Once or twice when an anime pops with the genre Mystery attached to them, I get curious, not because they are holy rare to find, but because of how much of a failure they can be to the genre. Anime’s are not great regarding solving mysteries and when they finally comes with answers, most of it tends to be stupid answers, (*cough* vampires! Shiki! I’m just kidding Shiki is a great show.), so, when I started Gosick knowing that it is entitled as a mystery anime, I had no high hopes.
But oh boy wasn’t I surprised!
The year is 1923, Gosick starts with the character Kujo who is a Japanese student transferred to fictional semi french country called Sauville. There he finds that, most of the people of the country is either superstitious or firmly believes on ghost stories, except one, the girls name is Victorique. Victorique is unique among the local populace not just because she denies to believe in supernatural, rather, she believes that everything that happens, happens because of deeds of human. If an incident like murder or curse occurs, she believes that, there must be a logical reason behind it and, she just needs to find the missing pieces.
So, when Kujo meets unique character Victorique up in a locked tower, he becomes interested regarding why is she like this. Victorique on the other hand is anti-social but, she really likes candies. So, when the question of finding missing pieces of case, or, finding candies come, she never visits the world rather she utilizes Kujo to do the work for her. Thus the show establishes a bond between Kujo and Victorique which becomes essential for the progression of the plot forwards.
The show starts as a mystery of the week type show where a certain incident occurs that involves supernatural elements. For example, haunted ship, haunted tower. It often starts with someone being the victim of the mystery that is revolving around a certain place, then moving on to the regular life of Victorique and Kujo and progresses showing how they gets entangled with this mystery of the week. Where Kujo does all the hard work starting from lifting luggage’s or finding clues for the incident, Victorique is the brain of the case where she arranges the clues with the power of deduction from her so called fountain/wellspring of wisdom to tell us what exactly happened and how it was not a supernatural event rather, a conspiracy done by humans. Each case usually takes 2 or 3 episodes to solve and when she finally comes to a conclusion, you will be left with the feeling of, damn, I did not see that coming. It’s a damn shame that after halfway, the show stops being a mystery of the week type of show, as, the so called main plot takes over. It wouldn’t have been an issue if the main plot was great or anything, but in an honest opinion, it was pretty shit. The main plot is unique in the sense that everything that is happening to Victorique’s life is happening for a reason (all part of the plan), but, even that is not enough, not for me to say the least of being an interesting plot. The villain is generic, the main plot is generic, the ending felt like rushed, not to mention they used the overused the tsundere queen getting locked up back in tower cliché (sao Asuna anyone?) and prophecy coming true cliché. The part that pissed me most was, if you planned to create a male protagonist that is intended to save the damsel in distress from her doom WHY THE FUCK DO YOU TAKE HIM AWAY ON THE FINAL EPISODES LEAVING THE PRINCESS ALONE ON HER OWN? It didn’t make any sense and it was the part that made me question Gosick’s true intention. Was it trying to be a mystery anime, or crime fiction, political fiction or romantic fiction? Gosick may have executed the mystery and romantic genre successfully, but it failed miserable on the other section.
What saves the show, is the character Victorique. Even though the main plot is shit, since it involved Victorique fully, her presence made me watch till the end. Victorique hands off is one of the best intellectual characters that I have seen. She is intelligent, she get bored easily if the case is boring, she is a tsundere and shows tsundere attitude towards Kujo, but like all other tsunderes she eventually breaks up in tears when the time comes. I liked her, I liked basically everything about her, starting from her rosen maiden like appearance, to her cocky attitude towards Kujo, to being strong and face the enemy/villain with courage. Not to mention the last episodes where everything that she does, she does on her own without the help of solid male savior. The only reason this show is so dear to me is because of her, and all she does to save herself from her doomed fate.
The rest characters are all cookie cutter stereotypes, that’s the teacher that wants everyone happy, that’s the secondary romantic interest that never expresses her feelings, that’s the dude who pretends to be evil but actually is good inside, that’s the erm, eh, who the hell cares.
Regarding Kujo though, I really liked how he was portrayed in the anime, he was this caring friend of Victorique from the beginning who afterwards turned into love interest, who tried hard to turn Victorique from a reckless bad mouthed anti-social character to becoming a someone normal, he tried hard to diminish the anti-social personality of Victorique and make her a good person, and quite frankly, he did succeed in some aspect, what pissed me of was that, why do you create a caring character like this and take away in the last moment when he was needed most by the girl. Gosick, why?!
Nevertheless, Gosick did manage to give a good ending to the plot, which is holy rare in the anime populace. It wasn’t the best ending they could come up with, but it did its job right.
We are talking studio Bones here, as one of Bones production, it was supposed to deliver gorgeous looking visuals to us right?
Well, frankly, it did in a way, it wasn’t most visually impressive anime I have seen from Bones, but it wasn’t bad either. It did have some beautiful and colorful moments which I won’t spoil, but at the end of the day, it looked good.
Opening is catchy, First ending “Resuscitated Hope” is beautiful and really is good, the second ending “Unity” at first sight won’t feel good, but give it some time and you will realize, it’s not bad either.
No particular ost made into my favorite, I wish it had some, but, sigh. Overall, the background sound department did its job right, there was nothing extraordinary good or bad I could come up with. Generic.
Gosick at first tried to be mystery of the week at the beginning, then it moved on to being a romantic and then, moved onto being a political fiction. It might have done the former two aspects right but it failed miserably on the political fiction section. So, to sum up the series, if you are asking for recommendation whether you should watch it or not, in that case, I will say,
Yes, you should watch it, it deserves your time regardless its flaws, I can assure you it will keep you entertained with mystery/romance/comedy. It has a good ending so don’t be afraid that it would end up like Mirai Nikki or Tokyo Ghoul. It doesn’t sequel bait the viewers as the story is finished within 24 episodes. Feel free to skip it though as it is not a necessity like Steins gate or Fullmetal Alchemist.
I will see you guys on my next review, thanks for your patience.