Who Murdered Detective Fictions? The Simplicity of Gosick Mysteries

Gosick Victorique de Blois gothic lolita

One of my favorite genres growing up has been detective fiction. My childhood was accompanied by the likes of Kindaichi, Conan, and Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I even own the complete manga collection of Kindaichi Case Files and Arsène Lupin. However, I have not read anything of the sort in a while. Thus, when Gosick was first announced, I highly anticipated its release. Not only was the anime in an exciting genre, it also has the bonus points of being by the mangaka, Amano Sakuya, who draws some of the cutest loli in a delicate, detailed style. [1] Yet upon revisiting the genre, I am surprised at my changed feelings for detective fiction after all these years, even if episode one seems to have all the things my expectations promised: loli in gothic Lolita, 1920’s flavors, and even a locked room mystery.

Gosick locked room mystery fortune teller

The locked room mystery is a common trope among detective stories written in the Golden Age of detective fiction (1920’s and 1930’s). Even more recent manga such as Conan and Kindaichi commonly base most of its puzzles around this idea. The mystery describes a seemingly impossible crime committed at places where no one could have entered or left. For example, the first mystery presented in episode one of Gosick is a very classic, albeit simple, locked room mystery. A woman is found dead in her locked room, where no murderer could have entered or left. Of course, it does not take much imagination to quickly realize who the murderer was. There was only one gun fired at the door, and the old woman died of a gun wound on the other side of the door.

Gosick locked room mystery gun shot

Still, even if the mystery involved ingenious puzzles and mechanisms, I doubt that we, with our present knowledge, would have that much difficulty in finding the murderer, or at least we would know how to do it. The advancement of technology and forensics has made these types of closed space murder easily solvable. Investigators today could not only determine the gun that killed the old lady, but the angle from which it was fired, the way gun powder residue fell, and other microscopic evidence that would be relevant. Further, the mystery is, in essence, confined to a room, where all the evidence is gathered in one place for forensics teams to canvas. Moreover, at times, even just circumstantial evidence or a DNA or fiber match would be enough to convict, and thereby eliminating the need to figure out the particulars of how the murderer entered or left a scene. Detective brilliance is thus a bit undermined when we know other, more meticulous ways to solve the mystery.

Gosick Victorique de Blois detective

Additionally, shows such as CSI and Law and Order have made crimes, detective works, and trials increasingly transparent to the laymen. [2] Murders in real life rarely happen as they do in 1920’s detective fictions. Today’s murders do not emphasize flashy tricks or clever maneuvers to get the murderer in and out of closed spaces. Instead, the difficulty in solving crimes is in pinpointing the persons who might be relevant from a sea of people, and then finding the incriminating evidence to bring criminals to trial. On the other hand, the detective work presented in Gosick and Sherlock Holmes is often a type of multiple choice. We know the potential suspects already; there is little need for major footwork or background check. It is a self contained, clearly set-up puzzle detached from reality. The difference between these two modes of crime-solving is the subtle difference between free response and multiple choice – a minor distinction with huge implications.

Gosick Queen Berry Victorique Kujo

If we were to look at the second mystery in Gosick, the murders on Queen Berry, we would realize the limitations of multiple choice detective fictions. Let us forget the various obvious tricks – such as the wallpaper and the double lobbies (from which we could have easily deduced the murderer at that point) – and pretend for a moment that we have no clue about the murderer. Surely, by the last murder, we would know without doubt who killed the others, for it cannot be either Victorique or Kujo. The big revelation at the end is then quite unimpressive. The deaths themselves have eliminated the wrong choices. The only impressive thing Victorique does is point out some of the minor lies.

Gosick Victorique de Blois

Perhaps this is why Gosick was set in 1920s, both for old time nostalgia’s sake and more importantly, to make Victorique’s genius matter. [3] But this underscores the main problem I have with Gosick and the genre. Neither the crimes nor the detective work feel authentic. Rather, murders feel more like a brainteaser or a game, perfectly set up for us to play. I still really appreciate such detective fiction though. It is incredibly fun to watch brilliant minds at work… Though Gosick falls far short of brilliance.

Gosick Victorique de Blois laughter

Well, at the very least, Victorique has some of the cutest mannerisms I have ever seen.

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  1. Amano Sakuya is also the mangaka behind Konohanatei Kitan, a wonderful manga about a bunch of kitsune mononoke working at an inn for youkai. Just as Gosick is full of gorgeous gothic styles, Konohanatei Kitan has its eastern spiritual flavors.
  2. CSI, Law and Order, and others may still be dramatized for TV, but I think they present a fairly accurate picture of today’s crimes and the justice system.
  3. This post is a very wild tangent off of 2DT’s post on the 1920 flavors in Gosick.

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111 Responses to Who Murdered Detective Fictions? The Simplicity of Gosick Mysteries

  1. Agreed. I honestly don’t think Gosick’s myserties are all that great either…it’s merely the fact that with the lack of technology present within the setting it implies otherwise. Judging from it’s releases so far, BONES seem to enjoy making the mysteries appear far more complicated than they actually are.

    Moreover, I can’t believe that Kujo is supposed to be skilled in academics, yet lacks the common sense to solve these mysteries himself. For example, the method of elimination could of easily been used for the Queen Berry arc…I am disappoint.

    I guess, the only awesome factor at this stage, would be Victorique’s laugh. I’m still hoping that BONES will prove me wrong >.>

    • Yi says:

      Yea, I’m pretty surprised that Kujo and especially the inspector didn’t see through the first mystery. It’s just so blatantly obvious. As for the boat scene, common sense would have made things seem a lot simpler. It wasn’t that hard to figure out the whole double lobby trick if they just took some time to calm down.

      I have to give Victorique some credit though. Figuring out the little lies and extrapolating that the culprit grew up in a narrow space are both very impressive. I thought that was very clever and observant of her.

      Can’t forget Victorique’s lazy roll too. She’s too adorable, and she’s one of the major reasons I’m sticking with this anime.

    • Crow says:

      He probably just assumed the guy was the one who did it. Not a lot of time to think when you fist fighting someone with a halberd.

  2. Valence says:

    Agreed as well. GOSICK’s first locked room mystery wasn’t any bit impressive. It wasn’t that spectacular, nor was it that hard to figure out, so it wasn’t very entertaining. But what GOSICK can do compared to the detective shows of today is that it doesn’t use scientific evidence and the like to deduce the killer. They don’t have a team of adults working on every aspect of the case : heck, it’s just an adorable loli and her helper. Not only does it deliver doses of cuteness, it also delivers the classic , old-age style of mystery solving.

    For instance, consider the Kindaichi Case files. In the manga, (all of the manga, including the spin-offs) as well as the live-action version (which I loved, thank you very much), the possible suspects are shown lined up in columns during breaks, and whenever one dies, his or her picture is blackened, until we only have 2 or 3 people left. Yet it continues to be entertaining. How? Why? I can’t tell either. But what I know is that GOSICK is still far from reaching this level of entertainment.

    I hope it picks up the pace.

    • I think we all are…and if our anticipations are proved otherwise by the end of the airing season…It’s going to be on the fail list.

      I still can’t shake of the feeling that Gosick’s somewhat or a crossover between Kuroshitsuji and Rozen Maiden, however less on the action side. Now that I think about it, other than its tad bit of humour, Gosick isn’t really comprised much of but its horror (?) mysteries. If that aspects fails to entertain the audience, I doubt Victorique’s laugh is going to save the show.

    • Yi says:

      @Valence: I used to be really enamored with the whole old school detective process. I still am. But the fascination with Sherlock Holmes style puzzle solving loses a bit of something once I realized how inauthentic the crimes in those stories are. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching it though. It just feels… different from when I watch a present-day murder/crime-solving story.

      I can’t get enough of Victorique though to drop this anime.

      @SilentSerenata: I think Gosick still has a lot of good points for me even if it doesn’t blow my mind with its mysteries. I like Victorique a lot, and I like the gothic style flavors. Both are enough to keep me interested. Kujo and Victorique’s relationship is also a something kind of noteworthy.

    • Crow says:

      “we only have 2 or 3 people left”

      Your thinking of it wrong. No matter what, in order to have a compelling story you will always have a limited suspect pool. That’s not the key part of the mystery. It doesn’t matter who did it, it’s how can you prove it.

      A story can start off showing you EXACTLY who the murderer is, but there will still be a mystery if you have to figure out how to prove it. I think watching too much CSI has given people the idea that the only thing to mystery stories, is playing guessing games with who did it; and anticipating some big shocker reveal.

      • Yi says:

        I think Valence’s point lines up with yours. The reason such stories continue to be exciting despite the small suspect pool (even just 2 or 3) is because the audience wants to see exactly how the murdered does it and how to prove it. I remember reading Kindaichi Case files—I consider them far more sophisticated than Gosick in terms of mystery and wonder—and a lot of times, the story doesn’t end with Kindaichi pointing out the murderer, nor does it end with his hypothesis of the how. It ends when he either sets up a trap to definitively prove the killer, or reveals the damning evidence.

        I think we can all agree that detective mysteries are indeed not as much about who did it, but how that person did it.

  3. EmperorG says:

    To put it in layman’s terms, GOSICK is basically a toned down detective show with fun appeal but little challenge to fans of a good mystery (Myself not included since I haven’t read or watched any mystery shows until CSI and LaO). Hmm, I guess it’s mystery level is similar to Psychic Detective Yakumo, another mystery show from last season.
    Right now I currently look forward to how Victorique comes to the solution rather than solving them myself…I just make educated guesses and thank the glacier that this show’s mysteries are simple for a underdeveloped mind towards the genre such as mine.

    Anyway, I’m still sticking to the show till the very end. If the mysteries won’t attract fans, then I suppose Victorique and Kujo will have to do. After all, they make a great Brains and Brawn team for the most part.

    Oh dear, this is going to make discussing this show tough for me, but I’ll try my best.

    • Yi says:

      A toned down detective show. That’s an apt description. It occupies a very different genre than the likes of CSI and L+O though. It’s just that after having seen those and coming back to detective fiction, the feelings are changed slightly.

      Anyway, I’m also sticking with this show. Victorique, gothic lolita, and almost everything else are huge hits for me. I’m actually enjoying this series quite a lot.

  4. afkeroge says:

    While Gosick has relatively easy to solve cases, it’s still rather impressive that they actually solve them without the use of modern forensics technology. However, this doesn’t quite reddem the show’s bad points. The culprits always execute their crimes with very obvious flaws that depend highly on the present state of being of the victims, such as the double room case. It depended entirely on the fact that the people are not mentally stable at the moment, inhibiting rational judgement. Overall, I think that this series may just be able to work it out, not in the mystery part, but those nice bits of character development inserted between the mystery.

    On a note: I think Madoka Magica is more mysterious than Gosick.

    • EmperorG says:

      Madoka is pretty much a genre of its own right now, taking things we’ve seen before and twisting them into chaotic proportions.

      So yeah, I repeat, GOSICK is a novice mystery show which if it fails to provide challenging mysteries, will hopefully prevail in character development.

      • That is, so far. I have the feeling the mysteries are exactly going to escalate after a few more eps. Perhaps it will follow the old deed of intertwining the heroine’s past into one as well.

        Speaking of Victorique’s past, I honestly hate it when she reminds us of it. There’s always these vague hints somewhere in the ep, and true that it may be for the suspenseful curiosity, but it just gets irritating afterawhile. I mena, in episode one, they had already mentioned it twice. Or was it thrice?

        • EmperorG says:

          At least it’s not as annoying as hearing “I am a zombie” 10 times in one episode. Goh, that show’s annoying, yet I watch it because I need bad shows to review.

          It’s practically mandatory that one of the mysteries will somehow tie in to Victorique’s past…or possibly Kujo’s as well. After all, the show is 22 episodes long, or was it 24?

        • Yi says:

          Well, I do hope there’d be something more than just the simple puzzles and crimes. I’m hoping Victorique’s past and her developing relationship with Kujo provide that extra substance. And if Gosick were to get more clever with the crimes, that’d be a great bonus too.

    • Yi says:

      @afkeroge: I don’t think there’s anything impressive about Victorique realizing who shot the fortune teller, even without forensics. I’m sure most watchers could have figured it out if they paused it for a minute or so.

