We are now three episodes into Holmes of Kyoto (Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo no Holmes) and we have a mystery regarding the meaning of 3 hanging scrolls and their disappearance. This episode is another where Kiyotaka’s knowledge of antiques really comes into play. Although it wasn’t that much of a mystery as to WHO the culprit was, the motive is not something the viewer would know unless they are familiar with Japanese art. Let’s take a look at what I think for this week’s episode!
Episode 3: 鞍馬山荘遺品事件
You May be Better Served by Leaving it to Destiny
In this episode, Kiyotaka and Aoi finally go on a date! Well, not quite, but they might as well have. In the book, this chapter actually starts with Kiyotaka asking Aoi if she’d like to go hiking with him and her internally freaking out over whether or not this is a date. (I’m sad this was skipped)
The first part of the episode is more about Aoi and Kiyotaka’s past failed romances. From Aoi sighing at the heart-shaped strap to Kiyotaka’s talk about his unfaithful ex-girlfriend, we get lots of hints that the pair needs to move on and…just get together?
We move into the next part and Kajiwara’s secretary, Kurashina, takes them to the Kajiwara villa. They are greeted by the beautiful Ayako and her equally beautiful children. First is the middle child, Akihito. Then the youngest child, Haruhiko. Then finally the eldest, Fuyuki (I was surprised to hear he was voiced by Tattsun!). Despite the questionable animation, the character designs are pretty nice. They did well to get them looking enough like each other, but you can probably work out Haruhiko’s parentage just by the designs. We are quickly introduced to each of the son’s personalities, but there is one particular son who stands out and Kiyotaka is NOT impressed…
We learn details about the will and scrolls, and the fact they were burned. Of course, we knew Ayako was the culprit from the cold open. However, what’s important here is the messages that Kajiwara left behind to his family. As the episode is so short, Kiyotaka has to get straight to the point, so it may feel a little rushed. As always, the anime uses images of the characters from the stories in the background during Kiyotaka’s explanations, which I think is a lovely touch.
I really enjoyed Ishikawa’s performance as Kiyotaka in this episode. Kiyotaka’s way of talking is very calm and polite. His voice feels very warm when he is talking to most of the characters, especially Aoi. It’s just that when he is talking to Akihito… Kiyotaka is still using the same polite language, but you can hear in his voice just how fed up he is. The change is so slight, but it’s pulled off perfectly.
Pure like my name
When Kiyotaka is talking about his ex-girlfriend, he talks about not wanting to betray his name. ‘Kiyotaka’ is written with the kanji for ‘pure’ and ‘noble’
The Kajiwara brothers are named Fuyuki, Akihito, and Haruhiko. ‘Fuyu’ means winter, ‘Aki’ means autumn and ‘Haru’ means spring. Don’t be fooled! Although Haruhiko may have been born in the spring due to his birthday having happened not long before the episode, in Akihito’s case it refers to when he, well, …came into existence. His birthday is in June.
Kawadoko (sometimes also called ‘yuka’ or ‘kawayuka’) are restaurants where the river runs underneath. This is to provide a bit of coolness in the hot summers and can be found in areas such as Kibune or along the Kamo river. They are not cheap, and I can’t imagine how expensive the meal that Aoi and Kiyataka ate was…
Places Featured in Episode 3
Aoi and Kiyotaka start their journey at Keihan/Eizan railway’s Demachiyanagi terminal (I used to get off the train here every day so the nostalgia is real lol). The train goes up the mountain and past thousands of momiji trees. It’s a beautiful side, especially in the autumn. Interestingly, some of the trains actually have the seats facing towards the windows, so you can sit back and enjoy the view.
The shrine with all the red lanterns is Kifune shrine. You may recognize it from the anime’s ending sequence. The pure water that trickles from the mountains is sacred and you are free to drink it or purify yourself with it. Aoi and Kiyotaka also tried the fortunes at the shrine. What is special about these is that you can read the fortune only after you submerge them in water. It’s definitely something worth checking out if you are visiting the Kibune area.
The mountain villa is located in Kurama, which is most famous for tengu, a bird-like supernatural being. You may have seen a red, long-nosed mask in painting or even in emoji. That’s a tengu mask! This area is very famous for Kurama temple, which is where Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune was raised and it was the Tengu who taught him swordsmanship, leading him to become one of the most famous warrior figures in Japanese history.
Let’s Start the Appraisal
The animation in this episode was sometimes so poor it was a little difficult to watch, but it was almost made up for by the really lovely depictions of Kyoto. You can tell where the money has gone…
The mystery with the scrolls was interesting enough, but most of my focus was on the ‘date’ between Aoi and Kiyotaka, as well as the latter’s admittance of his unfaithful ex-girlfriend. Well, I lie, most of my attention was on Akihito! He’s arrogant. He’s in the way. He can NOT read the mood. But he’s just so honest. In fact, I love Akihito and Kiyotaka’s relationship in general as they are just so different from each other. As Aoi has said multiple times in the books, they make a great combination. Akihito is like a cute yet not always bright puppy that loyally follows you around with his tail wagging, and Kiyotaka is the regal, proud cat who just wants the puppy to stop trying to play with him. I have to admit, all my favorite chapters in the book series have Akihito in them, so I hope we get to see his silly personality fully in this anime! (/fangirling)
It’s been clear from the past 3 episodes that Aoi is bitter about getting betrayed, but we can see her feelings starting to waver. Next week’s episode, which depicts the Gion festival, is going to be something you can’t miss if you want to see how Aoi and Kiyotaka can start to move on.
Don’t forget that MT will be here each week with a preview of the next episode. You can check the stills gallery from Episode 3 here.
See you next week!
Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo no Holmes (Holmes of Kyoto)
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast