Home > Episode Reviews, Gosick > Gosick Episode 16 – Lost Without You

Gosick Episode 16 – Lost Without You

Gosick, as always, seems intent on taking with one hand even while it gives with the other. This episode builds on something from the last arc that I wasn’t expecting to come back up: the rivalry between Saubure’s Occult Ministry (led by one Marquis de Blois) and the Science Ministry (which led the push to discredit the alchemist Leviathan twenty years ago). Their bickering has continued ever since, and the events of this episode look ready to rip that open once again.

This episode also follows through with another link from last episode: that de Blois would eventually relocate his daughter Victorique to a more secure location to continue his own plans. This was suggested last episode, but having it come so quickly ruins the sense of foreboding that the series could have milked if it stretched out the wait for an arc or two—or for that matter, if it didn’t reunite Kujou with Victorique by the end of a single episode.

Overall, though, this episode manages to get the core right: It’s all about Kujou and Victorique. Even better, the mystery elements are increasingly supplemented with a far more interesting puzzle. Roscoe and de Blois are beginning to target each other directly, and in that fight, the entire history of their decades-long conflict is about to be unearthed.

When being taken away, Victorique insists on being allowed to write a note to Kujou. I suppose she wanted to make sure there wasn't any ambiguity in their relationship

It begins with Grevil coming to relocate Victorique to a Lithuanian convent called Beelzebub’s Skull; Lithuania having a long history of healthy relations with Saubure. When Victorique goes on a hunger strike (out of defiance or despair, take your pick), Grevil defies his father’s instructions and tips Kujou off to her location. Obstensibly it’s because he’s worried she’ll die before his father’s plan comes to fruition, but Grevil’s affection for his sister might actually have grown a bit.

Armed with a location and an invite to the convent, Kujou departs only (of course) to find things at the convent are more active than one would expect. Beelzebub’s Skull has a long history, including once hosting a project for Saubure’s Science Ministry,which may or may not have been behind a “miracle” that destroyed the Germans who bombed the place during WWI.

Repeat after me: Aside from prophecy and perhaps the Gray Wolves themselves, the supernatural does not exist in Gosick's setting—meaning the Science Ministry will almost certainly be behind this

For the recent past, at least, the convent has been a regular host for Phantasmagoria, a monthly magician’s gathering/carnival that is famed throughout Europe. This gives Kujou an ostensible reason to visit, and a good reason for plenty of other people to come as well, but it is, of course, completely out of place for the setting.

Once again I’m compelled to go on a little rant on how, no, convents are not used for circuses, illusionist exhibitions, or seances, how Marian apparitions are not invoked by nuns as curses, or how no self-respecting religious house would ever let itself be called Beelzebub’s Skull. For that matter, I could point out that Lithuania didn’t exist as a sovereign national entity back in 1914 when there were supposed “good relations” between it and Saubure, but to hell with it. Despite occasional references to the historical record, Gosick hasn’t tried to be particularly accurate in its portrayal of European history, save in reference to the wars.

I think this might be a culture misunderstanding again. Convents are like Shinto shrines, only European; shrines hold festivals; carnivals are European festivals, therefore convents hold carnivals. It almost makes sense when put that way

The point of Victorique being there, it seems, is to lure Brian Roscoe into revealing himself on ground he feels comfortable. Aside from having an excuse to visit thanks to the magic shenanigans, Roscoe had been there a decade prior to work out a deal with the Science Ministry, apparently just to find another way to stick it to de Blois.

The deal didn’t go well for Roscoe then, it seems, but he comes all the same, with his own set of plans to upset his rival. It may be that part of that including having Cordelia impersonate her daughter and guide Kujou to Victorique, or she could have been acting on her own initiative. In that case, there are three plotters working at cross purposes.

Roscoe and Cordelia certainly seem amiable whenever they are together, with no hints of tension between them. I can't believe that is the full truth of their relationship, though

Four, I should say, as now that Victorique has Kujou back, she’ll likely be inspired to join in the fray herself. We the audience still don’t have the slightest idea what that fray will look like, nor what Roscoe and de Blois have as ultimate goals besides the destruction of the other. But it should be an interesting time watching all that play out.

While bringing Victoria and Kujou back together this quickly killed a great source of dramatic tension, it makes sense in one respect. Being about the two of them coming together, the show really can’t work when it keeps them apart. It’s better that Gosick just acknowledges that and moves on.

I could end with a shot of Simon Hunt, a clockmaker who will play some role next episode, or Jupiter Roget, the science ministry head from ten years prior. But somehow, this just seemed more appropriate

You can watch the episode here.

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  1. June 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm

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