Continuing what’s frequently felt like an extended project to revisit every single piece of media I’ve ever watched, read, played or otherwise consumed… here’s a show that a very, very young Tommy P once owned on VHS before he had even the slightest comprehension of anime.
SHERLOCK HOUND is likely the very last title anybody will think of whilst discussing Miyazaki; but it represents a side of the man’s imagination that I wish we saw more often. In this, I see the same sort of brawlin’, adventuresome slapstick that can be found in CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO, PORCO ROSSO and then nowhere else in the man’s filmography.
Considering how we just came off a year that saw no less than four modern reinterpretations of Sherlock Holmes, there’s something rather charming about a take that simply replaces all the humans with dog people and still plays things pretty straight. (I mean, the show even kept its tongue out of cheek when a little dog girl is fretting about her pet cat being lost. Roll that through your head again). It’s as if they could’ve just done anime version of Doyle’s books (and probably should have, given the later legal mess), but chose not to because they simply couldn’t resist a cute pun.
Really, the seriousness ofapproach is all-pervasive. Once again, I’m truly floored by how such an old show manages to be so much better rendered than contemporary offerings with three odd decades of advancement in their favor. And my mind really gapes at the level of detail and the lack of any apparent animation shortcuts on display throughout. I mean, even the way they handle the practical science and coin-by-coin illustration of the counterfeiting operation packs more concentrated, well-researched information than you’ll find in a whole half hour of some current shows.
In short, this is just effortlessly diverting, and a solid reminder that they really don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Watch this episode, "The Four Signatures" here and decide for yourself.