Detective stories never go out of fashion, but finding a way to make them interesting is another matter entirely. Some leave things open to interpretation, whilst others rely on convoluted mysteries that are more difficult to follow than a city street map. There are also whole bodies of work dedicated to the exploits of well known sleuths like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and more.
So what was the great innovation brought forth by the anime industry? Why loli detectives of course!
Originally a light novel series by Sakuraba Kazuki, Gosick (which may be a play on the word "Gothic"), is set in the
fictional European country of Sauville where Kujo Kazuya, the third son of a high ranking officer in the Japanese Imperial Army, begins attending the prestigious St. Marguerite Academy. He quickly discovers that almost everybody in the country is enamoured with tales of the supernatural, and one of the strangest tells of a golden fairy who lives at the top of a tower ...
The plot is generally well constructed and the basic premise is actually quite interesting, so it's unfortunate that the narrative is a bit too linear for the majority of the series. In addition to this there are several rather blatant attempts at moving the story forward by inserting some obvious tokens into specific episodes, many of which could have been handled in a far more subtle manner.
A major issue when adapting a written work into a visual form is that it will undoubtedly lose something in the process, and that seems to be the case here. Part of the problem stems from the fact that certain aspects of a given story will lose a degree of mystery once they're converted into an image, and this is even more prevalent in animation. While experienced authors are able to hide certain clues or foreshadowing elements in a body of text, once the story is adapted for anime the differentiation between foreground and background becomes far more pronounced. This has the effect of "highlighting" the more important parts of certain scenes, and when taken in conjunction with the linear plot, it makes several of the seemingly impossible to solve mysteries relatively easy to deduce.
That said, there is quite a bit of sleuthing going on, and the variety of cases on offer should tickle the fancy of many a mystery buff.
Because the series is set in 1920's Europe, Gosick has a very continental look to it that's reflected in the clothing, buildings, and even modes of transportation, and the majority of the background artwork is implemented rather well. There has also been a decent attempt at giving the majority of the characters a vaguely European caste to their features, and this can sometimes contrast nicely with the somewhat stereotypical design used for Kujo. The one oddity is Victorique as everything from her height to her clothing is very different to that of everyone around her, which raises an interesting thought. Gosick is, at heart, a detective drama, and in the spirit of tradition the leading sleuth must have something that visibly sets them apart from everyone else. In this case, it's a loli wearing ruffles, lace, and a charming array of bonnets.
The animation is pretty decent for the most part, and the majority of character movements have been implemented rather well. Unfortunately Bones haven't really pushed the boat out with this anime so there are a few telltale signs of inattention here and there.
Gosick features a variety of classically themed background music, and while the majority of the tracks reflect the serious tone of the show, there are a few lighthearted pieces scattered here and there. The opening theme, Destin Histoire by Yoshiki☆Lisa, is a J-pop/rock song that seems a bit too action oriented for a series that relies more on utilising the character's brains instead of their brawn. In addition to this the stylised montage that accompanies it drops a few too many hints about events that occur in the story, which is unfortunate as otherwise it's a well made and choreographed piece of work. As for the two ending themes by Komine Lisa, Resuscitated Hope (episodes 1 to 12), is a pop ballad that seems to fit better with the tone of Gosick, both musically and in terms of the visuals used for the end sequence. The second song, Unity, is the one that stands out the most as it's far more melancholy and dramatic than the other two tracks, and the accompanying imagery reflects the darker turn the series takes after the halfway point.
The acting is pretty decent for the most part, with Yuuki Aoi and Eguchi Takuya performing rather well in the roles of Victorique and Kujo (and it's actually surprising to find a tsundere loli that isn't being played by Kugumiya Rie). The rest of the cast also handle their roles passing well, but like so many other titles out there, the script could have been done better. The dialogue is sometimes childish or stunted, and there's a lack of cohesiveness that appears during several conversations which can make the characters seem ... lacking.
Possibly the biggest surprise in Gosick is that there's actually a fair degree of justification for Victorique being not only a loli, but also tsundere. Kujo is the typical "blank canvas" used in so many anime to highlight just how much he develops by the end of the series, but in all honesty neither of the leads is anything really special. The fun actually starts when one looks at the supporting characters as there's literally a wealth of personalities and ambitions on display. While there is some growth to be found for both Victorique and Kujo, it's the amount of characterisation that has gone into the minor roles that makes this series interesting to watch.
That said, the show does sometimes play fast and loose with certain events, and there are several occasions where the situation has clearly been contrived to develop a particular character in a certain way.
Gosick may have its flaws, but that doesn't mean it's a terrible show. There's a decent amount of detective work in the series that raises it above the likes of Tantei Opera Milky Holmes and Hidan No Aria, and while the mysteries on offer can sometimes be easy to deduce, there are also a few that contains some interesting twists on the stories that they've inspired. That said, this isn't an anime for everyone, mainly because it relies more on the characters using their heads rather than the usual shounen tactic of solving problems by hitting them until they've gone away. In addition to this the element of romance in the story can often feel more like an afterthought, something added to give the characters a bit of added dimension.
Somewhat surprisingly, I found that I enjoyed this anime a lot more than I thought I would. The idea of loli detectives is no more laughable than that of a little old lady, an author of crime fiction, or even a mouse, and once I got over my initial aversion I found a show that was interesting at the very least. That doesn't mean I'm sold on the idea though, but that's mainly because of shows like Milky Holmes and Hidan No Aria, which really haven't done the concept any favours.
If nothing else, at least Gosick tries to redress the balance.
Overall - 9
If you are looking for a good detective series, this is not the show you are looking for. Gosick is not a detective show. It is a historical fiction that tells the story of Ministry of the Occult’s attempt to maintain political power against the rise of science. Victorique, the heroine, solves minor mysteries in a Sherlock Holmes manner throughout the show. As Ridiculous as they may seem at first, the resolutions of these mysteries foreshadow events crucial to the actual plot. Although the conflict is not obvious until the second half of the season, it is present from the first episode.
note to mention is that the show is also a romance. I would put it akin to Toradora. The romantic plot is important to the overarching plot, but it does not take priority over it. If you don’t like romance, you can still like this show. If you want a good love story, you still get that.
Gosick gets very dark towards the end, as the overarching plot becomes noticeable. There are scenes filled with action, especially towards the end. Every episode build suspense and questions; as the show comes to a close, it does not disappoint.
The staff of Gosick takes the unimportant details seriously. Minor characters have a lot of personality and perform their roles decently. The background art is among the best of any show I have seen. Every little thing was given time and effort by the staff, and that is one of the best parts of the show.
If you love music, this show doesn’t have the world’s greatest soundtrack. However, the music is still very good, especially in the opening and ending themes. As a warning, endings change at episode 13. Being a huge fan of the first ending, the second was a shock, as it is not nearly as good. It is still a very good song, once you’ve hear it a few times. The in show music could be better.
Characters - 10
The lead role of the show is a Japanese exchange student Kazuya Kujou. Kujou is an intelligent, albeit naïve, student. He trusts the myths of his host country, Sauville, but does not become entranced by them like the students of that land. In his home country, he is considered a pansy; in many ways he is, but there are times when he has plenty of courage. He is not a toughened warrior at all times, but when other people’s lives are in danger, he steps in the path of bullets. Although Gosick is not narrated, Kujou seems to take that role. Whenever the viewer is left in the dark, so is he. Whenever the view would be confused, so is he. When the show journeys into the supernatural, even Kujou keeps it tied to reality.
Victorique is the character that causes people to label Gosick as a detective series. People present her with cases, sometimes unintentionally, and she solves them within moments. She constantly acts bored and rarely shows any emotions at the beginning. Her history is a mystery that is uncovered bit by bit after each case she solves. The only thing that is obvious in the first few episodes is that Kujou causes Victorique to change. She becomes more social and emotional. Her character changes so much over the course of the show that she looks dramatically different at the end than at the beginning (literally and figuratively – although the literal change is to emphasize the figurative). The changes make sense with the story, and do not distract the viewer at all.
Each supporting character has a clear cut personality. Even one shot characters have histories explained briefly without distracting from the plot. This is one of the best aspects of the show. The minor characters fulfill their roles well. Grevil de Blois, the only real detective in the series, plays a complex part. He often becomes an obstacle to the main characters, but sometimes he aides them by following or ignoring his superior’s orders. He changes as much as Victorique as the show progresses. Although Grevil is the strongest support, almost none of the others can be done without.
I’m not as picky on grading characters as I am with other sections. I am willing to give 10’s to multiple shows, not just the best. There are requirements to get this score. The cast must be well developed, have purpose in the plot, and fulfill their roles properly. Gosick is one of few shows where I could not find a character I did not like. That being said, there are characters I wouldn’t want anything to do with if they existed. In fact, that is the reason I’d give this show such a good score here. I think that every single one of these characters could exist, because they are developed enough to have realistic personalities.
