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Female Sherlock!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw3jHjEgPFU

 

 

I don't know what to think of this. The Japanese mystery series that I've seen have been a mixed bag. Some have been good. Others not so much.

 

I hope this series is good though. I need a good mystery series to watch because nobody knows how long it will take for another Sherlock season to premiere.

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Anybody have any idea how to see it in this country? I assume it will involve some sort of pay service.... :(

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Thanks Fantasy! Interesting! Any more of them?

Never mind. All I had to do was scroll down.... :rolleyes: 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 2:18 PM, Fantasy Lover said:

You can see it here with subtitles.

https://m.ok.ru/video/753990961898

I had to go to another link since this one wouldn't open for me, but based on the first 15 minutes, here's what I know so far:

Wato-san is a surgeon freshly returned from a posting in Syria (maybe with Doctors Without Borders?) whose mentor comes to meet her at the airport.  Within minutes he is felled by a mysterious attack.  Miss Sherlock discovers the cause:  a Devils' foot bomb planted in his stomach.

The Japanese language is structured so that it is very difficult for an educated woman to sound anything other than polite while using the standard form.  So far as I can tell, Miss Sherlock is not using any rude or lower-class words but she does have the Sherlock-like habit of asking extremely blunt and personal questions coupled with inappropriate smiling.

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***Finished Ep. 1.  Wato and Sherlock will be living together now, prompted by the urging of Mycroft.  The Japanese Mycroft is impeccably dressed and also, thin.  The Japanese Mrs. Hudson is a very elegant lady.

My initial impression is that this is more of a Japanese nod to Elementary than it is to BBC Sherlock.  Wato-san here is also a doctor who has lost confidence in her abilities or her direction in life.  Like the Canon Dr. Watson, though, she has returned to her native city after an extended period abroad, and having displeased her parents, in the far north of Sapporo, does not feel she can return to them.  So when she meets 'Sherlock', she is both jobless and homeless.  Her dress sense is a bit collegiate/frumpy but she is not the timid mouse that the promos for this series led one to expect. 

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I have the first season on VUDU ( 8 episodes), and have watched them all. I have very little to complain about so far. In point of fact, so far the only thing i have an issue with is the timidness of the Wato-San character. However, this may be a combination of the PTSD she is struggling with, and Japanese culture in general (though i am not particularly knowledgeable of the culture/norms in japan, and so may be wrong on that count). At any rate, I very much enjoyed the first season, and found it interesting that to begin with, they had a lot of friction between Sherlock and Wato-San (far more than in the original canon). I also like that they focused on some of the lesser adapted canon stories.  I am eager to see what season 2 brings.

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8 hours ago, GodNort1985 said:

... so far the only thing i have an issue with is the timidness of the Wato-San character. However, this may be a combination of the PTSD she is struggling with, and Japanese culture in general (though i am not particularly knowledgeable of the culture/norms in japan, and so may be wrong on that count).

I've seen only a few clips of the show, and I'm certainly no expert on Japanese culture either, but I have read a certain amount about Japan, plus a friend of mine now lives there.  As I understand it, Japanese people in general (and women in particular) appear extremely non-assertive to Westerners, because they do not state things forcefully, they sort of (by our standards) beat around the bush.  Another Japanese person will understand what they're getting at, because they were raised the same way, but if there's a Westerner is at the other end of the conversation, they may be totally frustrated, like "Why can't I get a straight answer from this guy?"  It's kind of like the difference between men and women in Western culture, where a woman is embarrassing herself by (she thinks) throwing herself at a man that she's attracted to, and meanwhile he doesn't even notice, even if he's also attracted to her.

So it may actually be the Sherlock character who's unusual, by being more forceful than the Japanese norm, while Wato-san is more of a normal Japanese woman -- kind of like the contrast between the traditional Holmes and Watson, really.

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15 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I've seen only a few clips of the show, and I'm certainly no expert on Japanese culture either, but I have read a certain amount about Japan, plus a friend of mine now lives there.  As I understand it, Japanese people in general (and women in particular) appear extremely non-assertive to Westerners, because they do not state things forcefully, they sort of (by our standards) beat around the bush.  Another Japanese person will understand what they're getting at, because they were raised the same way, but if there's a Westerner is at the other end of the conversation, they may be totally frustrated, like "Why can't I get a straight answer from this guy?"  It's kind of like the difference between men and women in Western culture, where a woman is embarrassing herself by (she thinks) throwing herself at a man that she's attracted to, and meanwhile he doesn't even notice, even if he's also attracted to her.

