Originally a light novel series by Sakuraba Kazuki, Gosick (which may be a play on the word “Gothic”), is set in the fictional European country of Sauville where Kujo Kazuya, the third son of a high ranking officer in the Japanese Imperial Army, begins attending the prestigious St. Marguerite Academy. He quickly discovers that almost everybody in the country is enamoured with tales of the supernatural, and one of the strangest tales of a golden fairy who lives at the top of a tower …It’s been too long since I saw that ED, that’s got to be one of the nicest pieces of animation I’ve ever seen.
I had forgotten how incredible this anime looks. The academy is beautiful, the character design is unique and the botanical garden in the library, as absurd as those words sound strung together, is just the nicest looking place in the world. The Buddha himself, armed with a hundred kilos of weed and a copy of Bob Marley’s Legend, could not even approach the levels of relaxation that come from reading in a lofty well lit botanical garden. This is a really great anime if you go in with the right mindset and expectations. The plot is generally well constructed and the basic premise is actually quite interesting, the story line can be divided into micro-scale and macro-scale subplots. On the micro-scale we have Victorique and Kujo’s adventures/mysteries. These are initially little, stand-alone mysteries that revolve around the legends of the academy where they study. As the series progresses the mysteries become interlinked with more important and far-reaching issues.
Because the series is set in 1920’s Europe, GoSick has a very continental look to it that’s reflected in the clothing, buildings, and even modes of transportation, and the majority of the background artwork is implemented rather well. There has also been a decent attempt at giving the majority of the characters a vaguely European caste to their features, and this can sometimes contrast nicely with the somewhat stereotypical design used for Kujo. The one oddity is Victorique as everything from her height to her clothing is very different to that of everyone around her, which raises an interesting thought. GoSick is, at heart, a detective drama, and in the spirit of tradition the leading sleuth must have something that visibly sets them apart from everyone else. In this case, it’s a loli wearing ruffles, lace, and a charming array of bonnets. Even though the series is generally categorized as shounen, whether you’re a shoujo fan or a shounen fan I feel that GoSick strikes a good balance between the two. I think they could have spiced up some of the earlier mysteries, developed the side characters a bit more, and made Victorique struggle a bit more with the detective work but overall it was exactly what I wanted to see when I watched it. This series is really great for spring rainy days, where you just want to curl up in bed because it’s too grey and wet to go outside.