Gosick Review

Gosick Victorique de Blois Takeda Hinata ribbon mask

For all its overly sweet visual glamour and historical inaccuracies, Gosick has a surprisingly dark and compelling plot. To be fair, even I had been quite vocal about some of its outstanding weaknesses—in addition to the earlier amateurish cases, the anachronistic fashion and aesthetics are especially jarring—but still, Gosick manages to weave together a sophisticated story. Set around 1924 Europe, the series opens with Kujo, a Japanese exchange student in Sauville, a fictional small state near France. When Kujo befriends an odd, secluded little girl, Victorique, the two unravel various mysteries that eventually lead to a darker web of political machinations and hidden secrets spanning generations. As well, the adventures reveal the mysterious background of Victorique, whose life has always been integral to those events present and past.

Gosick Victoriqe de Blois Kujou Kazuya Takeda Hinata cravat mask

The complex puzzle of plots are wonderfully incorporated into the general historical context (with a few minor hiccups). At the cusp of World War II, Gosick ties the adventures of two children to the larger attitude changes facing a small nation with ambitious minds. The transition from the small scale mysteries to world-wide geopolitical schemes is, in fact, the strongest element of this series. Although I had previously scoffed at the simpleness of the earlier arcs, especially those locked-room mysteries, as the story deepens, I found myself inexplicably drawn into the more intense reveals as well as all the questions that necessarily come with these revelations. Of particular note are the urban myths and fairy tales. These, upon first glance, seem to be mere symbolic stories. However, as the story continues, their significance and parallels become more obvious. The little stories, along with other threads, are wonderful motifs that string together and push forward the seemingly disparate subplots. And, By the end of the series, Gosick would have the audience completely immersed in its pace and its story.


Gosick Victorica Kujo Takeda Hinata umbrella

Similarly, the tone shift flows with a wonderful delicacy. Gosick begins with a fairly light attitude toward its murders; it feels not unlike a children’s detective story à la Scooby Doo. Sure, there are murders and other serious crimes, but these are easily diluted by the adorable Victorique, flowery setting, and easiness of story. Yet even in the first scene, the seeds of darker themes are subtly planted. For example, the myths and the brief explorations into Victorique’s past are hints of a much grander and wicked story. Indeed, there is always an undercurrent of something far more serious that is, in hindsight, very evident. Thus, when the tone shift happens midway through the series, it feels very natural. The last arcs of Gosick deals with war, murder, cult mind, rape, and so many other terrible aspects of humanity. It feels completely different from the comical and almost-immature mysteries of the first arcs. Yet, there is no single jarring turning point in mood.

Gosick Victoriqe de Blois Kujou Kazuya Takeda Hinata

With such an involved and fluid story come fairly solid character developments. Victorique and Kujo are both delightful to watch. Although Kujo is often fairly bland, and at times, especially in the early episodes, leans on the chauvinistic side (which is one of my biggest pet peeves about male leads), the story and Victorique make him somewhat tolerable, perhaps even likable. On the other hand, Victorique is the clear star of Gosick. She, sitting at the heart of all the subplots, not only drives the series, but she gives the anime its fantastic personality. A cute little loli with an unparalleled brilliance, Victorique packs a very distinct and colorful set of traits. Moreover, as we delve into her past, her mystery only makes her that much more fascinating, so much so, in fact, that she brightens up all the other characters (yes, including the slightly boring, cliché Kujo), as well as give the story that extra liveliness.

Gosick Victoriqe de Blois Kujou Kazuya Takeda Hinata bird

However, even with all the intrigue surrounding Victorique and the plot, Gosick falls slightly short of making a lasting, strong emotional impact. Perhaps our detachment to the anime is a result of the over-complications; there is always this sense of unreal to the mysteries and the characters, as super fun as they are. And, in the tiniest sense, the cutesy acts and plot twists tend to get a little bit exhausting after a while.

Gosick Victoriqe de Blois Kujou Kazuya Takeda Hinata

I guess, in that way, Gosick is kind of like cotton candy. It is overly sweet, delicious, and perfect for a brief short time. Yet by the end of it, one will not remember much of the flavor, and walks away with just the faintest discomfort, an icky feeling of the sticky textures on one’s teeth.

Gosick Victorique de Bloise hotori sion

Well, on second thought, the sprinkles of adorable Victorique moments are more than enough to outweigh any flaws!

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66 Responses to Gosick Review

  1. ajthefourth says:

    I keep meaning to pick Gosick back up; however, the original reason for why I dropped it: the characterization of Kujo, made me so angry that I have yet to do so. (Yes, it’s one of those “his character was more interesting in the light novels sort of things” ^ ^) Having read the first two novels, his character is a lot more assertive and intelligent (and in some ways even more chauvinistic in his adherence to male gender stereotypes instilled in him by his family and his desire to keep up with his older brother). His character may not be as nice, but he’s infinitely more interesting, and it makes his and Victorique’s relationship that much more interesting, since he is a character who can stand up to Victorique a bit more and verbally spar with her (if only for a moment). It also makes Victorique appear more interesting as a result (if such a thing were possible ^ ^). The novels don’t sacrifice his intelligence to make the audience/reader seem smarter.

    I spoke about this a bit in a comment on your “Who murdered Detective Fictions?” post (coincidentally before I had even read the Gosick light novels), but it severely irks me when any medium dumbs down the storytelling in order to supposedly make the audience happy. I’d rather guess and be proven wrong than have everything laid out for me.