Story - 9
The first half of the Gosick has lots of little mysteries that seem to have little relevance to the entire plot. Also, for someone expecting a detective show, these mysteries are a bit disappointing. Very little work is done in the actual investigative fields, and Victorique solves these mysteries quickly. While many people would find her evidence a bit farfetched, it is fitting for the overall plot of the show. Victorique claims that she puts together the chaos around her using a “wellspring of wisdom.” This is a horrible way to end any mystery arc, if you want a show like Columbo, Monk, or Law and Order. However, this does not hurt Gosick at all. After all, this show is not a detective series; it is a historical fiction. The first few mysteries help develop the characters and foreshadow the important plot points that come later on in the show. Each minor event has relevance to the story, but it does not become noticeable until the second half.
Like the first half, the last episodes are full of minor mysteries. At this point in the show, these mysteries are no longer random. The cases from the first half have gained relevance to the overarching plot. The new mysteries reveal the most important details of the history within the show. Victorique’s past is revealed. The conflict becomes overt. This is an important point in the show; the viewer can see that the conflict has always been present, but no one knows exactly what it is until Kujou discovers it. Also, it proves that the show is not a detective story. Although the heroine is treated as a detective, she does not change the show. The conflict of a detective show is always the same; the leads must discover how an event happened, and who caused it to happen. In the case of Gosick, the conflict present in the overarching plot is completely different: the Ministry of the Occult’s final attempts to maintain political power against the Academy of Science.
The presence of the supernatural is important for the plot of Gosick. Myths and superstitions help keep the Ministry of the Occult in power. The ignorant populace responds to mystical evidence before the scientific. Victorique offers scientific theories to cases, but she creates them through unlikely means. These theories also make sense when she says them, but they seem mythical as well. This makes Victorique the focal character; she contains elements of the Occult and science in her. She represents both sides equally.
The ending of the show feels rushed. The last episode is forced to switch between several characters, locations and times that it is hard to understand what is going on. While it isn’t the smoothest finish ever, it still ends the story well. The conflict between the Occult and science is resolved properly without anything being rushed. The resolutions of all the characters, however, are rushed. As the Second World War passes, viewers get to see where each of the characters are and what they are doing. Perhaps the chaotic ending was intended, since everything that happened during that war was chaotic. Very few questions are left when the screen reads “Fin,” and most of those are philosophical.
As mentioned in the characters section, this show is also a romance. The relationship between Kujou and Victorique is very important throughout the entire show. The conflict between science and magic still takes priority over it, but the conflict of the romance plot is directly related to the other. Although they are not the same, the events that occur affect both plots. When the main conflict is resolved, so is the romantic one (albeit a romantic sub plot remains unresolved until the very end).
In many ways I want to give the story a 10, but I will not for one reason. The show that gets a 10 in this field must be, without a doubt, the best story I have encountered. While I haven’t seen such an interesting storyline executed in such decent way, I cannot say it is the best. That being said, I cannot say that about anything else I have seen. I’m picky that way. So go ahead and put a 10 in that spot, since it would have one if I wasn’t stubborn.
The character art in Gosick is basic. It does not distract the viewer by being too flashy or by being of poor quality. The faces of the characters do not have the details they could have, and my art styles surpass the one used in this show for that reason. However, plenty of detail went into the clothing of each character. Not only were Victorique’s dresses given plenty of time and effort, but even the supporting characters had well thought out clothes. Luigi, who appears only a few times, first appears wearing a ratty set of clothes. The detail put into making his simple set of clothes look like he slept in the streets took effort that many shows don’t put in.
The quintessence of art in Gosick is its back grounds. From the insides of homes and libraries, to greenhouses and full landscapes, the artists of this show worked hard on every detail. The scenery of the city near Kujou’s academy is splendid; the cobblestone street and European style homes look realistic. Several landscapes are shown when the characters travel, and they are never reused images. Every time one appears, they look like places worth visiting.
This is why I gave Gosick a 10 in art. I would want to visit every place the characters travel if they really existed: from the lush green countryside to the snowy Alps (granted I could visit Italy for that). The scenery was never ignored or rushed, and I have seen very few shows that compare in the slightest. As for character design, the show does not lose any points from that. Although it is not the best way to draw characters in my opinion, it fits the rest of art well. Because the art does not take any time to get used to (unless you’ve never seen anime before), with the combination of its simplistic style and mixing well with the background art, the character designs do not distract from the show. As a note, art is one aspect that I’m extremely picky about. Art alone can decide whether or not a complete show.
Music - 8
The in show soundtrack is very good, but it does not change much as the show continues. Nakagawa Koutarou does not ruin the show with her music. In fact, many of the scenes are made much more dramatic due to her works. However, she is no Yuki Kajiura. A show of such high quality seems deserving of an amazing soundtrack, but it is left with an above average one at best.
The opening and endings of the show are among the best music the show provides. Yoshiki Lisa created an amazing opening for the show. Destin Histoire puts the viewer in the right mood for the show. It is an upbeat song, but it is not so happy that it deceives the viewer (as the show gets dark from time to time). It is not dark enough to scare away people looking for a good story.
Komine Lisa made the first ending, Resuscitated Hope. This song was a perfect ending for each episode. Since the show often ended on a cliff hanger, this song only intensified the suspense. Also, appropriate for a show title in the engrish version of “Gothic,” this ending has plenty of Nightwish vibes. Of all the themes for the show, this fit the very best. Unity was the second ending of the show. Also created by Komine Lisa, this song is drastically different from Resuscitated Hope. It is not unfitting for an ending for the show, and it accomplishes everything the first ending did nearly as well. However, this song drops the score dramatically. It is so different from the first ending, that it is a shock to the viewer when it appears. It is not as good as the first, so it seems quite worse than it actually is. This should be unexpected when you go from a Finnish rock style to a folk style suddenly. For those willing to ignore the change, the song becomes attractive over time. However, it is an immediate distraction, and unfortunately is the absolute worst part of the show.
I give Gosick a generous 8 in music. I generally don’t pay attention to in show soundtracks, and if I don’t notice it, it deserves about an 8. I noticed this soundtrack from time to time, always in a good way. All of the openings and ends are songs I can listen to over and over again. This show deserves a 10 for its work. I will not give that score, because the music causes what I believe to be the biggest flaw in the show. If the endings had not changed, I would not be as harsh as I have to be.
I find that GOSICK is flawed and weak in every way, and to summon up a commonly used cliche to describe an undesirable mystery,"it's like watching Scooby-Doo."
So my first comparison will be how Scooby-Doo is, in fact, superior to GOSICK in terms of mystery. Scooby-Doo is an episodic mystery show (similar to GOSICK in this regard) in which a cast of bumbling characters winds up with a mysterious case on their hands, that is always solved (similar to GOSICK). Unlike GOSICK though, Scooby-Doo always introduces it's culprits prior to the solution, and presents CLUES as to HOW the mystery is solved along
the way. GOSICK has no development in regards to it's mysteries. They are solved *magically* and I mean, without any clues or evidence nearly every time by a "Fifteen" YEAR OLD GIRL. She can spot who the cuplrit is by the way he or she holds a gun, for example. She knew that the culprit of murder must be blonde because it was sunny out, for another. Or how about the ever so flattering "the culprit is black because it was dark out." Are you kidding!? So in short, Scooby-Doo is a better mystery because GOSICK is not a mystery. GOSICK is a fantasy anime in which little girls can outwit their older brothers who have detective's licenses.
As every review has said, Kujo is a garbage character. Even the reviews attempting to explain how wonderful GOSICK is mention that Kujo was a generic protagonist. The story is that he is a highly intelligent Japanese student who is transferred to an imaginary European country. So we have the Japanese highschool student cliche with legs as our lead. How creative. This cliche would have worked if the setting was Japan in the 1920s. I am not willing to embrace this cliche if the setting is supposed to be in Europe though. Just so the teenage Japanese audience could relate to the story, they forcibly needed to add a poorly written Japanese boy as the lead? Kujo is so pointless as a character and shows so little development that I doubt he was necessary to any point of the story except to add a filter for the audience to see through and to stir some "romantic scenes" with Victorique.
Except GOSICK is not a romance. There's twenty-two episodes of light banter between two archetypal characters, and then two episodes of reversal, and we're supposed to believe GOSICK is a romance? Unless you are easily deceived by crying and enormously blatant drama then you might. This kind of finish can be termed as "wrap up drama," in which the story lacks development for eleven episodes or so and then in the final two or so episodes a dramatic plot is concocted to give the show lasting appeal, a technique commonly used in slice of life anime as a way to finish a show.
My favorite (sarcasm incoming) part of said ending though, was when about half way through the series a "super serious ultra scary dramatic prophecy of great mysteriousness" was directly told (in a supernatural manner, once again GOSICK would've sat far better as a fantasy) to Kujo by an old dude that he and Victorique would travel far apart and that they would face grave misfortune for the rest of their lives. [[[[SPOILER:]]]] Of course, GOSICK has a happy end. There's no point in introducing this concept of great loss and permanent misfortune if it /does not happen/. Adding in uselessly "epic" scenarios and scenes into an anime does not actually make it an epic.
