Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2 Paperback – Mar 13 2012
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About the Author
Kaoru Shintaniis an award-winning Japanese manga artist/author whose best-known works includeArea-88andCleopatra DC.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The art is different than usual manga (it looks like the cover of the book). It is pretty much mediocre, but the style fits, and is a welcome change from normal manga. There is only character where the art just looks wrong. Fortunately, this character only appears in one story arc (sussex vampire arc).
The story leans heavily on the original sherlock holmes stories (e.g. the read headed league story). I haven't read all the sherlock holmes stories, but chances are most of the story arcs in this book are based on original sherlock holmes stories. So if you're a fan of sherlock holmes, you might not be surprised by who the culprit is. That said, it isn't a simple retelling of the tales. It is told from a different perspective and from time to time different deductions, as the protagonist (chrystal hope) basically races holmes to find who the culprit is first. As a result it's more like the same criminal case but a different story.
While the characters are likeable, the only real character development is with the main protagonist, which I'd say is developed more than your average manga. You learn fairly little about her "helpers" unfortunately, but at least they are more than cardboard cutouts for the stage. Considering the amount I'd imagine that there will be more character development for the side characters in the future.
Chrystal hope is not a clone of sherlock holmes, both in terms of capability and character, and has an authentic feel to her. This shows in her lack of experience and on occasion knowledge, as well as a certain impulsiveness.
Basically it is a collection of seperate stories. There are some recurring characters (such as "X has joined the party"), but basically you are looking at several independant story arcs.
Overall the book is worth it's money, though part of that is how many pages you get for your money. And it seems to start heading in an interesting style in the second half. I originally bought this book only because I had a coupon, but I must admit I was pleasently surprised. While I don't consider this book to be a must-have, it certainly is a welcome addition to my book shelf.
It's strong points are characters, and story telling (though maybe not the story itself, due to the similarity with sherlock holmes stories as mentioned earlier). It's weak points are the first 2 stories, it's dependance on original sherlock holmes stories, and on occasion the art quality.
It should be pointed out that the book is on occasion of a more light hearted nature, however I don't remember seeing a chibi.
Crystal "Christie" Margaret Hope is a ten year old with an array of knowledge far beyond her years, an insatiable curiosity, and an intellect on par with her famous uncle, Sherlock Holmes. With her parents away in India the Count's inquisitive daughter specializes in getting involved in her uncle's cases, whether he or the numerous maids and attendants trying to turn her into a "proper lady" like it or not.
The first volume contained here introduces Christie, establishes a solid supporting cast and retells some classic Sherlock Holmes stories. The second volume is primarily devoted to a crossover story with Dance in the Vampire Bund (which I liked despite not having read any of Dance, supernatural elements, and a slightly disappointing resolution) and is filled out with another retelling.
The stories range from two to five chapters long as Shintani allows the material to dictate the proper length. I found the characters to have well defined, interesting personalities and the stories engaging as they unfolded. There are nice touches of humor skillfully blended throughout. The art here is excellent and compliments the subject matter beautifully whether in action scenes or the numerous explanation scenes all mysteries have.
However this manga isn't without it's issues. It's not quite on par with the source material or original mystery manga like Kindaichi, and there are occasional pacing issues revolving around Sherlock and Christie figuring out the same things in parallel, leading the reader to get the same explanations twice. Purists will also definitely be bothered by Christie's prowess and the way she is shoehorned into familiar stories. Holmes' characteristic bluntness can also come off as rather harsh since it now is targeted at a ten year old trying to earn his respect as often as at Watson.
But I personally have no problems with re-imaginings, the key points of the mysteries are ingeniously adapted, and despite the minor flaws as a whole I really enjoyed Christie's adventures. So my ratings tilt goes slightly upward here, resulting in 4 stars. Know what you're getting going in, but if Young Miss Holmes sounds like something you might like Christie's adventures probably won't disappoint.
I found out about this book from wandering about online. It looked intriguing but I was worried. I thought it was going to be a Cousin Oliver style Mary Sue. In other words, a lame story exploiting Sherlock Holmes' name for an unrealistic child protagonist. That is not the case. Sherlock Holmes remains the number mystery solver here and no one knows this better than Christie herself. She sometimes calls herself his "stupid niece" because she can't measure up to him. He's a regular character here and important to many storylines but he's still not in the "main cast" or takes the spotlight from them.
The plots are the original holmes stories but from the perspective of this niece of his, Christie Hope. However, these are not simple re-treads with a younger and cuter protagonist. There is a lot of original content built up around the cases, and because Christie has her own way of solving crimes, even the cases themselves aren't the same. I read the original Red-headed League after reading this one here and it is very much a difference experience. You know those games where you can play through the same event as different characters? It's like that.
Christie is called "Holmes in miniature" by several characters and this is a concise way to put it. She is academically brilliant and solves cases for fun rather than For Great Justice. Her social skills are marginally better and she has a great deal more compassion but she'd rather stay in the family library than gossip. While intelligent she is still a child and thus immature, and this where her Watsons come in.
Christie has "three Watson" so to speak: two maids and her governess. In place of the bromance of Homes and Watson himself, this is more of a big sisters and mother-substitute thing. Grace, the governess, takes the biggest role in raising Christie to be a proper lady, because her parents are in India, but at the same time she also teaches her how to become a more mature person and a better detective.
The artwork is fantastic. It's cute without being cutes-y and does a great job to convey the manga's humor. There is a lot of funny stuff here. I have only read two of the original stories, so I may have the wrong interpretation, but I don't remember there being much to laugh about.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2" an A+
Have you ever read one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and thought, “Yes, this is nice, but adding a little blonde girl would really round out the story!” then look no further. Young Miss Holmes is exactly what you’ve been longing for. But, if you’re like me, the thought never crossed your mind. I picked this book up not because of the Sherlock Holmes connection, but because I’ve been enjoying Gosho Aoyama’s "Case Closed" series and was looking for more mystery graphic novels to pass the time.
Each story is based on one of the Sherlock Holmes short stories. In this volume, we have new versions of “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”, “The Problem of Thor Bridge”, “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”, “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”, and “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”. While Holmes is usually brought into the case by the police or by a client, Christie must find her own way to wriggle in. Usually, she takes the social route. As a young girl from a wealthy, well-placed family, she is able to easily enter the homes of murder victims by offering herself as a companion for a grieving child or calling on homeowners as a representative of her family. Although she often reaches the same conclusion as her uncle, her approach is radically different, bringing something fresh to these otherwise familiar stories.
Two maids accompany Christie on most of her adventures. They’re polar opposites, with Christie soaking up etiquette and proper behavior from prim Annemarie and honing her street smarts with Nora. She also has an enormous dog for protection, and a wise governess who occasionally helps her young protégé consider her cases in a new light. It seems like an awfully large entourage accompanying a little girl on her investigations, but in actual practice she rarely has more than one or two companions at a time, so it works out.
One curious adaptation is the introduction of the supernatural to the story. In “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”, Sherlock Holmes and Christie both successfully prove that there are no vampires at work. But for some quirky reason, a vampire has been living in the ruins near the mansion where the mystery takes place, and she saves a wounded Christie from death with her “rose kiss”, which grants Christie a long life, rapid healing abilities, and immunity to all diseases. It seemed like an odd change, out of character with Sherlock Holmes and his devotion to reason and logic…but then again, Young Miss Holmes is a different story, and I guess in this version vampires and other paranormal creatures are fair game.