    I suppose now that I’ve adjusted my expectations I should go back and revisit Gosick…you make it seem like a fun watch (and Victorique was always interesting to watch whenever she graced the screen, regardless of how poor the mysteries or storytelling were).

    Ah…I sound a bit cranky in this comment. Sorry. ^ ^

    • MyHatsOffToYou says:

      Well overall, I find the anime amusing and the plot quite good. I gotta agree with your thoughts about Kujo however. He’s too much of a pushover sometimes when confronting Vict’s attitude while also being too stupid and lacking common sense while facing danger and delicate situations. I’m also suprised at how weak Kujo was during fights considering his family background……

      Still, the plot makes up for the main character’s flaws, and I truely enjoyed the anime

      • Yi says:

        The plot does make up for Kujo’s flaws. The story is good enough that he doesn’t make it intolerable. At the same time, I sometimes wonder if the anime would be better with a more… capable male lead.

        For example, I actually really like the combination of Victorique’s mom and Brian Roscoe. That’s the kind of pair I would’ve liked Kujo and Victorique to be–a genius girl with a capable, smart man to add even more value to her intelligence.

    • Yi says:

      Hey, AjtheFourth, don’t worry, you definitely don’t sound cranky; I think we feel the same way about Kujo and Gosick. He is probably the weakest character in the whole series. And I was super surprised to hear that he has an interesting personality in the novels, since he so borders on the trite, overused nice guy in the anime. In fact, I would like a Kujo who can complement Victorique’s genius rather than be a contrast to highlight her brilliance.

      “It also makes Victorique appear more interesting as a result (if such a thing were possible ^ ^).”
      This is actually a great point! A better way to show off someone’s intelligence is not to put her next to an average person, but to have her play with other smart people. Take the classic dual of Sherlock Holmes and Watson. The two work so well together because Watson can challenge him at times, and is a really smart guy in his own right. On the other hand, Kujo, while not necessarily stupid, is very mediocre. One has to wonder if Victorique wouldn’t be better off with someone else more fitting of a girl of her capabilities.

      “it severely irks me when any medium dumbs down the storytelling in order to supposedly make the audience happy.”
      Yes! Cannot agree more. Whenever something or someone does that, it’s actually a bit insulting. Give us more credit!

      In any case, while Gosick is a fun watch, my recommendation is by no means strong. It’s a great way to pass the time, and the pace isn’t bad–the mysteries picks up very quickly. But I don’t feel like it’s something you should go out of your way for, especially seeing how busy you are lately.

      p.s. Good to hear from you again. ^ ^

  2. Nopy says:

    I was very close to dropping Gosick after the first 3 episodes because of how simplistic the mysteries were and the ways in which they were solved. The only reason I kept up with it was because Victorique was just soooo cute and I had nothing better to watch. I was happy to see the plot get much better with war on the horizon, but that whole part of the story seemed far too rushed. Ideally, I would’ve liked a Gosick with fewer 1 episode mysteries and more episodes dedicated to unravelling the bigger picture.

    • Yi says:

      That’s pretty much the only reason I kept up with Gosick after the first three episodes too–Victorique is irresistible!

      I actually didn’t mind the fast pace in the latter half too much. For a dark story like this, i don’t really want the plot to drag too much and have us and the characters wallow in all that negativity.

  3. Ryan A says:

    Cotton candy, now there’s a sweet I’ve not had in years. Ever since you previously wrote about this series, I’ve been meaning to take the time to watch it, but it slipped my mind for one reason or another. Apart from the aesthetic of the character style and design, knowing the story intensifies is an interesting draw.

    And, in the tiniest sense, the cutesy acts and plot twists tend to get a little bit exhausting after a while.

    Curious, as I sometimes passively digest these sort of attributes (takes the edge off), but I wonder how you would fair with Dantalian no Shoka, which featured another cute Victorian lolita with a fierce attitude. Actually, I think having finished Dantalian it’s more urgent for myself to feel the vibe of Gosick; I’m always interested in how certain settings and characters mix to create an overall impression. ^ ^

    Thanks for the review and reminder, Yi. Welcome back love!

    • Yi says:

      I haven’t had cotton candy in a long time either! I don’t particularly miss it though since it’s kind of too sticky on the fingers. Anyway, I digress.

      As for Gosick, I have the same feeling. It’s sweet and everything, but not something I would actively recommend. The aesthetics and the story are certainly big pluses, but still not overwhelmingly impressive in the end.

      I often wonder about Dantalian. It’s an anime that some (actually many) have suggested I watch. Due to time constraints though, I never really looked into it. In a lot of ways, it feels similar to Gosick for me, and I wonder if it does an even better job than Gosick at the Victorian loli thing. I’ll have to take some time to check it out!!

      p.s. It’s good to be back, darling. ^ ^

      • Ryan A says:

        Well, I sat through eight episodes. Oh god, the story isn’t terrible thus far, and I think it has possessed some of that sheer violence which may be more visible in the later story; right off the bat we’re getting an old woman gunshot through her eye.. that’s pretty wicked stuff.