Now a lot of reviews criticize Kujo, but not Victorique. Victorique is a by the book tsundere character. That's about the level of depth she has other than (once again, unrealistically) her incredibly mature voice. The show actually tried to explain her mannerisms in one episode by delving into her "dark and mysterious and emotional and begrudged" past. Oh my goodness, laugh out loud for real. Oh sure, a little girl can change the tone and pitch of her voice as well as the way she acts by being locked in a prison... her whole life. Is that scientific? No. Is that possible? Well without any facts, statistics, charts, studies, or maybe even imaginary facts, statistics, charts, and studies I would have to say, no! There is no logic behind her behavior other than "uh well she was alone for a while and then she completely changed forever." Reasonable logic, I think not.
Beyond that her character is loved by many for doing pointlessly childish things and puffing out her cheeks much like every tsundere. And she isn't even voiced by Rie, so like, what the point is, I don't know. She's just another piece of bait to attract fans.
What GOSICK really attracts people with is though, is it's Victorian setting (well, and having a small blonde girl as it's cover piece). A few anime share a similar setting in a similar time period - Chrno Crusade, Victorian Romance Emma, and Kuroshitsuji to name a few. The mysteries in this series are so convoluted that this setting isn't even necessary. It's definitely not needed for the mystery, because there is nothing Victorique can't solve, essentially making her solutions as inconceivable as having a futuristic computer solve the mysteries. It also isn't needed for the "romance" because it could have been set in any wartime period (or more exact inter-wartime period, or post-wartime period, or whenever more exactly). So what's it needed for? It's needed for an audience is what I draw from this. It's needed so it can be slightly different, but exactly the same. Anime has only scratched the surface of the Victorian setting, and people are highly interested in such a time, so it draws in viewers. I'm not trying to be a cynic here and tell you that it did all this to draw in fanbase but... I actually think that's why GOSICK has the Victorian setting as it's time period because I logically can't think of any other reason.
Now if you're still reading, I must thank you, because I'm about to get into the muckiest part of this piece - the side characters. To begin unfurling this mess, I have to bring out the ditzy teacher. She does nothing except comic relief and drool over the other comic relief guy (whose hair is a drill, ha ha). The second comic relief character, Grevil, Victorique's older brother earlier in the series is portrayed in every episode as an ignoramus. Yet he's the detective and his little sister solves all his mysteries. (What a fantastical fantasy anime this is!) Then in the final arc, much like the two main characters, instead of getting development throughout this 24 episode series, his character suddenly goes grim and serious. This is not character development. This is a re-write. There is no character development in GOSICK, there is only a re-writing of the whole cast in the last few episodes, that is just too unbelievable even for my willing suspension of disbelief to hold. Another character is Avril, a classic dope supplying comic relief (but like the aforementioned two isn't funny either). So the recurring cast are all dopes with the exception of supercomputer Victorique. Single arc characters are the tritest of the bunch though. The antagonists have their flimsy motive or mysterious prophecy (most arcs tend to center more around supernatural beliefs and occurances, despite the mystery tag) and all the side characters are one-dimension at best. Victorique's mom and the Roscoe twins are actually hilarious though, because they create such a crudely dramatic and painfully bad allusion to Alice in Wonderland. I didn't even know that the whole cast was essentially a poor parody until the ending when Kujo was holding a book with a white rabbit and little girl together. So apparently, their obnoxious roles as characters was to simply imply a better work! How classic! GOSICK wishes it could be Heart no kuni no Alice, which is already a fangirl's rendition and (somewhat of an enjoyable butcher) of the original Lewis Caroll staple, forget Alice in Wonderland itself!
Touching on music is almost always subjective in a way, but I just wasn't impressed. There were no tracks that caught my interest, the openings weren't particularly enjoyable, nor were the endings. The voicing as I mentioned earlier felt unbelievable, too, because Victorique has the voice of a forty-year-old woman. So I can't really complain about the sound beyond how average I found it to be.
I'll end with the art and animation. BONES I've seen better from you. The background art was actually pretty nice, but was far too often engulfed by the ridiculous character designs. The animation in my opinion, was rather poor by BONES standards and the awkward positions characters managed to wind up in often amazed me, as well as the messy looking faces of the side characters. I did not find any character enjoyable to look at, and I feel that Bones just had way too much fun with the bold line tool. Also Victorique has a mishapen and malformed Uguu~ face.
So yeah, I didn't like GOSICK. It was a waste of time to anyone who pays attention to detail and/or wants a mystery anime. And yes, I can say that going into GOSICK I expected a mystery and in every way I was let down. Because this is not a mystery anime, it is a fantasy anime, and I am quite upset that the database won't let me fix this misnomer.
This is a really great anime if you go in with the right mindset and expectations.
Story: 8/10 The story was very good and enjoyable. The storyline can be divided into micro-scale and macro-scale subplots. On the micro-scale we have Victorique and Kujo’s adventures/mysteries. These are initially little, stand-alone mysteries that revolve around the legends of the academy where they study. As the series progresses the mysteries become interlinked with more important and far-reaching issues. I think the mini-mysteries were the weakest part of the storyline, as they were waaay too easy for both victorique and the viewer to solve. Fortunately the dud mysteries
don’t destroy the series and it picks up. I enjoyed their attempt at a ‘historical’ macro-scale plot. They rewrite/rearrange a good portion of history but they do reference actual historical events. As the series progresses we see the eerie rise of powerful, unstoppable forces and how the characters get swept up by some of these events. I’ll just stress that this is NOT a Death Note style deductive reasoning game of cat and mouse. There are big and small mysteries that are developed throughout the 24 episodes but the main focus is on the character relationships.
Art: 10/10. I thought the landscapes were very beautiful and the characters drawn perfectly.
Sound: No problems…can’t say much more than that.
Characters: 10/10. The anime is very character-driven and many of the smaller mysteries are used as plot devices to allow Kujo and Victorique to interact and bond. I liked the chemistry between Kujo and Victorique as partners too. They complemented each other very nicely and made a great team. I thought Victorique’s character development and balance of brattiness, quirkiness and warmth was a real strength of the series. Interestingly, Victorique’s personality allowed the relationship between her and Kujo to bypass an annoying cliché that I see in many other tsundere anime characters. This involves the “cold” character displaying a gesture of affection or warmth at the end of an episode, and then inexplicably acting like it never happened by the beginning of the next episode. This strategy allows the series to drag out that “warming up” process by the tsundere character at the cost of making the character seem fickle and inconsistent. I thought that Victorique’s odd, demanding and, at times, innocently sadistic personality naturally lent believability to that ‘two steps forward, one step back’ approach. The “romance” angle storyline is integral to the plot and arguably the main focus of the series. I would go as far as to say that this is more of a romance/relationship anime than a true detective series.
Enjoyment: 10/10. If you know what you’re getting yourself into this is one of the most enjoyable animes I’ve ever watched. It has enough plot to make it interesting and engaging while not going overboard with the dark/twisted themes. I had just come off of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom and I was looking for a satisfying and heartwarming anime…which I got with Gosick.
Overall: 9/10. I think they could have spiced up some of the earlier mysteries, developed the side characters a bit more, and made Victorique struggle a bit more with the detective work but overall it was exactly what I wanted to see when I watched it. Save this anime for a rainy day.
Love/Romance: I would say high. It's not a typical high school drama but you definitely feel it.
Sex/Nudity: Thankfully none as 15 year old Victorique looks like she's 11 years old.
Blood/Gore: Light. Most of the violence happens in flashbacks or in reconstructions of events. They show blood splatters and a few deaths but that's about it. There's not really any glorified or stylized anime violence.
Gosick was a literary masterpiece of a light novel. The reason being the little girl's dfc was so amazing that as I read each of her words, I imagined my own face brushing up against her chest.
The adaption from novel to anime from this first episode has only shown me how kakkoi it'll be and that it'll be the most sugoi series of the season, and possibly year. (tl note: kakkoi means cool and sugoi means amazing)
The little girl, Victorique has some background stuff to her, but it's not really important, what REALLY matter is how bloody cute she is. When you see her yawn,
or roll on the floor in boredom, your heart will flatline and you'll cry tears of moe moe ~kyun. She's so adorable the rest of this show doesn't even matter. Detective stuff? I don't know if she thinks she's Conan or Sherlock, but she sure is adorable when she blushes. To add on after watching episode two, there other redeeming features I've noticed Victorique has now. She has an adorable pouting face, and her sarcastic laugh is just amazingly kawaii desu (tl note: kawaii means cute), and the way she's so stoic around corpses makes me want to cuddle with her in a graveyard.
The guy who accompanies her is some baka beta male who dances for her when she commands (or maybe he's a guy who likes being bossed around by cute little girls like I am). He's a baka gaijan in some country with a lame nick name (Dark Reaper/Springtime Reaper, he's a baka inu so who cares). Anyways, all you need to know is he's totally her manservant.
All in all I rate Gosick as a 10/10. This anime was so suteki desu ne~
Gosick received a lot of hype before it aired, and many people looked forward to the airing of this "masterpiece" novel. Will Studio Bones do it justice?
