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Gosick – 16

 Posted by at 11:28 am  GOSICK, Spring 2011  3 Responses »
May 072011
 

Episode 16 -

Well, this episode was pretty much just all setup and buildup towards the main plot. While I am glad that the series is finally beginning to explore the main plot in more detail, the “rescue Victorique” plot in this episode felt a bit more on the weak side. There are still some glaring questions as to what role Kujo will be playing in the upcoming events surrounding Victorique, and not to mention, whether that “huge storm” that was hinted at earlier on in the series will be important or not.

The main thing I didn’t like about this episode is how convenient it was. I mean, Victorique was suddenly captured without any sort of warning, and taken away to a faraway convent. Aside from the randomness of the event itself, I figured that this might be a good time for Kujo to actually show that he could be a competent character, and actually deduct where Victorique was taken away to.

Instead, Kujo does practically no deductions or critical thinking by himself, and still manages to rescue Victorique. I mean, after receiving the letter from Victorique, Kujo literally laid around and did nothing for a while. Only after Grevil told him exactly where Victorique was located did Kujo jump into action. Heck, he was literally walked straight up to Victorique’s prison cell by Cordelia, who acted as his guide. Kujo remains as generic as ever here. Honestly speaking, they could just remove Kujo from this series altogether and make Victorique the main character; the series would be much better in many ways if they did that.

Also, the rescue of Victorique was a bit too easy in my eyes. I mean, it felt as if there was almost no difficulty in rescuing her; heck, it looked like Victorique could have walked out of the prison cell on her own. I guess the “kidnapping” was just a convenient plot device used to change the setting to the convent; there was literally no danger factor associated with the kidnapping, which made it very disappointing as a conflict.

What is much more intriguing about this episode, though, is all the hints with regards to the “bigger picture” mystery. I’ve been waiting for this series to start delving into the big mystery surrounding Victorique’s past, her mother Cordelia, the magician Roscoe, and the De Blois family. A lot of previous arcs do have some vague connections with what seems to be going on, where you could argue that entire arcs in this series seem to be simply giant hints at the mysteries that are to come. Arcs that come to mind here would be the Queen Berry arc, as well as the Gray Wolves Village arc, but it seems as if everything will start piecing together rather soon. Amidst all this, I’m curious as to what role Victorique and Kujo will be playing. I almost get the feeling that Kujo and Victorique are “shrimp among whales”, where they will be involved in a conflict of gigantic proportions, with some major power players seeming to be taking a part in here as well.

Overall Enjoyment: 3.6/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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Gosick – 15

 Posted by at 3:40 pm  GOSICK, Spring 2011  No Responses »
Apr 302011
 

Episode 15 -

Now this is the type of episode I’ve been waiting for. After a lot of the recent lackluster arcs, this one was probably one of the best made ones so far. And the best part here is that it all leads back to the main plot, with this Alchemist mystery being just a mere introduction to some future ominous events involving Victorique. There are some aspects to this episode that do bug me a little, but overall it was quite enjoyable.

What was well done about the conclusion to the Alchemist arc is how everything neatly tied back together. The backstory to the alchemist, the reasons behind the death of the king’s son, the secret Alchemist’s gold, everything was explained rather thoroughly. Like I’ve been mentioning in earlier posts, though, the mystery element for smaller cases like the alchemist aren’t very good. Honestly, the only reason why you couldn’t figure out some of the aspects behind the alchemist’s story was just from a sheer lack of information; it’s impossible to deduct entire backstories without proper hints and info. Victorique almost seems to have a “cheat sheet” in that regard, where her “fountain of wisdom” allows her to see the alchemist’s backstory with her very own eyes. Talk about convenient abilities.

Nevertheless, the mystery about the alchemist was a rather tragic, yet intriguing tale. The story was much more well thought out than I had anticipated, and did help reveal some more light on both Victorique’s past, as well as her opinion on it. What is striking about his tale, though, is that it does hold some parallels to Victorique’s situation. If you ignore the fact that the episode blatantly mentions their similarity, they both seem to share the fate of being used by others who are scheming things, as well as facing some rather dire circumstances.