        The characterization is killing me though. Victorique’s voice feels so completely wrong for her gothic lolita presence (and I like Aoi Yuuki), but her character is fairly likable (surprisingly her stylistic presence is much less noticeable than imagined). Kujo is, ugh, anyway, I like Grevil’s outfit. I’m not sure it’s been Victorique’s voice work, but one irksome aspect of these episodes has been the development between Kujo and Victorique. I don’t feel it’s very convincing, and I think a good deal boils down to Kujo’s incessant internal monologues observing Victorique; there’s too much telling in that approach, not enough showing.

        There are positive aspect, but these two characters, yea. All I can san for Dantalian is that I didn’t have the same character qualms early into the series.

        I’ll continue eventually, but I think today was a bit much for Gosick.

        ^ ^

        • Yi says:

          True true. There’s a lot of hints of violence and darkness sprinkled throughout the earlier episodes. For some odd reason–probably reasons having to do with Victorique–on my first watch, most of those didn’t register consciously (although I always had a slight feeling that something is about to go very very wrong). Wicked indeed~

          Ooh this is interesting. Your comment is the first time I’ve heard this about Victorique’s voice. I kind of agree to a certain degree. My initial reaction to her voice is also marked by dissonance. For me, however, it’s not that it doesn’t work with Gothic Lolita, but that it doesn’t seem to match a cutesy girl. Her voice seems a little more fitting of someone with a more serious presence. I quickly got over it though, and soon fell in love. Her laughter is a huge reason.

          I love Grevil’s outfit as well. He seems like a super stylish guy, rocking the white. I’m not too keen on male fashion, so I’m sure you have a lot more in mind. But yea, his clothes are wonderful.

          I think another reason Kujo and Victorique’s interactions early on seem weak may be because the story hasn’t given them enough reasons to feel close. He met a stranger in a tower, and Gosick wants us to believe that they’re instantly super intimate emotionally. I think you and I are both past the point where we believe in such things… More on this point, I think you’re exactly right: “there’s too much telling in that approach, not enough showing.”

          Take your time with Gosick. There are some serious flaws and burst of intensity. This is not a series I’d try to watch in one sitting.

          Enjoy~

          p.s. Dantalian sounds much better than Gosick.

  4. feal87 says:

    When Gosick first started I treated the series as a typical “moe” anime, and I found myself enjoying it more when the story finally start to develop!
    But yes I agree on most of your opinions!

    By the way, welcome back!

    • Yi says:

      Thanks feal87! It’s been a long while since I wrote. Too long.

      Anyway, Gosick started very much like a typical moe anime, but it developed into a very different beast by the end. It’s not bad for sure. ^ ^

  5. Mushyrulez says:

    I haven’t finished Gosick, but judging from reviews and the like, it feels a lot like UN-GO and Horizon. Similar to Gosick, UN-GO focuses on the big picture, illuminated through many small mysteries, many of which aren’t really all that mysterious. Horizon also focuses on the big picture, though only after a few extremely light-hearted world (not character)-building introductory episodes.

    Not sure where I’m going with this comment, but Gosick has a dark plot for all its… overly sweet historical inaccuracies? :T

    • Yi says:

      I’m actually not very familiar with either UN-GO or Horizon, but it does sound like these have some similarities, especially Horizon. I should give those a look some time, once I get around to finishing life stuff.

      “Not sure where I’m going with this comment, but Gosick has a dark plot for all its… overly sweet historical inaccuracies? :T”
      Haha yea… Awkward sentence. My writing has gotten worse in the time I’ve been away. Anyway, just trying to draw a contrast between the sweet moe parts and the dark plots, and between the inaccuracies and the clever story.

  6. Smithy says:

    Really liked Gosick though for some reason wasn’t too thrilled on the final episodes. Actually let the final two episodes lie aside for a few weeks until I finally watched them, perhaps that played a part? Mostly I didn’t like how they rushed through some parts and didn’t emphasize scenes or events that I feel deserved to be drawn out a bit more… but that may just be me.

    A great show nonetheless, would be nice to have series like this one or “Ikoku Meiro no Croisée” each season.

    • Yi says:

      A comment above also mentioned the rushed latter arcs and ending. Personally, I didn’t have too much problem with it. I think it may be because I took a long time to get through the last couple of episodes with breaks in between. So it didn’t particularly feel that short. But yea, I can see how it may feel like it needed a little more attention on certain parts.

      Overall, I’d say it’s not a bad show. It certainly has very gorgeous aesthetics, so yea. ^ ^ As does Ikoku Meiro no Croisée. They’re such eye candies. ♥

  7. dakuro says:

    The anime is really cool, from that season was the only one i watched completely, i like very much how dumb is kujo because that made the very smart egocentric victorique fall in love with him, is a very lovely story +10

    • Yi says:

      I thought the anime is pretty good too! But I think we feel differently about Kujo. I didn’t like how the anime intentionally makes him not very smart… It’s a cute contrast to Victorique’s brilliance, but at the same time, I think their interactions would’ve been even more interesting if he has the intelligence to somewhat keep up with Victorique. AJtheFourth makes really good points in the comment above on this as well.

      • Smithy says:

        If Kujo would have been presented as a more intelligent person, with even more verbal skills, his interaction with Victorique could have been far more electrifying and satisfying. Look at pairings whose verbal banter and wits challenge each other more like Lawrence and Holo or Lelouch and CC, pure bliss!

  8. Yellowfruit says:

    While I would agree with you on many aspects, not the least of which was Kujo’s cliché character, I must say that Gosick really left an impression on me. While it was far from leaving the mark series like Ghost in the Shell, Clannad, and the like have left, I still remember all the emotion of the final few scenes.

