Moriarty the Patriot is an alternative take on the classic Sherlock Holmes story, instead of focusing on the protagonist’s archnemesis James Moriarty. In this continuity, Moriarty (also known as the “Lord of Crime”) is actually three people: mastermind William, his loyal brother Louis, and their adoptive noble brother Albert. Together, they strive to take corrupt aristocrats down a peg and restore equality to Victorian London... through whatever means necessary. Naturally, many of their friends and enemies are also alternate versions of Sherlock Holmes characters, from deep cut references like criminal associate Sebastian Moran to the great detective himself. In the anime’s second cours, it introduces even more familiar faces from the Arthur Conan Doyle canon in new and exciting roles, so let’s take a look at them now!
Minor Spoilers Ahead!
1. Mycroft Holmes
Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft is portrayed in the original books as a highly intelligent man who has all the makings of a perfect detective, but lacks the ambition and settles for being a government bureaucrat instead. Since this anime’s version of Sherlock is a bit foolish and self-centered, it only makes sense that his brother is actually much craftier than he gives him credit for. Mycroft isn’t just a stuffy pencil pusher, but a calculating visionary who controls the British government from the shadows and works with William Moriarty’s team to make England a better place. As long as he’s assured that these criminals have the nation’s best interests at heart, he’ll let them get away with whatever dirty business they please.
2. Irene Adler/James Bonde
Regarded as one of the most famous femme fatales of fiction, Irene Adler is a capable rival to Sherlock and outwits him at every turn. Moriarty the Patriot initially gives Irene the same role she had in the books: a former opera singer who cleverly sidesteps Sherlock’s every attempt to steal the scandalous photographs of the Scandanavian king she has in her possession. After that, though, she fakes her death and joins the Moriarty group as a new persona called James Bonde (who is permanently male and referred to as such from then on). We love this fresh take on the character, especially since he gets so much character development with the other members of the team when they go on their first mission together!
3. Charles Augustus Milverton
Charles Augustus Milverton, known as the “king of blackmailers”, is an unscrupulous fellow based on an infamous real-life blackmailer named Charles Augustus Howell. One of his former victims kills him in the original Doyle story, but he’s still very much alive and dangerous in Moriarty the Patriot. This version of the character doesn’t hesitate to sully his hands (or rather, his underlings’ hands) with blood if his victims don’t obey his demands, and his secretive nature makes him a slippery opponent for even the genius-level intellects on Moriarty’s team. He’s bound to be our heroes’ toughest challenge yet...
4. Von Herder/Q
The original novels only make one or two mentions of a blind German mechanic named Van Herder, who crafted Sebastian Moran’s custom air rifle. This anime expands on that concept with Von Herder – also known as “Q”, in another reference to the James Bond franchise – a quirky weapons engineer who always wears a blindfold and appears on the odd occasion to outfit Moriarty’s team with new gadgets. His latest toy is a silenced rifle, which Moran uses during the Jack the Ripper chase through Whitechapel. Even though he’s just a minor character, Von Herder is a fun addition to the cast and a nice nod to an obscure bit of Sherlock Holmes trivia.
5. Inspector George Lestrade
The earnest, but bumbling Inspector Lestrade has made countless appearances in both the original Sherlock Holmes books and all manner of adaptations over the years, but he’s relegated to a more minor role in this anime since the Moriarty team’s schemes are a bit above his pay grade. Still, his justice-loving personality does help expose corruption within Scotland Yard and his inability to figure out that his police partner Zack Patterson is actually a secret Moriarty informant is pretty hilarious, so we still like him. Look, he just... tries his best, okay?
Moriarty the Patriot’s second cours also brings in Jack the Ripper as a new character. While this real-life serial killer never squared off against Sherlock Holmes in the original novels, many other adaptations have pitted the two Victorian figures against one another because it just makes for such a good story. In this version, Jack the Ripper is actually an old acquaintance of William and Louis and taught them to defend themselves back in the day. Troublemakers start using his name to justify their own serial killings and he comes back for one last job to teach them a lesson. It’s pretty spectacular to watch!
Can you think of any more classic Sherlock Holmes characters that Moriarty the Patriot has used? Who is your favorite of the bunch? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!