Oh no. Here I go again. Despite knowing Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou No Holmes is going to be that kind of series that involves solving mysteries or whatever cases that need that sort of detective intelligence, and that I wasn’t going to watch this as it isn’t really my cup of tea (although I do watch this kind of genre before), here am I doing the opposite. Why? Because damn the promotional poster of the series really had a really pretty girl on it! I never learn after all these years. If anime producers know this weakness of mine, they are going to put every promotional poster with a super bishoujo. Heh. That will get me to watch all the animes in the season no matter how much the story sucks. At least I have a pretty face to admire as I sit through the dozen episodes…

Episode 1
Aoi Mashiro is a depressed girl in spring. Until she stepped into an antique shop in Kyoto, Kura. Currently the shop which is a government licensed appraiser, is run by Kiyotaka “Holmes” Yagashira. Originally formed by his grandpa, Seiji who is overseas most of the time and his dad, Takeshi who is often out running errands, hence Holmes is left to run the shop. It has been 2 weeks since Aoi has been working part time here and sometimes Holmes gives her lessons on the antiques. Holmes’ nickname comes from his surname which has the word ‘home’ in it. One day, a strange man comes in to appraise some bowl. Holmes appraised it as fake and the man is not happy. In fact, Holmes can even tell from the way he dresses and acting that he knows this bowl is a counterfeit and came in here on purpose to make a quick buck thinking this young lad is inexperienced. On the contrary. That dude runs away after being busted. Aoi thinks of Holmes as an upright person since he considers counterfeits as blasphemy to those who love art. Flashback 2 weeks ago when Aoi came in, instantly Holmes could tell her situation with precise precision! He can tell she just moved here 6 months ago and has stolen something from her family to be appraised and sold. Damn this guy is sharp. Sure he isn’t some kind of psychic? Although he cannot buy from minors, he can still appraise it. He finds a couple of very beautiful paintings. One of them he could appraise at a couple of million yen but the other so rare he couldn’t put a price to it. Leaning it belongs to her late grandfather who loves to collect antiquities, Aoi further reveals the reason of trying to cash it in is to buy a train ticket back to Saitama. The guy she was dating wanted to break up. That is to be expected given their distance. However he soon found a new girlfriend who happens to be her best friend. Hence she wants to go all the way back to give them a piece of mind. We interrupt your crying as Holmes tells the story behind one of the scroll paintings. A baby who was given away and raised by another but then the real parents came and took it back. In reference to what Aoi is doing, now she feels ashamed for trying to sell her grandpa’s treasure just to go back. Holmes offers her to work here so she can earn enough to go back. After all, he believes she has a good eye. Or maybe just a gullible girl to do his bidding. Seiji returns from overseas and meets Aoi for the first time. He returned because of the word of convincing counterfeits making its rounds in antique shops lately.

Episode 2
One of the main festivals in Kyoto is a procession parade. A woman with wisdom, grace and social standing will be chosen as the Saio-dai to be carried on a palanquin for the procession. That lucky girl is Saori Miyashita. However there seems to be a problem as Saori, her sister Kaori and grandma enter Kura for help. Saori has been receiving a couple of threatening letters for her to step down as Saio-dai. Reading the letters and learning how she found them, it is hinted that Saori’s jealous friends might be the one behind this. Saori remembers being announced as the chosen one. While everyone in her flower arrangement club was happy, except her 2 friends. Obvious angry face is so obvious. They haven’t spoken since. Holmes request to speak to her friends but at the flower exhibition, she leaves Aoi alone to talk with them to find out more. But it won’t take long before they start running their mouths and even hoping their family business will go bankrupt. Holmes then arrange to meet Saori and the rest next morning before the procession starts. He reveals the one who wrote the first threatening letter is Kaori. Because the procession is very costly, he knows Kaori was concerned with the family’s financial standings as she attends a public school compared to Saori who attends a prestigious university. When Saori was announced, she hope of using this letter to sway her parents’ thoughts but it didn’t work. The second letter was written by Saori herself. He can tell the difference because of the difference in effort put into the letter! All by observing their different works at the exhibition?! Saori admits her goal is to become friends like they used to and by writing such letter she hoped they would get worried and be nice to her. Kaori is most upset for her resorting to such silly reasons and thought she was worried about the family finances too. She wants Saori to become Saio-dai so that her friends would one day boast they were once her friends. With this case solved, it’s time for the procession.