I would like to mention that I have not read the novel and thus I am only reviewing the anime version.
Story - 9/10
I am a sucker for detective / mystery anime. The first episode, however, did not meet up to my expectations. It introduced the characters all right, and I did enjoy the little mystery they had. However, being a fan of detective anime / stories, such as Detective Conan, I found the case pretty simple and repetitive
in many shows.
But, my views changed by the second episode. One cannot help but admire Victorique's detective skills, and the two part episode (2 and 3) proved to be entertaining. It was also suspensful in a way, since viewers are left with cliff hangers at the end of the second episode.
It might be far too early to judge the overall story, but I give it a 9/10 at the moment, and we will see how the whole series unfolds, though I have really high expectations at the moment.
Art - 10/10
I'm not surprised at the rating I give the artwork. Studio Bones generally produces eye catching art style, and Gosick did do justice in that. The character designs are interesting (though many say that Victorique resembles Shinku from Rozen Maiden. But that was the author's style, not the studio's. Besides, it suits her!) The opening and ending have very beautiful artwork, and the style is somewhat different than what is IN the show, but still captivating. I give it a 10/10.
Sound - 9/10
The music accompanying the series is both mysterious and captivating. It actually draws the viewers in, and sets an overall mood for the show. The opening and Ending songs (Opening by Yoshiki*lisa and Ending by Lisa Komine) are very catchy. The intro is amusingly happy and hyper at the beginning, then at the chorus very enjoyable to the ears. I think it was very well done! As for the ending, many fans rave that it is better than the opening. I personally prefer the opening, though the ending is nothing short of masterpiece. I give the sound a 9/10 only because the music in the show is somewhat repetitive.
Character - 8/10
It is a bit too early to judge the characters of the show, so I cannot truthfully rate them. First, let us take Victorique, the main female protagonist. What I adore about her is the fact that she is not only a good detective that puts a pipe in her mouth whenever sleuthing (Sherlock Holmes?) but the fact that after those moments she is a girl in the end. Her random antics (barrel roll! I'm so bored!) keep the viewer entertained, and intrigued by her inner personality. And viewers still wonder what sentimental value her "gold necklace" has. Was it her mothers? (I somewhat believe she had a relation to the villain in a way?)
Next is Kujou, the main male protagonist. He is quickly introduced, and for some reason is attached to Victorique from the moment he set eyes on her. What I enjoy is his somewhat "split" personality (one moment provides the comic relief, another moment he is dead serious). However, the fact that he is the "third son and tries to surpass his brothers" is somewhat cliche? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but this is present in other anime too. But, Kujou proves to be a promising character and "side kick" to Victorique.
Other minor characters are also appealing in their own way (a hyperactive teacher?) but some somehow have weird character designs (the Detective and his "drill" hair).
I give the characters and 8/10 at the moment since no further information is given about them, and we are only on the third episode, aren't we?
Enjoyment - 9/10
Gosick happens to be entertaining, and viewers sleuth alongside the characters, wondering what will happen next. Some cannot wait for the next episode to come, while others are patient enough to think about the mystery during the one week period of time. 9/10.
Overall - 9/10
Gosick looks like a very promising anime, and the fact that it is being produced by Studio Bones only makes it more appealing. Detective / mystery genre fans will not only enjoy Victorique's sleuthing with Kujou, but also her "cute" personality while not being serious.
A mere 6 years after WWI, the fictional European country of Saubure is the location of the prestigious Saint Marguerite Academy, where "The Golden Fairy" spends her days in chronic boredom eating sweets and reading in the tower library. One student that attends this school, "The Black Reaper," ventures to the very top of this tower library to see this legendary student literally rolling around, and so, an unusual bond forms between the two.
Gosick follows the story between Kazuya Kujou and Victorique de Blois, as they either dive headfirst into the various ghost stories or legends that frequent their school and try to unravel
the mysteries surrounding each, or these troubles find them. These mysteries however, are rather mediocre and can be solved by the viewer with a little common sense. Victorique's flawless explanations at the end of these short mysteries (usually 3-4 episodes) really only make others look rather lacking in intelligence, mostly Kujou. However, I do not believe the main appeal of Gosick is the mysteries themselves, but rather the superb character interactions.
Many times, I found myself watching an episode of Gosick to watch more of the very entertaining interactions between Kujou and Victorique rather than learn more about the mysteries they found themselves in. Victorique, who was ever charming and typically tsundere, displayed cute antics with Kujou passively sighing and laughing. They had excellent chemistry with one another. Their friendship deepens quite a bit in the course of the show, and that was what made the ending and overall experience quite enjoyable. There are some particular moments which were heartwarming and quite emotional, after they realize the importance their presence has for the other. Clutching a small necklace in times of desperation, after all, is sometimes all one needs to keep on living, to see another day, for the sake of the other.
To make a comparison, this is also particularly one of the reasons I enjoyed Spice and Wolf so much, not for the rather confusing economic and business sense, but the interactions between the two main characters.
Art in Gosick was very well done and detailed. Saubure was rich and colorful, and characters were animated wonderfully. There are many settings to enjoy, such as the tower library, the town itself, theaters and the rich countryside. It's always nice to see the artist giving viewers a pleasurable viewing experience and diversifying things.
There was a plot weaved in carefully at around the middle of the series, involving a particularly despicable Marquis and his own self centered plans. Though somewhat unnoticeable in the beginning, the final few episodes of Gosick manage to explode this plot into a hotpot of emotions, ranging from completely despicable to heartfelt. After a great wind has descended on the world and splits nations apart, comes the time when the relationship between Kujou and Victorique becomes most difficult. Even so, they live for the sake of the other.
Sound is minimal, but I felt this helped to enhance the atmosphere of Gosick. What little music is present was fitting for the situation, whether on a speeding train or a platform addressing the country itself. The opening is "Destin Histoire" by yoshiki lisa, a catchy pop-rock song with quite the nice animation to go with it. The opening utilizes a pleasant and unique water color style of art, giving even more diversity to the already beautiful art style Gosick utilizes. There are two pieces of ending music, "Resuscitated Hope" by Komine Lisa and "Unity" by the same artist. They were appropriate for the mood that followed the ending of an episode.
I want to especially applaud Victorique's seiyuu, Aoi Yuuki, for an excellent and laudable performance. She gave a great range of voice for her character, from the bored, sarcastic tones of Victorique to her emotional tones especially as the "wind" approaches, with particular mention to Victorique's despair. I do believe the end of episode 22 will tug at quite a few people.
Gosick is an overall enjoyable anime that tells the story of two very different people as they tackle fables, legends, stories, and their own shortcomings. Gosick should be viewed not with the mysteries themselves as the focal point, but as the story of Kujou's and Victorique's slow friendship that keeps them together, even with the tragic "wind" that will inevitably separate the two. Holding hands, the petite Fairy looks over the shoulder of the reliable and forgiving Reaper, as they face the world.
Irritating. This anime is REALLY irritating if you hate a tsundere loli who acts like she's the boss and an idiot main character who goes behind her like a dog. I never felt connected to a character like I do in other anime. It's just like watching some stranger's life and not caring whether they die.
When I watched a few episodes of the anime, I realised that this anime is a horrible mystery anime. Terribly fails at depicting mysterious situations. Before the case even started, I could easily tell who the culprit was and the story behind it and I'm sure anyone can. It's
a WASTE OF TIME if you're a mystery fan and watching this for mystery.
Well, at least it has a story that follows something. But the character's BG stories are just as if a drunk person made them up. It's like they just needed to make some characters, made them, and gave them a background story to justify what crazy things their doing. I just didn't get the whole point of this anime.
The police. They're lame. I get it that they're trying to depict an ignorant bunch of officers but their stupidity is over the top. They get beaten by some 15 year old kid. Heh.
The anime has decent ED music. The second ED was the best and depicted what was going on in the anime.
For mystery fans, it's a big disappointment, for romance fans, it takes too long to get to the romance part.
Why did I contunue watching this? To tell people not to watch it, of course.
Well, the only thing I liked about this is that it tells about the sadness of war and romance between the irritating two main characters. Which had a pretty nice ending. Also, it showed a few things about how people were during that time. And they showed "the Turk" yey!
This anime COULD be better. But unfortunately, it isn't good. Lot of people might say that 3 is too bad for it, but the more I think about how irritating it was, the lesser score I give.
Gosick is a difficult show to review, it is also a rather difficult show to watch if you're expecting a masterful detective story - which is doubtless the preconception many viewers will have prior to beginning this.
Gosick is not a particularly strong detective series - the detective work is generally summarized by Victorique in 1 minute out of a 60 minute story arc, and whatever clues she alludes to are invariably invisible to the viewer. In spite of this Gosick is actually an extremely enjoyable show to watch: the drama works very well and the characters are extremely likeable (ridiculous hairstyles aside).
story begins with Kujo, a foreign student arriving from Japan to study in the Alps who is quickly cast aside as a pariah by his fellow students. Being completely friendless, he goes to the library to discover the Rapunzel-like Victorique who is only allowed to live within the confines of the library.