So it may actually be the Sherlock character who's unusual, by being more forceful than the Japanese norm, while Wato-san is more of a normal Japanese woman -- kind of like the contrast between the traditional Holmes and Watson, really.

No may about it, Miss Sherlock is very unusual according to her cultural standards.  Japanese society is a good 50 years behind the United States in terms of social equality.  2019 still feels a lot like 1969 over there, with better technology.

Men hold all the power positions in society, and a woman is supposed to ideally look cute, be impeccably dressed and devote all her energies to keeping the home and raising children.  It's very rare, nearly non-existent, to find women in positions of authority in male-dominated industries . .which is pretty much all of them . .medicine, politics, law enforcement, business . . The greatest equality I found there was in education, and it was one of the few careers that allowed married women with children to continue along the same career trajectory as their male colleagues.  For the most part, women are actively encouraged to resign their jobs after becoming pregnant.  It's a very chauvinist culture.  But within the home, the mother reigns supreme.  Miss Sherlock has no husband or children and conducts herself very much like a man would.  Actually even more pushy than a normal young Japanese man in terms of being aggressive and in-your-face and in her personal directness.  Japanese culture and language is all about indirectness.  That comes from hundreds of years of living under a martial system where your overlords could cut your head off on a whim, or if you looked at them sideways.   The true art lies in getting people to do what you want them to do without 'demanding' it, and in getting out of things you do not wish to do without ever resorting to overt 'No' and/or being labeled 'difficult'.  To the Japanese way of doing things, Western bluntness and open displays of emotion, be it happy, sad or angry can be construed as rudeness or immaturity. . . .or at the most extreme . .mental illness.  Miss Sherlock defies a number of her own cultural standards and is much more 'American' in her approach.  Like BC's Sherlock, she also favors what is deemed socially inappropriate smiling & remarks.  She is very unladylike  by Japanese standards, but she looks great at all times any way.

Wato-san fulfills the primary Watsonian function of providing contrast to her flatmate/friend  by embodying the 'conventional' standards of her society.  Though as a surgeon who has spent significant time abroad by herself while being unmarried and childless, she's sort of a 'hanbun'--half and half traditional young Japanese woman with a few 'Sherlocky' characteristics.  Japanese women are highly educated--more women achieve university degrees in Japan than the men do, even--but they are sorely underrepresented in the higher professions due to the prevailing cultural belief that the most important contribution a woman can make, and the one a 'real' woman is happy to aspire to is making babies for Japan, Inc.  

By that standard, both Miss Sherlock & Wato-san are out of the mainstream, but Miss S. is just flat-out 'weird'.  But that's what off-kilter geniuses **do**.  :)

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3 hours ago, Hikari said:

No may about it, Miss Sherlock is very unusual according to her cultural standards.  [....]

... the most important contribution a woman can make, and the one a 'real' woman is happy to aspire to is making babies for Japan, Inc.

And I suspect that attitude is unlikely to change any time soon, due to the current (last I heard) low birth rate.  Over here, we keep building more schools, while over there, schools are being closed for lack of young people.

Thanks for your detailed confirmation of my impression.

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:46 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

And I suspect that attitude is unlikely to change any time soon, due to the current (last I heard) low birth rate.  Over here, we keep building more schools, while over there, schools are being closed for lack of young people.

Thanks for your detailed confirmation of my impression.

Fewer and fewer educated Japanese women are opting to pursue the traditional Japanese feminine track of marriage well before 30 and the replacement quota of 2 children.  These educated women are opting instead to continue working or pursue graduate degrees and spend their disposable income and vacations enjoying foreign or domestic travel.  They are getting their consciousness raised in the way their American sisters did in the 1970s, and the fossilized patriarchal Japanese system is getting a shake-up.  In 2018, along comes 'Miss Sherlock', and she and Wato are perhaps a reflection of their changing society--two highly-educated and accomplished women who are making their own career paths completely free of dependency on a male figure, be it husband or father.  Even 5 years ago, a show like Miss Sherlock probably wouldn't have gotten an airing in its home country because it would have been deemed too progressive . . there is even a whiff of homoerotic tension between them.  A 'Sherlock' is always going to be out of the mainstream of his or her society, being that much more brilliant than an average person . .but Miss Sherlock and Wato aren't as off-kilter as they would have been not all that long ago.

