gosickGosick is anime that is based on the light novels by Kazuki  Sakuraba. Like the name implies, it has gothic overtones as well as nuances of a detective thriller. Set in 1924, Kazuya Kujo attends St. Margeurite Academy and accidentally stumbles upon Victorique, a doll-like young woman described as a ‘golden fairy’ that lives atop the library. Victorique is similar to Sherlock Holmes in her powers of deduction and ability to solve mysteries using her ‘Wellspring of Wisdom’, and is often the reason why her half-brother, a detective, is so successful. As the plot progresses, Kazuya discovers deeper machinations surrounding Victorique and her history, and becomes all the more embroiled in the mysteries surrounding her. An unlikely pairing, Kazuya and Victorique discover that they must rely on each other in order to survive.

gosick2Sadly, Gosick is a slow-starter. The earlier episodes focus on Victorique and Kazuya’s developing relationship which takes precedence over everything. Along the way Victorique solves difficult mysteries for her detective brother as a Gothic Lolita Sherlock Holmes (surrounded by books and even smoking her pipe). After sticking with the series for a bout six episodes, however, things start to shift into gear, with the mysteries bringing the characters closer to their own personal mysteries, and intrigue that is much closer to home. Throughout the plot there is enough drama and intensity to keep interest, with strokes of humour that both amuse and endear. Since Victorique is only 4′ 7″, she is positively adorable when angry.

With the main couple’s relationship being a very important factor, there are many subtle nuances and interesting quirks that really contribute here. However, the downside to this is that 90% of the supporting characters seem transient and pointless in contrast. Love rivals, illusionists and academy teachers all seem to fall by the wayside without leaving any personable impact. Victorique’s half-brother, Grevil, is the real exception, with his true colours coming out later having been masked with the same supposed forgettable-ness as everyone else. It’s a nice surprise.

Obviously the real great treasure visual-wise is Victorique herself. Diminuitive and doll-like and packing a whole lot of tsundere, she is Gothic Loli at its best and no doubt Gosick will attract an audience just for this only. Backgrounds are heavily detailed, especially where the surrounding architecture is concerned, and compliment the mood of the scene by subtly changing their lighting and rendering. Whilst not being known for its action sequences on the whole, it’s panoramas and still frames (such as Victorique within the academy library) do make up for it.

Gosick isn’t really what I prefer in my anime, but this was part of it’s appeal for me. It drew me in with its alluring characters and kept me interested with its deepening intrigue, dark overtones and developing relationships. I was glad I committed to its entirety, as I was not disappointed.