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Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 1: 02/04/20

Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 1

Moriarty the Patriot, Volume 1 by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and Hikaru Miyoshi is the start of a manga that has been adapted into a fantastic anime. Moriarty in the original canon is my least favorite of Holmes's adversary but he's a key part of the series and a favorite villain in adaptations, especially in various television series. This version of Moriarty, though, is by far the best version I've seen (followed in second place by Elementary's).

Moriarty, like Watson, is a man made up of inconsistencies beyond two key character points: loves math and has a love/hate relationship with Holmes. The manga answers the questions of his changeable character sheet through the addition of two other Moriarty brothers who work in conjunction as consulting criminals. They have decided for reasons explained in volume one to bring down the aristocracy, one asshole at a time. Where Sherlock has morals and an agreement to work (albeit reluctantly) with Lestrade, the bros. Moriarty have no such compunction.

Per the back of the book, illustrator Hikaru Miyoshi is a fan of Moriarty. When teamed up with Ryōsuke Takeuchi to create a more straightforward adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, the illustrator convinced the author to look at Moriarty's side of the story. In doing so, they've managed to create an adversary whose motivations make sense in the larger context of a life lived.

The second volume, originally published in 2017 was released in English translation on January 5th, 2021.

Five stars

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