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Archive for the ‘Gosick’ Category

Gosick Episode 24 – Cheating Fate

So, there are no mysteries to solve, the Occult Ministry is finally put to rout, and both our protagonists face mortal peril with their beloved on the other end of the world. This episode, even more than the last, is utterly unlike anything Gosick has done before. It reveals a hidden psychological depth to Cordelia’s relationship with Brian Roscoe (perhaps Brian and Roscoe?) and explains why last episode ends with Roscoe trying to kill Victorique.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly given how little regard I had for the crime-solving aspects of the show, the finale has some of the most emotionally effecting events yet, precisely because of this divergence. Also to my surprise, the show then tries for a happy ending that all but neuters what came before. I’m still trying to decide how much it ruins the story for me.
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Gosick Episode 23 – Ending with a Bang

Well, I wasn’t expecting that.

For a show as predictable as this one, it bears repeating: Gosick drops several narrative bombs this episode, each seemingly more explosive than the last, and none of them were plot points I would have guessed. When the literal explosions start and much of the named cast faces mortal peril, the usual rules of Gosick have obviously been upended. And it’s great; I’m only disappointed it took this long to reach this point.

Most surprising in all this is that Kujou and Victorique remain apart. Once Victorique is secure and under observation to block any suicide attempt, Kujou gets deported back to Japan. Although on opposite sides of Eurasia, the two are together in spirit, but not in body. The long-anticipated separation has begun, and it looks permanent.
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Gosick Episode 22 – Repeating Past Misakes

What seemed from the preview to be a lighthearted Christmas themed episode quickly turns more serious, as Gosick finally moves into its final act. It feels like it’s been Christmas for a long time, with the previous arc exploring Victorique’s historical connections to the holiday. Much of the rest of this episode also feels like it has been done before, and not in a good way.

The Occult Ministry under Albert de Blois is about to take action and Victorique, his key pawn, is crucial to that end. Of course, the show has been running off of this plot outline since episode 16, this being the third time de Blois has dragged his daughter away from the academy in what poses as a permanent separation from Kujou, for reasons that seem rather pointless in retrospect. While this instance does seem to be more serious than the previous ones (and not just because there are only two episodes left), it’s not quite a “third time’s the charm” scenario, either. Much of the emotional potency this event should have had is muted by the force of repetition.
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Gosick Episode 21 – Seeing Double

I once puzzled about why Gosick was set in a fictional country, but given how important the particular actions of the invented royal family has been, I suppose that serves as an explanation in itself. Much like the Leviathan arc before it (which has integral ties to this plot line), this mystery reveals the dark secret history of Saubure—and gives Victorique another bargaining chip against her oppressors.

This story line thus advances the plot, but it does leave a few plot holes in need of solving, most particularly how Victorique is playing a double game against her father and getting away with it. Despite solving the basic mystery of how the Queen’s severed head jumped locations, Victorique plays dumb about the culprit of the murder and his motivation. Particularly since that’s the information de Blois would most want, I’m surprised he lets her get away with it.
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Gosick Episode 20 – Watson’s Role

Well, it was a good thing I admitted I didn’t have a clue where Gosick would be heading this episode, because what I would have guessed was wrong. Even what few comments I did make didn’t pan out, as Victorique was summoned not to sleuth out a crime about to occur, but one that happened long ago. Shortly before World War I the exiled queen Coco Rose was murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, and for some reason the Occult Ministry wants the crime solved now.

Probably, given their interest, de Blois thinks his nemesis Jupiter Roget and the Science Ministry had something to do with it, and is looking for his daughter to provide the proof. It’s for that purpose that he drags her into the city, to view all the evidence he can muster. This is Victorique’s chance to prove her worth, or show that she’s not worth the trouble of keeping around. On a meta-level, this is also the challenge facing Kujou—to prove, twenty episodes in, that he has a role to play.
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Gosick Episode 19 – Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future

One narrative challenge that Gosick has continually faced is the problem of the set-up episode. For most multi-episode arcs, the first episode is always about laying out the scene of the crime (often the crime doesn’t even happen until the second episode) and providing a greater context for how what is about to occur fits into the wider world of the show.

This time, only the scarcest amount of attention is paid to the set-up for the crime next episode (which will revolve around a play about Coco Rose, a former queen of Saubure who fell from grace after she proved barren), and the gap is filled by filling in the gaps Victorique’s (and Cordelia’s) back story. Far more than it looks forward to next episode, this week’s offering looks back to how it all began, and to the tragic ending that eventually awaits our heroes.
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Gosick Episode 18 – Spy Games

Last episode ended with our heroes on a train escaping a flooding convent and declaring their loyalty and devotion to each other. I suppose it would be unfair to expect this episode to match that level of dramatic intensity. But while it provides a necessary wrap up to Victorique and Kujou’s foray into Lithuania, this time around the show feels decidedly less engrossing. Until the very end, it’s more about literally nameless characters engaging in machinations under Victorique’s knowing eye (and Kujou’s clueless one).

To be fair, the episode does attempt to build up a certain degree of empathy toward some of these other characters, particularly the younger ones. But with less than an episode to work with, there’s a limit to what can be done. I’m told by those familiar with the light novels that a full volume was crammed into this episode; perhaps in its original format the story of these side characters would have been fleshed out to the point where proper drama could be done.

Of course, it’s also possible the volume was a wreck and the show did us a favor for rushing through it as quickly as possible. Either way, I’m happy it’s over and we can move on.
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Categories: Episode Reviews, Gosick