'The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world', as the saying goes . . Japanese women are going to be asserting their power by the opposite, I think--by choosing not to reproduce and perpetuate an archaic system where old men make all the decisions for them while they stay at home in the kitchen.  As the current regime of elderly politicians and captains of industry die off, Japan will be forced to promote promising women to positions of authority and make more meaningful work opportunities available to their highly educated female workforce.  They are sweating over who is going to take care of a rapidly aging population, with so few children relative to the senior population.  There are going to be growing pains, but I think it will ultimately be for the good.  I lived there from 1990 - 96 and I met many wonderful, smart women during my time there.  But I felt at times like I was trapped in an Asian version of Pleasantville . . the calendar said it was the 1990s, but based on the roles for women, I could have just as easily been in 1972 or 1952 . . with better transportation and fewer kimonos.   The professional women I knew tended to be unmarried, because that seemed to be the only way for a female to retain an identity of her own.

Felt a bit Kafkaesque, to be honest.  In my opinion, Japanese women are smarter than the men are but they are just starting to have a voice in their own society.  

Apart from any social commentary which may or may not have been intended by its creators, Miss Sherlock looks like it's fun.

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I really appreciate the detailed and informed responses on this topic. The responses have given me a better understanding and appreciation of this adaptation.     On a somewhat different note, One aspect, i believe, this adaptation has done a better job of examining  than most ('Sherlock' did it to some extent) is not only the physical but emotional impacts that military service has had on the watson character. Any way, i hope there are more seasons in the works. 

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View Halloa to the room . . Hope everybody is hanging in there in this age of Covid-19.

Back in March-April, I had a 6-week break from work as my library was closed due to the virus.  One of my activities was to finally watch S1 (so far only one available) of "Miss Sherlock" (HBO-Asia, available on Prime Video through Amazon.)

Yuko Takeuchi (Sherlock) and Shihori Kanjiya (Wato) create a sassy, believable chemistry together as the 21st century Tokyo-based pair of mismatched roommate detectives.  Sherlock Holmes has been popular in Japan almost from his inception, and the creators of this rather daring modern interpretation certainly seem to know their casebook.  I really enjoyed it.  I have an additional interest in this version, since I wanted to practice my Japanese language, but all of the 8 episodes are subtitled in English.  Though Sherlock's unusual moniker and traumatic past is only alluded to, never explained, I presume that these things will become illuminated in a second series, though it's unclear that one is in progress.  I called the project daring since it features two young women in traditionally male roles, and to have two female leads in this type of show might be a first time in its home country.   In my opinion, having both of the partnership be female is truer to Conan Doyle's original dynamic than is Elementary.

If you are willing to pay to buy or rent this on Prime, it's well worth it, if you also have an interest in Japanese culture.  The ensemble cast, including 'Mrs. Hudson', 'Mycroft', 'Inspector Lestrade (Here called 'Reimon', which translates to 'Thanks-gate' or 'bill-gate')--fitting, since Lestrade is the 'gate' through which Sherlock has access to the police investigations) is very good. They have also added a long-suffering sergeant for Inspector Reimon who doesn't like Sherlock and who is made her scut-boy very often, with amusing results.   'Wato' means 'peaceful city', and when combined with the honorific suffix -san, becomes 'Wato-san', you see? 😛

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Hikari, you exist!  :wave2:  Welcome back!

Thanks for your review.  I was wondering why you didn't just turn off the subtitles (so you could better practice your Japanese), until one Amazon reviewer explained that "the subtitles were hardcoded so I couldn't turn them off, and they had quite a number of typos and small mistranslations."  (Sadly, that latter part is largely true of video subtitles in general.  I'm guessing that they're done by people working under great time pressure, with scarcely any reference materials -- and certainly no scripts.)

I'm about halfway interested in seeing this, but the only DVD available on Amazon (either US or UK) is neither subtitled nor available at present.  :(

 

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13 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Hikari, you exist!  :wave2:  Welcome back!

