Jul 6, 2011
Gosick (Anime) add (All reviews)
Detective (All reviews)
Review contains possible spoilers.

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.