Thankfully, it isn’t. Most characters in Moriarty the Patriot were based on famous fictional people, but this doesn’t mean that none in the series were based on real events or historical figures. Although it would be quite thrilling to know that an era of brilliance led by two men from opposing sides who eventually met halfway actually existed. It is also quite relieving to find out that a criminal like William James Moriarty never existed.
The Japanese mystery anime made fans curious if the main character, William James Moriarty, is truly the nemesis of the World’s Greatest Detective in real life. To answer that, yes he is the nemesis of the infamous detective. However, not in real life because these two characters from the anime never existed. With the immense popularity of Sherlock Holmes, we sometimes forget that he is only a fictional character himself.
The name Sherlock Holmes has reached far and wide because of so many movies and TV series his character has starred in. For example, the famous movie titled Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Jr. (2011), Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch,(2010–2017), and the latest released Holmes movie from Netflix which is Enola Holmes (2020-2022).
Take note that in these movies the names Dr. John H. Watson and Moriarty also pop up. Hence, it is only natural for all the fans to question if the series is also based on people who actually existed or if the events in Moriarty the Patriot actually happened.
What Was Moriarty the Patriot Based On?
The Japanese series is an anime was inspired by a book written by a physician from Scotland. The author of Moriarty the Patriot, Ryōsuke Takeuchi, revealed that his masterpiece was based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Series.
Moriarty the Patriot is just like the many Sherlock Holmes movies that were released in different years. The only difference is the main character. What makes Moriarty the Patriot unique is that it doesn’t star the famous detective. But Ryōsuke Takeuchi chose the Napoleon of Crime, William James Moriarty, to be the protagonist of his version.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a doctor and one of the most famous British writers to ever exist. His creation of the master of deduction, Sherlock Holmes, was the piece that made him one of the biggest names in literary history. In fact, the following characters in Moriarty the Patriot were based on Doyle’s series:
- Sherlock Holmes
- Dr. Watson
- Irene Adler
- Professor James Moriarty
- Mycroft Holmes
- Mrs. Hudson
- Colonel Sebastian Moran
- Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard
- Inspector Gregson of Scotland Yard
- Charles Augustus Milverton
The story of Sherlock Holmes by Doyle has been reincarnated in almost every era. Sherlock Holmes is probably one of the best-known literary characters along with the other minor characters in Doyle’s series. There are so many versions of it that it creates the idea that these people did once live even though they never did.
The Difference Between the Two Versions of Professor Moriarty
Yes, William James Moriarty and Professor James Moriarty in Dolye and Takeuchi’s stories are nothing but imaginary miscreants. However, Takeuchi portrayed William James Moriarty in ways that are similar and at the same time different from the original character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I believe it’s very obvious who’s who based on the pictures above. The version of Takeuchi for William James Moriarty is obviously younger while the latter is not. However, these fictional characters do not only differ in design but also in how they were written.
Although the main character of Moriarty the Patriot was based on the character of Doyle. Takeuchi made his character more interesting and decided for it to take a different path. In the original story, Professor James Moriarty is also a mathematics professor at a university. He is someone who belongs to the upper class and is known as a respectable noble. Doyle wrote Professor Moriarty as a criminal who offers help by offering strategists that would protect the riches from the crimes they committed. Indeed, this makes him completely different from Takeuchi’s version of the character.
Read More: Moriarty the Patriot: Illuminating the Dark Side of Society Through Four Pressing Social Issues
Albert James Moriarty and Louis James Moriarty are just some of the original characters in Moriarty the Patriot. Professor Moriarty does not have brothers whom he conspired his plans with. Moreover, another difference is their right-hand man. Doyle created the character of Sebastian Moran as the right-hand man of the professor. Moran was even dubbed as the second most dangerous man in London with the Professor being the number one. However, in Moriarty the Patriot, William’s right-hand men are mostly his brothers, Albert and Louis, who share the same belief and goals as he does.
The difference between Doyle’s and Takeuchi’s versions is that William James Moriarty has a good soul and vision. He is a criminal and a hero at the same time. Unlike Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes Series), he would never offer help nor protect the crimes of anyone. William James Moriarty uses his gift of intellect to break the barriers that are harming society, specifically the poor.
Lastly, the two writers’ goal for their versions of the criminal James Moriarty is similar for they were written to be the nemesis of the great detective, Sherlock. However, they were different because, in Doyle’s series, Professor James Moriarty was created to kill and finally end the life of the infamous detective. But, in Moriarty the Patriot, he was never meant to end his nemesis’ life for Sherlock ended up being his closest friend.
The Two Historical Figures That Existed in Real Life
As much as we want these historical to either be Sherlock Holmes or William James Moriarty. Unfortunately, it wasn’t them. The two characters from Moriarty the Patriot who are not fictional are Jack the Ripper and Charles Augustus Milverton.
These two characters are probably the only ones who existed in real-time. Jack the Ripper is not part of the original characters from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Series. Despite the serial killer, Jack the Ripper, being widely known as one of the most threatening criminals in London. He was never mentioned in Doyle’s series nor ever cross paths with the famous detective or the Napoleon of Crime
Jack the Ripper was a killer who emerged between August to November of 1888. Up until this day, his identity is still unknown because he was never arrested. Like in the Japanese series, Jack the Ripper’s victims were prostitutes who he murdered near the Whitechapel district. However, Takeuchi altered the story a bit for his masterpiece. Jack Renfield, the real Jack the Ripper in Moriarty the Patriot, was not the person who committed these crimes. Instead, someone only claimed his name Jack the Ripper in doing these crimes.
In addition, one of the villains in the series was also based on a real historical figure. Charles Augustus Milverton made his first appearance in the series in episode sixteen. After the Jack the Ripper case, Milverton is the first person outside William’s circle who uncovered his true identity as the Lord of Crime. He collects information regarding William’s past and tries to bring him down together with Sherlock Holmes. Yes, Charles Augustus Milverton is another fictional character from Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series titled The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton. In both the series of Doyle and in Moriarty the Patriot, he was referred to as the King of the Blackmailers. Although he was a fictional character like most of the others, his character was actually based on a real story. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adapted this character from a real blackmailer named Charles Augustus Howell from London.
The 19th Century Class-Based Issue Is True
Like many adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes Series, Moriarty the Patriot also takes place in London. In fact, the class-based society actually existed before and up until now. The House of Lords in the series does exist in real life. This pertains to the upper house of the United Kingdom Parliament. In the series, Albert James Moriarty is in fact one of them. Until this time, the British Kingdom is still comprised of people from the upper class as members of the House of Lords.
Furthermore, the tragic hierarchy of social classes existed also in real life. It is true that 19th-century England remarkably thrives due to numerous economic opportunities. This led the middle class consisting of educated citizens who mostly work for white-collar jobs to rise in their societal ranks giving them an obvious distinction between the lower class. However, they were still underpaid.
Similar to the situation of the lower class in the series, no laws were passed to protect them nor give them better opportunities. They were only limited to menial jobs to provide for what they needed. The crime mystery anime Moriarty the Patriot gives a glimpse of what occurred before. Even though not all of them are accurate at least we were able to see that such happenings were once and are currently faced by those from the lower ranks.
Moriarty the Patriot may not have been mostly based on real-life events. But, Sir Arthur Canon Doyle’s version of the professor was still maintained, especially since William James Moriarty also considers himself a crime consultant. Takeuchi’s version of the brilliant mathematician was written in a more positive way and was able to show that his gift of intelligence and deduction did not go to waste in Moriarty the Patriot.