherlock Bones didn’t last all that long. It had the makings of a good mystery series and without the fanservice, I’d probably have given it a 6. It was fun enough, but could have done more with the plot. Detective Conan can get away with having its plot move at a snail’s pace because the individual cases are always interesting and very well written. The cases here are also thought out fairly well, but they aren’t nearly as detailed and since you always know who did it, part of the mystery is solved for you. It’s a great change of pace and I wouldn’t mind Conan doing it sometimes, but I also want mysteries where you have to figure out who did it. Part of the fun in a case is figuring out who did it right? If you can get past the fanservice then this is a decent series to read, but at the same time you should probably just read a better detective series like Detective Conan or Zodiac P.I. Those have the mysteries without the dicey parts so that’s a plus.