Episode 3
Holmes takes Aoi to hike Mt Kurama but it became an errand for them when Takeshi told them to visit a late friend of his, Kajiwara as his family had ‘issues’. While taking a break, Holmes knows Aoi has saved up enough to return to Saitama but she seems hesitant to go. Holmes explains he once had a girlfriend in high school. But he kept their relationship pure. I guess she must have been bored so in their college years, she went out with an arrogant guy. That’s why Holmes could understand how Aoi felt. When he learnt his ex-girlfriend is going to marry that arrogant guy, he felt relieved. Because if it was her destiny to find happiness in that guy, she would have left him eventually. So his advice to Aoi is to follow destiny naturally instead of forcing it. Arriving at Kajiwara’s estate, they are introduced to Kajiwara’s wife, Ayako and their sons, Fuyuki, Akihito and Haruhiko. As the secretary Kurashina explains, Kajiwara left 2 wills. The first one regarding the division of his assets. The second one to be opened a few months later. When he did, it was a vault containing 3 scrolls each for his sons. However the appraiser said they were reproductions and had no value. The issue is that all 3 scrolls were burnt. Holmes knows the culprit (what?!) but lacks proof. So he talks to the sons asking about their feelings of their inheritance portion. He also asks Ayako about not getting any although Kajiwara left her an aquamarine ring. As for how Kurashina met Kajiwara, he was once from a bike gang but saved his life from a thug who was upset with Kajiwara’s works. Holmes still finds it hard to explain why the culprit did it but explains why Kajiwara left the scrolls to the sons. It seems there is a hidden meaning for them to achieve greatness. But before he could explain Haruhiko’s, Ayako stops him and admits she was the one that burnt them. She claims she was mad she wasn’t left anything and never realized there was a message behind the scrolls. As Holmes takes his leave, Akihito and Fuyuki still want to hear his opinion on Haruhiko’s piece. Long story short, Haruhiko is actually the son of Ayako and Kurashina! Ayako didn’t want that known and thus burnt the scrolls. The reason the second will was opened later was because Haruhiko just turned 20 and it was probably that he has come of age to be told this. After all, Kajiwara knew of this affair and that’s why he left the aquamarine ring for her that symbolizes freedom to live her own life. Holmes further stuns them that he knew Haruhiko and Kurashina are related from the first time he looked at them because of their similar ears!

Episode 4
The Gion Festival is here and Aoi has nightmares of her ex-boyfriend, Katsumi dumping her and dating her friend, Sanae. Geez… Aoi is so damn lovely in her yukata that Akihito cannot resist to sexually harass her in a playful manner? Not if strict Holmes can do something about it. Later a girl named Izumi visits. Aoi eavesdrop and believes she is Holmes’ ex-girlfriend as she talks about having doubts of marrying her now boyfriend. Apparently she also gave him some Copenhagen plates to be appraised. The story goes that her boyfriend often cheated on her and whenever she threatened to call it quits, he always apologized and said sorry. Until they became engaged he gave her these plates. This makes her question if she really wants to go through this. Izumi also left Holmes a tea cup with leave patterns on it. Aoi is worried as she talks to Holmes. No, not about Izumi. It seems her old friends are coming here for the festival and want to meet up. Thing is, she might bump into Katsumi and Sanae who are coming too. Hence she is in a dilemma. Holmes advises her not to worry so much. I guess it works for a while if a handsome guy is saying it. So Aoi meets up with her friends but soon realizes it is a set up. They hope to hear out Katsumi and Sanae. They both apologize and put up some pretty cheesy humble act. That is when Aoi felt betrayed. She never had friends and nobody cared about her. She tries to put on a brave front but she is moments away from breaking down when Holmes arrives. The way he nicely takes her away makes Katsumi think he is her boyfriend and suddenly he gets jealous! WTF?! And suddenly jealous Sanae slaps him! WTF???!!! Hey dude, it is you who downgraded to Sanae who looks pretty plain but Aoi upgraded to hot Holmes. Aoi thanks Holmes for helping her out of the situation. He too could see this underhanded tactic because if they truly wanted to apologize to her, they would have done it themselves instead of hiding behind friends. Okay, cue for Aoi to break down in his arms. Back at Kura, Aoi believes she has deduced the meaning behind the cup Izumi left. From what I understand, a hidden message that she still loves him and hopes he will notice. Holmes did reply with a poem since she looked like was hoping for one. From what I understand, it was to tell her to go talk things out with her parents and related parties before regretting it all. Izumi stormed out sulking after that. Aoi starts to fluster thinking he has gotten over Izumi and moved on to her.

Episode 5
Holmes is not pleased he saw a fake piece in an art museum. Like as though it was placed there to test appraisers. Akihito seeks Holmes’ help because he is doing some travel blog show at some temple and is not doing so well. Holmes declines at first since there is the internet and books he can look up to but with Akihito begging and probably that triggering word of how much the art his father left him meant so much, Holmes relents. Besides, he has business at that temple tomorrow too. Along the way, the guys talk about girlfriends and such and Akihito believes Aoi is a good girl for Holmes. Holmes describes the ugliness when Aoi first came in to Kura in tears as it reminded him of himself after a breakup. Akihito is so touched that this seemingly gay scene amazes all the fujoshi around them. Is every girl in Japan a fujoshi? Holmes might not be into women but he definitely isn’t gay! They meet Ensho the abbot who shows them around a few of the temple treasures. But the real case begins as he brings them to meet the vice abbot, Unsho and Shoan. After the head abbot left for a study meet, a strange letter stating their dragon has been stolen was left. They check around all their treasures with dragon but nothing is stolen. Hearing about Holmes’ reputation, they contact him. He requests to see all the abbots’ sample handwriting as the letter is handwritten. At first it looks like the head abbot but Holmes first explains about fake being fake and well trained appraisers can tell because they can sense the malicious intent when the fake is created. But there are cases now where fakers go into a trance and act like the real creators, hence hiding the malicious intent to deceive.

