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The Mystery of End House (エンド·ハウス怪事件 - Endo Hausu Kai Jiken) was a Japanese anime television story produced by Oriental Light and Magic for NHK television. The story was broadcast in four episodes and formed Episodes 16 - 18 of NHK's anime series Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple. The adaptation was written by Hiroshi Shimokawa, directed chiefly by Naohito Takahashi and broadcast between 14 November 2004 and 28 November August 2004. It was an adaptation of the Agatha Christie's Peril at End House.

Production Details

The story arc is narrated and broadcast in 3 episodes as follows:

Ep. No. Title Date Broadcast
16 "The Mystery of End House, Part 1: The Night of the Party"

"Endo Hausu Kai Jiken (sono ichi) Pātī no Yoru ni"
エンド·ハウス怪事件,(その1)パーティーの夜に

14 November 2004
17 "The Mystery of End House, Part 2: Concealed Love"

"Endo Hausu Kai Jiken (sono ni) Himerareta Koi" エンド·ハウス怪事件,(その2)秘められた恋

21 November 2004
18 "The Mystery of End House, Part 3: Perfect Evidence"

"Endo Hausu Kai Jiken (sono san) Kanpeki na Shōko"
エンド·ハウス怪事件,(その3)完璧な証拠

28 November 2004

Synopsis

As with the other episodes in this series, the main protagonist is Mabel West, the daughter of Raymond West who spends her time alternating between working for Poirot in London and spending time with her great aunt in St. Mary Mead. This allows her to be involved in cases investigated by both of them. This time, Poirot, Hastings and Mabel are at St. Loo enjoying a hotel that was a reward for solving a burglary. There they meet Nick Buckley who says she has had several narrow escapes in the past few days.

Comparison with Original Story

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

Besides the presence of Mabel and Miss Lemon, this adaptation also simplifies the plot and removes some characters but the main crime and how it was solved remains essentially the same.

  • The story begins with Mabel West giving a voice about about Michael Seton setting out for a pioneering flight and disappearing.
  • Poirot, Hastings and Mabel West at a hotel at St. Loo enjoying a holiday, apparently a reward for solving a burglary case. They meet Nick Buckley and are invited to a party she is throwing the next day. So far this is much as in the original novel. Poirot is concerned about the bullet in her hat. Oliver then finds the bullet.
  • The character of Jim Lazarus is omitted. Maggie Buckley is not brought down at the suggestion of Poirot, she has already turned up, having been invited to the party.
  • During the party, Poirot spots a suspicious man kurking (who turns out to be Frederica's husband). Poirot gives chase but fails to find him. Mr Rice's presence is suggested in the original novel but Poirot didn't see him.
  • In the book Poirot and Hastings found the body and at first thought it was Nick. Here someone else finds the body and they know it is Maggie Buckley as Nick is with them. Mabel suggests she could have been shot by mistake because she was wearing Nick's red shawl.
  • In this adaptation, the provisions of Nick's will are different. Her estate is split equally between Charles Vyse, George Challenger and Frederica Rice. This sets all three as the potential suspects. Here Frederica already had a criminal record, havingonce been arrested for suspected cocaine peddling. It was also known that she had a husband who had been pestering her for money.
  • At the hospital, Nick tells Poirot straight out that she was engaged to Michael Seton, they later confirmed this by finding and reading the love letters in Nick's room. In the book, Poirot inferred the relationship by reading the letters.
  • In this adaptation, Poirot goes with Sharpe to see Whitfield in London. Whitfield reveals the details of Seton's will and also mentions that he was "in charge" of the search operations for the whereaouts of Seton. Nick Buckley apparently called each night for the latest news.
  • After this, Poirot goes to Yorkshire to meet Maggie Buckley's parents a second time (they had come down earlier to St. Loo). There he saw Maggie's tombstone being carved, and noticed that her name was Magdala (same as Nick). Mrs Buckley also showed him Maggie's large collection of letters many of which were from Nick.
  • Frederica Rice is set up more strongly as the suspect now. Unlike in the original where she bought a box of chocolates and got Jim Lazarus to deliver it to Nick, here she is actually very aggressive in pushing her box through. After she was stopped by Hastings and Mabel from delivering her chocolates, she went to the nurse and persuaded her to sneak it in. The whole side plot of a card saying the chocolates are purportedly from Poirot is ommited. When Nick becomes ill from the chocolates, suspicion falls immediately on Frederica and the Chief Constable Weston is all ready to arrest her.
  • Poirot now sets up the denouement, which is just a gathering of the suspects at End House, It is not a seance. He first sets out the case against Frederica, and then produces the "ghost" of Nick. He claims it is some ancient Babylonian ritual. He then indicates each of the suspects (Charles Vyse, Challenger, Frederica) and Nick shakes her head or nods. After Frederica has been conclusively set up, Nick then comes in and reveals that she is actually alive.
  • Poirot now accuses Nick of the crime and Sharpe turns up having observed Nick plant a gun in the pocket of Frederica's coat. This is quite similar to the role played by Japp in the orgiinal. However here, Sharpe also observed that Nick had taken the gun from a secret compartment in her room. In the compartment was another pile of letters. In one such letter, Seton calls his fiancee Maggie and describes her as a clergyman's daughter. This conclusively confirms that his fiancee was not Nick.
  • Like in other episodes of this series, the culprit gives a full confession.
    • Nick was originally in love with Seton but had brought Maggie to the airport to meet him and he fell in love with her there.
    • Maggie's father disliked rich people and had in mind someone else to marry her--the curate of his church. So Maggie asked Nick to be the go-between for her letters to adn from Seton. This accounted for the large numbers of letters from Nick Poirot saw in Yorkshire.
    • According to Nick, Maggies traveled everywhere with her letters. So when she came for the party, Nick sorted the letters into two piles. Those which identified the fiancee as Maggie she hid away in the secret compartment. The others which allowed the inference that Nick was the fiancee, she left for Poirot to find.
    • She confessed to the shooting of Maggie, but justified it on the grounds that she loved Seton first, and probably more than Maggies. Also Maggie would not know what to do with the money. Nick would have turned End House into a memorial for him.
  • A number of sideplots are totally omitted:
    • The Crofts and the forged will.
    • George Challenger peddling drugs with his uncle Dr MacAllister. In fact Challenger has a very small role in this show and the uncle is not mentioned at all.

Characters/Voice Talents

Note not every voice talent is credited. It is also possible that some of the voice talents supplied the voice of more than one character

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