Sherlock: A Study in a New Medium – Manga Review

Sherlock: A Study in a New Medium – Manga Review

June 2, 2016 0 By Hannah Broadbent

While you’re waiting that long, dreadful wait for the new season of Sherlock to air (said to be January 2017) you can try out the Sherlock manga. It is written by the show’s creators and writers, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and the art is by manga artist Jay. It was originally released in Japan in 2012 and will get an international release thanks to Titan Comics. Sherlock: A Study in Pink #1 will be out in the USA and the UK on June 8th.

The manga faithfully adapts episodes from the BBC hit TV show about Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John Watson (Martin Freeman) as they solve crimes in modern-day London. 

The first volume of the manga starts where the show does, with “A Study in Pink,” which is loosely based off of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s story, A Study in Scarlet.

There have been three mysterious suicides that are somehow linked together, but why would suicides be linked? Could it be that these deaths are actually murders? Looks like it’s time for Detective Inspector Lestrade, who is trying to solve this case, to ask for Sherlock’s help. In the first volume of the Sherlock manga the reader meets Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they meet each other for the first time and quickly become flatmates and slowly become friends. The reader also gets a glimpse into Watson’s past when he was an army doctor in the Afghanistan War.

The artist, Jay, truly captured Cumberbatch’s thin smile and poised looks as Sherlock and Freeman’s worried personality as Watson. I loved all the close-up shots throughout the manga; for example, after Watson wakes up from his PTSD-induced nightmare the reader sees small sights into Watson’s hopeless world, or so he thinks. The texture for the shadows and in the backgrounds that Jay uses is very beautiful. It definitely makes the characters stand out by having such sharp textures behind them. He uses different styles each time to create different looks. Some include using the spotlight effect on Watson, making him stand out, especially when Sherlock “reads” him.

I also loved the last few pages when Sherlock gets excited about the case because it made me feel excited to continue reading the manga. Even though I’ve seen the show–and now want to go back and re-watch it thanks to this beautiful rendition–I want to know what happens next.

Titan Comics

Titan Comics

If I had to pick a problem with the manga I would say that I wish it wasn’t so close to the show’s events. I do love Cumberbatch and Freeman’s versions of these classic characters but I would love to see a different story with them that hasn’t been done before.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink #1 released digitally June 8th and will be $4.99. This manga will have 52 pages and will include variant covers by some wonderful artists, such as Alex Ronald and Rod Reis.