Sherlock Hound Casefile 5 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sherlock Hound

Sherlock Hound Casefile 5

By Chris Beveridge     October 02, 2002
Release Date: October 08, 2002

Sherlock Hound Casefile 5
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
221 Baker Street has gone to the dogs! Based upon Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective stories, Sherlock Hound delivers an inspiring introduction of these classic mysteries to new audiences. The wonderful story telling and signature directing styles from Japan’s best talent such as Hayao Miyazaki (Totoro, Princess Mononoke), re-populate Sherlock Holmes’ world with anthropomorphic dogs and a light touch suitable for all audiences!

Contains episodes:
Episode 19: The Rosetta Stone
Episode 20: The White Silver Getaway
Episode 21: The Disappearance of the Splendid Royal Horse
Episode 22: Disturbance: The World Flight Championship

The Review!
Sherlock Hound goes to the well again for four more episodes that, while predictable, are still rather charming and fun to watch.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in Japanese. Being over twenty years old, it's your basic stereo track that's really just mono with everything going through the center channel. It sounds good without any noticeable distortions but what sounds like a slight bit of hiss. It's hard for me to tell due to some hearing problems of my own. We also listened to the English track while writing the review and noted that it basically sounded the same and without any real problems.

The video side of things is two fold. We're given a bit of an explanation of the source materials, in that the video was remastered from the original 35mm source with the exception of the opening, ending and previews. This is quite noticeable when you watch it, as those three segments simply don't look as good as the actual show itself and are generally a bit darker and much grainier. The actual show itself though looks surprisingly good with great looking colors, solid backgrounds and a complete lack of cross coloration. This is probably the best the show has looked in years, if not since its original release.

The covers for this series are done up in something of a Victorian style look with the look of a novel almost. This cover features nice brown leather like background with a pencil sketch of Holmes, Watson and. The back cover features a few screenshots of the show and a quick idea of the shows premise while listing the episode numbers and titles. The foldout insert provides each of the episodes chapter information for each side of the disc and a larger version of the front cover sketch. The back side gives an interesting rundown on the history of the show an its origins.

The menus are identical on each side and consists of static images with the main menu being a book and you select to play everything, select an episode or check the credits. There's little else here, but moving around the menus is fairly quick and everything is laid out normally. On the plus side, when you play the Japanese side, it starts up subtitles automatically.

Hidden within the episode selection menu is a line art gallery that shows off a few pieces of conceptual artwork for the series.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The series now moves firmly into the twenty something episodes, and as expected, they’re continuing their nice episodic feel without trying to do anything larger or more ambitious. While this would be annoying with a lot of other series, it works very well here and fits in with the overall storytelling method for the Holmes mythos.

There are some more good episodes provided on this release. The Rosetta Stone episode provides some amusing takes on various nationalities as England is keeping the Stone in the British Museum, only to have Egyptian, French and Greek folks insist it belongs to them for various reasons. What ends up interrupting the argument is when one of the mummies, a rather Moriarty-like one in fact, starts complaining about a lack of sleep. Naturally, the museum shuts down and they all try to figure out what happened, only to realize that the Stone has floated out on its own and is making its getaway. The mystery provides an amusing leap to Japan as there’s a professor from there studying in England who gets involved. The little lecture about the Japanese living with nature as opposed to Europeans who want to tame it is interesting.

Another episode deals with the largest airship built in the country being readied for its maiden flight, but just before things are set to go off, certain documents and plans are stolen from the company building it. Nothing that a competitor would really want though, which causes the company president to bring in Holmes to look for whatever they may be plotting. We of course know it’s all about Moriarty, and it’s no surprise that he’s using the ship as an excuse to get his recent haul of loot he stole from the bank out of the area. I rather liked this episode a lot since it had a lot of open spaces and room to move around in, giving it a larger feeling.

While these episodes aren’t groundbreaking, I’m again very much drawn to the simpler nature of the storytelling. Having spent the past two years reading many many many children’s books to my daughter, I’ve become more accustomed to the style that’s required. That’s not to say Holmes is for two year olds, but it’s done in a manner that’s right for the target audience age. And in a sense, I’m enjoying reliving my simpler past. Good stuff.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Line Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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