What was nice about this arc, though, was how it is the beginnings to what looks like a major arc that will heavily involve Victorique’s past. There is the involvement of major characters such as Brian Roscoe, Cordelia, Victorique’s father, Grevil, and even the Sauberian royalty. The involvement of all these rather diverse figures (some of considerable influence) all serve to foreshadow at the coming major conflict that we’ve been been hearing about for a while; World War II.

I’ve always mentioned that this series was better at weaving it’s larger mysteries, while it’s individual mysteries in arcs turn out rather lacking. It’s pretty easy to see the culmination of that here, where all the little hints and bits of buildup from previous episodes all just highlight the increasingly important role Brian Roscoe, Cordelia, and Victorique’s family are all playing here. There is still little indication of what exactly is happening in the shadows here, but it certainly is perking my curiosity. The vague hints at World War II, and how Victorique seems to have been allowed into the De Blois family solely in preparation for the war, all do well in building up towards what looks like will be one heck of a final arc. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.

Overall Enjoyment: 4.1/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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Gosick – 14

 Posted by at 11:56 pm  GOSICK, Spring 2011  10 Responses »
Apr 222011
 

Episode 14 -

Surprisingly, we got another buildup episode here; I was actually expecting the arc to be resolved this episode, but instead we got the involvement of the illustrious Brian Roscoe here. His presence and direct involvement in the current case has major implications towards the main plot, especially if you consider the hostile conversation Roscoe has with Victorique. Kujo acts as his usual clueless self here, though, so there hasn’t really been any sort of character development here. This episode does perk my curiosity about Victorique’s past, that’s for sure.

This episode continues to delve deeper into the whole alchemist mystery, and while it is pretty obvious that the alchemist is a phony, the alchemist’s relationship to all the murders is still a mystery. The mystery here is actually pretty decent, with some proper buildup, and with the still scant details here really heightening the situation in question. Victorique’s prodding around certainly adds to the intrigue here, with her running across some rather odd situations and small hints.

The biggest point of interest here, though, would be Victorique’s meeting with Roscoe. The fact that they both are well aware of each other, as well as threatening each other’s very presence, was a rather tense scene that just adds to the mysteries surrounding Victorique’s past. Roscoe’s offhand comments certain make it seem that way at least, considering some of Victorique’s rather nasty retorts and reactions to his words.

Kujo and Avril feel strangely out of place amongst all the seriousness here, especially Avril with her “capture/keep Kujo” antics throughout the episode. I mean, romance is nice and all, but I feel as if it doesn’t quite fit in here. Aside from that though, the mystery is being fleshed out surprisingly well, and there is actually very little indications as to exactly how the mystery will turn out; that uncertainty is key in keeping things interesting, and I hope it stays that way up until the mystery is solved. That, and I’m very curious as to how Victorique and her past will become intertwined with the current ongoings here.

Overall Enjoyment: 3.6/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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Gosick – 13

 Posted by at 7:05 pm  GOSICK, Spring 2011  8 Responses »
Apr 152011
 

Episode 13 – The Fool Designates His own Mouthpiece – 愚者は己の代弁者を指名する(Gusha wa Onore no Daiben sha wo Shimei Suru)

Once again, it looks like this series is back to it’s small time mysteries, this time involving some weird alchemist from over two decades ago. It may just be me, but I’m finding this mystery very uninteresting and uninspired, and have little interest in this arc as of now. The only potential I see here is that, once again, Brain Roscoe seems to be involved in the entire situation; only this time, perhaps more involved than usual brief cameos he has been making (he was being interrogated by Grevil, after all). The developing love triangle between Kujou, Victorique, and Avril isn’t exactly something I’m fond of, but it does help show some of Victorique’s true feelings with regards to Kujou. Then again, her feelings regarding Kujou have been pretty obvious for a while now.