      I’m still impressed by the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Arsene Lupin, Kindaiichi, and to a lesser degree Conan, because precisely as you said, they could figure out mind boggling puzzles without the use of modern technology. Gosick’s mysteries are not mind boggling though, and with or without forensics, it’s simple.

      I think this series may be able to pull it out in the end though. Victorique’s already captured my heart.

      p.s. I still need to catch up with Madoka. Looks very interesting though.

      • necro says:

        Madoka > Victorique ~!!!~ Without a doubt mby personal preference. Anyway best serie of this season is madoka, atleast for me, level E is good, fractale is good, but madoka is superior, i like everything in madoka, music seiyuu’s story scenery, art style its just awesome, and i am lover of semi horrors that base on lack of knowledge of spectator.
        On side, Oreimouto 12.5 episode was aired online, looks awesome, and thou that past my mind is like how they show akihabara in animes, for most i seen Oreimo, Genshiken, Oniichan no koto, etc etc, its showed as some kinda sanctuary holy place its nice to see, i thing authors of anime’s/manga’s love akihabara, and always show it from good side.

        • Yi says:

          Hm… I don’t really know which series I’m liking more right now. Madoka is definitely one of the most interesting stories I have seen in a long time. The depth of thought it allows is just incredible. I am also in love with Kajiura and its stunning visuals. However, Madoka does lean on the heavy side. That’s not necessarily a bad thing depending on your taste and mood.

          On the other hand, sometimes all it takes for me to fall in love with a series is an adorable loli who hits all the points spot on. I love Victorique’s gothic lolita clothes, her volumous long hair, her voice, her rolls, her laugh… Everything! Plus, intelligence is sexy! And Gosick has been getting significantly better in the recent episodes.

          I have yet to watch OreImo true route ending… Maybe I should just suck it up and watch the 480p.

        • necro says:

          Hmm instead of necro i could use Shi not greek title for death, well i wonder why i like death so much, mby cos am cruel. Anywa if gosick bette i might continue watching it i like victorique, but for me is a problem when a male protagonist is acting like a dumb *** dont want to be vular but for me is hard to stand weak male character, i dont know why they make male weak protagonist, with low intelectual level, that does repel me seriously, should look for a reason, thou they show he got hi exam score etc., thou he doesnt have any analitic skills(sorry for studying physics its hurts me a lot, when a person can’t make a logical judgement)~~. It’s a reason thats why i love Lelouch, and other strong male protagonist. Anyway offtopic i love that u have patient to check every post, thou i might understand it a little, it really nice to comment on each comment of people who read my article(in my case it was poeme’s{emberassing}), i really enjoyed on reading comments and make response to them and look on reaction. Thou i give u ton of credits towards your work on this blog.🙂 love to read it, and its not even hope, i expect good post from u.(am i lame for this annoying flatter, but u deserve one u seem a busy person and u treasure your time.)

        • Yi says:

          I like necro, but Shi is nice too. ^ ^

          I think Gosick has gotten much much better. Kujo, the protagonist, is not really a completely useless guy either. He’s had some shining moments too. Certainly not very week. But yea, he doesn’t seem to have an analytical mind. Still, I can tolerate him.

          Anyway, thanks for the comment and the kind words! You make me feel kind of bad about being so late with my replies. Haha. But I’m really glad you’re enjoying talking with me! It makes all the time I spend on this blog worthwhile. ^ ^

          p.s. I really treasure my time. Time is such a precious resource, and I don’t have much to waste.

  5. Smithy says:

    So in short Gosick doesn’t deliver the kind of detective mysteries that would awe us simply because the times have moved on through technology?

    It reminds me a bit of the movie Se7en where the killer slices of his fingerprints to not leave any fingerprints and hence not be identified. Save the fact it was also used to illustrate his psychosis, in today’s crime science DNA matches through blood or fiber would allow us to easily identify him.

    Gather maybe we can best see Gosick a bit like series such as Poirot (the excellent live action one with a sublime David Suchet), where the overall history setting, character interaction and solving the crime in that era’s mindset and views is what matters most.

    Although I must object how the Queen Berry mystery ended in Gosick, surely no one would blame Julie and Lee for their actions! Let those poor girls free to live their lives together in yuri love love! Or have I been watching too many yuri shows lately?

    • Yi says:

      “So in short Gosick doesn’t deliver the kind of detective mysteries that would awe us simply because the times have moved on through technology?”
      Yep yep! That’s one of the main points I was making about detective fiction genre in general. Gosick is even worse than the classics like Sherlock Holmes though in that it doesn’t even have the brilliant clever crimes to mildly impress us.

      I agree though that for fictions like these, the 1920s context is extremely important. I’m still awed by the genius of our favorite detectives when they could single handedly, through observation and imagination, solve crimes that would require modern technology for most to work out. Yet Gosick hardly lives up to Sherlock Holmes or even Kindaiichi in terms of cleverness.

      “Let those poor girls free to live their lives together in yuri love love!”
      Loll, so I’m not the only one was thinking of that at the end of episode three! ^ ^

  6. kluxorious says:

    At first I want to keep watching this one despite the dull and boring first episode, but I can’t seem to get around it. I realized I can’t afford watching anime that I don’t enjoy nowadays because of how freaking busy I am. It makes me a tad sad

    • Yi says:

      I should take a lesson from you. Life would be so much more enjoyable then. At the very least, I wouldn’t feel like anime watching is an obligation at all.

      Gosick isn’t too bad though. It may not have the clever stuff, but it has other good things.

  7. Hogart says:

    I would argue that by design/construction, Gosick is not really a mystery – it does have some elements of a mystery show, but it’s really more spoon-fed entertainment. We are not given enough clues to form our own deductions, and the brilliance of the protagonist is mostly told and not demonstrated. We’re not there to try solving a mystery – we’re there to turn off our minds and think she’s a cute version of Sherlock Holmes without comparing our skills to hers. All of this is, however, based on the first three episodes. I got bored after that.

    • Yi says:

      That’s a great point and I agree. I guess a lot of times, it all depends on what we’re looking for/ expecting out of a series. I came into the first episode with somewhat of a faulty observation, so I was left a bit disappointed. But once I decided that there’s other, better stuff to look for in Gosick than its murders, the anime seems quite decent.

