And now, as requested by my client in this particular case… I, William James Moriarty, Crime Consultant have come to bestow upon you your punishment.William James Moriarty
Moriarty the Patriot (Yuukoku no Moriarty) is a manga series written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi, and is available on Viz.Com where anyone can find mangas filled with action, adventure, fantasy, mystery, romance and more—thousands of manga volumes for every fan!
This review contains spoilers!
I have a soft spot for Sherlock. I’ve read almost all of the stories available, watched a lot of the movies, the TV shows, and even the cartoons. It’s rare for me to be surprised by a Sherlock story. Having said that – I suppose this is not really a Sherlock story.
This story actually focuses on his nemesis: Moriarty, the Crime Consultant.
There have been many interesting portrayals of Moriarty with a personal favorite of mine being Jim Moriarty of the BBC Sherlock series – but nothing could have prepared me for the Moriarty that I would discover within these pages.
This volume contains three stories by Ryōsuke Takeuchi filled with perfect crimes. The type of crimes that could ever be solved by a detective with the same prowess of Sherlock Holmes.
It begins by introducing the Count Moriarty’s second son: William James Moriarty. He’s obviously a very smart young man, and very unexpectedly kind. I expected a sweet introduction even if all of my exposures with Moriarty were the opposite of the sort, and this is on par with most re-imagining of villains.
Normally, I don’t particularly enjoy seeing my favorite villains humanized because they’re a favorite for a reason. I usually do not have any interest or need to feel sorry or understand them.
As I continued reading the first chapter of the volume – it was revealed that the kind young man was not actually a Moriarty. He was adopted with his younger brother, Louis, but we never find out his actual name – at least not in this volume. I realize that’s intended and that we may never find out what his actual name is.
After some very surprising murders later though, the un-named young boy fully claims the Moriarty name, the events of which set the tone for the rest of the volume.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a manga, and much, much longer since I’ve watched an anime, like I used to when I was a kid, so I was worried I would feel weird jumping back into it. However, this manga felt like finding a beloved old jacket that still surprisingly fits you after all of this time.
It didn’t take that long to feel immersed in this world again – and I think Hikaru Miyoshi’s art has a lot to do with it. It feels familiar, very similar to all of the same mangas that I grew up reading. Even the little chibi scenes, where there’s an extra behind the scenes look at characters reacting to things outside of the main plot can be found here. Oh, how I’ve missed it.
My favorite artistic thing about this manga though is the way the artist has drawn the expressions of each character. It clearly shows anger, peace, pain, fear – and I absolutely love that.
One of my favorite example of this is when the yet-to-be declared William James Moriarty calls his adopted mother: “Mother”. The position of her head, the way eyes move – it’s clear that Lady Moriarty head violently snaps with anger to look at him.
I also have to say, even though story and plot is clearly targeting the shōnen fans, it does give me some shōjo elements when it came to the artwork. Men drawn with incredibly long legs that go on for days? Yes, please.
I must say there are two things I love about this volume specifically.
The first thing I love about it are the twists. I especially did not see that twist in the beginning, and I gasped loudly when it happened. Here I was, thinking this was going to be a typical humanizing of one of my favorite villains, with their sweet smiles and kind words. Then the murders happened and I realized – oh dang, y’all – the Moriartys are just not good people at all. What does that say about me as a person that I’m glad he’s actually still kind of evil? Let’s not open that can of worms.
The second thing, though, that I love about this volume are the little nods to the original Moriarty. I especially giggled when William James Moriarty said that he is a consulting criminal for the first time. I had literal chills up and down my spine when I first read it.
Alright, I lied – there are three things I love. With maybe the exception of the first murder – all of the punishment doled out by Moriarty seems to mirror the crime the victims are being punished for. I particularly enjoy that in this kind of stories.
My biggest fear for this manga – if it hasn’t been made clear yet – is that I don’t want to reach a point in the story where I’m forgiving Moriarty. Where I’m understanding his motives. Where Sherlock is now the bad guy actually. Basically – I don’t want another Joker or another Wicked.
However, having said all of that – that is clearly a personal issue and who knows, maybe as the story goes – I’d fall for this Moriarty that is just trying his best in his own twisted way to improve England.
This is definitely a good volume to jump into, and has a lot of the things that I enjoy in my stories: intrigue, twists, easter eggs and humor, because even though this tends to be a serious story – the humor in it really does speak to me.
I’m excited to have y’all join me in this journey to discover a new Moriarty.