The love triangle between Kujou, Victorique, and Avril is something that anybody could have seen coming several episodes ago, but now that we know the two girls both care for Kujou, the change in character interactions and dynamics that come as a result is something I’m looking forward to see how it unfolds. It’s rather funny (and cute) seeing Victorique’s attitude towards Kujou this time around, where it’s become rather obvious how she has a soft spot for him. Kujou, of course, is as typically oblivious as most male anime protagonists.

The Leviathan alchemist story, in my opinion, wasn’t terribly interesting for the most part. The mystery is admittingly better than usual here, though it just might be because of the lack of  information regarding the situation What I am a bit puzzled by is how in the world the Leviathan story is connected with the current murder, and not to mention, this current murder seems to involve the ever elusive Brian Roscoe. Perhaps we’ll finally know the significance to his existence, and what his appearance in the story means in the long term. I mean, we haven’t seen Brian Roscoe do anything important in the story so far (except for occasionally show his face, that is), so it’s kind of tough to assume him as a villain until we learn more details about him.

As of now, though, this entire episode was mostly build up with some occasional silly moments. Aside from that, I wasn’t terribly enthralled here. The mystery felt kind of random, especially random in the sense that Victorique was somehow absolutely compelled to solve this case. I don’t quite see all the connections between all the events going on here, and is certainly making me ponder about the mystery, which is an improvement over the more simple mysteries of previous arcs. Overall, though, the mystery from this episode just doesn’t feel very compelling, and the suspense here still feels a bit on the weak side. Roscoe’s presence does serve as foreshadowing for some major events in the near future, though, so seeing how this turns out should be worth seeing in future episodes.

Overall Enjoyment: 3.7/5

Screenshots and new ED theme are later in the post.

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Gosick – 12

 Posted by at 10:05 pm  GOSICK, Spring 2011  2 Responses »
Apr 082011
 

Episode 12 – The Voices of Cicadas are Heard on Summer Afternoons – 夏の午後に蝉(せみ)の声を聞く (Natsu no Gogo ni Semi no Koe o Kiku)

This episode was pretty much just filler, with Kujo telling Victorique a bunch of riddles. The episode itself wasn’t entirely pointless, though; it did go into a bit more depth regarding Kujo’s backstory, which hasn’t been done in the series so far. That being said, Kujo’s actual backstory isn’t exactly too far off from what this series has been blatantly hinting at in earlier episodes, making his backstory rather unsurprising. In the end, this was just a slow paced episode meant to flesh out Kujo a bit more, which certainly can’t hurt.

That being said, aside from the details we learn about Kujo, there wasn’t much else worth noting from this episode. Like I said earlier, the episode literally consisted of Kujo and Victorique exchanging some riddles and stuff.

I’ll admit that Victorique was very cutesy this episode, though, where it’s crystal clear that Victorique has come to care for Kujo a lot. Her reactions to a lot of what happened this episode were funny in a cute way, though there was little else aside from that.

Surprisingly, the mystery element from previous episodes was pretty much absent here, which was a rather refreshing change. That, and Victorique’s change in clothes was a refreshing change as well.

Either ways, this episode was a rather peaceful, uneventful episode revolving around Victorique and Kujo. Character development never hurts, although I seriously would like to see this show get back on track with regards to the main plot.

Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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Gosick – 11

 Posted by at 11:34 am  GOSICK, Winter 2011  2 Responses »
Apr 022011
 

Episode 11 – The Drill Speaks Eloquently of Love – そのドリルは雄弁に愛を語る(Sono Doriru wa Yuuben ni ai o Kataru)

We haven’t really gotten any sort of development for Grevil in this series so far, so this episode came as a rather surprise. Who would’ve guessed that there was actually a decent story behind Grevil’s hairstyle? As usual, the small time mysteries in this series are rather lacking, but the focus on the rather odd Grevil and Victorique relationship certainly was a rather interesting surprise. Not to mention, this episode explains why Grevil always solves mysteries by indirectly talking to the “squirrel” Kazuya. The darker backstory to the two siblings certainly is a point of interest, which all clues you back to the big overarching plot that this series has been hinting at for a while now.

