Who are you and what have you done with my Milky Holmes?!
If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Milky Holmes would be much better if they played the premise completely straight,” then 1) we can’t be friends, and 2) this is your show. Completely abandoning the off-the-wall comedy that the previous anime series became known for, this installment introduces two new characters and a world where Milky Holmes is actually competent and famous, arresting tons of phantom thieves with their supernatural powers known as Toys. Apparently the Alternative OVA–which takes much of the same approach–worked out well for them, since there is no trace of the previous season’s style or humor. In all honesty, this shouldn’t be labelled a third season or advertised as such.
That said, it’s hard for me to judge this series as a separate entity because I was so disappointed. When you go from an evil mastermind trying to steal the world’s fat in the previous season finale to something relatively realistic but with superpowers involved, you’re going to feel some whiplash. It would’ve been one thing if we were following the Milky Holmes gang from the get-go, but instead we follow the two new characters. It seems like they were going for a slice-of-life feel in this first episode, but it’s so boring. I really don’t care about two characters I don’t know wandering around an obvious digital photograph background while they talk about how awesome Milky Holmes is. If you’re going to play this straight, at least follow Milky Holmes while they kick butt.
In the episode’s defense, that does happen towards the end, but by the time we get around to fighting Phantom Thieves, the damage is done. The episode is only twelve minutes long, but it feels far longer because of the bad pacing. If this was intended to win fans of the previous series over, then they could’ve tried harder. When the content is almost the complete opposite of what I was expecting when I opened the video player, the episode has to do a pretty good job to convince me to keep watching it. This episode did not do that; it only made me want my twelve minutes back. Also, while most of the major players from the previous seasons do show up (Genius 4 isn’t nearly as interesting without the slapstick), the Phantom Thieves are a completely new group with no sign of Henriette or the other Gentleman Thieves anywhere. I’m not sure what makes me more upset: that the characters I liked have become boring or that some of my favorites have been written out. While it’s possible that this is a giant troll move and it’ll go back to comedy in the next episode, I’m not banking on it.
Go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done, Futari wa Milky Holmes.
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