Tantei Opera Milky Holmes

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2010
3.201 out of 5 from 1,656 votes
Rank #12,261

It is the Age of the Great Detectives. Gentleman thieves seek to steal the world's treasures with the aid of their superpowers called "Toys", while the forces of justice use their own Toys to try and stop them. Trained by Opera Kobayashi, the young Sherlock Shellingford, Nero Yuzurizaki, Hercule Barton, and Cordelia Glauca are the top students at Holmes Academy and members of the famous detective team Milky Holmes. But when a run in with the nefarious gentleman thief Arsene robs them of their Toys, the group's charmed life comes quickly to an end, banished to a squalid attic in one of the academy's dorms. Unfazed, but still hungry and shamed, the girls fight to regain their powers, their old life of luxury, and their status as the world's most famous detectives.

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StoryRemember when you were little and your parents left you alone in the house? You got out that giant mixing bowl and threw ALL of your favorite foods into it: pizza bites, pretzels, ice cream, chocolate and strawberry syrup, whipped cream, and cookie dough. Face it, it tasted awful. That, ladies and gentlemen is kind of what Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is--an ill-considered, pandering clusterfuck of moe. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is an excuse to name some high school students after famous fictional detectives and have them do cute things. But there's also a kind of plot. At the series outset, the four heroines form a detective team called Milky Holmes based out of the prestigious Holmes Detective Academy. The quartet's powerful "Toys" (what the world calls super powers) make them more than a match for any Gentleman Thief (the super-powered villains) they confront. But, when a tragic event sees them stripped of their toys the girls lose their lush accommodations and face expulsion from school. Of course, the team will not sit idly by and watch their lives go to waste. They're determined to get their powers back... After they eat some snacks. And take in a lost kitten. And go shopping. When the anime goes off the rails frequently and with alacrity it tries your patience. By the end of the show, both the half-hearted attempts to advance the plot and the 'fun antics' wear on your last nerve. Now, a series need not actually be about anything. K-On! focuses about as much on music as does a bowl of your favorite cereal, and Ninja Nonsense has much more "Nonsense" than Ninjutsu, but the presence in this show of an actual villain (Arsene) and an actual conflict (the loss of Milky Holmes' powers and their impending expulsion) implies some kind of narrative that never materializes. Instead, we watch the cute girls act stupid and continue to be rewarded. If the gags and the characters were stronger, maybe some of this weakness could be ignored. It certainly works for Hayate no Gotoku!! where the meandering non-plot gets critical help from the personable characters and consistent use of parody. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, by contrast, on the whole feels like a crazy bait-and-switch, as it can't hold onto any particular plot point for long. While the girls are in school on probation, they don't attend class, follow the rules, or even seem to be suffering all that much (beyond having to share a bed--THE HORROR!).AnimationTantei Opera Milky Holmes has some cute characters who get tragically sub-par treatment at the hands of their animators. J.C. Staff has a solid reputation for delivering visual flourish (Toradora! and even co-airing Otome Youkai Zakuro are good examples) and none of that talent appears anywhere near this title. Most of the action plays out like a flip-book, with characters moving from one pose to another without going through any intermediate steps. Which of course is only when the anime chooses to show action instead of hiding it behind a closed door, off screen, or in a large dust cloud. That the backgrounds are half-decent acts mostly as a poke in the eye.SoundThankfully, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes is slightly easier on the ears than it is on the eyes. The show features a serviceable J-Pop OP (Seikai wa Hitotsu! Janai!!) and an anthemic ED (Honnou no DOUBT), which in isolation make the work seem better than the rest of its production values. Similarly, the rest of the OST manages to complement the series' meandering moe sensibilities without offending anyone. If only the voice acting didn't present such a mixed bag. Satomi Akesaka modulates between the sexy Arsene and the reserved Henriette with admirable aplomb, giving each personality an appropriate and sonorous voice and Hiro Shimono (Rat) and Takuma Terashima (Stone River) turn in workmanlike performances to round out the antagonists. But Suzuko Mimori's Sherlock puts nearly all that effort to waste. The seiyuu shoots for Aki Toyosaki, but doesn't lay on the silky saccharine required to prevent her charge from becoming a shrill brat. Every third time she opens her mouth to complain or spout some optimistic drivel you'll want to strangle her and put a fork in your ear.CharactersNot that one-note characters aren't good fun. Many people love Excalibur (Soul Eater), for example. But they need to be seasoning, not the main course. Tantei Opera Milky Holmes serves up a full plate of similar actors and then expects you to eat the whole thing with gusto. When Sherlock surrounds herself with friends who have less spice than a digestive, she becomes impossible to love in spite of her flaws. In Penguin Musume Heart, for example, Kujira provides Penguin an opportunity to showcase the pathetic otaku's hidden depths of character. This anime's lead, on the other hand, gets no such help from her supporting cast. The delusional Cordelia and the callous calorie vacuum, Nero, serve mainly to show how poorly the detective does at choosing her friends. Keeping such weak company, none of these girls grow at all over the course of the series, which even a show like Lucky Star will tell you is not the way to go. In this meal, even the villains, who generally do well as confectionery riffs turn stale quickly. The shrill antics of Twenty as he strips off his clothes in every single appearance and the overblown chiding of Stone River feel like much more of the same when compared so frequently to Elly's crippling shyness or Sherlock's terminal clumsiness. Given the show's non-plot, the unappetizing buffet of people on display here ruins the anime outright.OverallThere are good kinds of brain rot, but Milky Holmes is none of them. Without a keen sense of plot, direction or anything resembling an attention span, it can't hold onto its straight bits long enough to set up any jokes properly, and its atrocious appearance totters treacherously close to eye-rape. Don't be fooled by the cute character designs or harmless, slice-of-life plot. J.C. Staff has served the animated equivalent of table scraps. Stand up and demand a meal.