Suddenly Holmes strikes Ensho with his fan but he blocks! He is the true perpetrator. He knew it since the first time they met. Because Ensho knew who Holmes was despite this is the first time they met. Also, Holmes sensed that Zuiryu scroll he showed was fake and it wasn’t stolen but swapped. Ensho is impressed as he explains he mastered the art of counterfeit a long time ago. But he got bored and decided to turn over a new leaf. When an old counterfeit friend told him about an appraiser exposing his fake bowl, Ensho felt his counterfeit passion stirred again. He did all this just to test him. Satisfied, Ensho escapes. Holmes tries to give chase because he hates such people who give art a bad name but Unsho stops him. Ensho has ninja abilities! Although they know about his past and abilities, they thought he was ready to move on into priesthood. Holmes might have hurt his pride but at the same time it made him happy like as though there is someone who finally acknowledged him. As they can’t fill the void his spirit, perhaps this exposure may ruin him and he find something new beyond that. Ensho’s purpose in life could be an object lesson for Holmes. Back at Kura after Holmes tells everything to Aoi, he further deduces Ensho’s path in this life. A close family member took him in after realizing his ability to counterfeit. That family member might be an artist too and that inspiration might have made him pursued the path of art. However something happened after he mastered the art and perhaps was driven out. Holmes realizes Ensho has stolen his fan and not steal it because he is confident he would come take it back. No matter what, Holmes will expose all of his counterfeits.

Episode 6
Aoi is invited to celebrate Seiji’s birthday. Holmes introduces her to Rikyuu Takiyama who once worked at Kura but went to France to study. She also meets his mom, Yoshie. Damn anime can make mom in her 40’s look like your big sister! Apparently Yoshie is Seiji’s girlfriend! Age gap is not a problem in love! Since everybody is happy, I guess that’s that. With Aoi dressing a bit casual, Yoshie offers to ‘beautify’ her. They talk about the several important guests at the party that includes the pantomime entertainers, Masamune brothers. Aoi learns Seiji once appeared on a TV series but quit for good. Apparently he appraised a vase of a famous magician, Don Kageyama to be fake. It caused a ruckus as the producer wanted him to say it is real but he won’t budge. That was it for him and the cameras. Guests are able to view the treasures in a room and Rikyuu steals Holmes thunder to explain a beautiful vase’s origins. Aoi is left to lock up the room after the guests leave to start the party. A long speech by Seiji. After that, a producer is seen trying to get Seiji back into show business but he is warned not to further anger him. It’s his birthday after all. A large crash is heard from the room. Oh, that vase is broken. Don’t worry. Seiji examines it to be fake and has Holmes explain it. Is it me but why is the vase the only thing that is not behind a glass counter like the rest?! Anyway, Holmes explains the vase has already been switched before Aoi locked the room. There are multiple culprits. Somebody to distract them and another to switch it. Oh look. The real one is just hidden beneath the table. The culprits are the Masamune brothers. It seems they want to get back at Seiji for humiliating Kageyama whom they consider their hero. They want to ascertain if they are fake appraisers. By playing poker?! Holmes agrees but before even looking at his hand, he knows he has lost. He observed the cards he got were picked not from the top. It was rigged from the start. When one of the brothers try to attack him because he mocks them as imposters, Rikyuu judo throws him. So this is what he mastered in France? Seiji apologizes for saying harsh things to Kageyama but does not regret calling a fake a fake. That would mean warping history. What is fake cannot be genuine. The brothers understand now and thought Seiji hated Kageyama. With this over, it’s back to the party. Aoi is amazed when Holmes showed his scary expression because it is proof of how proud he is to the one he loves. He looked cool With Holmes being nice to her, it only confuses her because he isn’t his usual nasty. So she was expecting this? She’s been working with him too long…