    The sense of stuble anger, seeing everything these two had been forced through, and for what reason. The satisfaction justice had been delivered to the guilty party. The profound easiness, seeing Victorica’s mother and the Brian twin dieing for revenge. And there’s no escaping the sweeping sense of relief and happiness seeing Kujo and Victorica reunited at the end.

    While yes, the first few episodes were subpar for the course, if we forget what series they are a part of, they are still well above average for any anime, in my opinion.

    In the end, I will happily admit to its flaws, but I think, much like you, the possitives far outway the negatives.

    • Yi says:

      Perhaps it’s a personal thing, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult for anime to make a lasting impression. It probably has something to do with my changing mindset toward anime (and a lot of things) in general. So in the end, I just couldn’t really find myself very attached to Gosick emotionally. Things might have been different if I wrote this review a few months ago.

      In any case, agreed totally about the subtle sense of anger. It’s a very good point you mentioned. The bitterness that comes with Victorique’s mother, and the relief and happiness that come with the ending… These are all very powerful scenes.

      A further note on the first episodes. In hindsight, it’s actually kind of neat to see the progression from simple to complex. Once the audience has suffered through the earlier arcs, the story becomes that much more fascinating.

      Thanks for visiting and the comment! Yellowfruit. ^ ^

  9. Marow says:

    I believe Gosick was very flawed, with very uninteresting and simplistic cases, that only Victorique knew the answer to. That’s why I like how it became more adventure and action during the second half, but still, the overarching plot did not make any sense. What’s with the different fractions? Like, really, I didn’t get much story at all. And the last two episodes… ugh, the horrible pacing.

    It was a fun ride, but a mediocre one.

    • Yi says:

      Ooh so harsh on Gosick! I like your thoughts. ^ ^

      Agreed that the story picks up greatly once the plots shift from locked room puzzles to more adventure styled mysteries. However, although the overarching story is indeed hard to follow, I still thought the subplots were done well enough and came together coherently enough to make it very enjoyable. The pacing I had no problems with either as things escalated fairly naturally for me, but I might be in the minority here. A few comments above also noted dissatisfaction with the pacing.

      Anyway, fun ride for sure. And while I thought it was good, it leans just a tad on the mediocre, especially now that it’s been several weeks since I finished the series.

  10. Kai says:

    Gosick had been an enjoyable ride for me indeed, right until the end though, the pacing is horrible at this point indeed. Kujo is also “one” of those very common typical leads. They look like they had a “strong” background but when he really fights, it really doesn’t leave a great impact, same can be said to his personality as well, lacking common sense and lack of understanding. It’s not like I’m watching this show for him though. Of cause, the cases are interesting, albeit, too simplistic or ridiculous at times. Ultimately though, I’m watching this just for Victorique! She’s cute *-*

    • Yi says:

      Interesting. It seems like I might be one of the few people who had no problem with the pacing at the end. A few above have also found the ending rushed.

      Anyway, agreed with you on the other points. Kujo is very typical… and for a lack better description, boring. The cases started out too simplistic. And yes, Victorique makes it all worthwhile!

  11. hoshiko says:

    Ah, Gosick. It has been a while huh? I kinda miss the show (or maybe I just miss Victorique much). I never once thought of relating Gosick and Scoobie Doo but now that you’ve mentioned it I can somewhat see the similarities. As for me, I found myself enjoy the second half a lot more than the first half of the series. Gosick might not be remembered as one of the top mystery/detective shows but I reckon Victorique will be remembered as one the cutest detective.

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. It’s been a while since Gosick aired and since I was active in blogosphere. I really miss it all!

      Haha, the Scoobie Doo comparison may have been a bit weird in that the two have such different vibes, but I think it also kind of fits somehow. Personally, I found myself enjoying the second half as well, although I didn’t really hate the first half either.

      You’re right about Victorique!!! She is the cutest detective ever!! (Except for maybe when Shinku tries to be Detective Kun Kun.)

  12. FRAAAME says:

    I feel it would be misled to believe the simplicity of the so called “mysteries” were a failing of the series. The focus was always to be on the adorable little blonde girl. The cases themselves made no attempt to be complex or original; they were merely a context for: 2ndly, the fanciful setting and atmosphere, and 1stly the characters interactions with one another.

    So as that it was not simply a slice of life, the “mysteries” gave it go-forward movement and a backbone for the characters. Perhaps you’d wish they were more serious, but as you already pointed out, what little gravity and seriousness there was, it already clashed with the lighthearted Victorique and her banter. The series is an attempt to balance these two conflicting elements, and what you have noted is the sacrifice they had to make.

    I think, like everything, it wasnt without its flaws. And while they showed some class in avoiding the sexual fanservice and all the other horrible grounded cliche’s, the romance was so far out of touch with reality. It felt like it was just another addition to everything else they were trying to juggle; it suffered from poor pace, little to no conflict, and told (in typical anime fashion) instead of showed what the characters were feeling. In the end it all was this sort of muddle, and you’re right in saying it ended with no “umph”. What were they trying to show us? What story were they trying to tell? A mystery? evidently not. A drama? no, too comedic. Well, it must be a romance comedy, right? hmmm, no; it had little of that.

