• 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!

just do it, ok!?!

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.

none of this is useful…just put pics in

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.

obviously the butler did it…

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.

and honestly, I like it more and more with time

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? 
trust me, this is the better option

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

39 thoughts on “Gosick – So Many Doppelgängers”

  1. Gosick was an early natural for me as I love mystery in any form. It was my introduction to goth loli and the whole Victorian England/NotSwitzerland kind of thing in anime. But more than anything else I LOVE THAT GARDEN. I want to live there and eat candy, too. Can you imagine how it must SMELL with all those flowers and earth and sunshine? And the library below? OMG. Old book smell + garden. Plants, sunshine, books and candy. If only I were a genius…

    Ahem. Gosick was my first intro to how truly beautiful anime could be. As an artist I was totally hooked. I should go back and watch it again….

  2. I liked this show. I’m really amazed it hasn’t had a UK release yet considering all the lame fan service/ecchi shows that have got a release instead. This has so much more to offer yet nothing… 🙁

      1. Makes no difference. We’re finally getting When They Cry later this month and I recently reviewed Heaven’s Lost Property which is 10 years old. Hell, we didn’t even get the original Dragonball series until two years ago! 😛

            1. I use Crunchyroll myself and they seem to have a bigger UK library… maybe they’re all minor titles though

        1. I never said it was bad but older shows don’t get licensed as frequently is all. Usually because they are more expensive

  3. This one been on my plan to watch for a long time. Doesn’t sound like anything I had imagined it would be, though does sound a lot more entertaining if it were just a straight up mystery solving anime. Gothic loli is a tough sell for me.

    1. I didn’t think I’d like Goth lolis before this show, but Victorique is quite exceptional… Probably the greatest aspect of the show for me. Try an episode of it?

  4. Funnily enough, if you ask just about anyone in Japan what colour eyes they have, they will probably describe them as black rather than brown, both in Japanese and in English. It’s just one of those slightly odd cultural things. In fact, the only time I’ve heard any Japanese person call their eyes brown rather than black is when they already speak a decent amount of English and just seem to have picked up along the way that foreigners describe them as brown instead of black.

  5. Ah, Gosick, I remember you, but I barely remember any plot details. It was a rather popular show when it aired, and I sort of liked it less than just about everyone else, but I still liked it well enough. I agree that it’s perhaps best not to expect a rivetting mystery. I don’t remember the Grey Wolf Village, and I don’t think I’d have recognised the show from the header.

    I agree that Yuki Aoi was great in the role; she usually elevates any role she plays. Not only does she have an impressive range, but she can also modulate mood like no other: she makes going from silly to genuinely emotional in barely perceptible increments sound effortless.

  6. Oh darn you! Another one for my endless list. Taiga Aisaka, a virginal Julie Andrews and Benedict Cumberbatch all wrapped into one! (Or is it Basil Rathbone? Jeremy Brett? Robert Downey Junior? Kōichi Yamadera? Nicholas Rowe? Peter Cushing? Ah well… so many to pick from!)

      1. Got up to episode 8 last night. A fun anime, alright! It has that Holmesian vibe.

        I watched the first ep. dubbed and the dubbing was so bad I almost gave up on it. It really was boring and I hate that falsetto that English adult voice actors go into to pretend they are children.It sounds so fake and horrid. Nobody speaks like that.

        Then listened to to a subbed version. The voice inflections were where they belonged and didn’t sound fake. A little exaggerated, but that is true of most anime. This was a lot of fun. I have gotten to where I hear Japanese for intonation and read English for content simultaneously. Beginning anime watchers have to do these things as separate processes and the tonal content of the Japanese is lost.

        The sequence they always play just before the big reveal is a bit irritating. Adds nothing to the plot, just as the similar sequence in Beautiful Bones is a time filler. That’s 30 second of anime they don’t have to do again, purely a money saver.

        That pipe of hers… she should do something with it, like blow bubbles. Bubbles would be cute. Otherwise it is just a way of repeatedly hitting us over the head with “She’s another Sherlock Holmes”.

  7. Re: Kujo’s hair and eyes — The point in the book at least was just that the students weren’t used to seeing anyone from Asia, and they were all into ghost stories at the time. (Kujo getting involved in several murder mysteries obviously didn’t help matters, ha ha.) I think the anime just took creative liberties for the coloring a bit, similar to how some black-haired characters get a bluish tint at times.

    Re: elaborate school uniforms — Might be appropriate for the time period and social standing for the school.

    Re: Grevil’s mother — This is a good question. Grevil’s mother would be Marquis Albert’s wife. I don’t recall if she is ever brought up in the anime, and unfortunately I’ve only read the first two novels (all that was released in English).