At first Victorique regards Kujo as a means to alleviate her boredom, but as time progresses they sneak away for secret adventures... I shalln't give too much away, but the relationship which develops between the pair is particularly charming.
Special mention should be given to the artwork of Gosick. Throughout the series scenes are populated with richly detail backgrounds and finely animated characters - it's a pleasant and rare luxury not to see any cut corners with the animation.
In short then, the strong aspects outlined above more than make up for the shortcomings of the detective story. I wouldn't say this is essential viewing by any means, but it is nevertheless an enjoyable diversion.
~I shall now reconstruct the fragments of chaos...~
A mystery-based anime set in old times? Sounds bland.
Gosick is a genuinely interesting, entangled web of thought provoking mystery and emotion. Starting out quite slow with a cliche "mysterious girl meets guy" scenario, i didn't expect to experience great amounts of character attachment. Like many, i came with the assumption that the show would develop into a dramatic crime-busting series, and not much else.
If you hadn't already gathered from my tone, i was obviously wrong in my preconceptions of the show, and here's why...
The mystery genre is often associated with a slow rate of progression, plot-heavy content,
and a mind boggling level of complexity that outpaces even the viewer. Although i would definitely not imply that Gosick is easy to follow; it always retains a curious atmosphere - and seems to keep me engaged with not only the story, but the state of the characters as well.
Some of my judgments can't be re-enforced by the first few episodes, as there's an amount of slow building to begin with - preliminary events that follow a slightly formulaic approach, but are necessary for the foreshadowing of much more significant happenings. By no means are these examples of filler though, as it becomes apparent quite soon that Gosick is a show that derives a lot of strength from its detail.
Many times throughout, i found myself internally saying "oooohhhhhhh...", as it gave relevance to the most obscure of references: "fragments of chaos" in Gosick's case. The manipulation of the viewers' viewpoint when it comes to conveying the mystery aspect of the show never ceased to catch me off-guard. Each time, it brought about wholesome conclusions that actually added something new to the bigger picture, and were even meaningfully referred back to later.
- and so if you can appreciate plot twists, take a note.
Gosick is confident in its ability to make fluent sense of the countless small details that link everything together seamlessly - and therefore i would say that the story line is masterfully assembled. I obviously won't reveal too much, but as time goes on, Gosick develops from a deceivingly simple mystery concept, into a radically more intense, passionately fought battle of human corruption. Its emotional sway (having more of a "part" later) is effective due to the character development...
We haven't covered the development yet?
Well simply put, the protagonist of the story is a relatively generic, but passionate lad - Kazuya. For the most part, he serves as the relatable voice of reason, and the viewers. Victorique on the other hand, is much more unique. She's 2-faced for sure, able to flick between states of anger, happiness, and all-consuming boredom funnily enough. The comedic twists to the characters in the form of particularly relatable personalities allows for good establishment of the shows contrast between themes - and this bares relevance to the contrast of genres.
What contrast you ask?
Well if you hadn't already checked the tags, romance becomes another major theme of the show as it develops. It's particularly interesting the way this romance progresses, as the characters' developing understanding of each other, and awareness of the very prominent "us versus the world" idea allows of this manifestation of deeper feelings to shape their decisions. Although with a frustrating distance to begin with, as the duo open up to each other throughout, so does the plot line - beyond description.
It goes without saying that the presentation throughout is definitely on-par with the wonderful development and detail of both the context and characters. I found the soundtrack in particular to be one of the best I've ever heard!
Make of it what you must... If you're looking for more than just a mystery - something perplexing and clever with a more personal aura, you've got it!
I've tried to leave this quite open-ended, as to invoke a sense of curiosity - the second part of the show definitely outdoes the first.
At first I was a bit afraid to fall on one of those cliché detective animes with shitty riddles like it was when I watched detective conan years ago (which is not bloody ugly but also not so challenging)
so I was rather nicely surprised by Gosick .
I'm very fond of ghost stories and mysteries to start with and so far I haven't been let down by the anime. What's impressive so far is that Victorique literally seems to be finding the answers out of nowhere thanks to some kinda fountain of wisdom and with the very few hints she gives
to the main character you can reconstruct how she found out those things. Though some are a bit predictable she's still ahead of me as a viewer even though she doesn't witness what we do so yeah overall godlike character who on top of that is extremely cute WITHOUT any of those fucking clichés
she's not too much of a tsundere and she's not plain dere either which is good considering what we've been fed with this year .
Also the art is amazing I literally fell in love with it , the OP is particularly great since it looks like you're seeing the drawings on paper and they start moving and not just an ''animation'' . Mentioning the animation that is on top of that rather good so far.
The sound isn't astonishingly good but it's still really pleasant the OSTs are well chosen and fits each scenes
There really isn't any character I hate at all , even the inspector who's completely obnoxious but has one kick-ass hairstyle ... I don't believe anyone will be able to pull it off good luck cosplayers !
So , to finish I'll say gosick is a really enjoyable anime and I'm impatiently waiting to see how it's going to end , if it keeps getting better it'll probably reach my top 10 animes of all time.
My Wellspring of Wisdom is telling me to review Gosick!
Well here I am, I'm the master of the universe.
From the makers of Sword of the Stranger, FMA: Brotherhood, and Darker than Black sequel. Studio Bones!
Gosick is your natural detective tale, love story, slice of life. It is brimming with mystery, set in a fictional European countryside called Saubure (Sauville), adjacent to France and Italy. Its plot follows in the footsteps of Lupin, Detective Conan, Heaven's Memo Pad, hell even Death Note. Our protagonist and deuteragonist is Kujo and Victorique De Blois, respectively. Their mutual friendship eventually blossoms into a partnership.
the Art is above average. That isn't saying much, however the cinematography and the detailed description of the European countryside is spot on. The producers and Bones really did their homework, and parleyed a few vacation trips in order to capture the essence, It isn't uncommon for Mangakas and Animators to visit real life locations to maximize surrealism and breaking the 4th wall. Ryohgo Narita the creator of a very popular series, Baccano! did the same thing by visiting the Chicago Train Station.
When I first marathoned and binged on the show, the first alluring thing that
attracted me was not only Victorique's sharp wit, and seething bluntness. But the unmistakable OST, that is eerily similar to Code Geass. Doing some homework, I came to realize that the soundtrack was composed by Kotaro Nakagawa, the very same composer of Code Geass's OST. This is one aspect of Gosick that very much excels in.
The protagonist, Kujo is a dunce. An overbearing third son who can never ever match his older brothers. The Fredo Corleone of the family, the black sheep, a weakling, an outcast. A freaking pariah! However he seems to connect with our deuteragonist Victorique de Blois, also an exiled child who had never been embraced in the warmth of love. Her disdain for the world and her cynical pessimistic outlook on life attributes to this fact. She trusts no one with good reason, she was raised in the dungeon cellar of her father's Mansion, due to the fact that her mother was illegitimate, and a criminal.
Overall, 8/10, I'd recommend this to everyone and anyone. It is very subtle, dark, humorous at times. The tropes are common and have been done before , Gosick revamps them and takes it to another level. Victorique reminds me of Taiga from Toradora, both short and sweet with take no prisoners attitude, and a vicious mean streak. Both will wreathe vengeance on whomever crosses their path. They both also have a calloused stone heart that will open to a lucky boy in time.They are two tsunderes that I hold very close to my weaboo heart.
It happens. There's this show you wanna watch, and you wanna enjoy it. But the problem's with the main characters. You HATE them. You just wanna beat the crap out of them because of their mere existence. This is the feeling I get with Gosick. (Of which I wanna call Gothic, but hey.)
The European setting, the timeline it's in, the rest of the characters. Everything is fine until the spotlight is shown on the "unfunny comedy pair" of Kujou and Victorique.
Kujou is walking a thin line between being a pansy shounen lead / punching bag for the shoujo
lead and being somewhat capable. Emphasis on "somewhat." He the Watson to Victorique's Sherlock. But he's a creation of the Japanese for-otaku entertainment industry, so whatever capability he might've had was thrown out the window for the sake of the mainly male audience who what a shounen they can relate to. (Else, K-on where there are no shounen leads to worry about at all.)
Victorique is someone I wanna punt like a football. Kujou wouldn't / would never do it, but I would. That "higher-than-thou" attitude just needs to be dealt with in a way that's severe enough to bring her right down to her; then having second thoughts about lifting off again.
But I'm a sucker for "detective dramas." So I'll keep watching despite the two walking, talking plagues that hold it down.