    After however many months its been since I watched it, I can conclude all I feel about it is “D’awww, she’s…..just lovely. I want to see more of her character!” not more of the plot or that Nip that followed her around. In conclusion, it would has sufficed to just have her sitting there reading her books, eating sweets and getting up to all kinds of cute trouble in the town and school grounds; the other stuff was just clutter.

    • Yi says:

      I understand your point, and I do agree that having a simple start lets the anime gradually escalate really effectively later. However, I still think it is a weakness because I believe the anime could achieve the same things–set up the atmosphere and develop the characters–without resorting to dumbing things down. I don’t necessarily need it to be serious; I think you can have a light atmosphere, but at the same time, give the audience a challenging puzzle. (AjtheFourth makes a very good relevant point on this.) Further, a lot of people I know were so put off by the simplicity that they dropped Gosick entirely. For me, it wasn’t a terrible thing, but only in hindsight.

      I like what you said about the anime being a muddle of a bunch of elements. Perhaps that’s the reason for my feeling of detachment after the show, and the absence of any lasting emotional impact.

      And yes, the thing that sticks in the end for me is also Victorique. She’s so cute!!

      ” In conclusion, it would has sufficed to just have her sitting there reading her books, eating sweets and getting up to all kinds of cute trouble in the town and school grounds; the other stuff was just clutter.
      So harsh, but also kind of true. ^ ^

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment!!!

  13. Dragon Of HouraI says:

    Came to blog looking for a good picture of Reo to help me draw a flat chested character.
    Than I saw the blog updated (Yes!!). than I saw Victorique (wow… that was convenient.)

    • Yi says:

      Glad I could be of some help!! And please forgive my long hiatus~ Life has been… unkind. ^ ^

      • Dragon Of HouraI says:

        No, thank you for being awesome and don’t worry I understand life getting in the way. I enjoyed reading your Gosick review. I guess you’re right. I kinda forgot about Gosick until now actually I think I remember Victorique more than Gosick it self but it was definitely worth the watch. I guess I don’t have much more to say but do your best!

        • Yi says:

          Thanks! I’m glad I always people like you around even if I disappear for a while. I’ll do my best! And I wish you the best as well. ^ ^

  14. ~xxx says:

    Gosick had a very rough time in the first half.
    but the second half of the story was just too awesome that I didn’t put it down the wire even if better shows sprout out of nowhere.

    though the mystery of Coco Rose was actually a surprise to me, but when the pieces are put together , I just realized that I came even faster on knowing that Coco Rose was alive.

    I never did enjoy the show as a whole but, I’ve got to give credit to victorique for the show is nothing without her.

    Though Kamisama no memo-chou was way better than Gosick, I’ll give credit Gosick for giving me
    the greatest turn-around in my schedule.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, the second half, I think, is much more exciting than the first half. I really enjoyed it! And agreed about the Coco Rose arc. It’s actually surprisingly complicated, and while watching, I had to pause a bit to think about exactly what happened. That’s a good mystery right there!

      “I’ve got to give credit to victorique for the show is nothing without her.”
      I know right? She’s the main reason for watching this.

      I actually haven’t seen Kamisama no memo-chou, but I’ve heard mixed things about it. I would like to check it out since I love detective anime, but unfortunately, I just may not have the time.😦

      “Gosick for giving me the greatest turn-around in my schedule.”
      ^ ^

  15. Overlord-G says:

    So let me try and solve this puzzle: It’s clear the Victorique moments stole the show, the plot was dark, yet the hiccups threw you off balance a few times. The historical inaccuracies also played a role in your dislike of the show. As usual, you go much more in depth in reviews than I do but that’s what makes you special Yi-san.
    I think someone already corrected you in saying that it’s Scooby Doo and not Scoobie, but that’s irrelevant to the main topic. This show is still one of my top 20 fav anime of 2011 (That’s right, 20) This year has been full of really good shows that it surprised me.

    • Yi says:

      Victorique is the top reason to watch the show. She drives everything: plot, characters, cuteness, personality, interactions… etc. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. Glad you liked the review.

      p.s. Thanks for the correction. I’ll change Scoobie to Scooby. ^ ^

      • Overlord-G says:

        Anytime Yi-san. It sure has been a long time since you graced the blogosphere with your presence. You’re greatly missed.
        Speaking of Victorique: If you were to choose between Victorique and Mina Tepes, which one would be your favorite?

        • Yi says:

          Thanks! I really appreciate it. And I’ve missed the blogosphere as well.

          I think I still like Victorique just a tad more than Mina Tepes, although it is close. I really value intelligence, and both are brilliant girls. And, they are certainly both cute. I suppose my preference probably has more to do with Victorique’s outfits.

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  20. jreding says:

    Welcome back, Yi – I missed your posts so much!

    Gosick did make a lasting impression on me. This year I discovered that I like shows with overcomplex or ridiculous mysteries in retro settings (Dantalian has been mentioned; Allison x Lillia is no mystery show but it’s plot is even more laughable; UN-GO, also mentioned above, is certainly not ridiculous but too compley for me and also somewhat retro). I guess I like these shows because it makes them light-hearted and slice-of-life-ish so that you can immerse fully in the characters, the costumes and backgrounds. After the first few episodes of Gosick I gave up on making sense of the plot. Consequently, ep. 12, in which basically nothing happened, is my favourite Gosick episode. What made the lasting impression though was the dramatic ending and the afterstory. I did not expect this light-hearted show to turn into the dark inferno of unrest, fire and blood-letting that was ep. 22. This show took a considerable time to draw me into it’s world, then everything burned down and after ep. 23 I looked back in nostalgia as if I had spent my own youth in this lost time before the Great War.

