Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Expanding Holmes: Review of Sherlock Bones, vol. 3

Sherlock Bones, volume 3, story by Yuma Ando and Art by Yuki Sato. Graphic novel.

As I said when I reviewed volumes 1 and 2 of this manga, this series requires a “leap of faith” to accepts the series’ wild premise. Japanese schoolboy Takeru adopted a puppy who turned out to be the reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes, who informs the boy that he is in fact Watson. And the pair help Takeru’s father and sister, both police officers, solve crimes.   

The core of this volume is the 4-part A Golfer’s Glory. Takeru joins his family to play golf for the first time, and meet up with a pair of professional golfers who happen to be playing at the same time. The dog witnesses one of the pros kill his rival, and he and Takeru work out how to prove it. The case turns on details revealed in photographs taken during the round.

Photography also plays a key role in the final story, which is a cliffhanger, concluding in the next volume.  A candidate for student body president has photo-shopped his opponent into a compromising positiong, abut Sherdog believes he can prove the guilty party!

The volume also contains a one-off “Sherdog at home” story, and a 3-parter about a suspicious suicide. That one turns on a series of math equations that the killer, an after-school tutor, had taught Takeru (and Sherdog) in their past tutoring sessions. Oh, the irony.

This volume seemed more plot-heavy than the prior two. There was less of Sherdog as pt-upon English gentleman, or Takeru’s crush on his longtime friend Miki. And Takeru’s sister Airin only appears in one story, reducing the amount of “Irene Adler” daydreaming for the dog. I hope that these do not represent the series’ moving away from its base in the lore of Sherlock Holmes.

All of these stories involve school or family drama in one way or another, in addition to the Holmesian mysteries. So there is the potential for melodrama, and if a reader is not in the mood for that, or for the manga-style art, this might not be the read for them. But if the wacky premise doesn’t stop you, the content can be quite enjoyable.

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