Thanks for your review.  I was wondering why you didn't just turn off the subtitles (so you could better practice your Japanese), until one Amazon reviewer explained that "the subtitles were hardcoded so I couldn't turn them off, and they had quite a number of typos and small mistranslations."  (Sadly, that latter part is largely true of video subtitles in general.  I'm guessing that they're done by people working under great time pressure, with scarcely any reference materials -- and certainly no scripts.)

I'm about halfway interested in seeing this, but the only DVD available on Amazon (either US or UK) is neither subtitled nor available at present.  :(

 

Re. the subtitles--I need them, because my Japanese isn't that good!  I mentioned them in case anyone thinking about watching it would be daunted by the language.   I haven't been immersed in Japanese in daily life since the mid-1990s, but I wanted to reawaken that part of my brain.  This is a fast-paced contemporary show and the language zips by incredibly fast.

Their riff on 'Moriarty' is brilliant, but I won't spoil.

It's my impression that subtitles are charged by the word, not to mention the limited space in getting text on the bottom of the screen . . so it's pretty common to have longer speeches trimmed for economy.  Non-native speakers will miss the nuances, but they can follow along with the meaning enough to understand what's going on.  My goal is to master Sherlock's, "Once you eliminate the impossible . . " speech in Japanese.  It's very chewy.  "Miss Sherlock" was my first-ever streaming video purchase, but the whole season of 8 hour-long episodes cost me about the same as a DVD.  It looks doubtful that a DVD would be released Stateside, more than two years after it aired at home.  Probably licensing issues.  Subtitled programs are going to cost a bit more due to the costs associated with the translation services.

By the way, "Miss Sherlock" constitutes the first project in any language to feature our Baker Street pair as both women.  Japan is hardly in the vanguard when it comes to equal opportunity for women . . it's 2020 going on 1960 over there in many ways . . so it was kind of surprising that this country was the first to take a gamble on a female duo.  I think it turned out great.  The only drawback is that Tokyo is one of the world's ugliest cities, so there is no visual interest for the viewer for exterior locations, such as there is with Sherlock or Elementary.  But 221B is a triumph of set design . . they have brilliantly mixed traditional Japanese home elements with a Victorian flair.  I really loved Sherlock's house.

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Re. the subtitles--I need them, because my Japanese isn't that good!  I mentioned them in case anyone thinking about watching it would be daunted by the language.   I haven't been immersed in Japanese in daily life since the mid-1990s, but I wanted to reawaken that part of my brain.


I understand!  I took enough Spanish in college to speak and understand it reasonably well -- but then had very little cause to use it till some forty years later, when a friend married a woman from Mexico who spoke very little English at first.  So I had to dust off my Spanish, and was amazed at how fast I regained a basic working vocabulary.  (Still can't conjugate verbs worth a damn, though, so I speak kind of broken Spanish.)  As she gradually learned English, our conversations consisted of her speaking English and me speaking Spanish, which worked remarkably well, and allowed both of us to practice.
 

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

It looks doubtful that a DVD would be released Stateside, more than two years after it aired at home.


Alas, you're probably right.  The only DVD that has apparently ever been offered on Amazon was Japanese-only.  I see that Amazon Prime allows one to "buy" the show.  Does that mean an actual download, so that you have it on your computer -- and can then transfer it onto a writable DVD?  Bit of a nuisance, but (if I'm understanding correctly) it might be worth doing.

 

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I have not tried that, but I think that should be possible.  All of the episodes in in my Amazon Cloud and I've just started going though them a second time.  There is also the option to rent each episode for $3.99 each, but it's a lot cheaper to buy the whole series.  If you rent something, either a movie or a TV episode, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to watch it.

It's hard not to think of Benedict C. while watching Ms. Takeuchi do Sherlock.  There's a very specific Sherlock esprit that goes along with this character.  All the best Sherlocks capture this essence, regardless of gender, culture or time period. If Ben were a petite Japanese female, this is what he'd look like.  :)

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23 hours ago, Hikari said:

All of the episodes in in my Amazon Cloud and I've just started going though them a second time.  There is also the option to rent each episode for $3.99 each, but it's a lot cheaper to buy the whole series.  If you rent something, either a movie or a TV episode, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to watch it.