Episode 7
Akihito gets invited to Yanagihara’s birthday. It was Seiji who got invited but since he can’t come, Holmes will be his substitute. He decides to bring Aoi along and Rikyuu isn’t pleased. However Holmes can’t have everyone go and close Kura. Besides, didn’t Rikyuu said that he is best suited to protect this place? At the party, Yanagihara has all participants play an appraisal game. Professionals are refrained from playing. Thanks to her time spent at Kura and Holmes being a good teacher, Aoi got every piece right and wins a trip to some hotel in which Yanagihara teases she can go with Holmes. But the game is not over as Yanagihara wants Holmes to appraise this painting as genuine or fake. It took him a while before he says it is fake. After explaining why, Holmes wants to know who sent him this painting. It seems a guy named Moria (as in Moriarty?) wanted Yanagihara to show this to the youngest appraiser. He also left a round mirror as a gift. This makes Holmes mad as he storms out. Holmes know Moria is Ensho and set all this up. The mirror and the painting is a clue to where Ensho is right now. It’s some temple. True enough he is there. Ensho has Holmes explain what gave his deception away before going on to explain about his father being a painter and every time he couldn’t finish a painting deadline, he will have his son finish it up. Until he died, Ensho decided to retire into priesthood. The story is pretty similar to as Holmes deduced. Ensho attacks Holmes with the fan but he is able to grab and break it. Ensho notes he can’t retire yet and his life’s mission is to humiliate him. A slight distraction has Ensho escape like a ninja again. Holmes gets upset upon seeing the word ‘victory’ on the fan. He realizes Ensho has won this time and he had lost. Despite using his knowledge and right answers, he did not see through him. Aoi gives him the motivation to not lose to him next time Ensho challenges him. You bet he is going to be a better appraiser the next time. Seemingly cheesy romantic moment ruined by Akihito calling out to them. Well, I guess that wasn’t needed.

Episode 8
Holmes’ friend begs for him and Rikyuu to help work part time at his newly opened café for a few days. Because all the waiters are handsome guys, they’re sure to bring in the customers. Holmes didn’t want to do this until he hears how Aoi’s grades have been slipping since she started working here. Because of that, mom warns she will have to quit working and will go to a cram school. Holmes feel the need to take responsibility and will help tutor her whenever she is here. Thanks to that, her grades when up and mom even invited him to her home to thank him. This is Holmes’ first time in a girl’s room. He has never been in Izumi’s room since her parents are totally strict. Holmes admits he is a noob in love and cannot judge everything objectively when it comes to that. When they go visit the café, it looks like Izumi is there waiting. Another problem. After breaking up with her ex, her parents match-make her with another guy. During their engagement party, she noticed he left and came back in an hour. She saw on his handphone a text from his ex-girlfriend threatening to ruin their party so he supposedly left to go appease her. However leaving from Matsugasaki to Momoyama in an hour is impossible no matter what kind of transport you use. Unless a teleporter? She wants Holmes to break his alibi. But first he has her gather some evidence before he draws up his conclusion. Aoi visits Holmes during his work at the café and there is a damn long queue of girls waiting to be served! With Izumi gathering the necessary, she even brings her fiancé, Tachibana to listen. This is what Holmes deduced. His ex actually lived nearby so he snuck out to withdraw some money and head there to apologize and settle things with her before coming back. Tachibana notes even if his theory was true, everything is over with his ex. Surprisingly Aoi snaps. She tells him he is acting in bad faith to both women. The point is that he lied and if he continues to do this, he will never be trusted. Just tell her the truth. Wow. Her tears must be so convincing. Even more convincing when Izumi too is crying. Yeah it sucks to have both women crying. So he comes clean about all this. Holmes’ theory is true and his relationship with his ex was already on the rocks then. He used this new engagement as excuse to break up. But he did truly fell in love with Izumi and feared she will leave him had he told his past. With this settled, time for another seemingly cheesy romantic encounter for Holmes and Aoi. He gives her tickets to a botanic garden. Free pass all year! Not sure if this is what she wants. But she gives him cookies she baked. Threw him off a little? The cheesiness ends when Rikyuu just finishes his job and interrupts them.

Episode 9
Aoi is invited to Seiji’s house for a New Year party. Along the way, she and Holmes stop by several temples along the way. It wouldn’t have been ruined if Akihito wasn’t there. And so it becomes a threesome. Since Aoi is interested to see his room, Holmes shows her. A bit messy with books all over. I take it he likes to read but has he got no proper place to put them? Maybe he needs to have his own library. During the party, Akihito who is trying to hit on Yoshie ever since finally realizes she is into older men. Devastated. I guess he couldn’t brush it off as a joke now. Don’t say they didn’t warn you. Meanwhile an uninvited guest creeps in… As the party starts, Seiji and Holmes have the guests play a game. They need to decipher some clues and find a golden key in which they will receive a prize. Akihito thinks it is located in Holmes’ room since he saw him putting something there. Upon investigating it, it is that fan. Repaired? Could it be Holmes cannot find himself to throw it away? Then they heard a commotion downstairs. It is Ensho and he has already found the key. It seems he didn’t barge in but got Seiji’s approval to participate. After explaining how he found it, he is disappointed it was too simple. Well, it wasn’t designed for him. Ensho has Holmes play an appraisal game. This time if he thinks it is fake, he must smash or slice it. First up, two bowls. He smashes both. Then a painting. Right up cut it up. Finally another rare painting. Sliced in half. That is when Ensho says that is the real deal. With everyone in shock and Ensho laughing, soon he admits this is just a joke. Gotcha. It’s fake. It was priceless to see Holmes’ face reaction when it was so. Ensho isn’t the only one who can be nasty because Holmes fires back that he created all these fakes as a way of trying to get Holmes to acknowledge that he is the one who did all this. Both guys pulling each other’s collar? Only for Aoi to tell them to stop fighting since the game is over. Ensho takes his leave but notes this is far from over. Until next time.