Some anime you actually CAN judge by their cover. Fairy Tail is a generic Shonen Jump title, while Sekirei is an echii harem comedy series. Gosick is not one of these cases. Gosick is a mystery anime set in the 1920s that seems to star a little girl dressed in a Victorian Era maid outfit. Most people would look at the cover and say, "I'm not the damn Subway guy! Why the HELL would I ever want to watch this shit!?" I was originally one of those people, but I kept getting recommendations to watch it and finally I caved. Surprisingly...Gosick is actually pretty damn
The title "Gosick" is actually a misspelling of the English word "Gothic" and the series supposedly gets its title from being inspired by Victorian Gothic fiction. It does indeed borrow heavily from a famous work of Victorian Gothic fiction: Sherlock Holmes. The main character is a detective named Victorika, who mostly spends her time cooped up in her rooftop apartment complaining of boredom. She solves mysteries far more to alleviate the boredom than from any actual concern for other human beings and displays many sociopath traits. She is completely unfazed by murder and is extremely withdrawn, cold, and calculating. However, she possesses a high genius level intellect and an astounding capacity for deductive/inductive reasoning and reconstructing crime scenes. Her only friend is an extremely loyal companion that comes from a military background and serves as the normal individual that can actually interact with other people. Victorika also suffers from an extreme addiction to a white, powdery stimulant...sugar. You thought I was going to say cocaine didn't you? Although later sub-plots develop involving Victorika's family, the basic premise and characters are directly lifted from Sherlock Holmes. The far more famous mystery anime Detective Conan (Case Closed in the United States) also claims to take inspiration from Sherlock Holmes, but honestly Gosick is MUCH closer to capturing the tone and feel of the original. Detective Conan involves a lot of goofy comedy scenes involving Conan's kindergarten friends that would NOT fit into Gothic Genre novel! Gosick actually keeps its dark tone quite consistently with only Victorika's deadpan sarcasm and endless insults providing comic relief. This relates to the other main reason why Gosick is the more faithful adaptation. Sherlock Holmes was a total dick in the original novels! Shinichi Kudo from Detective Conan is simply far too nice and caring to be an accurate, modern day adaptation of the classic character. Now I should address an important question. If you haven't seen Detective Conan and have never read any Sherlock Homes, why would you want to see Gosick? The mysteries in Gosick are actually quite fun and the overall plot is fast paced and keeps things interesting. The character interactions are hilarious and you want to keep watching to see how your favorite characters will all end up.
"I'm NOT a psychopath...I'm actually a high functioning sociopath. Do your research!" - Sherlock Holmes
I've mentioned already that Victorika is a modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation and actually one of the more amusing ones I've seen in recent memory along with Dr. House and BBC Sherlock! However, where does she fit as an anime archetype? People often classify her as a "Tsundere" type character, but that archetype actually has a wide range. Most Tsunderes tend to frequently yell shrilly, boast loudly, slap around the male protagonist, and in general annoy the crap out of me for every second they are onscreen. Examples of this include: Asuka Soryu, Naru Narusegawa, Haruhi Suzumiya, and even Revi from Black Lagoon. The other side of the Tsundere spectrum is the cold and withdrawn extremely"INTJ" type who just seem mildly annoyed at all times, is known for deadpan, biting insults and although extremely intelligent is just kind of a dick. This is almost exclusively reserved in anime for male characters like Paul von Oberstein from LOTGH. However, that is exactly where Victorika falls on the spectrum and this makes her a rather unusual character for an anime. Especially considering she is the main character and not just a minor side character. The other main character is the Watson character named Kazuya Kujo. He is extremely nice, caring, relatable, but isn't afraid to stand up to Victorika when he needs to. He is NOT a complete beta male and in only the 3rd episode is using brass knuckles to save Victorica's ass from an assassin and beating the shit out of him. Kujo's military family background gives him a strong sense of discipline and honor. He wishes to prove himself to his elder siblings and to his father, who has always overlooked him. There are other highly amusing characters as well including Victorika's idiotic half-brother, who takes credit for her work despite being an incredibly inept detective. Overall, these are fun characters that I really enjoyed!
I don't feel like going too in depth with the art and sound this time. Neither are particularly amazing, but also not bad by any means. Basically they are pretty average relative to 2011 when this was made. If you like mystery anime with fun characters, this is the anime for you! If you like Victorian Era Gothic fiction and in particular you love Sherlock Holmes, then this is the anime for you! I went in to this anime with virtually no expectations and I came out pleasantly surprised. I award Gosick a very solid 8 out of 10.
I rarely ever find myself liking a series or movie about detectives and strange mysteries because I find that they become extremely repetitive, always following the same formula over and over again where your protagonist(s) uses the evidence at a crime scene to solve a crime. What sets Gosick apart from these aformentioned shows is that it isn't entirely focused on the mysteries and detective work but also places a lot of emphasis on the relationship between the main characters, adding a sort of slice-of-life-ish and romantic side to a story which would have otherwise been a more generic detective show.
The story takes place
mainly in 1924 and begins with Kujo Kazuya, a Japanese transfer student, attending a European school in the fictional nation of Sauville, situated in between France and Italy. Being racially different and unfortunately associated with a scary character from a local folk tale by his classmates, he becomes somewhat of a social outcast who meets the small and adorable, but short-tempered and anti social Victorique who is actually a genius detective spending most of her time in the botanical gardens at the top of the school library. And thus begins their adventures together, unraveling the strange mysteries and crimes which occur throughout the small European nation of Sauville and forging a an ever-growing relationship.
There is actually very little I can fault the story with. Most of the cases the due takes on span a few episodes at most, creating what may seem like small story arcs. However, in most of the cases, there are some small clues or facts that will carry on into other cases. From prior experience in other anime, this always creates some confusions and incoherencies, but Gosick executed this almost perfectly, creating an extremely interesting and intriguing story. It also goes without saying that this should not be an anime where you can completely shut your brain off while watching it. By the end, there is, at most, one or two questions which I still had regarding the story, but they were essentially very minor in the grand scheme of things.
The only real flaw I saw in the story is, while it not may matter to other people, the pacing. I honestly felt like some of the cases Victorique took on we're finished way too quickly, especially when some facts and clues conveniently popped up at the time she needed them. This is particularly evident when she takes on the greatest mystery in the history of Sauville, which she unravels with extreme ease. Despite this, she always tackles the cases in a realistic and understandable manner, always providing concise and reasonable explanations as to how the cases played out, this being one of Gosick's strong points.
Returning from my slight tangent, the pacing makes everything a little difficult to take in, especially in the latter half in the series. Information is constantly thrown at you and I had to replay quite a few scenes to really grasp everything that was happening. Due to the somewhat quick pacing, I felt as though there were some missing scenes which should've been there for the sake of progressing the story along more smoothly.
The story excelled greatly in Victorique's everyday life of being bored, constantly bossing Kujo around, being cute, and solving mysteries/crimes and I could've watched this anime forever should it have stayed like that because it was just really that much fu to watch. At a certain point in the anime, Gosick begins to transition from an episodic/multi-episodic structure into a more singular story line whereby Victorique uncovers some dark truths which cause large scale events to unfold and place her at the centre of it. This part of the story had potential and could've made for an epic conclusion to the anime, especially considering the build up leading to it (like I have said before, Gosick really does a good job of taking elements from one arc and exploring them in another), but it ultimately fizzles out because of pacing issues which also led to a few unexplained plot points.
The main characters are Kujo and Victorique. Aside from his growing feelings for Victorique, Kujo is hardly developed at all. He grows slightly in confidence, detective intelligence, and in physical strength, and you learn small facts about his family and home, but that is about all. He remains mainly as a "companion" character to Victorique because almost all of his actions are for Victorique, something which I feel a main character shouldn't really be, especially when the anime primarily focuses on him and not the star of the show, Victorique.
Victorique is the only character in Gosick who receives any sort of extremely meaningful character development and her alone makes this show worth watching. Through Kujo and Victorique's endeavours, you learn about her twisted past and her reasons for being as anti-social as she is. Not only that, she develops from a fragile and scared girl into a much more confident and strong woman, and this is one of Gosick's strengths, alongside being one of the better developed characters that I've seen in all the anime I have watched.
The supporting cast is as a supporting cast should be. They don't receive any development and they aren't interesting enough for us to want them to receive any development. They are there for comic relief, to relay information between the two main characters Kujo and Victorique, or to create conflict between or around Kujo and Victorique. However, there is Avril, one pathetic excuse of a romantic rival to Victorique. She's actually a really likeable character, being lively and extremely out going, almost the complete opposite to Victorique. Aside from being a catalyst for Victorique's developing feelings for Kujo through occasionally making Victorique feel a little jealous of her, she has no role. This is simply because the story makes it so plainly obvious that Kujo and Victorique will always be together and removing her existence from the story would essentially change nothing.
The opening is great. Quality listen. The first closing is absolutely legendary, probably the only closing that I've watched as much as the opening. So you can probably tell that when it was replaced with the second closing that I was extremely sad and disappointed, especially since I'm not a fan of that type of music. Simply put, I disliked the second closing.
The background music was great as well, constantly emphasising the atmosphere and helping me immerse myself in the mysterious world of Gosick.
Art & Animation: 10/10
The art is absolutely brilliant. The detail which is put into the 1920's clothing, interior design, city layout, and architecture was astonishing and really helped immerse me into the historical setting. Other features of the world of Gosick like the countryside and forests were also extremely detailed and beautiful. I also want to say that the art style used in the opening is a really nice touch, being unique and different to the art in the anime.