    If there is one thing that bogged me than it is Victorique’s face (not her clothes!) imo lacked detail. Kujo didn’t bother me; I simply ignored him. Avril, on the other hand, was nicely drawn and had a good character; it’s a shame she wasn’t developed further. Oh, and I also loved Victorique’s little house!

    • Yi says:

      Hey jreding. I’ve missed you and all the people around here a lot as well. ^ ^ It’s good to be back (at least somewhat).

      In terms of premise, I’m with you. The two biggest things Gosick had that first attracted my attention were the retro setting–I’m a big romantic for the past–and mysteries. So this series certainly has the right ingredients to be great. Still, I couldn’t fully appreciate the overly-complex mysteries emotionally in the end (though I did enjoy following the story as I watched them a lot).

      “This show took a considerable time to draw me into it’s world, then everything burned down and after ep. 23 I looked back in nostalgia as if I had spent my own youth in this lost time before the Great War.”
      Hm… Perhaps I just wasn’t sympathetic enough for the characters. I never really “felt” for them and their plight.

      Anyway, I agree that the slice-of-life elements to the series were a huge plus. It added a lot to the characters, and especially Victorique, and really adds a super fun personality to Gosick. I love all those Victorique moments. ^ ^

      “If there is one thing that bogged me than it is Victorique’s face (not her clothes!)”
      I think this is the first time someone has mentioned this about Victorique. It never really bothered me, but on the other hand, I let a lot of stuff about anime character designs slide as a stylistic thing. That’s a really interesting take though!

      p.s. I love the little house too!! Loveliest room ever!

  21. Persocom says:

    Everything detective/mystery after Gosick has been bland in comparison for me. When it started out, I thought for sure I’d be dropping it partway through, it was too simple, but Victorique’s charm kept me watching. After a while I had completely changed my mind, and was watching as soon as I could every week. By the end I was blown away and I would be happy to buy this series. I’ve been meaning to review this myself ever since it finished airing. Anyway, welcome back and great review, I miss Victorique already.

    • Yi says:

      That’s quite similar to my take on Gosick. The story started out fairly mediocre… In fact, perhaps even a little less than that. But Victorique’s adorable moments had me already. And fortunately, the story soon picked up to become quite the complex mystery. I enjoyed it tremendously!

      Anyway, I miss Victorique too. And I miss blogging. It’s good to back.

      p.s. Thanks for the kind words, Persocome. ^ ^

  22. Riiana Doon says:

    I enjoyed this anime I think more so because of Victorique and her sense of style (I have a major love for gothic-lolita.) I have yet to read the light novels, but, the way that you talk about it, it looks like I definitely need to check it out. I do think that Kujo’s character did seem weak in many aspects even though I do have yet to read the light novels. Your review of the anime has definitely made me want to pick up the light novels. Very beautiful visuals for this review also, love the pictures!:D
    The storyline took me a bit to get fully interested in, but as I got further into it, the more interesting it got. I learned a lot about Victorique’s family background. I think that got me more into the anime.

    • Yi says:

      Yes totally. Victorique and her clothes are definitely my favorite thing about Gosick by far. I loooooooooveeee Gothic Lolita and Victorian styles. So fancy and so sexy~ ♥

      Anyway, AjtheFourth above has a lot more interesting things to say about the light novels than I had. Check out her comment. She really makes me want to check them out. I’d love to see a far more interesting Kujo than what we were given in the anime.

      Anyway, thanks a lot for reading and the comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the review, Riina Doon. Please do come back again. ^ ^

  23. wieselhead says:

    Nice to read you again, Yi ^-^
    I liked how the show started, the nostalgic ways of solving a mistery were quite charming, the loli detective and her slighty clumsy assistant were fun to watch, but near the end it got quite dark, as we learned about Victorique’s background. it was horrible what they did with Victorique and her mother, that me so angry TT

    The story complexity in the second quarter was a bit exxagerated in my opinion, maybe I lost a few details because of the weekly pace, but I would have probably preferred a simplier story😀

    have you rewatched the show?

    • Yi says:

      It’s nice to hear from all of you as well, wieselhead. ♥

      I didn’t mind either the slow, charming beginning or the darker second half, mostly because the transition I thought were done very smoothly. The story about Victorique’s mother is one of the darkest things in the series, and it made me really angry as well. But it was a good kind of angry–the kind of emotion that shows I am invested in the show.

      Admittedly, the story did get a little overly complex, but for me, that’s part of what kept it interesting. I preferred it to the overly simple story in the first few arcs.

