Manga Review: Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2

Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2 is a manga written and illustrated by Kaoru Shintani. This volume was published in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment in 2012. The volume claims that it’s for “All Ages,” but I’m not entirely sure I agree with that designation. Personally, I would recommend Young Miss Holmes for manga readers who are 11 or 12 years of age and older.

Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2
Written by: Kaoru Shintani
Publisher: Media Factory
English Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: March 13, 2012

The main character of Young Miss Holmes is Crystal “Christie” Margaret Hope, and she’s the 10-year-old niece of Sherlock Holmes. It turns out that her ability to discern the truth and solve cases is just as good as her uncle’s. There are even times in this volume when Christie is able to solve a case before her famous uncle. Christie also has a couple of maids, and later a governess, who accompany her on the mysteries and provide aid to Christie when she needs it.

There are a total of five mysteries included in this volume of this manga. The first is “Mazarin Stone,” and it involves a mystery with a missing jewel. “The Problem of Thor Bridge” involves a murder near the Thor Bridge. “Red-Headed League” is a mystery about a man who has supposedly been swindled.  “The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire” is a story where a man believes his wife has turned into a vampire; this story also features a cameo from Mia Tepes, the main character from Dance in the Vampire Bund.  “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” is a case where a man brings coded messages to 221B Baker Street to see if Sherlock Holmes can figure out what these messages mean.

While the mysteries themselves were interesting and I was kept guessing as to what would happen, I found myself not enjoying this series. To be honest, Young Miss Holmes feels like a fanfic for Sherlock Holmes that was done in a manga. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there was a crossover character from Dance in the Vampire Bund. After reading this volume, I can’t really bring myself to go out of my way to find the other volumes in the series and read them. However, if I were to stumble upon the next volume at the library, I’d probably be willing to go ahead and check it out.

The best part of Young Miss Holmes for me is the art. Shintani goes to a lot of effort with Christie’s outfits, and some of them have rather impressive patterns that I’d be willing to wager took some time to draw and keep consistent. Shintani also captures the 1970s shojo look for Young Miss Holmes, especially with the character design for Christie.

In the end, even though I enjoy mystery stories, I find myself being more interested in reading Case Closed instead of Young Miss Holmes. However, I think Young Miss Holmes could potentially appeal to fans of shojo manga who also enjoy mysteries.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Young Miss Holmes Casebook 1-2 that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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