‘Whatever Remains, However Improable, Must be the Truth’ (Miss Sherlock, 2018)

There must be something compelling about the Sherlock Holmes canon that has spawned what is, by now, its own sub-genre — a billion retellings, as it were, seemingly as prevalent as (if not more) than retellings of Grimm’s fairytales. I’ve never been particularly interested, and anyway procedurals and mysteries aren’t my kind of thing.

Miss Sherlock stands out not just because this time around both Sherlock Holmes and Watson are Japanese women, but by how they’re handled. Modern incarnations of Sherlock Holmes tend toward the antisocial, asshole genius and that’s all well and good, but what if the antisocial, asshole genius is a woman? Probably she was traumatized; probably she will be threatened with rape at least once during the cause of the show, if not some sort of suggestively filmed violence.

Not this one.

Tachibana Wato — Wato-san, you see, a bilingual pun so bad it’s good— is a volunteer medic who’s just returned from Syria; at the airport, she meets her mentor, whose stomach promptly explodes (fridged men casualty count: 1) and demonstrates that the show doesn’t shy away from gore. Enter Sherlock (who has a real name but which goes unmentioned in the show), a consulting detective the police call in when they encounter unsolvable cases. You know the drill. The hotel at which Wato stays goes up in fire by the end of episode one, forcing her to co-habit with the gorgeous, impeccably dressed detective, and if you’ve read that fanfiction before…

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Kamen Rider Amazons

I never thought I’d compare a Kamen Rider title to Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan, but here we are. The show itself contains considerable amounts of gore, especially in the second season, some of which looks rather fake and some of which looks realistic enough to potentially nauesate. Spoiler warnings for season two, which isn’t available on English-language Amazon yet.

Kamen Rider Amazons is the franchise’s first experiment with making something that aims for an audience a little older than ten to twelve. The result is very interesting, unusual for this property, and while it’s not all great there’s a lot to recommend. The first thing to address is probably that, while this is a Darker and Grittier… side-reboot?, it abstains from the usual excess of sexual assault and so forth that accompanies the idea of dark-and-grit; when your main franchise is for selling children’s toys you don’t want that associated with onscreen graphic rape. The second thing is that, okay, there’s no nice way to put it: newer Kamen Rider titles look like shit. I’ve tried to watch post-Kabuto titles and there’s no perceptible improvement in CGI between Kamen Rider Kabuto (2006-2007) and Kamen Rider Build (2017-2018). Arguably the fight choreography is worse. Certainly the actors are far, far worse. I don’t know what happened here, whether it’s a budget issue or if they just churned these out quickly with the sole intention of selling merch and assuming that children don’t know any better. I’m pretty sure ten-year-olds these days recognize and complain about bad CGI, though.

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It’s Binge Live-Action Anime Adaptations Time! Fullmetal Alchemist (2017) and Tokyo Ghoul (2017)

The Fullmetal Alchemist (2017) live action adaptation just dropped worldwide, and because I heard it’s… less bad… than some live action films of anime, I gave it a try. And it’s… less bad… than others. But it’s still really bad. More on that later.

The absolute first thing you’re going to notice is that the wigs in this film are horrendous. The direct seems committed to slapping them on everyone who needs to be blonde but, being Japanese, are obviously not. Ed’s wig is almost exceptionally terrible, though Riza Hawkeye’s doesn’t fare much better, but Ed’s wig in particular is inescapable due to the frequency of close-ups to his face. The second thing you’re going to notice is that Yamada Ryosuke has either been cursed with a truly bad script (pretty likely) or simply cannot act.

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