Kujo transfers from Japan to Europe to become a student, at a time when great changes are afoot in the world. At the top of the library tower, he meets a petite girl with blond hair who seems almost like a fairy, named Victorique. He plays Watson to her Holmes (complete with pipe) as she “assembles the fragments of Chaos” and solves mysteries, often involving fairy tales and the occult. Later on, she unravles the story of her own past.
Gosick is a tough series to review, because what I should really do is write two reviews: one for each half. The two halves come across as completely different. In the first, Victorique and Kujo attend class and solve random mysteries. The second half is a set of more closely connected mysteries revealing the secrets behind Victorique’s birth and the future of Europe.
The thing is, most of the mysteries in the first half are plain dumb. It’s painfully obvious who the criminal is for most of them. Sherlock Holmes is a genius, and this is illustrated by putting him on a completely different level from Watson. But Watson is also very intelligent. In Gosick, they try to make Victorique be a genius by comparing her with Kujo. But Kujo is an idiot (at least in the first half). To top it off, the side characters are annoying: the classmate in love with Kujo, the clumsy teacher with glasses, Victorique’s brother who needs her to solve all his cases for him and whose hair is shaped like a unicorn horn.
At this point I was toying with the idea of dropping the show. But then everything completely changed. They dropped the random obvious mysteries, and Gosick turned into a top-notch adventure series, exploring the story of Victorique’s past and her relationship with Kujo. Sometimes shows use the first half to better develop their characters and setting for the finale. But I can’t really convince myself that this was the case with Gosick. The initial episodes added very little. And oddly enough, the ending felt rushed. So they didn’t need to pad for time. I’m honestly not sure what the creators were thinking for the first half.
But the second half is great. The adventure is exciting, all the characters are fleshed out (even the guy with unicorn hair becomes a non-joke), and the mysteries are interesting. We even get some good politics and a bit of romance. Overall, I would probably rate the second half a 9, but the first half only a 7.
- Plot / Script – 8 / 10 – Huge divide between the first and second half.
- Characters – 8 / 10 – Most of the cast is well fleshed-out in the second half. Kujo’s classmates remain fairly weak, however. Kujo is too dumb in the first half.
- Production – 8 / 10 – Consistent (this is Bones after all) but I can’t help but feel even the animation improved in the second half. This may be my imagination.
- Overall – B-
Recommendations – Kamisama no Memochou, Dantalian no Shoka (for more moeblob detectives)
4 thoughts on “Gosick Review — B-”
8/10 for Detective Shana? IMO the second half was worse, backstory wasn’t that interesting. Fullmetal Alchemist had a grand plot involving the war and everything…they did it better. The mysteries were sometimes too obvious…
5.5/10…Monster and Death Note were better mysteries. Spice and Wolf were better for adventure/romance.
BTW I’m going to start Simoun next…
All the shows you mentioned were definitely better. I didn’t think this was *that* bad though. I thought the first half was much worse, so I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one…
Hope you like Simoun! Let me know what you think.