- Genre : Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Historical, Drama
- Episodes: 24
- Studio: Bones
The small country of Swi.. Sauville is on the brink of chaos. Political unrest both within and outside the borders have caused pressure to build. From the shadows, various actors see this as prosperous times to seize power and shape the future. Dark secrets are kept as currency and everyone has a trump card hidden away, waiting for the best possible time to play their hand. Young Victorique, is exactly such a card. A mysterious but brilliant girl, she holds the key to shaping the faith of Sauville. Locked away as a dangerous weapon, she has bided her time, pretending to lead a normal life at St. Marguerite Academy. Resigned to a life of boredom and despair. Who would have thought that the one the person to change everything and throw so many well laid plans into utter disarray, would be a simple exchange student? The third son of a high ranking Japanese officer no less. When Kazuya Kujo sets foot on the academy grounds, the course of history is altered forever. But of course, you never know these things in the moment…
I’ve recently said this about Angels of Darkness but it applies to Gosick as well: This is a show that speaks to my inner teenage goth. I have no doubt that I would have absolutely adored this in high school. Is there any way to say that without sounding condescending… or old? If there is, pretend I said it that way!
Gosick was made by BONES in 2011. I kinda feel like that should cover all you need to know with regard to production quality. It’s good. Sleek, professional. There’s a high-speed combat scene in episode 23 that was downright gorgeous. Designs are very animeish. You know, traditional for the medium but also very pretty. If any part of you has a fondness for gothic lolis, get ready for some major eye candy.
If I was to single out any element, I would say that I particularly enjoyed Aoi Yūki as Victorique. For reference she’s also Madoka and best Girl Tsuyu… This lady has a range… I have to get a best voice actress post together soon. Victorique is a pretty standard stoic delivery but Aoi adds a little bit of grit to the voice itself that just makes her interesting to hear. It’s a pretty singular sounding voice.
Fine, forget about the technical aspects. Let’s try to tackle this narrative. You know, I would describe Gosick as Sherlock Holmes meets Toradora, meets the sound of music (without the music…). Does that make sense to any of you? I just reread it and there’s really no way it could.
For most of the run, Gosick is a series of old school whodunit mysteries with Victorique as the brilliant but eccentric detective and Kujo as her well-meaning and infinitely patient sidekick. Kujo also happens to be singled out for his (supposedly) grim appearance but is actually an extremely kind and reliable young man while Victorique is tiny, strong willed and prone to physical violence. A classic tsundere type. She also has major daddy issues. cough
Even though I did enjoy this first part of the series. It was light and almost felt like a school slice of life with a murder theater twist and I quite like mysteries. Unfortunately, for me, most of the enigmas were either too contrived or out of left field to allow me to solve the riddle at home. Or the culprit was obvious, but bogged down by an overcomplicate backstory and convoluted motive. I ended up watching these rather mindlessly paying more attention to the political manipulations and family drama going on in the background.
I guess in hindsight this is exactly what Gosick wanted me to do…. Well played sir and or madam or other… In fact the brewing threats of war and revolution take center stage in the latter episodes, completely abandoning the mystery solving theme and suddenly bathing the story in blood and consequences. It’s not a complete turn around, however the light even occasionally comedic mood gets replaced by an undeniably dramatic one that will test your mettle.
Those sweet (or at least sweet looking) kids get really put through the ringer. I am constantly going on about my distaste for melodrama and Gosick does risk dipping a bit too far for my tastes from time to time. However, that last arc really solidified the narrative and brought everything together. It’s a show you absolutely have to watch to the end. I can’t put my finger on when exactly it happens, but at some point the narrative transcends itself. As a result, the whole is significantly more than the sum of its parts.
In short, I would recommend Gosick to anyone that enjoys unhealthy romantic relationships and goth fashion. Also to people who like anime.
But before I leave you kind folks, I have a few questions. Ok a lot. I’m sweet but simple.
- It’s a running gag, plot point that Kujo is feared by locals because of his black hair and eyes, but both are clearly brown. Why?
- Those school uniforms are very pretty but also complicated. Does it take the kids hours to get ready every morning?
- Where is Grevil’s mother?
- What’s special about the grey wolf village? They clearly aren’t all geniuses. This is a major plot point and I still don’t know what the deal is…
- Why does Kujo like a girl that’s always super mean to him?
- What’s with all the dopplegangers? Honestly, the most special thing about Kujo is that there’s no one who looks exactly like him.
- So was Cornelia dating both twins? Not judging, just curious.
- Most importantly, how is it that Grevil looks better with his hair in a drill?
Favorite character: Grevil and Cécile
What this anime taught me: War is dumb.
“If I had to live my life over, I’d live over a saloon.”
Suggested drink: Waters of Chaos
- Every time Victorique is bored – stretch
- Every time Kujo is called by a nick name – take a sip
- Every time Victorique smokes her pipe – take a sip
- Every time anyone pouts – awww
- Every time Victorique has sweets – get a snack
- Every time inspector du Blois is in the papers – take a sip
- Every time Kujo does an anime gasp – take a sip
- Every time we see Cécile – cheer!
- Every time anyone says grey wolf(ves) – hug a dog
- Every time Kujo blushes – take a sip
- Every time Victorique blushes – put the glass down
- Every time Victorique reconstructs chaos – pay attention