This is the final episode of Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri (三毛猫ホームズの推理), and continues the story that began in the previous episode. If you haven’t seen episode 10 yet, this review contains significant spoilers. Otherwise, I will, as usual, keep the spoilers to a minimum.

Mikeneko Holmes Title

When we last left our hero, Katayama Yoshitaro (Aiba Masaki), he had just saved the life of convicted killer Kaneda (Jinnai Takanori) who had just escaped from prison, blocking the aim of a police sniper. This was the downside to what, up to that point, had been exceptional police work from him.

Katayama Does Something Silly . . . Again

Unknown to Yoshitaro, Kaneda had been convicted of killing Yoshitaro’s father. He ultimately finds this out from his older brother, right before Kaneda himself walks into the house, gun in hand.

Kaneda Walks InHands Up

That’s where things stood at the end of the previous episode – with the Katayama family in mortal peril. Of course, Kaneda didn’t just shoot them all and leave. No, that would be too easy, and we wouldn’t have anything to do for the rest of the hour. Instead, he immediately sets the gun down and begs for help.

Begging For Help

And, as we would expect after experiencing his kind heart/gullibility so many times, Yoshitaro doesn’t hesitate to agree to give him help.

Kind Hearted Katayama

While it’s no surprise, I really think that the character should have taken a bit more time hesitating. After all, he had just found out that Kaneda was his father’s murderer, and Kaneda had just walked in with a gun pointed at them. These are not endearing traits, and warrant a bit of doubt and suspicion.

Not Again

If you’ve watched the first ten episodes, though, you can’t help but wonder whether this will be another occasion where Katayama’s trust is misplaced. Then again, Kaneda could have just run away, so why risk putting himself at the mercy of a police officer, however gullible that officer might be? Seems like this time, Katayama’s making a better than average bet on the guy’s innocence. You never can tell, though.

Kaneda and Katayama

Beyond the initial scene, continuing in detail would probably give away too much.

Altogether, it was an excellent finale. Finally, in this case, Yoshitaro showed the growth I had been hoping for through the entire series. This episode did have a mystery that needed solving, but that really wasn’t the difficult part of what went on. There were one or two aspects of the resolution that I felt were a bit weak, but they were also in keeping with how the series has gone so far, so I can’t really argue with them.

Otherwise, the end of the series was quite satisfying. Incidentally, at the beginning of the episode, Aiba-kun told us that there were two epilogues involving Holmes – one where Holmes returns, and another where it’s sayonara for Holmes. He asked the audience to vote on which one they would prefer.

A Choice of Epilogues

I’d say “watch to find out which one they picked,” but having seen the ending, I’m sort of left scratching my head on that one.

To sum up the series as a whole, many of the mysteries left a lot to be desired (like less obvious suspects). Yoshitaro’s weaknesses added humor, but also left me frustrated with him. There was character development, but until this last case, it was painfully slow. Characterization was consistent, though, and Aiba-kun was probably the best person imaginable for the lead role. The supporting cast – particularly Fujiki Naohito-san and Matsuko Deluxe – did a remarkable job.

Fujiki Naohito

Oh, and let’s not forget to recognize our extremely photogenic cat friend:

Holmes

Looking back on Aiba-kun’s last two dramas – “Bartender” and “My Girl” – this one definitely did a better job of retaining my interest, and I wasn’t disappointed with it. Score this one a winner.

But with Mikeneko Holmes ending and Kagi no Kakatta Heya wrapping up tomorrow, will we face a mystery vacuum next season?

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