    • Crow says:

      I could not disagree more. The show gives PLENTY of clues to form our own deductions. While the brain teasers may be rather minor, I think they did a pretty good job in comparison to modern detective mysteries; where it’s more about following a line of evidence rather than having to think back and see contradictions etc.

      • Yi says:

        I think this may be true for the first few arcs, but later on, as the politics of the Gosick world becomes more unraveled, I felt that it turned more into a mystery adventure tale: a cute Sherlock Holmes discovering machinations without much set up for the audience.

        • Crow says:

          Still disagree. Yes, they became more complex, and were a bit more vague, but even if we didn’t come up with the EXACT same explanation that Victorique did, they gave us more than enough clues to come up with something similar.

          Sometimes when there aren’t enough clues for an exact conclusion, you have to think of how you would have done it yourself; before you can further the investigation.

  8. Baka-Raptor says:

    I was really into mysteries when I was younger. The first job I ever remember wanting was Detective. I am such a sellout.

  9. Persocom says:

    So far I’m finding Gosick entertaining enough to watch, but it’s nothing brilliant indeed. I don’t watch these modern shows like CSI and such, not really my thing. I did watch the old Sherlock Holmes and other such shows and I think they were much more interesting even though really it wasn’t a huge surprise figuring out who did it by the end. I do think Gosick feels a bit out of place but it’s still early enough in the series to forgive it’s shortcomings. The only thing I find really ridiculous is the need to shove a pipe in her mouth to make her look like a “real” detective.

    • Yi says:

      I found the pipe in her mouth ridiculous as well, but in a good way. She looks so adorable being a loli detective. But yea, the puzzles are nothing noteworthy, but I’m sticking with this anime. It’s got other good qualities.

  10. The first mystery you cited really reminds me a lot of Umineko, except that it’s probably solvable rather than offering a deluge of batshit insane characters that Umineko had in store. Ahh.. maybe I should actually finish that anime and start this one.

    • Yi says:

      Oh yea… Umineko. Totally forgot about that series. I think I’m stalled at episode six for that. I should actually finish that anime as well. “Batshit insane characters” sound pretty exciting though.

  11. Nopy says:

    I was also disappointed at the simplicity of the murders. Episode 1 was a no brainer, but it was harder to decide whether the man or the woman plotted everything on the Queen Berry so I thought it would get better. Unfortunately, the headless rider and the mummified knight were again no-brainers. At this point I’m just watching Gosick because Victorique (Victorica?) is so adorable.

    • Yi says:

      Queen Berry one actually had some strokes of cleverness when Victorique was explaining all the things she observed, such as the woman being raised in a narrow space. I thought that was smart. However, the actual “tricks” are pretty easy. Pausing the anime for a few minutes and thinking about it may often be enough for many to figure out the double lobby, wallpaper, and “locked” door tricks.
      I’m continuing with Gosick though because Victorique is too lovely!

  12. Janette says:

    Reading this, I remember Umineko, and, oh, locked room after locked room. What a mystery! What a hook! One got so involved in what was one of the most interesting mysteries to croup up in a long time.

    Except…the whole point…was to let go what happened that day and accept that everyone died and there’s no way to know what happened. It makes anyone wanting to solve the mystery out to be a villain and just…

    I want a real mystery to get involved in solving.

    • Yi says:

      I really need to finish watching Umineko. Looks like a pretty intense mystery story.

      Anyway, I’m kind of missing a good crime puzzle too. Something like Kindaiichi.

  13. ~xxx says:

    nothing much to praise gosick…
    but I think Its enjoyable not that very good… asides I still need to keep an eye on this one because my sister wants this…

    • Yi says:

      I wouldn’t say that there’s nothing to praise about Gosick. Even if it’s not super smart, it is enjoyable. I really like Victorique in particular.

      Have fun with your sister. ^ ^

  14. Swordwind says:

    It’s a shame you didn’t like it.

    When I think of 1920’s detective fiction, I don’t think of the same stories you do (isn’t that interesting?) – the hard boiled style started around that time, if I remember correctly. Those were less of a ‘who done it?’ – they focused more on the detective’s worldview/development/troubles. Conflict usually stemmed from the bad guy (or world) being influential/powerful – not good at creating puzzling crime scenes.

    • Yi says:

      I actually did like Gosick quite a bit just not the puzzle part. Though the mysteries are a huge part of the anime, I think in the end, the flavorful setting and cute characters won me over.

      As for 1920’s detective fiction, that is a very interesting note. My exposure to classic detective novels were mostly years past when I was still a very young kid (I’m still only 22). I think those worldview themes and social commentaries were probably huge in works like Arsene Lupin and Sherlock Holmes; I simply didn’t pick up on them and instead only saw the surface puzzle solving.

      On the other hand, hard boiled style does occupy a slightly different genre than the works I read, so perhaps I didn’t miss it after all.

      This is a good chance for me to dig those books up again!

      • Swordwind says:

        Oh? I’m glad, then. Holmes was more character driven than cynicism driven, so I doubt you missed all that much. Of course, I’m not perfect, so it’s entirely possible that I’m wrong about you not being mistaken…

  15. hoshiko says:

    The problem I could think of with Gosick right now is that the answers are pretty clear. Anyone could easily solve the murders by watching the flashbacks and whatnot. Perhaps if this isn’t an anime but a novel, it would have been more appealing to others. Without the help of visuals, I doubt it is as easy as it seems.

    But for now, I’m quite pleased with the anime’s progress. At least I know I wasn’t dead disappointed as I was when I tried watching Milky Holmes. I dropped that anime after two episodes. That was really not the detective anime I was expecting but Gosick fits my expectations nicely.

    Your last picture – gosh, did you know just how much I like her laughter? Ha ha ha ha.

    • Yi says:

      Hm… I didn’t think of that. Perhaps as an anime, it really does show too much, especially if it tries to give us the visual hints along the way.

      Anyway, I’m only a little bit disappointed by the mysteries, but I think I’ve gotten over that. I’ve kind of realized that there are other stuff in Gosick to watch for… Namely Victorique.

      Milky Holmes… From screenshots and such, it looks… interesting.

