Anime Review: “Moriarty the Patriot”

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Brothers Louis James Moriarty, William James Moriarty and Albert James Moriarty in the fall 2020 anime, “Yuukoku no Moriarty,” also known as “Moriarty the Patriot.”

By Max Bielawski, editor

Excitement, revenge, justice, are some of the many words that can be used to describe the anime, Moriarty the Patriot.

Yuukoku no Moriarty, or in English known as Moriarty the Patriot, is a Japanese mystery manga series serialized in the monthly manga magazine, Jump Square, by Shueisha since August 2016. It is written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi.

It is based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. It is a prequel that focuses on the youth of Holmes’ rival, the mathematical genius William James Moriarty. The anime is adapted by Production I.G. and premiered in October 2020.

The anime is set in the late 19th century, during the Victorian era of the British Empire. Due to the strict class stratification, the average citizen has little chance of successfully rising up to the top, where the despicable nobility rules over them all.

William James Moriarty, the second son of the Moriarty household, is a mathematics professor who showed signs of great cunning and intellect ever since he was a child. Along with his brothers Louis and Albert, he lives the simple life of a noble.

Outside of school, Moriarty calls himself a criminal consultant, meaning he will solve the problems of anyone who asks him. Through this Moriarty and his brothers, along with ex-soldier Sebastian Moran and expert in stealth Fred Porlock, assist him in creating chaos and wrecking havoc in order to create a new society, one built from the ashes of the old.

Moriarty, along with his crew, use their skills to help out clients with their problems. Usually Moriarty will reach out to those typically of lower standings in society. Usually this is due to the nobility harming the lower class and with no other way to get help.

The nobility in this anime are not completely evil, but rather quite vain and unaware of the lives of the people around them; however, there are nobles who Moriarty deems as rotten and the root of evil and injustice in society, and so he takes extreme action against them.

This will lead to various investigations into these rotten nobles, often who have done horrible things in the past. For one instance, one of Moriarty’s clients takes revenge on his son’s killer by brutally murdering him after he is captured by Moriarty, or in Episode 4, where they literally give the viscount a taste of his own medicine, leading to his ironic death.

The anime heavily uses symbolism and foreshadowing, using these to illustrate analogies of the nobility and their power over society.

Moriarty himself, along with his biological brother Louis, were adopted into a noble family after living in poverty for most of their lives. Instead of being thankful, the biological brothers, along with Albert, grew resentment towards their abusive noble family members who, to them, are beyond saving and end up killing them in a staged gas explosion, destroying their mansion in the process. They wind up killing their mother, father and interestingly William Moriarty; Moriarty takes his name after the original William dies.

The anime, in a sense, is a strong message about social inequality and almost a political message too; however, that is a topic for another day.

Along with the satisfying revenge against the evil nobles, during Episode 6 we are introduced to Sherlock Holmes, which does prove to be exciting. Throughout seven episodes, this anime has been able to interest me and it definitely deserves a watch for those who enjoy darker shows.

Overall, I would give this anime an 8/10. I would recommend it to those who have read the classic Sherlock Holmes or to those who also enjoy anything Victorian.