OK, so "buying" simply means that you can watch it whenever you get around to it -- it's still in the Amazon cloud, rather than on your computer.  Doubt that you could burn a DVD from it, then.  But presumably you could still watch the show fifty years from now, assuming Amazon is still in business.

23 hours ago, Hikari said:

It's hard not to think of Benedict C. while watching Ms. Takeuchi do Sherlock.  There's a very specific Sherlock esprit that goes along with this character.  All the best Sherlocks capture this essence, regardless of gender, culture or time period. If Ben were a petite Japanese female, this is what he'd look like.

That, I'll have to see!

 

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I see nothing wrong with both Holmes and Watson being female! Personally I think it would tend to make the whole "SHERLOCK HOLMES" thing more interesting now! 

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On 7/23/2020 at 4:55 PM, Douglas said:

I see nothing wrong with both Holmes and Watson being female! Personally I think it would tend to make the whole "SHERLOCK HOLMES" thing more interesting now! 

Douglas,

At first I worried that an all-femme Sherlock might just be a stunt, to hook in the 18-35 year old guys.  I am pleased to say that it is a respectful, quirky take that is ultimately serious but has lots of moments of domestic and police squad humor just like BBC Sherlock.  Tokyo is no London, of course.  The hour-long format and the zippier pacing make this feel a bit more similar to 'Elementary', but it's pretty delightful to see Sherlock portrayed by a young lady.  Miss Sherlock's real name is Sara Futaba;  I learned that from the synopsis online, because throughout everyone just calls her Sherlock.  She's as difficult a roommate as ever, with all the salient Sherlock characteristics--moody, autocratic, likes music and chemistry (she plays the cello rather than the violin); is very crabby in the mornings, eschews food in favor of black coffee heated to a precise temperature, and has very nice, very expensive clothes which she treats carelessly.  A female Watson we were already used to, but Wato-san is ever so much more pleasant than Joan Watson.  Keeping the partners the same gender is more true to the original dynamic; there isn't this "Will they/won't they?" undercurrent that ran through sometimes with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.  The two actors are great friends, but Sherlock and Joan never had the slightest romantic chemistry, both being utterly self-absorbed.  I don't think the intent was ever to have them be romantic, but the possibility was always there and that's what a segment of viewers would have expected.  Sherl did seem rather put-out and judgemental when Joan went on dates, almost like he was jealous--but Sherlock has never been good at sharing his Watson in any iteration.  

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Miss Sherlock's real name is Sara Futaba


Any idea how/why they came up with that name?  I haven't been able to make a pun out of it, a la Wato-san.  Is Sara a standard name in Japanese, as it is in English?  And if not, why does she have a European first name?  Is Futaba a Japanese word as well as a name, and if so what does it mean?

I just can't help thinking it's not simply a random name.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:


Any idea how/why they came up with that name?  I haven't been able to make a pun out of it, a la Wato-san.  Is Sara a standard name in Japanese, as it is in English?  And if not, why does she have a European first name?  Is Futaba a Japanese word as well as a name, and if so what does it mean?

I just can't help thinking it's not simply a random name.

 

 

I don't think it's a random name, no.  A possible trauma/dark story in Sherlock's past which led to her identifying with Conan Doyle's hero and choosing to go by his name is hinted at but never explored in S1.  Wato-san asks Mrs. Hudson, "Is Sherlock really her name?" to which Mrs. H. replies, "Of course not; it's her professional name".  But neither is Conan Doyle invoked--nobody says outright that she's copying 'Sherlock Holmes as written by Doyle-san'.  It's just presented as a given that this is the weird Western name she's going by.

"Sara" is an unusual Japanese girls' name, in that it sounds very Western and modern, but it would be possible to write those sounds in kanji to make a Japanese meaning.  Said Japanese-style, 'Sah-Rah" rather than 'Sair-Ah'.  Wato, by contrast, has an old-fashioned sound to it.  It's not one I ever heard as worn by a young girl when I was there in the 1990s.  It means 'Peaceful City (the 'to' is the same kanji as 'Tokyo') ', and may have been popular pre-WWII.  Kind of like my handle, 'Hikari', 'Brightness',  which is considered old-fashioned.  Parents-to-be spend much time choosing a baby's name. Western parents do too, but for Asian parents it's a whole other level.  Not only must the sound be pleasing and the kanji characters fortuitous, but each of potentially dozens of possible combinations for the baby's name must be tested, in combination with the family name to see if it has a 'lucky' number of strokes in the writing.  A combination deemed unlucky will be rejected.  Parents even hire naming experts to help them choose the most auspicious name possible for their baby.  The same experts are employed when it comes to naming a new geisha, sumo wrestler, or business.  

