Home > Episode Reviews, Gosick > Gosick Episode 12 – A Midsummer Day’s Dream

Gosick Episode 12 – A Midsummer Day’s Dream

Gosick has almost entirely abandoned its mystery elements to focus on the characters and their development, and I really can’t say anything negative about the shift. The mysteries have always been most interesting for how they serve as metaphors or triggers to discuss Victorique than they have been on their own merits. Getting rid of the narrative middleman has been one of the best things the show has done.

Victorique, obviously, has had her share of the limelight, as befits her status as the lead. Grevil, too, has gotten plenty of attention recently. But Kujou, despite being the primary point of view character for the series, has been comparatively neglected for the past several episodes. That begins to change here.

Kujou's family, waving him goodbye, seems perfectly supportive and loving. Looks can be deceiving

The episode begins with Victorique and Kujou having one of their classic spats. Avril invites Kujou to visit with her during the Academy’s summer break, but when he goes to ask Victorique for permission, she starts browbeating him before he can get a word in. Frustrated by her selfishness, he barges off in a huff.

The problem is that Victorique, with her phenomenal intelligence and deductive ability, knew exactly why he had come. But without the emotional maturity to match her intelligence, she couldn’t express how much she wanted him to stay, so she drives him off so she can assert some semblance of control.

The reasons for Victorique's behavior is remarkably transparent to the viewer. One sign of Kujou's growing maturity is that it's increasingly transparent to him too

It’s one of those dynamics that has repeated throughout their relationship, but here Kujou finally makes a breakthrough in how he deals with it. Just as he is about to board the train with Avril, he witnesses a family boarding and realizes what Victorique would feel all alone at the Academy. And so he apologizes to Avril and returns.

One thing this episode emphasizes is something that has often been suggested: Kujou’s own situation makes him uniquely sympathetic to Victorique’s plight. For Kujou, too, is absent from his family. Kujou, too, has less than pleasant relationships with his father and brothers.

Avril is surprisingly forgiving about Kujou backing out at the last minute, understanding that there are things you just have to do for friends. Once she finds out that friend is a girl, however ...

We get a better glimpse of that relationship, with the relentless pressure Kujou felt from his father to match the accomplishments of his older brothers, and his continual failures. We see how his mother and particularly his sister responded by over-coddling him, further driving a wedge between him and the other men of the family. And we see how Kujou has used his status as an exchange student to escape that world entirely.

At least, outwardly. In his first days on campus he still was entrapped in a world where he was “the third son of a soldier”—basing all his actions and decisions on that one fragment of his identity. Victorique comments on how he doesn’t make such proclamations anymore, and declares the change (correctly) to be a positive one.

Kujou outgrows his fear of lightning not because he learns lightning isn't to be feared, but because he learns to fear his father more

It’s that newfound identity, as much as his increased toleration for Victorique’s antics, that demonstrates this. In fact, one could say that the former is the cause of the latter. Kujou’s web of relationships is increasingly changing toward Victorique occupying the center.

Victorique, for her part, is slowly being more open with herself, even if she can’t be exactly honest with Kujou. To some extent she recognizes her behavior as childish—although the recognition doesn’t keep her from doing it anyway—and she is slowly learning to be considerate of Kujou at least some of the time.

As much as the show is devoted to character development, Victorique engages in her usual tsundere antics—much to Kujou's detriment

The addition of serious character development makes an episode which is outwardly about two people lazily drifting through their summer vacation into something far more interesting, and engaging. The presentation of this episode feels almost like something out of a slice of life series like K-On!, where cute girls do nothing in a cute fashion. But slice-of-life shows would never disrupt the status quo by actually letting their characters grow up.

Sometime soon, probably next episode, the show will have to return to its mystery format. We’ll see more murders, thefts, and other assorted acts of villainy. And they’re either be so obvious or obtuse as to completely miss the point of proper crime stories.

The closest thing to a mystery this series has is a pair puzzles Victorique and one of Kujou's brothers exchange over post. Of course, Victorique has the better of it

But Kujou and Victorique will still be growing throughout, and slowly overcoming their particular family circumstances. And that has always been worth following.

You can watch the episode here.

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  1. April 29, 2011 at 7:32 pm

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