A Doll Told Me My Future - Musings on Gosick

I picked up Gosick around mid-season (ep14, I think), and chose the fansub group Victorique for it. Since I was relatively pleased with them, I didn't have a need to go and experiment with the other groups (although I doubt Crunchyroll would really have done a better job). The release schedule was slightly slower than others, but it didn't really bother me all that much since I didn't really need to see the episode the moment it aired.

...I was pulled in quickly and quietly.

Gosick was apparently touted as a loli Sherlock Holmes, but it really wasn't mystery of any kind. I was reminded of Ghost Hunt as I watched it; there were mysteries in the episodes, but it wasn't the kind that the viewer could really solve. A lot of the information was not given until Victorique (the main character) actually solved it herself. Due to that, this anime became about watching the interaction between the two main characters, with some attention paid to the background.

Spoilers as to the dynamic? Although it's in the OP.

It was of good quality, with some well-done scenes being repeated (as they were mostly of the sprawling school yard, it wasn't really noticeable). The character designs were slightly ridiculous, in it that Victorique was so tiny with a large head of hair and even bigger dresses, but that wasn't the most absurd part. Detective Grevil's drill-like hair was not only reminiscent of the theme of Gurren Lagann but also insanity (with some blatant defiance of gravity thrown in). Characters didn't really have insane hair, other than Grevil, so it wasn't that terrible. For the most part, the animation flowed into the background for me, where it should be.

So raspberries is your button, hm...

This was set in an alternate timeline's version of 1924 in the country of Sauville (which does not exist in this reality, by the way). The Japanese exchange student Kujo began attending St Marguerite Academy and was shunned due to his differences (such as being the only student to have such dark hair and eyes). He stumbled upon the Golden Fairy of the Library, Victorique (who is actually just another student herself who chooses to be truant). Immediately being pulled in by the tsundere's charms, the episodes were in a Mystery of the Week format (although they do tend to last more than an episode each, so really several weeks) wherein Victorique solved the mysteries brought to her by Kujo (and he also proclaimed eventually that he was the only one that can gather the kind of information that she needed). The latter half fully introduced an elaborate story that ran in the background for the most part as the MofW situation continued. The story was really nothing new; I've seen several versions of this in many different anime. With a story that ran solidly, for better or worse, the focus of the anime was really on the characters.

This pretty much summarizes what their roles are, too.

Story Presentation
The mysteries weren't really mysteries; information was presented in a way that would have most impact, so a lot of times all the required facts and occurrences were not provided until it was time for the mystery to be solved. This would definitely turn off anyone that came here looking for mysteries. On top of that, the same concepts were often repeated in various scenes, capitalizing on Victorique's tsundere ways and how Kujo quietly took it. If I hadn't liked those scenes, I would venture to say that the presentation was very stale and repetitive, introducing very little new things while repeating similar situations in lieu of honest development. However, I did like those scenes, so none of things bothered me at all. The anime took a darker turn in the latter half, with the introduction of the Marquis, since things like death occurred, but the overall tone was retained. That is, until the very end. Without spoiling the story, here's as much as I can say: the ending was terribad. It seemed rushed, with constant time skips (or maybe that was in my head; such was the extremely confusing presentation), and a severe lack of explanations. Things just happened because they could. To be fair, the entire anime had taken this route, so it wasn't too much of a jump from the rest of the episodes. I just expected more.

This trap could easily be defeated with a pair of shears.

The characters were, ultimately, extremely full of cliches. Victorique was the cute loli that had a terrible past that made her jaded (although nothing can really explain her tsundere nature). Kujo quietly withstood her misbehaving ways, becoming attached to her but not even realizing it (although everyone else saw it). There were lots of flashbacks that characters had been "evil" or had behaved very rudely to each other in the past, but in the time that we saw them, their actions with each other were amicable. That kind of inconsistency was a little annoying. And yes, it is inconsistency when relationships strengthen with no development in between. Regardless of that, I adored Victorique and I grew very attached to the interaction between her and Kujo. I didn't expect incredible development (this was a character-driven anime, not one focused on character development) and so I wasn't disappointed.

So he is yours to trade, I see.

Final Words
I would only recommend this if one knew what type of anime this was and has liked previous incarnations. There was nothing ground-breaking or astonishing in any aspect with this anime. It utilized cliches to present several cute things that would be disjointed without those said cliches. Mystery-lovers searching for mysteries like the ones presented with Sherlock Holmes would be disappointed. However, this anime does allow one to pick up some mystery-solving tactics (like understanding how it was done after being presented a full solution). Only if you can swallow the kind of interaction between a loli-tsundere and her foil would you really like this anime. (Luckily for me, I could and so I did.)

Embarrassed, with cavities, and trying to be cute?

Scoring - [6.5/10]
In the end, I really fell for the traps set out for me. I wanted to watch every episode that came out after I caught up to it, instead of waiting until the very end to finish it. Despite the overused cliches and the lack of real story, I think the end package was really done well. The major docking of points occurred due to the terrible ending; otherwise, this anime would have done better.