The animation didn't shine as much as the art did but there were times when it did such as in a fight scene or two or when a fire started to grow out of control.
There are very few detective movies or series which I have loved as much as Gosick. I was completely engrossed in the intricate story, and fell in love with Victorique from the moment I first laid eyes on her and all throughout the story as she was superbly developed as a character. This is more than just a detective and mystery anime, as I have said before, adding small elements of other genres and therefore creating a more complete anime which I will probably treasure for a long time to come. Subjectively, the only flaw I saw in this anime was the pacing of the story and the somewhat anticlimactic ending. If you haven't gotten a hold of the fact that I strongly recommend this anime, then I'll quickly say it; I strongly recommend this anime to just about everyone since, while being a primarily detective/mystery anime, it contains enough elements from other genres for many people to enjoy.
Thank you for reading! Any feedback is very much appreciated!
The fragments of chaos are all lined up...
I'll reconstruct them for you here into a review...
I'll take the fragments from the chaos of this world...
And I will reconstruct them into truth using the wellspring of wisdom within me...
Gosick stars Kazaya Kujo, a Japanese exchange student in the fictional European country of Sauville. During his stay in Sauville, he meets up with the other main character, Victorique, a small girl with long blonde hair and dresses in lolita clothing, and solve mysteries together. Throughout the series, as each mystery is solved, more questions on the past, and the family relating to Victorique are
raised. These questions are the driving force for the latter half of the story.
The ending was amazing. What seemed like pointless arcs in the beginning all tied together seamlessly in the last two episodes. The last two episodes were filled with so much suspense, so much emotion, the series has one of the best if not the best ending to any mystery genre series.
The problem with the mystery genre and the reason why most people stop watching Scooby Doo is that the mysteries are repetitive and boring as they do more and more of. Sherlock Holmes does a great job of not being repetitive when it deals with mystery because the characters, mainly Watson, are very interesting and keep the mystery solving exciting. Gosick does the same deal, as the characters allow the mystery to be more interesting rather than a rinse, wash, repeat process.
The romance in the anime, was rather slow in the beginning. I couldn't even see the two characters becoming a couple, but as the series progresses, we got to see a great change in character for both of the main characters. This will be discussed in more detail in the character section.
The setting of the story was executed well. The story takes place during the 1920s in a land that is transitioning use to electricity. We see candles, we see lightbulbs. We see trains and planes, we see carriages pulled by horse. These contrasting things pull off an effect of a unique setting that very few people give much thought too. The ending does a great job with the setting, as it pulls up true history and applies it very well to the story.
Gosick scenery wise was fine, nothing too outstanding in the scenery department. The art stands out more in the character designs and specifically, Victorique. The dresses that Victorique had were jaw dropping. They were so pretty and well drawn, each lace, each fluff, everything. Seeing the first dress was impressive, but seeing the other dresses were just amazing.
Something that caught me by surprise were the action scenes. I was not really expecting those action scenes, but they were executed really well. The right amount of use for transition scenes that caused a clear understanding of what was actually happening during the action.
The OP, Destin Histoire, was a great song that reflects the pacing of the anime. With a very calm beginning, the series starts off calm, with mysteries that involve others and not the main characters. The song will pick up much as the mysteries and suspense do in the series. The first ED, Resuscitated Hope, didn't really fit in with the series, but was still a fine song. A calm beginning but a bit too hard for what the series had in mind. The second and last ED, unity, was a great ending and the type of ending I was expecting to have in the first place. I would suggest them to have used "unity" as the sole ED rather than using two different songs...
The background music was fine, no complaints. Helped carry the mood of emotion or added suspense when it was needed. Nothing too outstanding for the background music sadly.
As I have said before, the characters had to be interesting to keep the viewers entertained during the mystery solving. Victorique and Kujo do a great job at keeping the viewer entertained as their little squabbles, Victorique's attitude of "I'm better than you" crumbles to a very cute innocent girl, Kujo's slight stubbornness but I will do it anyway... These characters are very likable and enjoyable to watch.
Character development was amazing, as Victorique was a character who never experienced love and Kujo was a character who needed confidence, these two characters built off each other in a symbiotic relationship that is very endearing to the viewer.
Watching these characters interact with each other during the mystery and outside of the mystery was one of the most enjoyable things about this series. The suspense this anime can deliver is nothing short of amazing. This series is addictive and does a great job at keeping the viewers attention.
The most enjoyable part was the ending. I have explained why I found this enjoyable in the story section... but it needs to be explained twice! That is how enjoyable it was. The flawless execution of suspense and emotion during the last two episodes were down right amazing. Nothing could have stopped me or cause my eyes to drift away from the laptop screen during those last two episodes.
I was expecting just a cute story... something similar to Hyouka where they solve mysteries and through the mysteries, the two main characters get together. This anime showed me something I wasn't expecting, true chemistry between the two main characters, a true connection that can be felt outside of solving a mystery. Gosick has earned a spot in one of my most favorite anime series.
To the rhetorical question: "Why would I watch a mystery anime with mediocre mysteries?", I provide the following four rebuttals.
1. "I don't mind mediocre mysteries."
2. Heartwarming character interactions and development
3. Awesome loli detective with puffy cheeks.
4. Beautiful Victorian setting and clothing.
Gosick is a so-called mystery anime set in aftermath of World War I in the fictitious country of Sauville. The anime follows the exploits of Victorique and her servant/friend/partner, Kujo, as they unravel the mysteries surrounding Victorique's origin and the impending world conflict. However, despite
being a mystery anime, the mysteries in this anime are not its main appeal. To understand the flaws in these mysteries, consider the mystery manga/anime Detective Conan. Detective Conan takes tender love and care to lay out clues, evidence and suspects so that it is easy for the reader to follow the detective's train of thought. However, to this date, I have yet to completely 100% solve a mystery in Conan before the main detectives; the mysteries manage to maintain their complexity despite being thoroughly scrutinized up into the point that they are solved. In high contrast, it's impossible to follow Victorique's game-breakingly fast train of thought and yet your hunches about the mystery always end up as correct. In conclusion, the mysteries written into Gosick are shallow and yet predictable, and there is really nothing impressive about Victorique's ability to solve them.
So then, how would a mystery anime with middle-rate mysteries maintain the interest of its viewers. Quite simply, the individual mysteries are mere pieces of a larger whole. If one considers the anime as using mysteries an unconventional method to reveal plot points rather than as a series of individual cases in which our heroes tackle one by one, the mystery on the grand scale becomes immensely complex. Suddenly the story is riddled with twists and foreshadowing as thick as a jungle and just as convoluted. Each smaller mystery becomes part of a larger story, a tale surrounding a lonely girl and the circumstances in which she came to this world. Roughly a half way through the anime, the scale of the anime blows up exponentially, involving things like conspiracy in the royalty and under-the-table political dealings. Despite the growing number of threads in this story, in the end they all manage to wind themselves down and point towards a specific event, the outbreak of which clearly defines the last two episodes. Indeed the events of the anime can be thought of as the fuse to a small bomb places at the last two episodes which blows up quite literally into the climax of the story. After that explosive event blows away all previous setting and development, the story decides to wrap itself up in a heartwarming bundle. All in all, a good tale.
Although the story maybe good, it is the characters that stand out in this anime. The relationship between Kujo and Victorique is a complicated one to say the least. Most of the time, Kujo dotes on Victorique like a father dotes on his spoiled daughter, he constantly brings her candy and sweets, and often carries her around when not carrying her luggage. In return Victorique abuses Kujo physically and verbally while demanding more sweets or else rolling around on the floor like a spoiled brat. Kujo tolerates all this, but once Victorique steps out of line in front of other, he thoroughly chastises her like the typical Asian parent. You may notice that I make a lot of father-daughter comparisons when describing their relationship. Well there is nothing incestual between; the point is that they care very deeply for each other. Their relationship is far beyond mere platonic friends and yet they aren't quite in the romantic area yet, the way they see each other is most aptly described as beloved family. It is this special bond between them that allows them to cross fate, time, and space in order to see each other one more time. The supporting cast is quite large, and they have their fair share of heartwarming moments for being supporting cast.
Finally, the production quality of Gosick is quite solid. The setting of a early 20th century Victorian European country is drawn beautifully, with fantastic architecture on the buildings, gorgeous frilly dresses on the women, and awesome suits with those scarf-necktie things on the men. The animation is quite good although at times the quality sometimes drops, especially and most unfortunately during action scenes. The sound is pretty decent, BGM and OP and ED all are listenable but not too memorable. Special props go to Yuuki Aoi, the seiyuu of Victorique, for doing an awesome job voicing a cool, smart, yet spoiled and bratty loli detective.
All in all, if any of items 1-4 in the introduction appeal to you, it won't hurt for you to give this anime a shot.
Questions, comments, criticisms, and compliments are welcomed whether you found this review helpful or not.
To me, Gosick (a play on the word "Gothic") is the token example of an anime that seems mediocre and flawed at first, only for it throw the viewer a complete curveball and significantly pick up during the second half until it turns into something truly unique and enjoyable. I thought I had this show pegged at around the halfway point, but once it started to go in a more over-aching direction rather than an episodic one, the tone of the show did a 180 degree turn.