      Loll, I loved Victorique’s laughter as well. I went back countless times to rewatch that sequence.

  16. Shin says:

    I sure feel silly being impressed by the mysteries in a crowd of intellectuals above me www

  17. Duqs says:

    The only thing I love about this series is Victorique’s laugh. I would have to agree that the mysteries are a bit weak, but then again lets see if the entire series can redeem itself =D. If you like a very action packed and yet light hearted show, try watching Kamen Rider W. Its not THAT serious, but it has a decent story. Come to think of it, maybe Gosick would be hinging more on the story and character development rather than the mysteries themselves, even if you can do both at the same time

    • Yi says:

      Victorique does have the best laughs!

      For me, even if the mysteries never pick up in complexity, I think the characters and just the overall feel of the series are redeeming enough that I’ll follow through with this series. In particular, agreed about the character developments.

      Anyways, I’ll check out Kamen Rider W., but it’s not exactly my type of genre.

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  19. I’ve already decided I’m not watching Gosick for brilliant mysteries, which is good because episode 4…wow. Episode 4’s mystery…anyway. I’m watching because I like Victorique at this point. And because it makes me laugh to see how Kujo’s classmates react to him.

    • Yi says:

      Pretty my thoughts exactly after three episodes. Victorique and Kujo are interesting enough by themselves though that I still find Gosick very enjoyable.

  20. Solaris says:

    Wait a minute: Just don’t compare a novel to real life. A novel is made that way for narration for a purpose. Old school detective fiction was made that way so that solving the riddle was the main attraction. Gosick has still elements of that but the let down is in their execution before the challenge they serve. They’re presented, analyzed and solvet too quick and without much effort so that they look way too easy. I mean, they’re actually easy to solve, but notice how cases are linked in each arc. The old woman closed room riddlle was linked to the ship one, and I’m also sure the headless motorbike driver is linked to both the new girl and the dead knight dead in the crypt. The real mystery is how all of the pieces are linked each other here.

    • Yi says:

      I don’t think I really compared fiction to real life. I’m merely pointing out how the genre might be thought of differently given our 21st lenses. And I think that’s a fair point to make. When we read something, we’re always going to bring in our perspectives. Fictions popular in the 1920s are written for a slightly different audience than today. Note though that it doesn’t mean we won’t be able to enjoy them, but for me, detective fictions just feel so much different.

      Now as for Gosick specifically, I still maintain there’s nothing to be impressed about it. I did notice that the cases are linked to each other, but again, that’s not such a jaw dropping revelation nor does it have (as of yet… I’m on episode three) any concrete relevance to crime solving other than being pretty cool.

      Depending on how the series goes though, my opinions on that may change. If the complexity picks up, that’d be great. If not, I’m still having fun. ^ ^

      • Solaris says:

        Well, notice also how you could very well enjoy Verne’s classic stories even if technology has gone far beyond any of Verne’s best expectations. Stories aren’t always told for a peculiar audience in the first place. Old school detective stories are told for the sake of a trilling ridlle and that’s all. The fact you cannot appreciate them anymore is less cause of we are smarter now (that’s even not true), but cause you’ve seen so much of that already it bores you. It’s also hard to find new untold riddles to keep people entertained. If you notice modern detective stories like CSI or whatnot you’d laugh for how much they’re ludicrously complex and/or relying on exotic pseudoscientific special effects. That’s not the way detective stories should be told. If you’re teking those as a reference that’s a big mistake.

        • Yi says:

          I disagree. I think stories are usually told for a particular audience. Just because I also enjoyed a story doesn’t necessarily mean it was written for me nor does it mean that I enjoyed it in the same way the intended audience enjoyed them. We might also draw vastly different things, especially for works that span ages.

          I do agree though that perhaps my lesser appreciation of the genre might be a case of simply having seen so much. I don’t think drawing upon CSI and forensics is a mistake though when watching old school detective stories. After all, it’s pretty hard for me to suspend my background as a biochemist. As a side note, it’s actually quite impressive how accurate the science in CSI is.

          “That’s not the way detective stories should be told. If you’re teking those as a reference that’s a big mistake.”

          Haha, is there really a wrong way to watch or think about an anime??

        • Solaris says:

          Sorry let me correct it a bit: It’s not you have very complciated trick or make up some unconventional or unrealistic effect to force ridlles. That’s not clever. Simple and down to earth riddles are always the best.
          When speaking about anime, that would also apply but notice how Gosick’s riddles are way too simple and i.e. Umineko’s are way too complicated (and usually left unanswered). Both tell the detective story in a wrong way as the riddle themselves aren’t the key theme of the anime anymore. So, practically speaking, it’s like Gosick and Umineko aren’t detective stories in the first place. (well, in theory they’re contamination between detective stories and some other genre). As Umineko relies more on the confrontation between natural and supernatural regarding a crime mystery, Gosick relies more on the atmosphere and relations between chars. That’s to say the ridlles aren’t the focal point of the anime but it’s rather in the chars and situations.

        • Yi says:

          Ahh I see where you’re going with it. I agree that it’s probably best not to watch Gosick as a detective story. I’m pretty much just watching it for the characters at this point.

  21. fathomlessblue says:

    I decided not to carry on with this after giving the first ep a trial run. Too moe for me. Not that I have a major problem with genre, it’s just that a moe show needs more than that element alone for me to stick with it. I’ve never been interested in detective shows, but even I immediately figured out the locked room mystery, which is never a good thing for building interest. All in all, I’m glad I chose Dreameater Merry over this.

    I think my biggest issue in Gosick as a mystery is the same with the stupid hairstyles in Shiki; if you are attempting to make a series that supposedly relies on atmosphere and tension, don’t include ott cuteness or silly design choices, because it just becomes distracting to the feel of the show (at least I think so). If I want genuine mystery I’ll rewatch Yakumo from last season, and save the camp, fluffy stuff for comedies and slice of life series.

    God, I sound like such a miserable old git😛.

    • Yi says:

      I think I have a kind fondness to just plain moe and cute girls doing cute things kind of anime, so maybe that’s why despite the simplicity, I still really enjoyed Gosick.

