Check-in Station: Gosick eps 1-5 (My loli would like the poop with her dessert.)
You’ll have to forgive me if I didn’t have very high hopes for this Gosick (I seem to have said that about a lot of series in the past six months). The initial artwork gave me the feeling that the production staff was trying to appeal to the case closed crowd who wanted something cuter, with a distinct change of setting. And while I may not actually be wrong in the end, I can at least say that this series has been somewhat entertaining at least. And it has done a hell of a job not angering me or disappointing me even up to this early stage.
The most striking element of this series to me (besides Grevil’s pompous, ridiculous hair style) is Victorique, of course. Small, doll-like, blonde and terribly cute, you would have a terrible time distinguishing her from jumbo sized doll from the Victorian age. It appears some people in the story have that problem as well. I can’t say her personality is very distinct, but it does work for her. Being a constantly bored genius who’s stuck in a tall, tall tower is bound to make you eccentric. I can’t conjure up any complaints about her, though the mysteries thrown her way so far have yet to make me impressed by her powers of deduction. But that’s a somewhat different subject from the actual character I’m talking about so I’ll move on.
Victorique’s partner (or servant depending on how you look at it) is Kujo. Who strangely is getting the same treatment most foreigners get when they visit Japan. His Japanese features make him somewhat of an outcast. And he’s easily linked to some of the urban legends the fictional country of Sauville is so obsessed with. He’s kind of endemic of the trend of rather boring, predictable male protagonists that are so popular in anime. I could very well compare him to one or two male protagonists from this season alone. He’s quite boring, but does have his good points, good moments and helps provide some good comedy. And it appears his luck does easily earn him the student given nickname of Reaper.
The world of Gosick appears to be quite beautifully rendered. It hasn’t dipped in production value from the first episode as best as I can tell. Colors pop beautifully, the characters are all dressed in what appears to be an appropriate way, but I’m definitely no expert on the period, or on Europe in that area. So to be on the safe side I will say it’s all beautiful and consistent so far.
The things that annoy me about Gosick mainly revolve around the main point of the show. The mysteries. The first episode’s is very weak, but I don’t really count it against the show since I believe it was merely an introduction. Victorique herself admits that it’s a very weak mystery. What bothered me more was how a mystery novice like myself was able to easily keep up with the mysteries in episode two and three, the Queen Berry episodes. If the show really wants us to be entertained and impressed by its mysteries it will have to do better than that. The mystery featured in episodes four and five felt a bit more clever and seemed to use the urban legends and ghost stories surrounding the school much better. And since this show quite clearly wants us to love it for these mysteries I expect some consistent and accelerated improvement.
Another element that gets on my nerves revolves around how Victorique goes about solving some of her mysteries. It’s a minor complaint, but she seems to use elements that not only the audience couldn’t hope to draw from, but also elements that even people in the story might find impossible to use. My best example involves a bottle of wine on the Queen Berry. My best guess is that perhaps this isn’t lazy or fortuitous writing, but a way of showing there’s something special and supernatural about Victorique. She’s obviously not a normal little girl. The question is whether she’s a genius or something more. The story so far has squashed all attempts at the supernatural with logic, but it’s too early in the show to say that that will always be true. It’s an intriguing thing to think about. And one of the things that keeps me holding on to hopes this show will prove itself to be very good instead of merely average.
Through a mere five episodes I can’t say I’m impressed by Gosick. But I will admit that I’ve found something mildly entertaining and endearing about the story and setting. I suppose it’s the fact that it’s a nice change of pace that keeps me coming back week after week, as opposed to the mysteries themselves. I believe that I can put up with this show for twenty-four episodes, and I think I may be watching something special. I’ll just have to keep going and see if my tour of Sauville will keep me entertained.