Gosick is animated by Bones, which I have lauded in the past; I liked Heroman, but at any rate they tend to do far out and artsy stuff which I respect. Pronounced “gothic” (and you see this clearly in the katakana for the title), just using a funny English spelling, this is based on a highly acclaimed novel which really hits the high notes of mid-1920’s murder and mystery featuring a “goth loli” named Victorique, shown above.
I want to make this as simple as possible. Victorique (her name makes me think “Victorian” and probably should) simply makes this show work. She has this rather… unique… mocking laugh that is deadpan, amused, and very, very mocking that is used like the “baka baka” used by Ruri in Martian Successor Nadesico (one of my all-time favorite shows) to make fun of that which needs making fun of.
Victorique is at once cute, haughty, arrogant, and yet completely lacks the sort of stereotypical beat-up-the-leading-male behavior viewers of recent anime are all too accustomed to. Also, she’s not there as a sex symbol; her ornate clothing is there to make her look like a doll, precious and fragile, and it works. She’s also a genius at solving mysteries, but due to a hard past, she cannot take any credit or fame from any of this.
There is a leading male, but let’s set that aside for now. He’s not a stand-out yet, he’s just there in The Friend Zone and is still developing.
This show is difficult to judge until you see three episodes. I have, and a lot of badly necessary explanations about the back-story about what the heck happened during the whole “ghost ship” thing that fully occupied the show once past the initial “hook” in ep 1. Well, it’s about what happened, but far more importantly, it’s why it happened.
If you try this show out, do yourself a favor and watch all the way to the end of ep 3, which wraps the first phase of the story up.
I won’t spoil, but there was a much more interesting background than I feared, and as a result, I really must recommend this show.
Put bluntly, it may be anime, and it may have a lead male who’s a Japanese male studying abroad to tie things in for the domestic audience, but this show really hits the classical murder/ mystery themes wonderfully, with action in the finest traditions of the old novels.
In other words, the action is for people with a brain and occurs in the context of a good story.
All I needed was to be convinced that the story is going somewhere rather than being some kind of collection of short stories that don’t lead to anything bigger. I’m convinced, so there you go.
Watch it. – J