      Hogart above made a pretty good point. Gosick seems to emphasize more on making a cute version of Sherlock Holmes than in making detective stories. And so Victorique is probably going to be my main reason for continuing with this. Further, with that mindset, all those silly hairdos the inspector has and the cutesy gestures are not so out of place.

      “God, I sound like such a miserable old git :)”
      Haha, not at all. ^ ^

      p.s. I wanted to pick up Dreameater Merry as well, but sadly, time just doesn’t allow.😦

  22. Set-chan says:

    Weeelll…… I think one Anime of the rest, so I said too: “Much moe for me”. The genre is not one of my favorites so I wait to be released Maria†Holic 2nd. Season and Fate/Zero.

    Greetings y respects Yi, Bye-nee!!!

    • Yi says:

      This does have a lot of moe factor, but it works for me. ^ ^

      Anyway, I’m looking forward (sort of) to Fate/Zero as well. Hopefully, that will turn out better than Fate/Stay Night.

      Hello and good bye, Set-chan. ^ ^

  23. AJtheFourth says:

    If you’re looking for some interesting detective novels, you should read the NisioIsin Zaregoto light novels. Through the introduction of a very unreliable narrator, they somehow present all of the elements necessary to solve the mystery yourself, yet rarely will you be able to deduce how everything is happening. It makes the reveals at the ends of the novels amazing. Unfortunately, I watched the first episode of Gosick after reading these, and there was no comparison, although I’ll probably catch up with Gosick at some point. I have the first two Gosick light novels as well and haven’t touched them yet.

    Possibly the reason why detective fiction has become so easy to solve is that writers and/or publishers are assuming that the audience wants to be able to solve them easily? After all, everyone loves being able to say that they’re right, and that they could see the end coming from a mile away. ;]

    • Yi says:

      The NisioIsin Zaregoto light novels sound really exciting. I’ve heard that name dropped around before, but I never really looked much into it. Now you have me really interested. ^ ^

      Gosick’s puzzles are pretty subpar, but it’s still a pretty good anime overall so far.

      “Possibly the reason why detective fiction has become so easy to solve is that writers and/or publishers are assuming that the audience wants to be able to solve them easily?”
      That’s true. I certainly felt much smarter after watching Gosick!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. ^ ^

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  25. Abscissa says:

    I have only seen ep1 and a little bit of ep2, I have a feeling that the reason why the cases are simplified is because the real mystery of the series is to unlock who Victorique is. It’s like the crimes are just alibis to prolong Kazuya solving the Victorique puzzle, and of course to sway viewers’ attention.

    But I agree, growing up with Doyle, LeBlanc, Poe, and Carr’s crime fictions, Gosick isn’t mind boggling enough and lacks intensity. I feel sorry for you though, you expected so much but they failed to deliver. Well at least you still have the loli-goth though.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, I think Victorique herself proves much more interesting and much more of a mystery than all the crimes we’ve seen so far. She really does save the show!

  26. Fabienne says:

    This old school style of detective work is more entertaining for me and has nostalgic charme what I like a lot from these shows which use modern forensic methods only Bones could convince me,because the characters are cool and the kind of humor matches my taste.
    I just watched all the availabe episodes of Gosick, Im a bit late this season ;D
    I liked it a lot from the start the setting seems quite promising.
    Victorique is of course very cute and also has a nice deep voice.
    The relationship between Kujou and Victorique is another part I like a lot.
    I just need some romance in my animes =)
    the locked room case reminded me of the Island Syndrome episode from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu😄
    At the end of the Queen Berry story I thought it was a bit unfair that the two women
    got arrested😦

    • Yi says:

      I’m only up to episode three… I’m really behind this season as well. The backlog is rapidly growing out of control.

      The setting is indeed promising, and is probably one of my favorite things about Gosick. I also like the old detective fiction feel too, even though it is a bit too simple for my tastes. Victorique is lovely in every way. Love her voice!

      I’m kind of looking forward to watching how Kujou and Victorique will develop as characters and how their relationship will grow. It’s another big thing for me.

      Agreed about the end of Queen Berry arc. I liked both women, and they were really victims themselves. It’s kind of sad to see them arrested.

      Anyway, I can’t wait to catch up with this!

  27. skyhack says:

    Actually, I like this show, and its simplistic approach. I’m more concerned about how the characters grow during the course of the show, really. That’s where this particular show could shine, but I won’t get my hopes too high.

    Way better than Rio (so bad it’s good) Rainbow Gate. Rio gets one watch per ep, and then she goes to the bit bucket.

    • Yi says:

      I think so too. I’m really looking forward to exploring more of Victorique’s character and her background, as well as the relationship between Victorique and Kujo. That should be very interesting to watch.

      I’ve heard so many bad things about Rio Rainbow Gate. I doubt I’ll be watching that anytime soon.

  28. skyhack says:

    Forgot to remove the italics…

  29. adaywithoutme says:

    Well, there honestly is more in the commenting than I have time to read through at the moment…

    I think the problem, really, is that Gosick just isn’t very good. The mysteries are too simple, the solutions glaringly obvious from the get-go. Anyone who couldn’t figure out the locked room mystery from the moment the details were given just couldn’t have been paying attention. So I don’t think it is an error of the genre so much as the material being poor.

    I would also make the argument that shows like CSI or Law & Order actually serve to make police work less transparent, as they give an illusion of greater knowledge even as they are often examples of Did Not Do the Research. In fact, research in Sweden has demonstrated that the prevalence of these detective shows has undermined the ability of the justice system to get convictions because people doubt the methods used to gather evidence. They believe they know how these things work, and what constitutes solid work, but they really don’t, they just think that they do.

    • Yi says:

      That is very true. Gosick is terrible, but it isn’t a good reflection of the genre. I guess I’m just kind of using it as an excuse to kind of put down my thoughts on detective fiction in general. I’m really glad you pointed that out, since the post does read kind of misleading, as though I’m using Gosick as a basis to criticize the genre. There are far better works in the genre that really shine brilliantly… Far more brilliantly than Gosick.

      Now that is an interesting thought on CSI and Law & Order. I guess I am just one of those people who think I know the basics of how the justice system works, but I actually don’t. Haha. Nevertheless, my arrogance has made me appreciate detective fictions less, even if it is based on a faulty sense of knowledge.

