Set in 1924 in the fictional kingdom of Saubure, which is nestled between France, Switzerland, and Italy, Gosick tells the story of an unbreakable bond between two characters. Kazuya Kujo, the third son of a Japanese imperial soldier, is sent to Saubure to study at St. Marguerite Academy as an international student. There, he quickly gains the nickname of the Black Reaper due to his black hair and eyes, and rumours quickly spread that anyone who comes into contact with him will be met with misfortune. Also attending the school is Victorique de Blois, the daughter of a marquis and descendant of the “Gray Wolves”, a tribe known for their superior intelligence. Like Kujo, Victorique has gained the nickname of the Golden Fairy and spends her days hiding at the top of the academy’s library tower.
At first, Kazuya and Victorique seem like opposites. One is attributed to the colour black and naively gets involved with mysterious murders and other crimes. The other is associated with the colour gold and is able to solve any mystery with her wellspring of wisdom. What draws them together, though, are their similar circumstances. Kazuya and Victorique are both social outcasts and struggle to gain recognition and acceptance.
Another factor that helped develop the relationship between Kujo and Victorique was how well their abilities complimented each other. Kazuya always manages to get caught up in some kind of trouble, and Victorique is always looking for a problem to solve. In the beginning, this made Gosick seem like a mystery anime, but after a few cases were solved, it’s clear that’s not the case. One of the problems with the mysteries in Gosick is that there are not enough clues given for the viewer to solve it themselves. It is not until Victorique gives her explanations that everything needed to solve a mystery is brought to light. While this may be disappointing to fans of the mystery genre, it helps to shift the focus away from the crimes that occur and more towards developing the relationships between the characters.
One of my favourite aspects about this anime was how the mysteries that Kazuya and Victorique got involved with always revealed something about their past or foreshadowed what was going to happen in the future. Seemingly everything leading up to the final episodes were all thoroughly planned by the main antagonist, Albert de Blois, in order to prepare her to help him achieve his goals. With each successive mystery, a new part of Albert’s plan is revealed, and the foretelling of Kazuya and Victorique’s separation due to events beyond their control grows stronger.
While Gosick foreshadows that Kazuya and Victorique will eventually part ways right at the beginning, the ending felt too short and rushed. For a 24 episode anime, it would not have been hard to cut out some comedic elements in order to extend the climax and falling action from two episodes to three.
As for the side characters, most of them had two functions: to act as comic relief, and to help progress the story. Personally, I thought the time spent on comic relief was too excessive at times. Take for example, Victorique’s brother Grevil. While he supports Victorique and Kazuya’s relationship and tries to help them without disobeying his father, a lot of time is spent making jokes about his hair, which is shaped like a giant drill. Another example is the school teacher Cecile. She is the one that initially sets up Kazuya and Victorique, but some of her scenes later in the series involve her wandering around aimlessly looking for people.
Despite some scenes that could have been cut out to improve the ending, I thought Gosick was a good series. Seeing the bond between Kazuya and Victorique develop was warming, but at the same time heartbreaking because you know beforehand that something will happen to drive them apart. I would recommend Gosick to anyone looking for some drama with a hint of mystery.