Even though life has moved on and we’re in Summer 2021, we at Honey’s Anime still haven’t from all our favorite hits from Spring 2021. One such anime that has been beloved is Moriarty the Patriot or Yuukoku no Moriarty. If you’ve watched it, you know that this reinterpretation of the classic was simply one of the best and the plot and the themes involved simply reminded us of Death Note set in the Victorian era.
One such character that managed to catch everyone’s hearts was William James Moriarty. If you didn’t fall for him with just the way he says his name perfectly, you probably fell for his character. Even though William borrowed his entire name from the Moriarty family, thanks to Albert Moriarty, he owned it like he was born with it and it reflected in almost everything he did. However, his character was still set apart from other nobility. He wasn’t tainted by the privileges that were showered over him and his family. Instead, he chose to use that power for good. This is why we think William James Moriarty is possibly one of the greatest grey characters of all time.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend
William James Moriarty is not necessarily an original character because he’s from the famous classic of Sherlock Holmes where he played a rather minor role in the overarching story. However, the author Ryosuke Takuechi simply found it sad that Moriarty wasn’t given enough attention in the books and chose to write Moriarty the Patriot with Moriarty himself as the protagonist. This is something that we at Honey’s Anime have never seen even outside of anime, where Moriarty’s character is not simply about being a psychopath who kills people but he actually had various reasons behind it. Watching Moriarty the Patriot, you get to know more about Moriarty’s childhood, how he had a little brother, Louis and was adopted into the Moriarty family. Though adopting the Moriarty name, he remembers that the reason the rich are rich is at the cost of the poor and he bases his actual identity on his character more than his family name as was common in Victorian England. All this background information in the first few episodes sets the pace for the rest of the show as we get to know Moriarty more through his interactions with Sherlock.
His Friendship With Sherlock Holmes
While a better part of the anime community ships William Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes, we simply don’t think this anime had any hints of that. What this anime did highlight was the friendship between the two men. Think about it, Moriarty and Sherlock’s first meeting was a game of wits where they assessed each other simply by observing one another for a few minutes. William says so himself, he doesn’t really know why he chose Sherlock of all people to put an end to him. But he also says that for the longest time, he’s often thought of Sherlock as one of his long-standing friends simply because they understood each other more than anyone else and Moriarty simply decided that if someone should end him and his heinous plan, it should be Sherlock who actually made Moriarty forget about his heinous plan for a moment.
Possibly One Of The Greatest Grey Protagonists
As the anime unfolds, we’re unsure whether we should really like Moriarty and condone his actions because even if he’s doing good, he’s manipulating people into killing themselves. However, as the plot unfolds further, we see that Moriarty’s mission is not to simply take the credit and go around ruthlessly killing all the bad nobles. He simply wants to be the villain that everyone hates, including the poor and the rich. This common and shared evil will ensure that these two classes unite together to overthrow Moriarty from Britain. Moreover, the fact that in his letter to Sherlock, William tells him how he knows what he’s doing is so wrong. Murder even done for the good of people is not right and all Moriarty can see in his hands sometimes are the blood of all the people he’s killed before. But this truthfulness and vulnerability is what sets Moriarty apart from other morally grey characters we’ve met before. Moriarty knows and accepts that what he’s doing is wrong and instead of being an arrogant noble with all the power, he suddenly becomes the humble boy he was before he moved into the Moriarty family and his character comes full circle.
There’s a lot more that’s great about William James Moriarty that we haven’t mentioned. From his impeccable looks that simply lures anyone who sees him in to his great proficiency in maths and wanting to be Sherlock’s friend if they’d been born in a different world, there’s a lot that’s truly human about Moriarty and this is unlike any other reinterpretation of the classic Sherlock Holmes. What are your thoughts about Moriarty the Patriot? Do you think that William Moriarty is a great protagonist? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!