Moriarty the Patriot Volume Two expands on the story that was presented in the first volume of the series.
Moriarty The Patriot Volume Two
Written by: Ryosuke Takeuchi
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 5, 2021
At the beginning of Volume Two, Albert reports to his higher ups that a new type of opium has been discovered and that the mafia is likely producing and distributing it in a base of operations in London. While some in the British Army want to take the organization down, others are more cautious, especially if any officials or nobles are involved in the operation. Later, some who are eager to take on the organization talk about a rumor concerning a secret military agency that would serve under the queen. This seems like something just thrown out there, but as we see at the end of this particular story, this is an important piece of information.
After this meeting, Albert summons William to London. William is accompanied by Louis and Sebastian Moran. When they get to London, William is kidnapped, which triggers a mission for Albert to launch a rescue mission. But as we learn in this chapter, this entire situation was set up by William because he had figured out who was behind the opium scheme. This chapter reminded me that the opium was actually found in the previous volume of the series, when he was investigating the disappearance of his student, Dudley Bale. I was glad to see that the final chapter of Volume One ended up being an important story for the series. I have to admit, when I finished Volume One, I thought that it was just a chapter to help establish William’s character. But when Albert rescues William, this also allows him to “coincidentally” find the evidence needed for the opium case. And thanks to this, Albert is retired from the British Army and is now leading the Army Intelligence branch’s nonexistent sixth division, MI6.
With the next chapter, we see that William announces that in order to help bring about changes in Engliand’s current system, he and his brothers will “push London into the depths of hell and turn it into a city of crime.” And how does William plan to accomplish this? By having the people of London witness many crimes and deaths planned out by him. While Volume One saw that William was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to bring about change, such as the murder of most of his adoptive family… but to now see that he’s willing to expand his scope to a much wider range, it’s become harder to truly see him as the protagonist of this story. He’s the main character, yes, but he’s not really a protagonist. While Volume One tried hard to “humanize” William and his actions, this volume has to admit that no, William doesn’t have as noble of a cause as the first volume wanted the reader to believe.
Most of Volume Two takes place aboard a ship called the Noahtic. This name seems to be a reference to the Titanic, especially since this ship also leaves from Southampton. However, there are no icebergs or sinking involved with the storyline that takes place aboard the ship. Instead, William is there to orchestrate a murder and a crime involving a noble named Count Blitz Enders. Enders is definitely a prime example of the kind of snooty aristocracy that William and his brothers abhor. While he makes William look like more of a “good guy,” this doesn’t negate the fact that William is an evil man.
But this section of the story is also important because it introduces the reader to… Sherlock Holmes. Yes, Sherlock finally makes an appearance in the series. Moriarty picks up on the fact that Sherlock could be a problem for him as he tries to commit more crimes and death in the future.
The last chapter of this volume provides character development for Sherlock, as well as introduces Watson. With Sherlock’s depiction in this series, he also isn’t exactly a “good guy,” either. He’s skipping out on his rent, gives his landlady Mrs. Hudson a hard time, and isn’t above using people to get what he wants. This was especially true in the scene where Sherlock takes Mrs. Hudson and Watson out for dinner right before Mrs. Hudson grants Watson permission to share the flat with Sherlock. While Sherlock is going to be a foil for Moriarty, he isn’t necessarily going to be a “good guy,” either. And this dynamic is going to make Moriarty the Patriot an interesting read going forward. Who does the reader root for in the long run?
All in all, though, Moriarty the Patriot continues to be a manga series that I would be interested in following. Even though Moriarty launches such evil plans, it’s still kind of interesting and intriguing to see what new scheme he comes up with. And now with Sherlock added to the mix, I think this series will become even more interesting.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media
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