Posted by psgels on 1 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Gosick

During the past half year Mari Okada set some sort of record: writing five series in just half a year, two of which original stories. This totaled 70 episodes in just six months. Surprisingly, with the exception of Fractale, all of them were really, really good.

Gosick does have a catch though: a weak start. The first half of this series is pretty much a mystery series that fails at mystery: the stories themselves are good, but the cast that has to solve them is surrounded by idiots who miss vital clues, need everything explained on a silver platter for them and just can’t think for themselves. The mysteries meanwhile get solved so conveniently that the detective in question must have had access to the script in order to be able to figure them out. These stories all don’t really serve any purpose to the plot or characters and are generally pointless and a bit of a chore to watch.

Intead, this series shines when it turns to its main storyline and adventure roots. This amounts to about three arcs and the first half, and just about everything after episode fourteen. It’s here where this show against all expectations reveals itself as wondrous journey throughout imaginative stories and murder mysteries that are deeply rooted within its setting of a small fictional country in Northern Italy in the 1920s. It successfully combines occult, legends and folklore with each other and succeeds in what a great adventure series should be.

Beyond that, it’s also here where the characters really get better. The stupid characters either get better or get shafted in favor of the vast array of interesting ones with great back-stories. There is a ton of character development in this series for both the main and side-cast and this gets woven wonderfully together with the story.

With Gosick you have to be patient. It’s not just that it takes its time to get going: some episodes and stories are downright bad, rushed and make no sense. This gets completely abandoned as the series goes on, though. ‘Engaging” is the best way to describe this series. It may not be amongst Bones’ best work, but once it left its flaws behind, it really drew me in.

Storytelling: 8/10 – It doesn’t get the mystery-genre at times, but as an adventure it hits a lot or right notes, though it remains a bit rushed at times.
Characters: 8/10 – Aah, this is a difficult one to grade because of the sheer difference between the first and second half. The big plus is the huge amount of character development, the big minus is the number of unlikable idiots that walk around in the first half.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid throughout the entire series, but not the most remarkable for Bones’ standards.
Setting: 9/10 – Tons of great ideas, settings and backstories that will really draw you in. Even when the characters are having a day off, the setting remains rock-solid throughout.

Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra
Pandora Hearts
Nijuu Mensou no Musume

5 Responses

  1. Taara535 says:

    I could not be patient enough on this one. I dropped it after episode one. I am very surprised you can handle “a mystery that fails at mystery” for 13 episodes. Though I’m not a fan of mysteries in the first place, I would have been happy to watch one that accomplished its basically goal.

  2. Kyubey says:

    @Taara535 The power of moe has made me sit through worse crap than this. This show wasn’t actually that bad.

  3. This was an amazing series. It’s true that the beginning was less than stellar. I’m a bit of a sucker for mysteries though so I found it enjoyable enough, and I actually really liked the characters, realizing there was more depth to them to come. But the second half blew me away! I really like how they took fairy tales and used them, as well as how the people viewed these tales, in order to explain Europe’s tragic history leading up to the World Wars.

    The bunny heads were like swastika armbands and the twisted history of the royal family was deeply hidden inside the children’s stories.

    Really enjoyed it! Thanks for the review. You can read more of my reviews on Gosick and the last few episodes of it at

  4. some loser says:

    finished it finally, the mystery aspect is enough to make you cry (and not with tears of happiness). the rest of the story kinda makes up for it. Question here is why the hell does Kujo exist? has he ever won a fight? why is he dumber than the average teenager? and how cliche and boring can this character be? is he just there to make the entire story be placed in the romance genre as well?

  5. Hogart says:

    Well, I finally got around to watching this, and yes.. I ended up enjoying it more than expected. I wouldn’t exactly call it “great”, but I’ll settle for “decent”. Thanks to those who suggested to try it out, I’ve watched far worse and enjoyed some of this greatly.

    The stuff relating to Saubreme and Leviathan was excellent, but the stuff revolving around Victorique’s past and the Marquis was way too over-the-top and contrived to torture her for our sympathy. It also took me a fair bit of effort to buy into the romance.

    I wish they had cut the crap earlier in the story so the last few episodes weren’t so rushed. Also that the villains didn’t feel so stereotypically insane.. that felt really out of place for some reason.

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  • bundleofsticks
    (Tuesday, Oct 13. 2015 06:48 PM)
    Also would people really be interested in a blog that only reviews old anime not many people watch anymore? Its better to review new shows
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Oct 13. 2015 01:48 AM)
    @Kevin, you sure seem fond of that word. Anyway still see you that you keep coming back and playing the same old tune.
    Blah blah blah circlejerk, blah blah blah get lives, blah blah blah
  • Kevin
    (Tuesday, Oct 13. 2015 12:29 AM)
    Man you guys are still doing your dumb ass circlejerk. How much semen do you guys have left what the hell
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 09:23 PM)
    @Joe: also note that a lot of the old famous ones were already reviewed by psgels and still up on the site. Don’t bother with the catalogue down there, just search them.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 08:01 PM)
    I have begun reading the heavens feel route of fate/stay night because I was told that it may be one of the fate related things I’d actually enjoy.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 07:38 PM)
    I think I’ll try that wait and see thing with the new Garo before watching any more of it and content myself for the time being with just utawerumono and subete.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 07:36 PM)
    I still think you should watch texnolyze Aidan and put up a review of that show on here.
    Also I think by choosing to cover subete you’ve kept in the spirit of this site by doing so.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 07:34 PM)
    I think Joes got it right with his wait and see approach and I really should adopt that approach when watching some shows, waiting until they are halfway through or finished their run before starting to avoid bothering with a disapointment.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 07:23 PM)
    @Joe, Big problem with that is that I seen a vast majority of old anime. I don’t want to go too old anime and I would prefer to devote my time on my massive backlog of steam games. I might re-watch some old favorites and put a review of them in the future.
    I may complain about the this season but while the majority is pretty weak we do have four shows with the potential to be great.
  • Joe
    (Monday, Oct 12. 2015 06:52 PM)
    @aidan: I don’t blame you. I’ve always found it hard to watch currently airing anime because so many start well but become terrible at some point. I prefer shows that are already completed so I can see what other people think about it. Maybe you should try doing some older anime?

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