Wow, first of all I'd like to question how any of the staff that produced this anime is still alive after smoking and ingesting who knows what they ingested. This anime has so much inasnity that words cannot describe it. Never have I seen an anime with so little progression in characters to the point where every step in the right direction the main protagonists tries to take, they immediately go one thousand steps backwards. I know perhaps that is the point of this anime. But seriously, as I was marathoning this, I couldn't help but scream at the screen of how stupid these characters are. It's obviously a show catered towards otakus. There is no doubt about it, from the massive amount of over the top clumisness of characters to the obvious fanservices. (Including a homage to Luka) There is little doubt that the audience are supposed to feel intellectually engaged in an anime such as this. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my slice-of-life comedy shows when they work, but this one just didn't work at all. Perhaps it was the over-the-top J.C.Staff insanity. Perhaps it was just the characters, regardless of what it was, I couldn't feel attached to the story at all. The Animation for a small budget anime like this seems rather consistent. Which is surprising giving the amount of insanity it has. There was not a lot of inconsistencies and the animation worked when it needed to.  The sound as well, it works for what it needs to be. The over-the-top scenes are supported by music that seems fitting. And I didn't have any quirks with the soundtrack. Granted, it was not some amazing BGM, but it did its job. So I am giving both animation and sound good scores because they did what they had to do. Characters.... Wow. Let's forget the protagonists for a minute and talk about the side characters and the antagonist. I actually liked the antagonist, Arsene. The rest of the antagonist crew was okay. But the way they protrayed Arsene did give me some Otaku warning lights. The G4 crew had okay ish characters, which was ruined by Kokoro. Then there's the main protagonists who in my opininon along with Kokoro, ruined the entire series for me. Not once do they take themselves seriously. I know perhaps that was where the anime was going, but not once, not even when it matters does the characters take themselves seriously. Not to mention, the anime seems to have a big thing about the "Toys" with the beginning of each episode reminding you of their importance, not to mention starting the show with an episode of showing you what Milky Holmes could've been. But, we never got any of that. Instead, we are left with a fleeting image of what the show could've been. Searching through the entire anime in hopes of it returning. Only to never find its return, but bombarded with materials that never once returned to what it could've been. To me, if Milky Holmes was about girls with "Toys" chasing after Arsene, and then losing it then going on to retrieve it sooner than say episode 10. I would have enjoyed it. Instead I was forced to watch 10 episodes of them being complete clumsy useless girls and even when they do get their powers back there was not an satisfactory episode. No, I did not get any satisfaction whatsoever from the climax of this series despite it taking itself more seriously than the rest of the anime had or have. I was really displeased to see that it only took itself seriously for that glimpse of a moment. Before throwing it all away and going back to being clumsy and stupid. That, really, is this anime in a nutshell.  Overall, if you feel up for some brain -numbing anime, feel free to watch Milky Holmes, but remember to always leave your brain somewhere else before entering, because otherwise you'd come out with severe brain damage. 

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