Synopsis: Set during 1924 in Saubure, a small (and fictional) European country in the Alps,
Gosick follows a Japanese boy named Kazuya Kujo who has been sent to study abroad at the prestigious Saint Marguerite Academy. He has a lot of trouble fitting in due to his black eyes and hair, which bear resemblance to "The Reaper who comes in the Spring"; a figure from a ghost story that all of the students at the academy actually believe, making them fear Kujo. However, he soon discovers that he is not the only one at the academy to be labeled a monster when he meets a small golden haired girl named Victorique, who the students refer to as "The Golden Fairy of the Library" (from the story "The Golden Fairy of the High Tower"). Supposedly intelligent enough to not even need to attend classes, Victorique turns out to be the only thing that keeps the area's police force operating as she is the one who is called upon whenever an unsolvable mystery arises and, of course, solves it. Despite her indifference to him, Kujo repeatedly returns to the library to visit Victorique until they become close friends and work together to solve whatever mysteries/problems they are presented with, namely Victorique's dark and complicated past.
Although Gosick is often described as a mystery/detective show, I would strongly disagree with that characterization. In fact, the mysteries and "detective work" were one of the weaker points of the show in my opinion. Gosick is more of a historical-fiction drama a subtle, overarching plot that finally comes together at the end of the anime and ends up being the saving grace of the pseudo-episodic plot. So if you are looking for a good mystery anime about detectives, you won't find it here. However, if you are looking for a good historical drama with romantic elements and strong influence from the mystery genre, you will likely enjoy Gosick.
As previously mentioned, Gosick first opens with an episodic style of story telling; one mystery after another is presented to Kujo and Victorique, they investigate, and Victorique solves the mystery with her deus ex machina-like "power" which she refers to as "the wellspring of wisdom". These mysteries are all mildly amusing, but mediocre due to shoddiness and lack of emphasis put in the investigative parts of the mysteries that make it so the viewer can't possibly solve the mystery before Victorique explains what happened. In case you couldn't infer this, the episodic mysteries are not Gosick's strength.
As these smaller mysteries are going on, there is a much, MUCH bigger mystery that slowly gets unraveled as the show progresses involving Victorique's past, her family, government conspiracies, an alchemist, magicians, and a whole lot more. THIS, my friends, is the reason you should watch Gosick. The over-aching plotline of the anime takes quite a bit of time to develop, but it creates a lot of suspense and intrigue in an otherwise uneventful show and then manages to completely exceed the expectations you may have had for its resolution. Gosick's true plot explores mature themes such as dedication to one's family, the ways that love can either mend or destroy your life, alienation, and what causes humans to become emotionally attached to each other. The result is something truly wonderful.
The romantic aspect of the show, which receives quite a lot of focus, follows the same general model as the main plot does; it starts off as nothing special. Just a bunch of classic tsundere bullshit that gets very old very fast. However, the romance takes a very serious turn at around the same time the plot does. We are actually presented with legitimate reasons for Victorique being so tsundere and reasons for Kujo putting up with it; the viewer actually feels and understands the emotional attachment that the two have for each other and it really resonated with me by the end of the anime even though I wasn't that into it at first.
Overall, I wish they had just dropped the episodic mystery thing all together and focused on the true plot, because that would have made for a much more entertaining and consistent story. Regardless, I very much enjoyed Gosick's plot; it is compelling and unpredictable with an overall well-written romance.
Very fluent and bright animation that's always pleasant to look at. I'm a big fan of the character designs and atmosphere as well. Just visit Gosick's page on MAL and look at the cover picture; something about the body language of Victorique and the dimly-lit, somber atmosphere is just so engrossing to me. It captures the style of the anime very well. I really like the art style of this show.
The in-show tracks are well done as are the endings and the catchy opening; an overall average/above-average soundtrack depending on preference. I'm adding on an extra point because of how much I loved Aoi Yukki as the voice of Victorique; the personality and unique flair that she brings to the role is awesome and provides a different take on what could have been a stereotypical tsundere character. There is no dub for Gosick, but the sub has very nice voice acting for the most part.
There is a slew of interesting characters throughout Gosick's large cast, including comic relief characters, sinister antagonists, antiheros, and more. There are only two primary leads though, those being Kujo and Victorique.
Kujo, the third born son of a high ranking officer of the Japanese Imperial Army, was basically raised to be a man's man. He was constantly scolded for being so "girly", and was forced to only like things that a man should like. While you can see the influence of this upbringing in his character, it is also very apparent that his personality is very contrary to those strict rules that were imposed upon him. This is my favorite part about Kujo's character because it goes along with the theme of dealing with alienation/being different, which, while never truly focused on during the show, is one of it's better themes. As a protagonist, Kujo is your typical male counterpart to a tsundere girl on the outside, but a much more deep and complex character on the inside. However, as I've mentioned many times before, the unique and compelling side of him doesn't come out of him until towards the end of the show (except when they are revealing his backstory). In the end I thought Kujo was a good character; not great, but good. He filled his intended role more than adequately.
The other major character, Victorique, is an interesting case. I had a very love/hate relationship with her throughout Gosick. At first, I liked her. She was pretty adorable (her sarcastic laugh slayed me when I first heard it XD) and her voice actor did a very good job with her. As the show started to get repetitive, however, so did Victorique's humor. She was on the fast track to becoming yet another annoying tsundere and I was sort of over her. Then, the final act of Gosick kicked in and I loved her more than ever before! She becomes a very strong female lead with a fascinating past, interesting motivations, and much more that I wish I could talk about, but can't. Rarely do you see a female character with such mental strength and intelligence in anime, and that is a breath of fresh air. Overall, Victorique is awesome, but she is still only my 2nd favorite character in the anime.
The side characters (including my favorite character) are too numerous for me to talk about and some of them could delve into spoiler territory, so I won't talk about them except to say this: the majority of them kick ass. While I wasn't a big fan of the teacher, the side characters that are centered around the main plot (you know the ones, fans) are just epic as all hell. I'd be shocked if you didn't get attached to at least one.
Overall, Gosick has a very, very nice cast of characters. The ones that need to be developed are developed (very nicely) and the ones that don't need to be developed aren't developed (certain comic relief characters), and that's just the way it should be.
In conclusion, I highly recommend you give Gosick a try, provided you aren't under the assumption that it's a mystery/detective show, which it certainly is not. The pre-WWII setting does this anime a lot of favors and makes for a compelling atmosphere. With an epic plot that is definitely worth the wait for it pick up, an awesome cast of characters, and some above average animation/voice-acting, Gosick has something for just about everyone.
Starts as "Sherlock Holmes: A Lolita in Red" and ends as "Where the fuck is the plot? I lost track three episodes ago".
It's funny that the show never makes direct references, but the first few episodes feel like they were straight up cut out from the Sherlock books. This is really nice for the fans, but it also sets a very misleading tone for the series, which causes everyone to wonder what the f* happened when the plot kicks in.
In short, if you're coming here looking for a mystery/detective series, you came to the wrong place. If you want a story about
World War, but in an alternative setting, anime version, with some Holmes-ish elements, then you came to right place.
Gosick, the anime that enveloped me in a classic Sherlock Holmes and his dear Watson tale of mystery. We are familiar with the story of Sherlock Holmes and his famous mystery solving skills and Watson who is dragged around by Holmes and questions his methods as they are unbelievably insightful. In Gosick we have Kujo Kazuya, a boy descended from a soldier from which he inherited all the traits that make up a man. Kujo transfers into St. Marguerite Academy where he eventually stumbles into Victorique De Blois and this is where this Sherlock Holmes story begins as they solve mysteries and cases involving the
In terms of Art, Gosick captured the essence of the Victorian period. Being set in the mid 1920's, Gosick's art style floored me as every line was round and smooth. Backgrounds consisted of wide open ranges during times of travel, the school, and markets and neighboring towns which were very detailed as well as grabbing the commotion of a developing city.
The sound and music fit every scene accurately and further emphasize the situation especially in times of great importance. The only downside to the sound is the sound of Kujo calling out to Victorique casually as it started to annoy me; however in times of great distress him yelling out her name makes up for it.
The characters interacted very well as there were few things that were forced by the characters. Most decisions they made were very believable considering their personalities. Although, Kujo's character is a bit off from the normal male character as he does reveal some femininity in his conversations with Victorique which was a bit much for my taste, as well as the staggering difference in the maturity of Victoriques voice and her appearance.
I enjoyed Gosick to the fullest each of the five times I have watched it because I wanted to be able to connect the dots that lead Victorique to her verdict. No other mystery anime was able to engross me into their mysteries as well as Gosick did. I especially enjoyed the nicknames the characters were given as they held great meaning and impact once the secrets behind those nicknames were revealed which always manages to pique my interest with every watch. As well as the red thread of fate that ties certain cases together to create a more immersive mystery.
Overall, Gosick is a must for anyone interested in a Victorian themed anime.