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.