First Impressions: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

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Summary: “Toys” grant people incredible powers like superhuman strength and telekinesis but these powers create a new generation of super criminals. Detectives must utilize the powers of their own “toys” in order to stop them. Milky Holmes is a team of four prodigy detectives renowned for their abilities but during a fight with a team of thieves they mysteriously lose their powers.

Review: Milky Holmes attempts to fuse the magical girl genre with a detective story featuring the four character detective team who are able to wield unique powers in order to track down thieves and prevent crimes. Many of the tropes of the Magical Girl genre are here including the colorful, flashy outfits and the main 1 character’s sense of justice. Even the villains, a colorful team of master thieves with their own unique costumes and powers, seem to be pulled right out of a magical girl series. But there is a detective theme to it, which is odd because the first episode features no case for the characters to solve. From the “test” given to Milky Holmes to prove they have lost their powers, detective work consists of using their special abilities in order to manipulate the world around them. Now the strange thing is… the main characters have lost of those powers. So where is the show?

The show will be about Milky Holmes attempt to regain their lost ability and that isn’t as compelling as “magical girl detectives.” Judging from the attitudes for the characters in the first episode they don’t even seem to really care that their powers have gone except that they have lost the respect and privilege that comes with being the most renowned detectives in their school. 3

The incomprehensible plot involves this team of ridiculous thieves infiltrating the academy for detectives in  every level; as teacher, as student, as student council president, and janitor. Now, I’m no detective in training but if I were.. I bet I could eventually spot one of the five criminals especially with the flamboyant one posing as Milky Holmes’ homeroom teacher! I liked the idea of magical girls acting as detectives but the villains ruin the show. Just the facts that they can be inside the school and have constant interaction with a massive student body all training to become detectives… detectives! A profession that involves looking for clues in order to find criminals… I need to stop writing this paragraph before I punch someone.

2  The four main characters are bland, forgettable, generic moe characters. You can barely tell them apart until they do one of their signature actions such as “be bossy” or “cower” and so they don’t redeem the lackluster plot. Even the animation feels dated and uninteresting. Plus, there is clearly a lot of information left out of the first episode that we could get if we had played the game such as who is Opera Koyabashi, the person in charge of Milky Holmes, is, why is so important, and where is he? He is only mentioned once or twice and in a tone that suggested the audience should already know who he is. I have a feeling this show isn’t supposed to be treated as a standalone but intended as fan service for those already familiar with the PSP game.

Verdict: Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is a silly series with a ridiculous plot that feels like it was made fifteen years ago. It spoils it’s one interesting aspect by having the characters powers taken away in the first episode and because of that seems to only serve as fan service to people who were already familiar with the franchise. Don’t waste your time.

Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is being Simulcast on Crunchyroll.com.

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