    Re: Gray Wolf Village — At this time in Europe, there was a lot of interest in bloodlines and family genetics. Apparently this mysterious and isolated village had its own culture and whatnot, and had a long history of having unusually gifted individuals. Of course, the fact that nobody in the village could tell Cordelia was innocent of the murder there shows that merely being a “Gray Wolf” does not equate having great intelligence. Marquis Albert was obsessed with the supernatural, and so seeking out a Gray Wolf to bear genius children for him was part of his agenda. Victorique did prove to be a genius, but how much of that is due to talent she was born with, and how much of it was due to her own effort, is something left to the viewer/reader to think about.

    Re: why Kujo likes Victorique — Oh my, isn’t this “we hate each other at first” a staple of romance stories? Not to mention the whole tsundere archetype that has been popular in anime for some time now… At any rate, if you consider their backgrounds and their similar situation at the school, it’s not hard to see how they were drawn to each other. And obviously their relationship was built over the course of the series, which constituted all sorts of adventures together.

    Re: doppelgangers — I thought the whole thing with Cordelia and Victorique “sharing the same soul” was cute and sweet. It’s rare for anime to actually devote time to a character’s relationship with her mother. As for the Roscoe twins, well, it’s a common and sensible trick for magicians to take advantage of. (I always think of the film, The Prestige.)

    Re: Cordelia and the twins — IIRC one of them referred to Cordelia as the mother they never had. So I don’t think there was ever any romantic interest between them.

    Re: Grevil’s fabulous hair — He’s just not Grevil without that drill hair!

    “Well played sir and or madam or other…” — Just thought I’d mention the Gosick light novels were written by Kazuki Sakuraba and illustrated by Hinada Takeda, who are both women. Sakuraba has written “regular” novels as well, that have won awards in Japan.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I really love Gosick. I think for your drinking game though, all you really need is to take a shot every time Kujo yells “Viktorikaaaaaaaa!!!” and you’ll be out in no time. =P

    1. This is awesome thank you ok Ill go through it as well

      Re: Kujo’s – I figured I just always think it’s hilarious when shows make a big deal about someones appearance in dialogue but illusrate them as completely normal.
      Re: Grevil’s mother – She’s never even mentionned – At first I thought that’s why Grevil hated Vic but now I just dunno

      Re: Gray Wolf Village — what I wanted to know was the exact nature of their supposed gifts. From the characters we actually do see – only Victorique seems to be truly outstanding and she’s mixed blood.

      Re: why Kujo likes Victorique – yup it’s an old contrived staple. I hope people don’t regularly fall in love with people that openly abuse them right from the start.

      Re: doppelgangers – the queen also had a maid doopleganger and Avril gets kidnapped be her double…

      Re: Cordelia and the twin – she was lovers with at least one in the anime…

      Grevil is fabulous!

      1. I felt like the twins totally had some sort of mother complex. Maybe there’s sexual attraction involved, but who knows… I loved both the twins when I watched Gosick in high school (pretty boys!); it’s a pity their motivations/backstory fell flat and didn’t ever get built on enough.

  8. Hmm. I opted not to watch this show as it seemed it wasn’t my thing. Gothloli only works for me when its done as comedy, thus joy of Neighbors Club (Bosu Wo Tomodachi Ga Sukunai) with the loli vampire sister who is adorable and largely childish because she actually IS one. The dark turn of this show here seems to have challenged you? Melodrama is the kind you find most in anime, which I usually just call “emo”. How did you feel about Izetta the Last Witch, which also has a lot of emo melodrama? Its also taking place in “Not!Switzerland” which is why I mention it. Not Switzerland appears in a number of anime. There’s a couple anime about coffee shops which also take place in Not!Switzerland. Its a rather popular location for various anime, now that I think about it.

    1. I dunno about challenge – I liked it personally, but the tonal transition wasn’t seemless and could have used a bit of editing to smooth out. People more sensitive to consistency in narrative tone might be slightly offput.

      1. I suppose I would care about that consistency. I get annoyed with anime that change tone, especially ones that start light and suddenly get serious, usually in a dumb way that feels rushed because the director is told the network isn’t giving them a second season and they need to finish it.

  9. I loved this show! It’s contrived; it’s over-complicated; it’s ridiculously melodramatic. None of that matters. What matters is that Victorique finally finds someone willing and able to accept the person that she is, someone quite beyond the influence of her family to intimidate, and she throws him her soul in such a desperate fit that she doesn’t realize her heart was attached to it. And may the gods bless Kujo, he determines to stand by her. Gotta say, I deeply appreciate the fact that this series has an actual, understandable ending that’s beautiful as well. Yeah, I cried. So what? After everything they suffered for each other, that ending deserved a few tears. Well-played, indeed!

    1. I did too. And I actually said war is dumb out loud to nobody before I realized what I was doing. It really did manage to suck me into that final act.

  10. I was almost tempted to say that I should also try styling my hair in a drill…but for some reason I know that would result in a new tweet by you…so I guess I will just stick to cat’s ears 😂😂

  11. I still have to finish this show. It’s one of those shows I turned on in the middle of the night and watched until I fell asleep. I kind of enjoyed watching it…I think. I think it’s because there was some mystery involved.

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