Episode 10
The usual gang celebrates New Year’s Day at Kura. Aoi and Holmes later pray at the shrine. Because Aoi thinks Holmes might be doing something romantic to her, she flusters and changes to subject of wanting to learn more about tea bowls. My, shy, aren’t we? He then takes her to a coffee café and confuses her with the local terms so she had some black coffee instead of with milk. So that is what they call fresh coffee here? Aoi learns that Seiji is not married to Yoshie because grandpa divorced with his first wife very early and didn’t want to keep things official after that. As for why Holmes isn’t interested in having a girlfriend (are you gay?!), becoming Izumi’s girlfriend was just out of curiosity and maybe that’s why it ended up in disaster. As they leave, what a coincidence they bump into Seiji’s ex-wife. She invites them to her place. Since he is still playing detective, I guess she needs them to solve some paranormal case. Say what? You see, she has a bisque doll that Seiji bought for her as a gift. Recently she moved it from her shelf to the living room for her granddaughter. At first it was all cute but she soon started getting terrified it is cursed as she saw tears around its eyes, heard wailing sounds and it moved from place to place! After Holmes asks a few questions, he knows it is not a poltergeist event and is manmade phenomenon. When Seiji divorced her, it was when she was sick and he blamed himself he cursed her and it didn’t help that the shaman said it was bad karma. After the divorce, he bought her the doll as his replacement. It is a sign that he is always thinking of her. Her current husband might be jealous that her heart had been with Seiji all the while even if she was married to Seiji for only 5 years and her current husband for 50. That is why her current husband cries each time he sees the doll (you mean the tears landed exactly over its eyes?!) and when he hears granddaughter come in, he drops the doll and leaves. Also, he thought of moving it around in hopes of hinting to her to give it back to Seiji (since Seiji has another matching pair back at Kura). With grandma realizing Seiji’s true feelings, I hope she won’t be gunning for a divorce. Thankfully, no. She gives the doll to Holmes to be returned to Kura and hopes her husband will buy her a new one. She also hints to Holmes and Aoi to be honest with their feelings. No reaction. Looks like the density is so thick… The dolls are together once more back and Kura and somehow Aoi can’t help fantasize the dolls as them as a happy couple… Oh well, it’s the thought that counts.

Episode 11
Holmes are Aoi are invited to a book reading event on Valentine’s Day by a famous author, Aigasa Kurisu. There, they meet some of her acquaintances like her editor Takeshi Hashimoto, friends Suzuka Iijima and Kumi Ooishi, photographer Masashi Oda and Kikuchi and private detective Komatsu. Kana Inoue, the younger sister of Rika (Aigasa Kurisu is just her penname) enters and starts reading. However it soon turns into a murder mystery as it reads somebody was trying to kill Rika and she did not commit suicide. Kana explains somebody tried to hang Rika outside the building but the ribbon broke and the tree broke her fall. When Rika woke up, she told Kana somebody was trying to kill her. Hence Kana heard Holmes being the great detective to help figure out the mystery behind this. Holmes agrees and hopes they will spread the word he isn’t a great detective. Holmes takes each of their statements. So we learn that Rika along with Suzuka and Kumi started writing stories together, Rika had a crush on Oda but went berserk after learning he was dating Suzuka, Hashimoto tried to calm her down but she turned his attention to him. At this point, Komatsu can’t stand this farce and leaves. Holmes tries to ascertain the few background checks he did and even if he didn’t say, Holmes now has his answer. Yeah, he knows who did it but has no proof. Care to explain, please. First he has Kana read a confession note Rika wrote. It seems Rika isn’t the only writer as there are other ghostwriters. Holmes deduces Aigasa Kurusu is a combination of a few people. Namely, Rika, Suzuka and Kumi (Aigasa being inspiration from Agatha Christie and Kurisu from the combination of their name).

After Rika won the award, all were happy at first but Rika felt guilty about using their ideas to get the award. Emotions exploded when she discovered Oda dating Suzuka and hence hired Komachi to expose her friends’ past. After another confrontation, Rika vowed not to write again. Hashimoto doesn’t want to let his golden goose go and did his best to console her. She did a background check on him and discovered he is married and flew into a rage again. When Hashimoto learnt about the Aigasa Kurisu combo, he came out with the idea to make it look like she killed herself and let the ghostwriter come forward to gain greater renown. So Hashimoto came out with the plan, Suzuka and Kumi executed it, Oda set up the location and Kikuchi corroborated as witness so as not to get involved. Hence all of them are directly or indirectly involved. Now they are hounding for proof, Holmes tells them to hear it from Rika herself. Here she is in the flesh! She heard everything from the hidden camera in Kana’s pendant. She pulls out a gun. That is when everybody starts accusing each other and all the real truths come out. Like Suzuka purposely dated Oda just to piss Rika off and Hashimoto never believed they could surpass as Rika’s successor. Rika then fires at Hashimoto. Gotcha. Just a toy gun. Now that she has known the truth, she is contemplating whether to turn them to the police or not. So as not to spoil tonight’s Valentine’s Day, Aoi gives Holmes handmade chocolates with Sherlock prints. He is delighted since Valentine’s Day is his birthday too. But Holmes start thinking Aoi doesn’t like him to the point she hates touching him? She quickly touches his hand as proof she does not. Oh, just remembered, he gives Aoi her appraiser gloves as present. I guess she earned it.

