Destiny, Hope, Unity
(an interesting touch ne?)
I'm not one to come late to the party, but GOSICK was a must for review so it was always gonna get done regardless of the circumstances. In a way time was a beneficial factor in this review which I'll get to later. So let's get right to the review then. The basic structure of GOSICK is the classic formula for most great 24 ep series. An extended exposition and some rising action through the 1st half of the series followed by an epic 2nd half which develops the plot ending with a dramatic conclusion. The 1st half of GOSICK is what you would expect from a mystery series, several 1-3 ep cases which don't really intertwine. However, the connecting thread through even the 1st half of the series is the wondrous interplay between the "detective" Victorique and her "assistant" Kujo. Right when you maybe start to get tired of the monotony of the short cases in the 1st half of the series, the plot structure changes for the better. The seeds were subtly planted through the 1st half of the series, and after one ep of filler, the 2nd half would blossom into something truly brilliant. I don't know if I would say that GOSICK had a traditional climax, but the 1st case of the 2nd half (the Leviathan case) gets the ball rolling into the main plot of the series. The cases of the 2nd half of the series do intertwine unlike in the 1st half. Most importantly, the cases of the 2nd half of the series expand on Victorique's story which was lightly introduced in the 1st half of the series. The 2nd half also expands of the budding relationship between Victorique and Kujo. Last but not least, the closing few eps are simply flawless. This is a heady series; you have to pay attention to every little detail in order to follow the course of the plot down the stretch. And thematically, this series uses a ton of symbolism and metaphor. In fact, one of the more significant symbolisms in the series isn't introduced until the final few eps (which can be seen as a slight knock in presentation). So all in all, GOSICK has a deep tone and a great air of sophistication. No more details with regards to the plot I'm afraid, can't afford to spoil this series. And when you're talking about GOSICK, the story is but only one significant element. And equally critical element is the characters. Or to put it plainly, Victorique. Victorique is possibly THE greatest female lead I've seen in anime. She has of course her trusty wellspring of wisdom. But also she can be playful. She loves her sweets and is so cute when she's angry and has the best sarcastic laugh ever. She also has a dark past and evolves beautifully as a character through the course of the series and is truly transformed by the end. Now, Kujo is indeed a very appropriate complement to Victorique. Kujo and Victorique made a classic pairing the equal of Ryuuji and Taiga or any other pairing you can think of. Kujo does have some depth as a character. His backstory as a 3rd son of a samurai comes off well. His actions are often driven by that chip on his shoulder. But just as Kujo helps Victorique to grow as a character, Victorique provides the impetus for Kujo to grow into the man he always strived to be. The other characters of the series don't play much of a role which at first was a bit of a concern for me, but did not negatively impact the series at all. Avril is a pleasant character in her limited role, and Inspector Blois was my fav outside of the leading pair. One more critical element of GOSICK which combined with the story and characters really set the series apart was the music. The OP is good and both EDs are great. The 2nd ED, "unity," is so emotional following some of the more sentimental eps in the 2nd half of the series that it would nearly bring me to tears. Some people seem to like the 1st ED better, but particularly in context I disagree. One last thing (referring to the timing factor I mentioned in opening), GOSICK already has TDS written all over it. TDS, for those who don't know, is Toradora! Syndrome. I.e. the ability to spawn multiple imitators immediately after airing. And in the case of GOSICK, the imitators have so paled in comparison so far that it makes you appreciate the "original" even more. In conclusion, GOSICK is a truly special and unique series 9.5 out of 10 not just for quality but also for influence.