The episode’s central focus is on how Grevil got his odd hairstyle, which surprisingly enough, was because of Victorique’s “price” for solving a mystery for him. The mystery ended up involving Grevil’s love interest, and seeing how his romance developed (and eventually turned into an unrequited one, or so it seems), did bring us some unexpected perspective upon Grevil’s seemingly nonchalant characterization. There is a layer of complexity to his character that we haven’t really seen up till this point, which made this episode more enjoyable to watch unfold.

As usual, though, the small mysteries in this series outright suck. The murder of the veterinarian was completely obvious to be a setup that framed Grevil’s love interest as the murderer. Honestly speaking, considering the time period, maybe (very sarcastic here) people would believe a stupid superstition that the dead vet came back to write upon the old lady’s arm. Either that, or just maybe, logically speaking, just maybe the old lady wrote the stuff on her arm herself. Using superstition to try and frame someone is utterly stupid, and definitely does not bode well for the mysteries in this series. If this was in more older times, say, before the scientific revolution, superstitious stuff like this might have fit better in the setting, but this story is happening in the time period after World War I (aka the Great War). There is no way in hell superstitious evidence should hold up in such a modern society.

Anyways, aside from my random ramblings on this episode, the backstory to both Victorique and Grevil was certainly an unexpected surprise. This all does vaguely tie back to Roscoe, Victorique’s mother, and the fact that Victorique was locked away in a tower, which definitely has got me more curious about the larger mystery that we’ve yet to see yet. Gosick excels when it comes to building up towards the large mystery that encompasses the entire cast, but the small mysteries in between are really lacking. I really hope Gosick continues to build up and focus on that larger mystery that this series has continuously been hinting at.

Overall Enjoyment: 3.7/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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Gosick – 10

 Posted by at 4:51 pm  GOSICK, Winter 2011  3 Responses »
Mar 142011
 

Episode 10 – Girl With a Cold Dreams of Her Stubborn Friend – 風邪(かぜ)ひきは頑固な友人の夢をみる (Kaze Hiki wa Gankona Yuujin no Yume o Miru)

This episode actually was pretty good, but then again, it was much less focused on mystery and more focused on the actual police raid of the shop. Because of that, there really wasn’t much that the episode could really mess up. In the end it was Victorique that solved the mystery, but I did like seeing Grevil and Kujo as the ones trying to solve the mystery. I still prefer Victorique as the central character in the story, but at least Grevil and Kujo proved that they can somewhat handle things on their own. As for the actual revelations of the secrets behind the mystery, the truth was rather typical mystery fare, but the little twist here seems to be the involvement of Brian Roscoe.

The mystery itself was nothing really special in the sense that it was nothing seriously complex or unique. I mean, just based on the fact that there was a ragged young girl that was being held captive in the shop, you could kind of guess that there was some sort of illegal human trafficking involved. The blue rose gemstone that Kujo held in the last episode also was a dead giveaway that something big was going on there, which is probably why I wasn’t surprised at all once the episode revealed the truth. The key to this episode wasn’t the mystery though, but rather the actual chain of events that led to the actual arrests.

While the palmprint method used by the police was a little unorthodox and unnecessary, it got the job done, and certainly amped the tension in the atmosphere. I guess you could say that the police raid was one of the most interesting parts to this episode. The lady-turned-martial-arts-specialist was a bit sudden, but nothing really impossible to explain. In the end, the way in which Kujo and Grevil cooperated to make the raid a success was rather nice to see, even if it was really short.

The bigger point of intrigue here is the hint at some involvement from Brian Roscoe. For those that don’t remember, Roscoe is both the magician that stole Kujo’s textbooks earlier, as well as the guy who was involved with providing electricity to the Village of the Gray wolves. His continued appearances suggests a strong correlation with all the shady activity with his presence, and if you consider how Roscoe seems to have a strong relationship with Cordelia, Victorique may very well play into all of this too. Not to mention, we got some flashbacks showing us Victorique’s dark confinement alone in a tower. There is obviously some sort of connection, though things still remain kind of vague as of now.