      As a side note though, detective work in terms of interviewing witnesses and such a la Law & Order, I know nothing about. But the forensics in CSI is something I think I actually do know a bit of. Well, only the parts on DNA or any sort of biochemical evidence. After all, that’s kind of my bread and butter.

  30. lovelyduckie says:

    “In fact, I even own the complete manga collection of Kindaichi Case Files”

    Sigh…stop making me jealous. I’m going to come over to your house and you’re going to read volumes 18-58 out loud to me! Seriously if I every get rich I’m going to buy the entire series in Japanese and hire myself a translator to sit down with me. Darn Tokyopop cancelled my favorite series after only 17 volumes😦 and there really aren’t and fan translated options that I’ve found. Unfortunately hardly any of the anime is fansubbed as well, and the episodes that are subbed are ones I’ve already read. I’m always on the look out for a good detective anime but so far the only anime/manga detctives I really like are Conan, Kindaichi, and the Kurosagi Corpse crew. I’ll try out Lupin at some point too. My most recent attempt at finding another good detective series was watching Majin Tantei Nero…but they solve mysteries with other wordly tools (that feel too much like cheating) and the culprit is a bit too obvious early on. Kindaichi is my detective king and I have no way of devouring all of his stories unless I take the time to learn to read Japanese.

    • Yi says:

      Loll! Sorry about my sneaky manga loot bragging. ^ ^ My parents actually bought the series for me back when I was in middle school I think. They were in Chinese since my parents didn’t want me to forget how to read Chinese.

      It’s kind of unfortunate that there aren’t scanlations. It’s such a beautiful collection of manga. Well, I do hope you eventually get a chance to finish the volumes. Kindaiichi is my detective king as well. The whole thing is just sooo smart.

      I should check out Majin Tantei Nero, but I think I want to finish Umineko before that.

      • lovelyduckie says:

        I’m really interested in Umineko no Naku Koro ni, but something a friend said about it has me holding off. Let me know what you think at the end. My next anime series is actually going to be Eden of the East. But lately I’ve been watching regular TV Shows more than anime. My current guilty pleasure is Veronica Mars, maybe you should give her a try at some point. If I had to be in high school again I wouldn’t mind being a sassy 17 year old detective like her. Although then my life would have to have more drama than I’d like…hhmmm

        My favorite TV mystery shows are TrueBlood Season 1 (only first season had a good serial killer mystery), Castle, Bones, and Veronica Mars. For some reason I really can’t stand both CSI and Law and Order.

        • Yi says:

          I’ve only seen six episodes, so I’m not exactly sure what my expectations for the series are.
          I’ve heard good things about Veronica Mars, so I might just take up that offer. I click around looking for real life TV shows all the time.

          As for True Blood, I’ve actually caught a few episodes on HBO before. It’s actually quite a lot of fun to watch.

  31. EmperorG says:

    Bonus points for Victorique wearing a jeweled turban. Also, I’m intiruged to find out what will happen in episode 7 next week. It looks like Avril doesn’t have much importance yet. We’ll see what her purpose is in due time.

    • Yi says:

      Good to know that Victorique continues to do what she does best… And that’s looking absolutely adorable. I’ll be looking forward to that as soon as I get a chance to catch up with Gosick. I’m lagging way behind now.

  32. afkeroge says:

    I haven’t been watching Gosick lately. Too busy with other stuff and planning to rip Kyuubee’s throat off.

    • Yi says:

      Same here. I haven’t had time to watch too many anime, and just catching up with Madoka is all I have time for this week. It has all my attention too… And I effing hate Kyubey.

  33. Reltair says:

    If only Gosick had the level of mysteries/detective-work found in the Sherlock Holmes novels. I think those are still the best mysteries I’ve ever read.

    • Yi says:

      I know! It’s too bad the puzzles are so easy right now.
      Imagine Victorique solving incredibly ingenious crimes instead of just stating the obvious. She would be just that much more awesome! She’s still super super cute though.

  34. Dave says:

    I was impressed…I guess that just means I’m stupid😦

    But, good review nonetheless. Nice to see someone voicing their opinion in such an eloquent manner.

    • Yi says:

      Not at all. I’m impressed by some of Victorique’s observations and interpretations too (ie. from the small pacing, deduced that the girl grew up in a narrow space). I just thought the first few actual crimes were fairly easy to figure out if given some thought.

      The anime has been getting better and the mysteries more interesting as well. Though it still lacks that ingenious puzzle element, the suspense is there.

      Thank you so much for reading and the comment. ^ ^

      • EmperorG says:

        As expected, this show continues to improve with each episode. It may not be joygasm material for mystery but it gets the job done where it counts. So yeah, it didn’t murder the mystery genre but it didn’t land a low blow per se. I suspect that it’s slightly better and more entertaining than Psychic Detective Yakumo. I’m satisfied with Victorique moments and plot development. If I get more of that, I think we have a solid source of entertainment with this show.

        • Yi says:

          The plot is turning out more interesting by the episode. The first three episodes were pretty weak. Then the next two got a bit more interesting, though it does shift away from the puzzle side of detective fiction, and more to simply finding the criminal and discovering secrets.

          The subtle distinction is that in the second arc with Avril, there is less clever maneuvers like locked room mysteries or room switcheroos. Just a bunch of sneaking around and lots of past secrets. But I prefer this to puzzles that are way too simple.

          I’m just beginning the third arc about gray wolves, and I’m hoping it gets even better.

          Victorique is, as always, delightful.

  35. Doll says:

    well, Gosick was originally a light novel series and as a person who read those i can say that the anime just cramps the story of a novel in three or four episodes. Many scenes from the Queen Berry arc where cut out (such as the many backflashes of the hares where you can see one after another dying). But the animations fit the illustrations in the Novels pretty well.
    P.S: It´s Victorica, not Victorique. The name is important since it sounds close to the name Victoria, but the name Victorica is actually an italian surename (mentioned by kujo in one volume)

    • Yi says:

      Ah I see. It’s unfortunate so much gets lost in adaptations, but I guess it’s unavoidable. Loving the art and the style though! If nothing else, Gosick is a visual pleasure.

