When Aoi Mashiro walks into Kura, an antiques store in Kyoto she doesn’t find the owner there, or the owner’s son. Instead, she’s greeted by Kiyotaka Yagashira, a graduate student known to the locals as “Holmes.” Although young and serving as an apprentice, Holmes is no novice—his knowledge of antiques and ability to discover a forgery (and make deductions based upon the information presented to him) is extraordinary. And it appears that Aoi—who takes a job at the shop—has an eye for antiques, too, which will come in handy and she and Holmes solve related mysteries.
So, let’s make Holmes a handsome 22-year-old, Watson a 16-year-old high school girl, and Moriarty an antique counterfeiter? Sounds very much like anime to do so, and you know what? I think it’s going to work. There appears to be enough there in the world of antiques—interesting insights about historic and otherwise significant objects and mysterious that can be woven through them—to create stories for this series. And Aoi and Holmes themselves aren’t replicants of Oreki and Chitanda from Hyouka or the leaders of other related series; there’s a slight uptick in maturity based both on age and how the two interact in a more subtle, flirty way than in other shows. It’s not the quick wit of some British work, but there’s enough here to push this show solidly into seinen territory, which means that I’m very interested to see where this all goes (though it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been watching a bit of BBC Sherlock recently).
Holmes of Kyoto can be streamed on Crunchyroll.