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Pioneer presents
Sherlock Hound: Case File I (1984)

"And now the game begins."
- Sherlock Hound

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: June 28, 2002

Stars: Larry Moss, Lewis Arquette
Other Stars: Pat Parris, Hamilton Camp
Director: Hayao Miyazaki, Kyosuke Mikuriya

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (ages 5 & up)
Run Time: 02h:05m:13s
Release Date: February 26, 2002
UPC: 013023172098
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+B-B- D-

DVD Review

Sherlock Hound has an interesting history. Produced jointly by television studios from Tokyo and Italy, it was originally produced in English because it was though that it would be easier to translate dialogue from English into Italian or Japanese than the other way around. The biggest draw for anime fans, however, is the involvement of co-director and anime master Hayao Miyazaki (director of Princess Mononoke, he is often called the Japanese Walt Disney).

Despite a top tier director and a great team of animators, Sherlock Hound was cancelled after only six episodes, only to reappear two years later as the lead-ins to the theatrical airing of Miyazaki's Nausica: Valley of the Wind. After that, the show aired on Japanese television, completing an entire season. This DVD contains the first five episodes that were produced before the initial cancellation.

As the name implies, Sherlock Hound takes the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective and translates them into a world of anthropomorphic dogs. In the first episode, Hound meets up with Dr. Watson to foil a group of pirates seeking stolen treasure. In the rest of the episodes, the chief villain is the dastardly Moriarty and his two idiot henchmen.

Though the episodes are fairly forumulaic—Hound comes in to investigate, solving the case while trying to keep Scotland Yard off of his back—but they remain entertaining with humorous dialogue, well drawn characters, and a moderate amount of physical humor (mostly from Moriarty's henchmen and an incompetent police inspector).

Sherlock Hound is very much a children's show, but it is one with an intelligence and wit that adults will appreciate too.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The transfers of both the English and Japanese sides have been remastered, and the results are fairly pleasing. Colors look intermittently saturated and a bit dull, with darker scenes looking rather dull. Print condition is fairly good, with only occasional lines visible. Other than a general softness, though, I noted no major problems aside from an overall aged appearance.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Japaneseno

Audio Transfer Review: Audio on both the English and Japanese sides is similar as well, with dialogue always understandable and good levels between the music and effects. I did hear a slight background hiss at times, but nothing that couldn't be taken care of by simply turning down the volume a bit.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 26 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Both English and Japanese versions
Extras Review: No extras are offered save English subtitles on the Japanese side of the disc only, though the English versions of the episodes do include about a minute of extra footage.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Sherlock Hound is a top-quality children's program, with engaging, witty scripts and excellent animation and character designs. Considered it an added bonus that adults will enjoy it just as much.


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