On top of being a sucker for mysteries, I’m a sucker for Lolita fashion and the 1920s. When I saw and read the synopsis for Gosick, I knew I had to review it. When it comes to mystery, fashion, and aesthetic, Gosick does not disappoint.
Gosick takes place during 1924 in the fictional country of Saubure. The story follows Kazuhiro Kujo, a transfer student from Japan, as he attends St. Marguerite Academy. An outcast, he quickly befriends another outcast; the mysterious Victorique de Blois. Victorique spends her days reading in the conservatory of the school’s library, and solving mysteries. She often helps her half-brother – Grenville de Blois – solve cases for the local police force. Although she receives no credit (which upsets Kazuya), Victorique is content solving the cases, lest she become bored.
Together, Victorique and Kujo solve the unsolvable, both in their town,their school, and in Victorique’s life. Their mysteries include doppelgängers, a cruise ship with a focus on Battle Royale, trafficking, and murder. Through it all, the bond between Kujo and Victorique grows until the two become inseparable.
The mysteries are captivating, and often span over a couple of episodes. Gosick also doesn’t lose itself within the plot. While the focus is on the mysteries, the subtext is all about character development. There’s also a minor focus on Victorique’s heritage as a “Gray Wolf”. As a Gray Wolf, Victorique is cold, calculating, and emotionless. Or, so she is told.
Both Victorique and Kujo are very complex characters, which was delightful. Kujo discovers that he’s more than the third son of an Imperial Army soldier. He becomes more confident and aware of his abilities and skills. This leads him to refer to himself by his family’s accomplishments less frequently. His patience and kindness also helps Victorique grow as a character.
Victorique starts off as a typical tsundere character. She insults and belittles Kujo, only to blush when he does something kind for her. Kujo allows Victorique to grow into her emotions. He doesn’t demean her like Grevil or her father did growing up. Through Kujo’s kindness, Victorique grows to care deeply for him, and vice versa. It was very heartwarming, and I felt like a proud parent watching these two grow.
The animation of Gosick was beautiful. From the settings to the outfits, everything was intricate, rich, and detailed. I love Gothic Lolita fashion, so I adored Victorique’s outfits. All of the characters had very unique styles, especially Grevil. In short, the animation was typical of something to come out of Bones studio: fantastic.
While the animation was great, the voice acting and music left a little to be desired. The music was extremely forgettable, and I often didn’t notice it. Usually that’s a sign of a good soundtrack, as it means it’s enhancing the scene. In this case, I was too focused on the plot to care. The voice acting was good, but it sometimes felt like the voice actors were phoning in their lines.
Gosick is definitely an anime worth re-watching. The mysteries were interesting enough to enjoy a second or third time. On top of that, I feel like there’s more to the “Gray Wolf” plot than I caught. Watching Victorique evolve out of being a tsundere is also a bonus.
Packaging and Bonus Materials
Speaking of bonuses, this box set could have had more. It’s another box set that only has textless songs and anime trailers. There’s so much that could have been included, that I’m almost personally offended. They could have included the inspiration for the mysteries, or for the country of Saubure. There’s just so much more that could have been done.
On top of that, the packaging is fairly inelegant for such an elegant series. The coverslip is reversible, and it has color-coded discs. I just feel like it could have been fancier, or included replicas of clues from the show.
Gosick is definitely a quality over quantity box set purchase. The quality of the show makes up for the lack of quantity in the box set tenfold. Gosick: The Complete Series Part One is currently available for purchase. Those with a Funimation Now account can also stream the first season.