Ongoing Investigations: Case #105

hisuiconAfter hearing several rave reviews Narutaki and I were interested in seeing the Sherlock preview at the New York Comic Con but since that was the weekend of missing out on things we never got the chance to watch it. When we did find it playing on public television we eagerly gave it a look. The show is modernization of the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries. While we have all the classic characters like Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft, and Moriarty but at the same time Sherlock has iPhone, Watson has just returned home from the Afghanistan conflict, and everyone has a web page. The cases themselves are loose reimaginings of  some of the original Shelrock Holmes mysteries. Sherlock himself has the right mix of genius, charisma, and full on prat that defines the character and makes him so iconic. At the same time Sherlock and Watson have a fun dynamic that sells the show (and would have people running to the Internet to complain about fan girl bait if this were an anime.) I did notice a bit of a vibe that I see in House which I found highly amusing because it means the influence may have come full circle. House was heavily influenced by the original Sherlock Holmes and now it seems that influence has come home to roost. Like many British TV shows the first season is extremely short with only 3 ninety minute episodes. The 2nd episode was the weakest of the three but they were all very entertaining and had a good mixture of action, comedy, and most importantly sleuthing. The only real downside in the first season ends on a cliff hanger so if you watch this you are just going to be on the edge of your seat for the conclusion.

I just can’t help myself, I really must talk about the BBC Masterpiece Mystery 3-part Sherlock (2010) series. This a modern telling of the classic detective unlike any done before, and wow did they set the bar high. The production quality is wonderful and well-crafted. Turning Sherlock and Watson into characters who live in the 21st century is a smooth transition in this series. Sherlock still relies on his incredible memory and capacity for noticing the smallest details but he does use some modern science once in a while. The reaction to him by the police is also a nice touch with most afraid of him or thinking he is a sociopath. As for Watson his war trauma and not feeling right in society is perfectly suited, and as my dad said “Watson always carried his gun.” Oh and I love that he has a blog about the cases. The dynamic between these two is comical at times but more comfortable than anything else despite them only meeting for the first time in part 1, in this I feel you can see the House influence the most. Watson is exasperated by Sherlock but also gripped by his insight and the mysteries. The first mystery is wholly gratifying in its puzzle, climax, and ending. Pretty much perfect. The second’s mystery is a little less solid but nevertheless good, and it was nice to see the solution be a bit unexpected. The final case is very intense because of the cat and mouse angle. And as everyone has already said, the cliffhanger is a major one (on par with that darned Twin Peaks first season cliffhanger!). It is excitement for the series that makes it devastating to wait a year for more of this brilliant rendition.

Continue reading

The Speakeasy: A Reverse Thieves Podcast – Drink #011

Anime 3000 presents The Speakeasy Podcast:
Drink #011: Absinthe Minded, Under the Influence of Gainax

The new season chart comes out and anime fans rush to blogs, forums, twitter, IRC, clubs, and anywhere and everywhere else otaku go to discuss their hobbies. They talk about what shows will be horrible and which shows hopefully meet their expectations. But it seems that no matter what they make, everyone will always discuss one studio and oddly enough usually in glowing terms. This studio is Gainax. Why does Gainax get this free pass from a fandom known for bitterness and pessimism? Does Gainax deserve this lofty status? Also why does everyone forget they made He Is My Master? Are they repressing painful memories?

(Listen) (Show Notes)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

Absinthe Minded

Ingredients:
3 oz Bombay Saphire gin
1/2 oz Absinthe Original
1/2 oz Grand Marnier orange liqueur
dry vermouth
1 orange peel

Properly chill 1 cocktail glass. In mixing glass with ice, pour gin and absinthe, and stir. In your cocktail glass, roll 1/2 oz of dry vermouth and throw away the excess. Strain other ingredients into cocktail glass and float 1/2 oz of grand marnier over top. Garnish with orange peel.

Ongoing Investigations: Case #077

It was a natural combination that was an inevitability like the teaming up of Jackie Chan and Jet Li we have the combination of Detective Conan and Sherlock Holmes. Thankfully Detective Conan Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street turn out better than The Forbidden Kingdom. When Conan and his detective gang are invited to the world premier of a high tech virtual reality game the festivities quickly turn to a race to solve murders in real life and the virtual world. The draw of the movie is going to be Conan substituting for the world greatest detective as he tries to solve the Jack the Ripper murders in a virtual London. The fact that if they lose the game everyone playing dies also ramps up the tension. The action in the virtual world and the real world work well in tandem but eventually tie together in an unexpected manner. There was always some bit of action or excitement going on which helped keep the movie lively. It was great to see Professor Moriarty and Sebastian Moran in the game as well although there is less Holmes than I expected. The Junior Detective League also seems like they were deliberately part of the script as opposed to crammed in like the other movies. Overall it was a good time and a fine addition to the franchise.

I can’t tell you how trilled I was when I got my hands on this movie, I insisted that it be next on this list. My goodness, what a combination: Conan (love!), Sherlock Holmes (love!), 19th century London (love!), and a Jack the Ripper mystery (love!). I really enjoyed that the creators finally cooked up away to bring all those elements together even if it takes place in a virtual world. And the virtual reality aspect of this film tells you exactly when it was made, the mid-90’s when everyone was convinced that was going to be the next big thing! But it’s not like Detective Conan isn’t already set around some pretty crazy technology so this doesn’t seem out of place. Everyone contributes a lot to this movie and we even get an appearance from Conan’s parents. There are of course many twists and turns, and this one does have some very suspenseful moments. I found the final confrontation scene especially thrilling and once again tip my hat to Ran, in fact the franchise is very good at the final scenes overall. Detective Conan Movie 6: The Phantom of Baker Street is a great romp in the collection!

Continue reading