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Undead Murder Farce Episode 5: Favorites

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Undead Murder Farce Episode 5 – Quick Summary

In Undead Murder Farce episode 5, “The Immortal of London,” Annie Kerber covered a big story: a criminal had announced he would steal Phileas Fogg’s appallingly valuable diamond. It was so big it even had a name: the Penultimate Night. Fogg, being a confident yet cautious type, called in the era’s biggest detectives – including non other than Aya Rindou and her faithful companions. But they weren’t the only ones. Who else did Fogg hire? Who’s after the gem? And what do they want to do with it?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Undead Murder Farce Episode 5

Undead Murder Farce Episode 5: Aya maintains a sharp-edged wit

Her patience and humor amaze me. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It’s a long story (well, not that long, but I don’t want to detail it here), but Aya, Tsugaru, Shizuku, Sherlock Holmes, and John Watson ended up in a paddy wagon. Two young thieves, twins, were also in the wagon.

The thieves were astonished when Aya and Holmes figured out not only that they were thieves, but what they had stolen. But they were even more greedy than astonished – they wanted to sell Aya’s head to a circus. Before they could act, Watson noticed that the story of Fogg hiring two sets of detectives had made the papers.

The twins easily remembered Holmes was one of the detectives hired. But they stumbled a little with the second. They remembered her name was Aya, but they thought she was called The Doghouse User.

That’s when the poor policeman – who thought he just had a wagon full of random suspects – saw the picture and realized Holmes sat across from him. Holmes misses nothing, so seeing the policeman’s reaction, he introduced himself and Watson.

Aya took her turn, saying (07:37), “Aya Rindo. As you can see, I live in a bird cage, not a doghouse.”

I love how she keeps her cool and sense of humor.

Favorite Moment from Undead Murder Farce Episode 5

Undead Murder Farce Episode 5: Holmes and Aya considered themselves rivals from the beginning

I was going to say Holmes started it, but both felt the rivalry between them from the moment they met. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Using Literary Figures is Dangerous

Mixing literary figures in with a cast can be tricky. In fact, I can’t think of an example where I enjoyed the result. Except for Undead Murder Farce. It might just be the exception.

A character like Sherlock Holmes presents a lot of challenges. The character’s well known, and the people who enjoy the character the most are the ones with the highest expectations. If a writer decides to add their own flair or interpretation, it can anger the character’s biggest fans. The same goes for under emphasizing any of Holmes’ traits.

So far, the series has taken a traditional interpretation of the character and merely added robust animation and a solid voice actor. The twist or unique interpretation that Oh! great (the writer’s professional name) brought to the party is the show’s central characters, specifically Aya.

Undead Murder Farce Episode 5: Doyle's character are traditionally rendered and vibrant

Oh! great started with a solid, traditional interpretation of Holmes and Watson. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

While they were in the paddy wagon, for example, we got to see Holmes’ famous deductive powers in action. He acted exactly like the Holmes we would expect from the official literature version of Arthur Conan Doyle

My favorite moment in this episode answers the question, “What would Holmes do if confronted by an unorthodox yet equal intellect?”

Delivery: A Rivalry’s Inherent Respect

It’s a loaded question. There were a lot of prejudices built into the question. Aya was a woman; Aya came from Japan; and Aya had no body. To the cane shop proprietor, she was a horror whose mere sight knocked him unconscious. To the thieving twins, she was a curiosity to be sold to the highest bidder. How did Holmes react?

Exactly as I would expect Doyle’s character to react to an equal – he recognized her as a rival in a mostly good-natured, professional way.

As they talked to Phileas, Holmes suggested hiring two detectors amounted to overkill. Aya agreed, saying (11:19), “Indeed. I can handle this case all by myself.”

Undead Murder Farce Episode 5: For just having a head, Aya projects a strong presence

She might only present as a head, but Aya has presence. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

There was no way Holmes would let that stand. He said (11:23), “I wonder how useful a literal talking head could be…”

“The funny thing is that you only need a brain to do detective work,” Aya responded.

Holmes didn’t see her as a horror or a curiosity. He saw her as a rival, and he treated her like that. I appreciated that enough to name it my favorite moment of the episode.

What did you think of The Penultimate Night and its silver vault? What were your favorite moments in the episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Undead Murder Farce Episode 5: Favorites

  1. I’m really looking forward to what seems like it will be a “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen that Doesn’t Suck.” [My only reference for the League is the movie, mind you.] But I have to admit my favorite moment was when Tsugaru described Aya as being “three apples high,” which was 1) probably surprisingly accurate and 2) also the official height of Hello Kitty.

    1. I remember that movie! Specifically, I remember wishing I could like it!

      Tsugaru’s description made me laugh. He has such an easy relationship with her! I’d hesitate to say something like that for fear of insulting her, but he just blurted it out — and she had (or seemed to have) no real problem with it.

  2. I’ve read a bit of the original Holmes as well, and I rather like this interpretation, not least because he’s not an absolute ass, as many modern takes seem bent on having him be.

    In other news, I had to give up picking out which characters are from literature and which ones are not. Holmes, Lupin, Fogg, Victor, the Phantom of the Opera… there may come a day when I go back and pick them all out, but today is not that day!

    I have to appreciate Aya’s final comment about her plan. They’re surrounded by smart, capable people, and dealing with a cunning adversary in the form of Lupin. But just as Alexander the Great handled the Goridan knot in a straightforward, nigh idiotic way, sometimes that is the only thing that will actually work.

    And then there’s how everything is tying together with the villains. They clearly want the jewel and safe, too. I’m guessing they want something that this legendary tribe of werewolves has, and thus they want to know where to find them.

    I’m also interested in what those twins were smuggling. A pot from the East? Was that a throwaway bit of dialogue just to show how smart Aya and Holmes are, or does that Eastern pot hold some significance to the Professor, and therefore to Aya, who just arrived from the East?

    1. I have to wonder if some of the modern negative interpretations are based on a general anti-intellectual bias, especially in the US. That’s a very dangerous thing…

      I _think_ most of those character are from literature, but I’m not as familiar with Lupin beyond Fred mentioning him and what I see in Wikipedia. I’ve never read any of the works featuring him.

      I like you interpretation of how Aya intends to approach the problem — and I’m dying to know what she had in mind!

      This show throws out a lot of details that ask leading questions. I haven’t read/watched a mystery this intricate in a long time, and I like it!

  3. Yes, I love the rivalry between Aya and Sherlock! As a kid I was a huge fan of the original Sherlock stories, and I really appreciate Undead Murder Farce’s version. I like that he’s intelligent but not over the top (unlike more modern versions of the character). Of course, Aya isn’t about to get up staged by the local sleuth, and holds her own next to Sherlock wonderfully! Tsugaru played a much smaller role in this episode, which I kind of missed his playful banter, but I’m sure he will be more integral later on in this case.

    1. So you read a lot of the original work? Cool! I’m not as familiar with Doyle’s work as I am of someone like Poe’s. I’d love to see you write a post where you talk about that! I enjoy reading well thought-out treatments of stuff like this!

Please let me know what you think!

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