      Anyway, I haven’t rewatched the show, and I don’t plan on doing so. It was a great ride though. I loved it!

      p.s. It’s good to see you again, hun. ^ ^

  24. Accelerator says:

    To me, the greatest weakness of GOSICK lay within the inception of the show itself. Most likely, I assume its been ignored along with many other cliches in anime due to the fact that the methods are untireable tried-and-true “fan-favorites”. Or the main heroin yet again diverts the attention of the audience with immeasurable charms or a vague mysterious aura surrounding her. But GOSICK should not have done the “Mysterious Girl Found Alone By The Protagonist Miraculously By Fate” approach, which is often (if not allways) followed up by “The Protagonist Delves Deeper Into The Girl’s Story, Resolves It, and Lives Happily Ever After With Her”. Not saying that I had anything against the predictably happy “Kujo Survived Ending”, seeing as its the one most fans vouch for, and seeing as Victorique is most content with this (And in addition that the Death Toll has allready been met with the blood of many other characters, IE Cordelia, the nameless assassins, etc.) But had one or the other died, I would say with this amount of development, would be quite a blow to the audience’s psyche. I would have looked forward to the feedback everyone would give. But endings such as that are allways overshadowed with happy ones, as if the world of fiction just has to be illogical and full of miracles, unlike its reality counterpart. But that is the point, is it not? To break away from reality..
    ….I digress, im rambling again. Gosick was great. Victorique and her little lolita will allways be adorable.

    • Yi says:

      “Mysterious Girl Found Alone By The Protagonist Miraculously By Fate”
      This is a really good point. I feel like anime has saturated this structure a bit (or maybe I’ve simply outgrown it. I’m glad you mentioned this!!

      As for the follow ups, I didn’t mind so much, because delving into someone’s past is not simply a cliche, but almost a very important part of most good story/character development. Happily ever after is also not something I have a problem with. Predictable or not, it’s just how the story develops, and it balances out the earlier darker stuff. If either died, sure, that’d be a blow to our psyche, but I’m not sure if it’d be a good blow. In fact, I think it might feel just a little too gratuitous.

      “as if the world of fiction just has to be illogical and full of miracles, unlike its reality counterpart.
      In terms of Gosick, it’s actually more logical for it to be full of miracles (if that makes any sense), because the anime has already had us suspend our believes early on. It really on the fiction and the context whether a miraculous ending is appropriate. For Gosick, I felt that it was indeed the right way to go.

      And yes, Victorique and her Gothic Lolita fashion will always be super adorbs!

      Thanks for the comment and for raising such great points!

  25. Despite watching only one episode of Gosick, I still seem to know many of the important plot points, mostly from listening to the Bakacast podcast (which enjoyed tearing the show apart on a weekly basis, lol). By the sound of it the mysteries tend to fall into 3 categories; (1) the type the viewer figures out straight away, (2) ones that Victorique figures out by having knowledge the audience isn’t privy to or cannot figure out from how the information is presented, and (3) those which utilize a botched grasp of physics (the headless biker or the light beam mystery. Perversely, it’s actually piqued by interest to give the show another chance, so I can laugh at the earlier sections. I guess this is what happens when you get addicted to the terribad aspects of anime ^ ^.

    Saying that, I do have a genuine interest with the darker-edged story elements of the second-half and how the plots play out in relation to WW2, so don’t take it like I’m accusing the show of being awful or anything. I just think embracing and ridiculing its faults will make the more tedious sections more bearable. So yeah, say hello to number 224 on my MAL ‘plan to watch’ list… *bangs head against the wall*

    By the way, how does Kujo rank on the Index/HSoD chauvinistic imbecile scale? I’m all for taking such elements in my stride, but if Gosick reaches the levels of those two then we might have a problem!

    • Yi says:

      That’s a very good breakdown of the mysteries, and it follows that progression. kind of. The early ones are all type 1. And the later ones are mostly 2 and 3. I think it’s important to point, however, that 2 is a mystery, but in a very different sense from 1, which is actually more like a puzzle. 2, instead, is more of an adventure mystery, which makes it acceptable that Victorique has knowledge we don’t, since by the time we arrive at this part of the story, the plot has become one of exploring instead of one where we try to solve ourselves.

      Anyway, the anime I wouldn’t say is terribad, although some elements may be. There are other reasons to watch the series though, which should make it even more fun for you.

      As for how the plots play out in relation to WW2… It’s interesting. On the one hand, it plays into the wartime attitudes fairly well, but on the other, there actually isn’t any context that makes it WW2 specific (except for the proposed timing, which is actually… kind of anachronistic to the rest of the show).

      Kujo is not nearly as bad, I think, as the leads in Index of HSoD, especially in the later arcs. At the very least, he fully recognizes Victorique’s genius and doesn’t really try to stop her from doing her thing. It’s mostly the occasional remark that he makes, which is why, ultimately, as bland and slightly annoying as he is, I found him tolerable.

      p.s. I share your pain of the growing backlog…
      p.p.s. Thanks for the comment. It’s really good to hear from you again, doll. ^ ^

  26. Akito_Kinomoto says:

    I have to say, the historical inaccuracies weren’t my problem with this anime so much as it was the order of the earlier story arcs themselves. It brought in a lot of inconsistencies with both anything that could count as any kind of development and actions themselves. Such as the martial arts capabilities from Kujo in the first arc that aren’t seen anywhere else despite the fact that it would have made sense to use them, or some dialog in the second one that doesn’t make sense considering Victorique’s actions prior.

    I also don’t quite agree with the complications itself making it hard to get emotionally involved, but rather the last stretch of the anime became very fast-paced and was bordering on ridiculous.

    Still I surmise that this one in the end was at least enjoyable. Kujo and Victorique make for an interesting dynamic and indeed some of the other characters had a lot more to them than I thought. Maybe I’d recommend this to anyone with a thing for Victorian-tinted fiction.

