Opinions (B+):

Boy am I glad this series turned out exactly as I imagined it. Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes (Or The Holmes of Kyoto as crunchyroll titles it) is just the kind of series that I’ve been yearning for in the more recent seasons. We just haven’t had a character driven, slice of life style mystery series in a good while, the last one of note being a good three years ago with Beautiful Bones ~Sakurako’s Investigation ~.

Since 2015, we’ve certainly had the occasional mystery series, and I distinctly remember Sagarada Reset tiding me over late last year. The issue of course, is that Sagarada Reset was really a plot driven story, with the characters and the general atmosphere being less important to that series than what we got from Sakurako-san or from the debut episode of Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Sanjou no Holmes is hardly a masterpiece. This opening episode, clearly shows that this is not a show that will appeal to everyone, and I think that’s fine. A show that appeals to mystery buffs and just generally has a much more tone down story that focuses on likable characters and character dynamics, is something that I personally tend to really dig. Its not something that gets a lot of love from the western Anime audience as a whole, but damn if a show like this doesn’t get me super excited.

What I look for in a mystery show is really two things, the general premise, and the chemistry between the leads. In this case, the chemistry between the female lead Aoi and the Holmes of the story “Yagashira Kiyotaka” is definitely strong and entertaining. The dynamic between the two is complex. There’s admiration, kindness, friendship, a sort of mentor mentee relationship and there’s also the innate romantic tension between the two.

And in a nice change of pace, the dynamic here is one of an older guy with a seemingly teenage girl, told from the perspective of the girl. Its something we haven’t seen that much from anime lately, and my mind immediately wandered back to a sort of different series entirely, Ghost Hunt. Ghost Hunt had a similar situation in that the story was told from a High school girl’s prespective as she got involved with an Occult Ghost Hunter (who happened to be an older rather good looking guy).

The good looking older guy is certainly here, but Kiyotaka is very much the typical “bishounen” pretty boy that women just love to dig and fantasize over. Its an interesting idea, and one that I think adds a breath of fresh air to the typical “Modern Day Japanese Holmes” premise. Plus, the added realism of having Kiyotaka be an expert on Antiques as much as people, is a nice change of pace.

I can believe someone with the attention to detail regarding antiques be a sort of Holmes like character, more so than someone who just solves murders. It makes sense, even if Kiyotaka himself kind of borders on being a bit too perfect of a guy. But, given that we see the events of this episode from Aoi’s rather love struck perspective, I’m sure the flaws in this guy will be shown off eventually.

Plus, beyond just the basic premise and the two leads, there’s a colorful world and cast of interesting supporting characters present as well. Even the completely one off characters we see in the flashback this week, were certainly interesting and left an impression. Which, honestly, is quite impressive given how little screen time they have and how we barely know anything about them. Yet, even as customers just looking to get something appraised, they’ve got some character and nuance to them, that made them work in the construct of the flashback.

Then of course, there’s the owner Grandfather and the dad, who both add some interesting variations to the show’s cast. it seems that Kiyotaka is the most mature out of all the males in his family, and some of that may be because of how eccentric his father and grandfather really are. Which again, adds a bit of color and nuance to an otherwise seemingly standard story.

Of course, I will admit that the actual antique stuff started out a bit drab for me. I was worried that the show would simply be too geeky for its own good, but thankfully the show alleviated my fears as soon as we got into the flashback and Aoi’s first meeting with Kiyotaka.

The fact that Kiyotaka didn’t outright judge and condemn Aoi for what was a rash youthful indiscretion, made for something, once again, that was a bit different than what I’m used to. It was Kiyotaka’s empathy and kindness that got through to Aoi, more so than any sense of arrogance or moral high ground that he may have clearly had. Having an empathetic, good looking pretty boy main lead that’s also got some Holmes like observational skills, and then pairing him up with a rather brash and frankly immature girl like Aoi? Well its certainly an interesting recipe that this show has cooking here.

There’s a less interesting sub plot about some counterfeit stuff in the episode as well, which I’m sure will come into play as the series progresses. Only time will tell if the show will be able to provide, good solid mysteries or if this will be a show that will live and die by its characters and their antics.

Either or is fine by me, and I’ll say that while I wasn’t blown away by this week’s episode, it did tick all the right boxes for me. In a season that’s basically only got solid sequels in it, I’m kind of glad for a sleeper hit show like Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes. The animation isn’t superb (its Studio Seven afterall), but the Art Direction is gorgeous and the character designs definitely pleasing to the eye. The use of color, the bright cheery tones for the show in general and the music and background work is enough to get me interested in this series.

To that end, unless the show completely bungles it in the next few episodes, I’m pretty sure I’m going to cover it for its 24 episode run. Here’s hoping we get more of the good we saw this week, next week and onward.

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The Owner, webmaster, designer, coder and writer for the site. Anime Evo is Setsuken’s (Hassan's) proclamation of love for Anime, which he can’t seem to get enough of. He’s a 26 year old male, and current resides in the USA . A writer for a number of years Hassan is also a 3D Artist, a Game Designer, a Web Designer and a Huge Anime Obsessed Enthusiast.

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