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20 home / october 2002 / reviews Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Sherlock Hound Casefile IV
Bilingual DVD
4 Episodes
100 minutes
For those unfamiliar with the famous detective, it is one the children might get a kick out of.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Sherlock Hound Casefile IV
By Ridwan Khan

Sherlock Hound: Case File IV follows in the style of the previous discs in the Sherlock Hound series. This is surprising because of the change of staff from the first few episodes of the series. The first episodes of Famous Detective Holmes, which featured London's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his various friends and rivals, as anthropomorphic dogs, was directed by Hayao Miyazaki, while the episodes on this disc, and every disc since disc two, are an Italian/Japanese co-production, with a different staff.

In their latest adventure, Holmes and Watson struggle with Professor Moriarty's latest schemes. In one episode, the duo track down missing French art students, while in another they cunningly solve the mystery of a message hidden in an ancient sword case. On this disc Holmes also gets to the bottom of the Thames, in order to find a "monster" (really one of Moriarty's contraptions) and in the process helps reunite a young couple. Sherlock Hound is definitely a series for the younger set. While Conan-Doyle's famous pair deftly gets to the bottom of Moriarty's plots. Moriarty, his cronies Smiley and Todd, and the bumbling Inspector Lestrade offer slapstick comedy that mostly will appeal to the seven and under crowd.

However, these episodes do mark a change from the first and second discs. The original episodes tended to remain close to the original Holmes; the new episodes on this disc elaborate on Holmes' prototype Benz and other machines to a comic degree. Moriarty rides a golden pterodactyl and invents digging machines, in what seems to be a cop out to normal cartoon hijinks. This cheapens original show's sincerity noticeably. Additionally, Holmes and Watson battle no one but Professor Moriarty. While a villain-of-the-week formula would also end up being repetitive, the show is in need of some variety.

Visually, the Sherlock Hound is showing its age. While the animation style is not up to today's standards, it does have its own charm. It takes some getting used to, but is cute in its own way. Audio on this disc is pretty standard - nothing terrible, but nothing great either. The Japanese language dialogue is well done; the voices truly match the characters. Holmes especially is well voiced, with a calm and collected voice that suits his character. On the other hand, the English language track is atrocious. Holmes and Watson feature bad British accents and Moriarty sounds suspiciously like Hanna Barbara's Snidely Whiplash. This DVD also features an interesting extra; it has a reel of promotional clips from the show's television run. It is not anything to get excited over, but is an addition to the otherwise barren TV series discs.

As for content, the disc is suitable for all ages, as it only features some very mild cartoon violence. The Japanese side has brief nudity in some artwork in one episode, which is relatively tame (yet a bit unsettling, since the painting is of an anthropomorphic dog), but that is the most objectionable content on the whole disc.

If you have watched any of Sherlock Hound before, then you've already made up your mind about the series, I'm sure. If you liked previous discs, IV offers the same Holmes, albeit, out of Miyazaki's hands. For those unfamiliar with the famous detective, it is one the children might get a kick out of.

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