Either ways, this episode was a good way at showcasing Kujo and Grevil in action (it’s not like they did much though). This series does continue to hint at how there is more going on in the background than you may think, with the presence of Roscoe and potentially Cordelia certainly adding more to the intrigue.

Overall Enjoyment: 3.8/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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Gosick – 09

 Posted by at 11:20 am  GOSICK, Winter 2011  3 Responses »
Mar 052011
 

Episode 09 – Blue Roses Bloom in the Cannibal Department Store – 人食いデパートに青薔薇(ばら)は咲く (Hitogui Depaato ni Ao Bara wa Saku)

Why does the story keep on turning out so mediocre for this series? I really do like the characters (well, mainly Victorique), but having likable characters will only take a series so far. I mean, a lot of the stuff going on here just reflects how simple-minded some of these characters are, and really makes me wonder sometimes if this show was meant to be more of a comedy. There are still some unanswered mysteries here, but considering how previous mysteries in this show have had some very weak conclusions, I wouldn’t really get my hopes up. At least it does look like the show will be hinting at some sort of connection with that magician from the last arc, and by default links back to both Victorique and her mother.

There are quite a few big common sense issues with this episode. One, how in the world did you mix up Kujo with a client for stolen national treasures? There is no way someone could mix up Kujo with another person (even if the client was an another asian guy) just based on age, name, and other descriptors (perhaps a keyword or phrase) that any logical black market dealer would have to validate a client’s identity. Second, how in the world did Kujo just randomly gain access to the “Staff ONLY” floor? It’s not like you could just stumble in on accident; you need specific keys and such to even get access to such a floor, so obviously something is wrong here as well. Third, about the girl that was shut up in the box; the box wasn’t locked, so why in the world did she even stay inside it in the first place? The kidnappers that seem to be holding that girl imprisoned did an extremely poor job of keeping her confined; she could have literally just opened the box and ran away if she wanted to.

Seriously, there are just a ton of issues in general with the situation itself, and for mysteries (where situation plays a critical role in how the mystery plays out) this does NOT help at all. To add insult to injury, the logic of some of the characters is just outright ignorant/stupid. Of course, the inspector doesn’t suspect a single thing about the department store because Kujo seemed to be “seeing things”. Well, duh, any competent criminal would cover their own tracks. No wonder the Inspector never solves his own cases; he just trusts whatever everybody says, even the suspected culprit over the testimony of the witness. It’s always Victorique behind the scenes solving everything, and now it’s pretty obvious why.

There are a few hints at a legitimate mystery here, with the inclusion of the ghost story in the beginning of the episode and a few other hints. There is the question as to why in the world there seems to be a connection between selling off stolen national treasures and detaining human girls alongside mannequins. There are vague connections between all these seemingly disparate events, but considering that it’s all happening in the same building, obviously something is amiss. It’s rather difficult to see any sort of connection as of now, but I’m expecting some sort of outrageous situation to explain all this.

The only real redeeming aspect to this episode was probably Victorique’s character development. Through her sickness we get to see just how much she misses Kujo (and she herself realizes this). Victorique has become much more reliant and dependent on Kujo, and in that sense she has changed from her status as the lonesome “golden fairy” that lived in the gardens atop a grand library. The other thing worth noting is actually based on the next episode preview, not this episode. We see the magician seemingly make a brief appearance again, which is a big indication of an outside organization being involved with everything going on. All the mysteries surrounding Kujo and Victorique have for the most part, in some way or form, connected to this magician and whatever organization he is a part of, and not to mention explicitly linked to both Cordelia (Victorique’s mother) as well as Victorique herself. This larger mystery will probably continue to be hinted at for a while, and considering the 24 episode length to this series, I wouldn’t expect a proper explanation until the last few episodes. At least the buildup is consistent, which should make the arc surrounding this unknown factor much more interesting.

Overall Enjoyment: 2.8/5

Screenshots are later in the post.

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