I’m attracted to the odd and the bizarre, especially when it comes to comedy. I like seeing mad scenarios drawn to their logical conclusions, and I have great admiration for those who can see the world in such an oddball, humorous way. Recently I fell hard for the two seasons of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, whose world is about as strange as it gets in anime. There’s a teacher/thief with extendable nipples, a prince with some distinct kinks, the god of lard, and, of course, the four heroines, who are all awful detectives and awful and/or pathetic people in general. But while Milky Holmes is definitely strange, there’s solid comedic chops that give form to the madness. The slapstick in particular is excellent, and it really has to be so that seeing the detectives fail miserably every week stays funny rather than depressing.
This brings us to Futari wa Milky Holmes, which, at least through the first episode, is about as far from the above as one could get. It’s more similar in tone to the Milky Holmes Alternative OVA; this is a more relatively serious look at the girls, mostly light-hearted but with the four actually being competent detectives, helping a girl and solving a crime. It’s also incredibly boring. There’s nothing particularly interesting or charming about the Milky Holmes quartet being nice and good at their jobs. But when they’re selfish, awful and mean? Now that’s something — they have character, they have desires, and they’re viciously funny.
So of course the best thing to do is to strip away all the humor and sub in awkward digital backgrounds. Right. Fuck you, car! I see you there!
Basically nothing of interest happens in this episode. We have two girls who are fans of the Milky Holmes girls but also want to be great detectives themselves. The G4 quartet of police officers has been split up, with Kokoro on duty with
Yukari from Girls und Panzer some random girl. There are even new Phantom Thieves — no Twenty, no Rat, no Stone River and no Arsene. It’s all set up as a battle between the suddenly competent Milky Holmes detectives and a dangerous group of thieves. Maybe it will defy all expectations and be interesting, but I doubt it. This episode is half as long as a normal Milky Holmes episode and looks far worse than anything from the first two seasons, so forgive me if I have little faith in this project.
There’s still a chance to save it. The first episode of Milky Holmes is amusing for stringing the audience along and fooling them into thinking it will be a somewhat serious magical powers show, when in fact by the end they lose their Toys (psychic powers, basically) and are revealed to be selfish fuck-ups. There is room for this to be similar — just play on the one girl’s fandom of Milky Holmes and have her expectations be crushed by how awful the girls really are. Perhaps well-trodden ground, but the potential for good comedy is there. Maybe the show will surprise me; I would certainly be pleased to eat my words here.
But hey. Even if this new season is terrible, the first two seasons of Milky Holmes still exist. It’s a miracle that something that bizarre survived for so long. Anything that produced the conclusion of Milky Holmes‘ second season — undoubtedly one of the all-time great “We’re going to kick God’s ass!!” scenarios — should be praised rather than mourned. So I will always love you, Milky Holmes, even if your characters are suddenly competent.