'Futaba' is a not unheard of surname, not the most common, but I've heard it before, and as far as I can determine, means something like 'Two Blades (of grass) or Two buds.  There may be a nuance of meaning to the Japanese person fluent in kanji (Personal/surnames are a nightmare because any name has potentially hundreds of possible combinations for the kanji characters, making reading other people's names in written form quite difficult) missing to the 'gaijin' such as ourselves.  Inspector Reimon, for example (the Lestrade stand-in). . the first part of his name is hazy; could be a number of things, but 'mon' means 'Gate', or 'the way'.  As the Lestrade figure, he's the gatekeeper of the police crime scenes and also Sherlock's 'Way in' as a consultant.  He's also got wild hair more suitable for a musician or an artist or other bohemian type rather than a staid upper-ranking police officer.  But, we figure, anybody willing to work with Sherlock in any form and depend on his/her analysis and furthermore, consider him/her a friend, has to be a little off the normal path himself.

There may be a S2 in the works or already completed . . or maybe the series didn't do as well as hoped and plans for a second series were shelved.  I haven't heard any news about more Miss Sherlock, so I don't know if we will ever get these answers.

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2 hours ago, Hikari said:

Douglas,

At first I worried that an all-femme Sherlock might just be a stunt, to hook in the 18-35 year old guys.  I am pleased to say that it is a respectful, quirky take that is ultimately serious but has lots of moments of domestic and police squad humor just like BBC Sherlock.  Tokyo is no London, of course.  The hour-long format and the zippier pacing make this feel a bit more similar to 'Elementary', but it's pretty delightful to see Sherlock portrayed by a young lady.  Miss Sherlock's real name is Sara Futaba;  I learned that from the synopsis online, because throughout everyone just calls her Sherlock.  She's as difficult a roommate as ever, with all the salient Sherlock characteristics--moody, autocratic, likes music and chemistry (she plays the cello rather than the violin); is very crabby in the mornings, eschews food in favor of black coffee heated to a precise temperature, and has very nice, very expensive clothes which she treats carelessly.  A female Watson we were already used to, but Wato-san is ever so much more pleasant than Joan Watson.  Keeping the partners the same gender is more true to the original dynamic; there isn't this "Will they/won't they?" undercurrent that ran through sometimes with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.  The two actors are great friends, but Sherlock and Joan never had the slightest romantic chemistry, both being utterly self-absorbed.  I don't think the intent was ever to have them be romantic, but the possibility was always there and that's what a segment of viewers would have expected.  Sherl did seem rather put-out and judgemental when Joan went on dates, almost like he was jealous--but Sherlock has never been good at sharing his Watson in any iteration.  

 

31 minutes ago, Hikari said:

I don't think it's a random name, no.  A possible trauma/dark story in Sherlock's past which led to her identifying with Conan Doyle's hero and choosing to go by his name is hinted at but never explored in S1.  Wato-san asks Mrs. Hudson, "Is Sherlock really her name?" to which Mrs. H. replies, "Of course not; it's her professional name".  But neither is Conan Doyle invoked--nobody says outright that she's copying 'Sherlock Holmes as written by Doyle-san'.  It's just presented as a given that this is the weird Western name she's going by.

"Sara" is an unusual Japanese girls' name, in that it sounds very Western and modern, but it would be possible to write those sounds in kanji to make a Japanese meaning.  Said Japanese-style, 'Sah-Rah" rather than 'Sair-Ah'.  Wato, by contrast, has an old-fashioned sound to it.  It's not one I ever heard as worn by a young girl when I was there in the 1990s.  It means 'Peaceful City (the 'to' is the same kanji as 'Tokyo') ', and may have been popular pre-WWII.  Kind of like my handle, 'Hikari', 'Brightness',  which is considered old-fashioned.  Parents-to-be spend much time choosing a baby's name. Western parents do too, but for Asian parents it's a whole other level.  Not only must the sound be pleasing and the kanji characters fortuitous, but each of potentially dozens of possible combinations for the baby's name must be tested, in combination with the family name to see if it has a 'lucky' number of strokes in the writing.  A combination deemed unlucky will be rejected.  Parents even hire naming experts to help them choose the most auspicious name possible for their baby.  The same experts are employed when it comes to naming a new geisha, sumo wrestler, or business.  