Episode 12
Holmes and Aoi are invited by Sakyo (Rikyuu’s dad and Yoshie’s ex-husband) to his grandpa’s estate for an appraisal. Sakyo’s other brothers, Tsukasa and Kazuhiko all look different and it is no secret all of them had different mothers. Also here are other appraisers the brothers hired for this like Keiko Fujiwara who is a curator of a museum in America (is this some sort of battle declaration when she kissed Holmes as a form of greeting?) and would you not expect Ensho? Ukon Saitou doesn’t view Aoi as a great appraiser and puts her to a test. As expected, she passes after appraising some tea bowls. He apologizes for his rudeness and has her team up with Rikyuu. You see, Ukon has all of them here to determine his successor. After his first wife died young, he had his sons raised by different mothers. Each with their own abilities. Hence he wants to test them as the one who can guess which treasure is the most valuable in the house will be his successor. Their appraiser assistants are only allowed to observe. Appraising the various treasures around the house, Aoi also notes the appraisers’ body language as they observe. While taking a break, Keiko talks to Aoi and hints that Holmes once spent the night at her place. Aoi got so worried she ran away? While thinking alone, she is approached by Ensho who is curious of why Holmes values this worthless girl. Ensho is getting a little aggressive on her when, you guessed it, Holmes comes running to give him a high kick! Blocked! Holmes denies that they are dating and the showdown ends when Kazuhiko calls for Ensho. Aoi tells Holmes that what Ensho said about her is somewhat true. Something in regards to her ex-boyfriend wanted to make love to her but she rejected him. Hence he dumped her because she was too prudish. Holmes assures she has not done anything wrong and shouldn’t blame herself. Is this a sneaky way for her to get him to hug her? I don’t think Aoi is that kind of person.

Ukon hears their answers. Tsukasa and Kazuhiko have their pick but why is Sakyo’s empty? He saw the mirror and believes that the most valuable treasure are themselves! WTF?! Ukon scolds him he already told them it is an object and not humans. This isn’t a trick question! Sorry, no plot twist. Like as though he knows Holmes already knew, he has him explain the family’s greatest treasure. To cut it short, it is some sword that supposedly belonged to Mitsuhide Akechi. Yeah, Holmes should have become his successor. Later Rikyuu apologizes to Aoi for always being mean to her. He felt she had stolen something important to her but now makes peace and considers her his successor. Aoi then eavesdrop Holmes and Ensho talking about the real valuable treasure in the house. Ensho thinks it is some pot but Holmes says it is a screen painting. Ensho admits his lost today as Holmes further mocks him how he can never understand the works of that painter (who doesn’t leave traces of his works behind) because of his desire to create fakes and be acknowledged. After Ensho takes his leave, it’s like Holmes knew Aoi was eavesdropping. She asks why he is always rubbing Ensho the wrong way. He wanted to make him mad in hopes it could clear some of his clouded mind. But in fact, Holmes is actually jealous of Ensho’s talents. Aoi believes both men are jealous of each other. She asks about his relationship with Keiko. He did stay over but only because she had some rare books and it took him all night to read them. What relief. It is then Aoi realizes she is in love with him. We knew that like the first episode. I’m sure she would have wanted to say it aloud but he notes how beautiful the moon is tonight. I guess you can’t argue with that. Aoi will definitely lose! Anyway, she won’t tell him for now as she wants to treasure the time spent with him. Status quo the best. Akihito comes barging into Kura and begging to Holmes to help solve some case of his friend. But he is ignored as he goes out with Aoi instead. Hire a real detective please and not use some free service, okay?

How Do You Appraise The Value Of Love?
Oh well. If I really put my standards low and do not nit-pick and ask some hard hitting questions, I guess this series is quite watchable. Really. It is not that I was bored nor I was really confused. Maybe because my brain stopped trying to overanalyse and just accept what is being said and told. After all, how can you counter and go up against the greatest appraiser-cum-detective of all time? I mean, do you really have what it takes to argue with this guy? I’m not up for it. Better just sit back and listen to what he says and accept his words. I am very sure Holmes isn’t the kind of guy who cheats, right? Yup. Because of his reputation and trustworthiness, I am going to believe everything he says, word for word. No questions asked. No doubt at all.

