Home > Episode Reviews, Gosick > Gosick Episode 9 – Prepackaged Plots

Gosick Episode 9 – Prepackaged Plots

In an one of those openly self-referential scenes that are littered throughout The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, one character explains to another that all mystery novels have one basic requirement: that the detective protagonist continually stumble upon mystery after mystery, murder after murder, to provide continuing fodder for the plot.

In a similar way, Victorique—once again bored out of her mind—urges Kujou to stumble into some life-threatening mystery while he travels to the capital, to better feed her desire for mental stimulation. And what do you know? That’s exactly what happens.

I’m not certain if I like the open acknowledgment that mysteries will fall upon the protagonists simply because the plot says so. Earlier mysteries were typically willingly sought out by Victorique, or brought to her attention by Grevil, who gets referred things all the time thanks to his reputation. But Kujou’s ill luck, while it’s also been used as an excuse for mysteries, is beginning to wear a little thin by now.

Another meta-narrative technique, of each mystery corresponding to a ghost story or fairy tale (conveniently shared right before the mystery itself drops) is also stretching credulity at this point

This time, Kujou gets mistaken for someone important, apparently because the important guy is also Asian, and stumbles on to what appears to be both a stolen gem of inestimable worth being auction off, and what may be a human smuggling ring (at least, it involves one kidnapped girl stuffed in a box). Both crimes are running out of a major department store, where Kujou goes to buy souvenirs.

Really, the plot line is just bursting with cliches. Kujou goes to inform Grevil (also in town) who doesn’t believe him, particularly after they visit the department store and Kujou’s story doesn’t check out. Kujou then doubts his memory of the events, only to have the local lovable scamp street kid reveal how the store covered it up. Kujou then calls Victorique, only to be kidnapped off the street before he can explain the situation. Each of these plot devices has a well-earned spot on my “tune out when some lazy writer pulls this out” list.

This is a TV show, so orphan street rats are cute and helpful, not embittered pickpockets

The “You just have to believe me! I’m not crazy!” plot is a particular pet peeve of mine, and given how often Grevil has dismissed Kujou’s protestations only to have been proven wrong, one would think he would have learned by now. Even before they head to the department store and Kujou’s story doesn’t check out, Grevil is foolishly dismissive as always.

One of the more redeeming aspects of this episode, however, is that it’s beginning to give hints of why Grevil, too, might be suffering because of his family history. Grevil might enjoy the prestige of his reputation, but he also has to live up to it; everyone constantly expects great things from him. This episode raises real questions of whether he really wanted the life he is now living.

Granted, Grevil still seems like a jerk. He's just a jerk with better characterization now

But the real character development is saved for Victorique. Officially, she’s just as spoiled and unable to express her feelings as she was in previous episodes. She refuses to properly thank Kujou for his latest gift, avoids medical treatment when she becomes ill, and—as mentioned before—orders Kujou to find another dangerous mystery to keep her entertained.

But there is maturation involved. Victorique, despite her incredibly low pain threshold, still has bruises from when she saved Kujou last episode. (Some of her jerkish behavior early in the episode came from her desire to hide her wounds.) She is still carrying a physical reminder of how much she cares for Kujou, and what she was willing to do to save him. There’s little doubt that, even while ill and confined to bed miles away from the capital, she’ll find some way to come to his aid.

Another sign of Victorique's abiding affection for Kujou: Her conversation with him on the phone distracts her enough for her doctor and teacher to sneak in an injection. Despite also being cliche, Victorique's antics are consistently enjoyable

This is looking like another two episode arc, which is just as well, given how little I like the story this time around. But the development happening right now, and how Victorique’s past of abuse and neglect is still vying with her desire to enjoy a real human connection for the first time in her life, continues on regardless. And for that, I’ll tolerate some cliches in the interim.

You can watch the episode here.

This episode we discover that when Victorique is not at the library, she lives in a picturesque doll house located in the middle of a hedge maze. From the moment I saw it, I knew I had to get a shot of it into the review somehow, even at the expense of ignoring the stolen gem, the likely antagonists, or anything related to the mystery I don't really care about anyway

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