      Also thank you so so much for clearing the name thing up for me. I’ve been wondering about the different translations of her name, and decided to go with Victorique. Seems I was wrong. I’ll fix my post soon!

      Now I’m super embarrassed at having gotten her name wrong for so long. Well, at least I can start calling her by the right name now.

      • Yi says:

        With the release of episode nine, I’ve decided to once again continue using Victorique instead of Victorica.

        A screenshot of the letter from Kujou shows Victorique:

        Victorique vs Victorica Gosick name letter episode 09

        Further, a friend makes a good point. Although the anime is adapted from the light novel, it is nevertheless an independent work. We don’t know what will make it into this adaptation nor what will be changed. So it seems fair to base Victorique’s name on something concrete found within the anime.

        Still, thank you so much for the information. It’s been bothering me for a while.

  36. Sadie says:

    Well, this is a late post, but i stumbled across this while looking at pictures, and can’t help but comment🙂

    Personally, i think Gosick and it’s mystries are brilliant, because they are so simple. Unlike detective conan, where the mysteries are complicated, the Gosick mysteries are the type the make you go “wow , how did i miss that?” But this, of course, depends on whose watching. If you have a knack for solving mysteries, they’ll come easy to you. A skill which i dont have🙂 So anyway, i think the mysteries are brilliant, and Victorique is the cutest thing on Earth :3

    • Yi says:

      The very very first one I think may be just too simple. Gunshot death and only one person shot a gun. The second arc is a little more complicated. I admit. I paused the anime to try to work things out as I watched the series. (I like solving puzzles.) And perhaps if I hadn’t done so, I’d be on your side, saying “I should have seen that coming!”

      In any case, the latest arc (ep. 15/ Leviathan) has completely changed my opinion on this issue. It was not only quite brilliant, but the surrounding mysteries really built a very complete world.

      Totally 100% agreed that Victorique is the cutest thing ever!! I smile every time she’s on screen.

      Thank you so much for visiting and reading! I hope you enjoyed your stay. ^ ^

  37. Puck says:

    I feel your thinking is a bit flawed. Why couldn’t Drill and Kujo figure out the first case? As you said this takes place in the 1920’s, but in that era you don’t have many detective stories and you don’t even have TV. Kujo has ZERO experience in murder mysteries, or mysteries of any kind, while Drill is an idiot who needs Victorique to solve them for him so he can keep face and what not, while proving and growing her skills under daddy’s orders.
    You don’t have the same feelings you once had because you grew up and out of the genre. ALL Crime and Mystery shows, from Masterpiece Mysteries on BBC to CSI on Spike and so on are brain teasers in their own ways. Each has their on level and style. Poirot and Ms. Marple are both done by Agatha Christie, yet each solves cases differently, and I don’t think Marple is even a detective!
    In short, you are just to use to the genre you love, and when you see the same type of case play out you slowly get tired of it, or if you feel the cases are “dumbed down” then you lose interest. It’s not the series or genre’s fault. It’s your own and the technological advances of the day.

    • Yi says:

      Haha, such passionate tone in your comment. ^ ^ Thanks for telling me it’s my own fault for not liking the puzzles.

      Well, we can at least agree one thing, I think–the cases are dumbed down and are on a pretty inferior level relative to some other stuff out there. And I guess I just can’t be impressed by that. If you did find the first locked-room mystery brilliant, all the more power to you! ^ ^

      On a related note, I wrote this post pretty early on, and was strictly talking about the various locked-room mysteries that characterize the first few arcs, so a comparison to other similar works in the genre is warranted. The later episodes have since moved on from the puzzle-like mysteries to more general revealing-hidden-secrets-type of mysteries, which Gosick, I think, has found more success with.

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  40. Accelerator says:

    Good to know im correct

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  42. Heron says:

    This is just a theory that occurred to me while reading this, but I wonder if the ease of the mysteries isn’t sort of the point. As the last few eps make clear, one of the themes of the series is how with progress once grand things become bland and boring; how “magic” is rendered mundane and cynical by the knowledge and casual brutality of the 20th century. Perhaps the ease of these mysteries was meant to emphasize that. They, in their “innocence” find the mysteries taxing while we, viewers on the other side of of the 20th century’s wild upheavals, see them as quaint and transparent.

    Personally, I found the whole mystery angle rather secondary to the series. The way I read it, the story was primarily about the death of an old world of myth and illusion (the world of nationalism, chivalry, and noblesse oblige), the birth of a new world of knowledge and philosophy (the world of class consciousness, existentialism, and individualism), and both the dread and the optimism accompanying that time. Victorique and Kazuya solve plenty of mysteries, but in the end what they find out is irrelevant. It all turned out to be nothing more than a child’s distraction, swept away entirely by the forces of social and political upheaval churning up the world before and during the interwar period. For a European writer, the proper setting for such a story would have been before WWI; I find it telling that this Japanese writer, who’s State did not meet it’s great reckoning until WWII, chose such this setting instead.

    I sort of feel such an explanation might be giving the series too much credit, however. While watching it, I certainly felt the attempt to foreshadow an approaching Reckoning, but I didn’t really think they pulled that off very well.

    • Yi says:

      I should note a few things. This post was written as the series aired and with only the first few arcs in mind. I would agree that as the series progressed, the mode of mystery and the direction changed. The mystery shifted from the earlier locked-room puzzle style to a more adventurous, revelation based. So here, I’m mostly pointing out the flaws of the earlier arcs and the inconsistencies in feel with the later arcs.

      “The way I read it, the story was primarily about the death of an old world of myth and illusion (the world of nationalism, chivalry, and noblesse oblige), the birth of a new world of knowledge and philosophy (the world of class consciousness, existentialism, and individualism), and both the dread and the optimism accompanying that time.”

      You have a wonderful point, and I agree wholeheartedly. In the end, it did become so much larger than simply the individual mysteries and murders. Rather, it was a whole web of machination and politics in the war torn and culturally-shifted Europe. With that said, also agreed that Gosick certainly had a lot of inconsistencies in tone while trying pull this off.

      Thank you for the really really lovely comment, Heron. ^ ^ And you raise fascinating, eloquently put insights.

      p.s. You might be interested in my review for the series. It addresses a similar angle to your comment: https://listlessink.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/gosick-review/

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