But still, I need to bring and weigh in some of my experience while watching this series. Especially the value of the treasures and art that are being displayed. Because I really know nothing about the art world, everything that is being said especially about its history to me sounds like crap. Like as though they pull it out from the air and make it sound so convincing. As I am not into this kind of thing, I do not know how to appreciate this kind of value of art. Hence with all the tea bowls, vases, paintings and sculptures presented, my first impression would be, “Oh. I guess that looks okay”. And the rest were like, “Meh. Whatever”. You see, art is a very subjective subject and it depends on the eye of the beholder. Just like beauty. So while some may find this certain treasure to be artistic and beautiful, to me it just feels normal. And because a majority of expert appraisers put a high value on it, hence this piece of crap (sorry, that is what many modern contemporary art feels like to me) suddenly becomes high in value. But then again, we are dealing with ancient artefacts and while it holds more value (because the creators are dead), people like me who aren’t into the world of art would just brush it off as anything extraordinary. Oh look, a vase. Nice patterns on it. That’s all. Don’t start spouting all that historical crap and its creator thingy because it would start to feel like history lessons.

This brings me to my next point on what is considered fake and genuine. To the untrained eye, one cannot tell the difference. But does it really matter? Even for example if you bought a fake and thought it was real, does it matter? If it does, it was probably the thought of being scammed that you paid millions for something that isn’t real. Hence while watching this series when they play the game of true or fake, I was like, “What the f*ck is the difference?!”. Can’t tell. And boy, Holmes sure knows his work and history very well for he is able to just tell everything with precision. Like as though his brain is a computer and has recorded all the data of every art piece in the country. Like as though he produced the script of this series or even created that fine ware himself, he can instantly tell the fake from being genuine. We get it. A fake is a fake. But does it really matter? I mean, really, really, really matter like your life depends on it?

So if a creator only created one single artwork that became famous overtime, does it matter you need to have that real thing in your establishment? For example, Mona Lisa. I’m sure the original one is sitting in Louvre, France. So if your café is themed after Mona Lisa, do you need to have the real one? Or would a replica suffice? See what I mean? And for those rich people who enjoy collecting such genuine arts, I guess it must be the pride to have the only artwork ever in the world to sit in your mansion, huh? Not that I understand it either.

Anyway, in view of all this, if you really want to do your research on the history and values of the art works featured here, be my guest. Hence every episode of this series feels more episodic in nature than one continuous story. Sure, we have that cheesy romance between Aoi and Holmes in between (more on this later) but I guess when you are in this sort of genre, solving mysteries become the core and pillar. Thus this series follows a particular banal pattern. Holmes gets invited to appraise something. Aoi tags along. Some sort of incident relating to the art piece. His keen observations and a few questionings has him solve the entire puzzle and he makes it look so flawless in doing it because it’s like they don’t want to waste our precious time while hearing him explain. Damn this guy is so f*cking good, he should be considered as Japan’s living treasure! In later parts of the series, real detective work was mixed into like that bisque doll and Rika’s case instead of the usual art appraising works. I suppose Holmes needs to live up to his detective namesake as well even if he doesn’t like it.

Hence the characters, what else can I say? Holmes as the main character is so flawless in his appraisal of art that he could be God himself. Like as though he is a producer of this series and can tell what is going on next. In order to give him some ‘flaws’ in his character, he is a bit sarcastic but in a polite manner. Therefore the punch line of Aoi always quoting him as nasty. Really? This is nasty? Man, you haven’t really seen real nastiness and that nastiness of Holmes is just 1%. Aoi as his apprentice sometimes feel redundant. She is like a character that is needed to play up some romance drama factor and if this show was Holmes being lone wolf going around appraising and solving mysteries, he still would have been successful without Aoi’s presence. I guess we need her character so that she could observe and learn as well as sometimes as a reason for Holmes to explain to us viewers. And the way Holmes says “Subarashii” whenever he appraises a fine art, does this somewhat mirrors to one of Sherlock’s famous quote, “Excellent!”?

The beautiful works of the art pieces make a perfect excuse and cover up for their feelings for each other. We can tell right from the start that they like each other but conveniently the appraisal thing always gets in the way. Every episode there are short moments hinting of that as we see them spend some time together. Usually Aoi flustering as she starts overthinking. Can’t blame her. She’s a girl at that age. So when want to confess and start dating? Oh dear. From what she said at the end, looks like it’s not anytime soon. What is with that Keiko distraction anyway? Like as though that Keiko character was only needed just to push this narrative. Aoi having issues with her ex-boyfriend at first serves as a mask to be confused about her feelings for Holmes. I mean, they already broke up, right? With Aoi upgraded to Holmes and her ex downgraded, it’s like Aoi eventually won the lottery. Now she gets to be around beautiful people and beautiful things. Wow. Love and life so beautiful. And because their blooming love is going to take an awful long time, does it tell us that you can’t really put a price on love? Oh yeah, one diamond ring is enough to seal it! Haha!