'Futaba' is a not unheard of surname, not the most common, but I've heard it before, and as far as I can determine, means something like 'Two Blades (of grass) or Two buds.  There may be a nuance of meaning to the Japanese person fluent in kanji (Personal/surnames are a nightmare because any name has potentially hundreds of possible combinations for the kanji characters, making reading other people's names in written form quite difficult) missing to the 'gaijin' such as ourselves.  Inspector Reimon, for example (the Lestrade stand-in). . the first part of his name is hazy; could be a number of things, but 'mon' means 'Gate', or 'the way'.  As the Lestrade figure, he's the gatekeeper of the police crime scenes and also Sherlock's 'Way in' as a consultant.  He's also got wild hair more suitable for a musician or an artist or other bohemian type rather than a staid upper-ranking police officer.  But, we figure, anybody willing to work with Sherlock in any form and depend on his/her analysis and furthermore, consider him/her a friend, has to be a little off the normal path himself.

There may be a S2 in the works or already completed . . or maybe the series didn't do as well as hoped and plans for a second series were shelved.  I haven't heard any news about more Miss Sherlock, so I don't know if we will ever get these answers.

Dear Hikari,

Wonderful comments and information, all round!! That's very interesting, what you've said! I'm very impressed: and I mean that most sincerely!! You're a Legend!! Keep up the great work!! 

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5 hours ago, Hikari said:

Parents-to-be spend much time choosing a baby's name. Western parents do too, but for Asian parents it's a whole other level.


My friend (originally from Indiana) who has lived in Japan most of her adult life told me that she and her (Japanese) husband had one heck of a time registering their daughter's name.  They wanted her to have an American first name (carefully chosen to be divisible into Japanese-style syllables) and a Japanese middle name, but the bureaucracy balked at her proposed American name, until the parents concocted the explanation that it was a variant of a similar-sounding Japanese name.

 

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12 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:


My friend (originally from Indiana) who has lived in Japan most of her adult life told me that she and her (Japanese) husband had one heck of a time registering their daughter's name.  They wanted her to have an American first name (carefully chosen to be divisible into Japanese-style syllables) and a Japanese middle name, but the bureaucracy balked at her proposed American name, until the parents concocted the explanation that it was a variant of a similar-sounding Japanese name.

 

In which part of the country does your friend live?  

Their experiences with bureaucracy doesn't surprise me a bit.  Having experienced day-to-day life there as a 'gaijin' (outside person) for going on six years, I can say, truthfully, that Japan is one of the most xenophobic cultures in the world.  Their institutional racism and distrust of anything 'foreign' is rooted in the many, many centuries Japan spent isolated and insulated from outside influences.  Japanese culture has a lot to recommend it, but it is not a comfortable, easy or particularly kind place to be for anyone who is out of the mainstream in any way.  They've got the highest rate of suicide really, in the world, followed closely by other Asian countries.  The pressure to conform and to excel within very narrow parameters of 'acceptable behavior' is extreme.  The life of a 'han-bun' (half/mixed) like your friends' daughter is going to be fraught with difficulties because she will never be accepted as fully Japanese in that society, no matter that she speaks Japanese natively and impeccably and does everything else her peers do.  She will have a Japanese surname, which will help, but if she displays any Western features in her appearance . . or if she's raised to be bilingual and speak perfect English. .she will always be regarded as 'less than' full Japanese.  That's the reality.  Maybe the bureaucrats were in their own way trying to smooth her path a little by rejecting a name they deemed 'too American/too weird'.  Some names, like 'Sara' can be both.  I wonder if your friend was there at the window too, at the time.  If the Japanese father had gone himself alone, I wonder if their first choice would have gone through.  Handicapped people in Japan aren't accepted, either, and for all its technological and archtectual advances, there isn't a law like the ADA to protect and promote accessibility for disabled citizens.  To be differently abled is to be defective, and according to Buddhist philosophy, a disability is a judgement from the gods upon the sin of either the individual or their parents, and as such are shameful things to be hidden away from society.

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