This next review will cover a controversial season of a popular series because it took a route most diehard Milky Holmes fans did not approve of. I had only seen one episode back when it aired and I understood why. For some reason I forgot to finish the show but now is as good of a time as any to find out if Futari wa Milky Holmes/Milky Holmes 3, aka the black sheep of the series, is worthy of the fanboy rage it induced and the repercussions it immediately got in the start of Milky Holmes 4. Let’s take a look at Milky Holmes 3.
Here are my reviews of the previous two seasons:
Genres: Mystery, Drama, Comedy
Themes: Detectives, Weapons, Thief, Superpowers
Number of episodes: 12, 12 minutes each
Plot Summary: Kazumi and Alice, two detective trainees and Milky Holmes fans decide to form their own crime solving duo called “Feathers”.
Let’s get this out of the way quickly. The main reason diehard MH fans despise MH3 is because it committed the unforgivable crime of taking its plot and concept seriously. For newcomers who have yet to see an episode the series, the basic concept is detectives gifted with some sort of superpower in the form of “Toys” solving mysteries and taking down thieves who also have their own “Toys”. The MH series became popular because it mainly used Looney Tunes-esque over the top slapstick comedy and lots of glorious stupidity that could never be taken seriously. MH3 took itself seriously and I was okay with that. I did not scoff it off but I did wait till it ended before finishing the whole thing. To me it was all about how the writers would handle this gamble of going against the grain and actually telling a serious story with the world they were given. The end result was something that could have been pretty good but ended up being decent, or wasted potential to be blunt.
See, it felt like the writers wanted to take a risk but did not go all the way. Nowhere was this more evident than in the odd decision of having the episodes be 10+ minutes rather than the regular 20+ minute run time. It was as if the writers knew this idea would blow up in their face and held back so as to not rile diehards more than they suspected MH3 would. They were right of course but it is still disappointing they did not go all out.
Another decision deemed blasphemous by fans was the limited screen time for fan favorite groups Milky Holmes, Genius 4 and the Gentlemen Thieves were mostly relegated to being background characters or did not contribute a lot till much later. I felt mixed about this choice. On the one hand this season was primarily about Feathers and it was understandable to introduce fans to this new duo in the hopes of them accepting them. The problem was that during scenes where Milky Holmes and Feathers were together in the same scene Feathers was unfortunately outshone by the original quartet most of the time till near the final battle where Feathers finally looked like they were worthy additions to the cast. This does not mean Feathers suck. Far from it. It just took a while for the duo to show that they belonged.
Like the main series the fight scenes are still enjoyable and a treat for the eyes since the animation quality is still pretty good. Just because the season is more serious does not it lacks the series’ trademark colorful charm.
The aforementioned fan favorites remain the same from the previous two seasons. Let’s instead talk about the main duo of Kazumi and Alice aka “Feathers”. I’d say Kazumi’s character felt more rushed than Alice’s though I can understand some preferring Kazumi over Alice or in diehards’ case neither one. I thought they were neat newcomer rookies who had a challenging rise to recognition.
Although I will say they are no CPU Candidates, especially Kazumi not being as charismatic as Nepgear.
Also it couldn’t hurt to ship them together. Why not.
One thing I considered mostly negative were the villains, Colors Phantom/Color The Phantom. Most of them were pretty bland to me save two of them. Even a certain one who returned in MH4 did nothing for me. That person has nothing on the MIB and the Neuralizer. For the most part second rate villains, again with two exceptions, whose lower status made them an acceptable first major challenge to test Feathers’ skills as rookie detectives. Perhaps if they had received more character development aside from the leader but again the writers were not willing to take the risk.
Speaking of the development that too felt mixed. While some motivations were understandable others felt like last minute additions. Oh well, what we got was acceptable.
BTW, in case someone brings up my gripe with Stella Academy Group C-3 and why I am not bashing MH3 for doing something similar because MH is primarily a comedy series, the reason I was not as upset with MH3 as a whole compared to C-3’s serious moments was because here it made sense unlike in C3 where they felt out of place despite their noble narrative intentions. All they did here is take the core concept seriously. That is all
Overall, do I agree with the fanbase that Milky Holmes 3 is a damnation that nearly destroyed the series if it weren’t for season 4 going back to the glorious stupidity that made the series lovable? No. It’s the usual exaggeration from fanbases who refuse to accept something different. Having said that I think MH3’s a solid effort that could have been more had it got more time. Feathers is a decent duo, Color The Phantom are bland villains, the show is pleasant to look at, the fight scenes and music are good but it still feels like missed potential. It is not necessary to pick up MH3 to catch up with MH4 but since some characters return in the sequel it could not hurt to pick this up and see where they came from and why they got the roles they were given in MH4, for better or worse.