The other supporting characters don’t really make a great impact. For example, I don’t know why they had to introduce Rikyuu because the most he does is trying to lap up to Holmes, afraid that Aoi would take him away from her. Thank goodness Holmes isn’t into this shota gay thingy. I don’t really see the relevance of having him around unless you talk about some really minor stuffs like with him around, at least Aoi can now accompany Holmes around as they have somebody to man Kura. Hey, it’s not like Takeshi shows his face around often, right? Even Seiji makes more appearance than this dad because with his connections, at least Holmes gets to attend various events on his behalf. Akihito feels like the comic relief dude of the series because it doesn’t make sense why he would often stick around Kura. With Yoshie in the picture, it seems like a legit reason for him to hang around here more often but other than that, his character isn’t really pivotal to the plot and can be done without. Many of the other characters only appear once in that episode, never to be seen ever again. Yeah, I suppose they don’t want to ever cross paths with Holmes again.

Sad to say that the best character that I want to vouch for is Ensho. Like every main character, he must have a natural enemy to rival his work. Too bad Ensho does not appear in every episode and when he does, he gives the series the much needed tension and drama which is much better than that aforementioned cheesy love drama between Holmes and Aoi that went nowhere. Now, I’m not vouching for Holmes x Ensho gay time but I would really like to see them pit their brains and clashing personalities. Something that is rarely done. With Ensho around, Holmes will always be on his guard as there is no telling where this imposter might show up. But I’ll bet if Holmes is there, he’ll be there. They missed an opportunity to call him Mori-Art-y. Get it? Art? Okay, maybe not. Is it funny that Holmes always knows Aoi is in danger and goes to rescue her at the very precise moment? Or is it because he wants to be where Ensho is? Boy, this is going to be complicated and strange if this love story extends to this part. Say, whatever happened to the issue of bold counterfeit agents trying to con appraisal shops? That sounded like an interesting plot but I guess when you have Ensho being the best in his field, this promising potential is discarded.

As mentioned at the very start of this blog, the reason why I watched this series is because of a certain beautiful someone. Oh Aoi, you’re such a cutie and hence many of the characters have this bishoujo and bishonen look. After all when you have a series about artworks, it is best that you make good the aesthetics as well. Not only the characters look good but the background and sceneries too. As this is set in Kyoto, the natural environment as well as the many shrines are a sight to behold. Not to mention the many treasures featured. I didn’t do my research but I believe they are real. So if they look real enough, the reproduction of these works here are they considered as replicas? Anyway, they look decently good but if you ask me if I really want to own them, not really. Don’t want to have to collect dust too. Hey, I got no servant to dust them every day!

This series is done by Seven who specializes in doing short series like Okusama Ga Seitoukaichou, Ai Mai Mi, Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken, Recorder To Randoseru, Strange and Morita-san Wa Mukuchi. Perhaps doing full length animation isn’t their forte. Not to say this series is that bad but I guess it is better than the other series I watched, Ousama Game The Animation. Oh, this studio also produced quite a few 2D porn… Maybe that is why the romance in this anime felt cheesy. Because it didn’t lead to porn… Just kidding!

I recognized a few seiyuus here, namely Kouji Yusa as Ensho (I have a feeling this guy is starting to enjoy voicing villainous roles like in Lord Of Vermilion and Nanatsu No Taizai: Imashime No Fukkatsu), Rikiya Koyama as Seiji, Sayaka Ohara as Yoshie and Yui Horie as Saori. The other casts are Kaito Ishikawa as Holmes (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Miyu Tomita as Aoi (Kuina in Hinako Note), Sanae Kobayashi as Rikyuu (Xing Huo in Tsubasa Chronicle) and Ryouhei Kimura as Akihito (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai). I somewhat like the opening and ending themes. Like the opener, Koi Ni Saku Nazo, Hara Hara To by AOP is a blend between anime pop and traditional music, which makes it quite fun to listen. That kind of feel that somewhat reminding me of the best opening theme in Kyoukai No Rinne. Hosoyuki by Wagakki Band as the ending theme is not bad either. It is more dramatic and ups the use of the traditional instruments like the koto or shamisen and shakuhachi in the background. I kept wondering why it felt similar to the ending theme in Sousei No Onmyouji as Hotarubi was sung by the same band!

Overall, not one of the best series out there even in its particular season. It was only watchable to me because of all the beautiful aesthetics but the story and characters are otherwise just mediocre. Making it incomprehensible if you are not the least an enthusiast in the art world, at least the Japanese one for this series. Every appraisals made by Holmes feel like the ‘reward’ for sticking through that episode and like I’ve said, the appraisal explanations don’t make sense unless you know your stuffs really well. I doubt that many anime viewers could even guess it or know what is going on. To be fair, Holmes does not live up to the greatest fictional detective because he never intended to be one. So I guess he is better off doing what he does best and love in appraising fine art. Going back to elementary is most excellent.