    <_<

    tl;dr: Transition liberties and almost derailing aside it's nice to see this get some measure of attention.

    • Yi says:

      That’s a really good point you mentioned there. I didn’t really consider it before, but now that you’ve pointed it out, those inconsistencies totally stick out sorely. The martial arts thing is one of the more glaring examples. I also thought Grevil’s character is a bit too loose. The difference between him initially and at the end are too great that it feels a bit awkward.

      “I also don’t quite agree with the complications itself making it hard to get emotionally involved, but rather the last stretch of the anime became very fast-paced and was bordering on ridiculous.”
      I think I’m on the minority on the complications and pacing of the last stretch. I’ve heard more distastes for the last arcs than likes, so I will concede that it might not be the best.

      Personally, Gosick ended well for me. I’m not giving a stellar recommendation to anyone, but nor will I say it’s something to avoid. The Victorian styling is well worth the visual pleasure though.

      Thanks for the comment! Really loved to hear your opinions and criticisms of both the show and my review. It’s certainly not tl;dr. Haha. ^ ^

  27. Michael says:

    My main problem with Gosick was that a lot of the time, it seemed to go in one eye and out the other, which never happens to me with mystery shows. I found the mysteries in that show just so shallow and forgetable that at times I would have to literally think for a second “Ok, what happened?” And it feels like a lot of them had potential too- the execution was just rather weak.

    I think part of the problem with the mysteries is that you never get the full picture. You get to see Victorique’s thought process on the howdunit, but pretty much never on the whodunit- which particularly annoyed me in the 3rd mystery (As in, the one with Victorique’s mother) because aside from being a character with screen time, I can’t think of a single reason to believe that that character’s the killer, and if I recall correctly, it actually contradicts a previous plot point regarding how the victim was killed. Now, if the story had at least tried to explain how or why that character was the killer, and fleshed out the solution more, then that could have added some realism and some depth to the mystery, at least in my opinion. But then, I’m always much more interested in the whodunit instead of the howdunit (except in locked room mysteries, those are always fun.)

    And I agree- a couple of the mysteries were so insanely simple that I was shocked that somebody who supposedly was at least capable at getting good grades at school, and a police detective, couldn’t seem to figure them out.

    Also, I found the pace increase rather jarring. I’m not sure that it was too fast, so much that it was so much FASTER than the story had been going thus far, that it took a lot of getting used to. And while it has its buildup, the way the series had been building up to be a pseudo-episodic detective story and then suddenly a curveball like that, combined with the increased pace, just disoriented me for an episode or so.

    I agree that aside from Victorique, the characters are pretty much paper-thin. There’s just nothing to them, and I think it’s because of that that I couldn’t really get into Victorique’s relationship with Kujo- I simply didn’t see any reason to care.

    Honestly, if you aren’t a diehard mystery fan, or really like period pieces, I don’t see much of a reason to watch Gosick. Even if you’re incredibly bored, there are shows like have even come out this year like Persona 4, Magic Kaito, and Un-Go, that are much more worthy of one’s time.

    • Yi says:

      I can understand that furstration with the forgettable mysteries, especially in the earlier arcs. It really isn’t much of a puzzle for the audience to solve–we are not given enough information to actually solve anything. With that said, if we look at Gosick instead as an adventure rather than mystery, I thought it was a fairly successful adventure, where we unravel the events slowly alongside the characters (mostly via Kujo’s perspective). In other words, the anime deviated in the latter half from the whodunnit to simply story-telling, which is a good thing considering how easy the first few actual locked-room mysteries were.

      It seems I’m one of the few who didn’t mind (and even liked) the increased pacing. But yea, it was definitely something worth noting and something of an issue for most.

      Victorique is a very well-drawn character, but unfortunately, her supporting cast are weak. I wanted to see a lot more of her mother, the two twins, and even Grevil. I thought they had a lot of potential. Instead, we were given a poorly fleshed out, rather boring Kujo.

      I wouldn’t recommend against Gosick, but I don’t think it’s super good either. It’s definitely worth watching for die-hard mystery fans, but I’d actually think hardcore period piece fans would find sooo many problems with Gosick’s 1920s. Haha.

      Thanks for visiting and the comment!

  28. Swordwind says:

    I’m glad you liked it. I watched Dantalian no Shoka, and I’ve read that Dalian (the female lead) is essentially similar to Victorique, which is kind of interesting.

  29. Aelesis says:

    It’s one of the best shy-nice-guy + tsundere-loli (springing from Shakugan no Shana, I believe) anime I’ve seen, although the final arc was a bit of the ‘jarring’ plot shift you were talking about not existing – I mean, it’s like ‘wham Kujo’s off in the military and Victorique is being used’ pretty much out of nowhere, on a much grander scale than the previous mysteries.
    That said, the visuals were indeed gorgeous, and the later murder plots (I especially liked the Coco Rose story) were quite clever!

    • Yi says:

      To be honest, I’m a bit over the nice-guy and tsundere loli combinations. In fact, I am pretty much sooo incredibly bored with nice guys, especially as male leads. They are just soooo bland. Victorique is lovely though! And especially so because of those gorgeous visuals.

      p.s. I love Coco Rose arc too. So complicated and so interesting~

  30. LoLeRji says:

    I watched and liked this anime so much, I recommend every one to watch it!😀 Victorique is so sweet😀 and so FUNNY!

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