Sherlock Hound Casefile 6 -

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Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100/100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Sherlock Hound

Sherlock Hound Casefile 6

By Chris Beveridge     December 07, 2002
Release Date: December 12, 2002

Sherlock Hound Casefile 6
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
Case File VI contains Episodes 23-26: The Secret of the Parrot, The Bell of Big Ben, The Priceless French Doll, The Missing Bride Affair.

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!

The Review!
The final batch of episodes of the series plays out much like the rest of the show, in that we’re given four more standalone episodes that have the two gents doing what they do best, solving mysteries.

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 a good light brown faux leather color while the center piece has a prefect piece of artwork 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.

Tucked away in the episode guide listing again is a small conceptual artwork black and white gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sherlock Hound concludes their TV broadcast run not with a bang, but with more solid and entertaining episodes, leaving the window open for more to follow. Unfortunately, none did but there was a double bill movie where it ran at the same time as Nausicaa did. I really hope Pioneer has the movie and the extras, as there’s interviews with both Miyazaki and Kurosawa talking about Sherlock Hound.

But barring that, this volume is the end of the series, which means it’s charming if predictable adventures are over, though I know I’ll be watching them again. While the first five volumes were of scant interest before, this volume caught my daughters eye and shewatched all four episodes in a row with me with no comment all. Now, she can’t read much yet, never mind fast subtitles, but the visuals alone entranced her, and seeing that always gets me to re-evaluate what I watch, to try and find that hook myself.

There’s some good episodes here, with only the fist one really feeling weak. That episode dealt with a parrot that had been taught an important state secret in hits homeland of India and would only tell it to the Indian representative in England. So when the parrot gets stolen by a less than subtle Moriarty, the already involved Holmes and Watson start tackling the issue and do a decent job of actually setting up Moriarty.

A very entertaining episode is the “Priceless French Doll”, where Moriarty and Smiley go as a couple to a jewelry store that just got in an extremely expensive diamond. The two act out as a couple in love, then in anger and frustration over the jewel. When the manager tries to help, Moriarty swipes the diamond and the two leave before it’s noticed. A quick handoff into a doll a child is playing with earns the two freedom, but sets off a chase game as everyone is trying to find the jewel. The little girls are hilarious as they try to keep the doll away from everyone older than them, but the really comedic star here is the nanny who takes out everyone who gets in her charges way.

The closing episode is a rather good one as well, as it deals with a young woman whose chosen to marry someone her father doesn’t approve of, but ends up getting the help of Moriarty to get her away from the wedding chapel itself and onto a sea going vessel already out a ways. Moriarty is more than up to the task as he’s insisted upon a very precious jewel that she owns, and her new fiancé to be helps get the rest of the things in place for the return together to their new home. Lestrade initially classifies this as a woman simply changing her mind, but due to Moriarty, the police get involved and Holmes is brought in to help as well.

To some extent, even with the Miyazaki name during some of the early episodes, I’m really surprised that this series got brought over. It’s not the kind of show that will really make waves, but it will entertain a certain audience quite a lot. While I expect Lupin to be the big property that Pioneer and TMS are bringing over, I hope to see more of these under the radar classics show up under their label. This is a title I see becoming something that’s re-watched in the future with my kids as they get a bit older

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,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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