Now this is really more like what this series should be! A four episode arc that really allows the creator to take their time to flesh out everything, to build up intrigue and atmosphere. The mystery in this series really is excellent and really well written. If the next episode handles things right, I can see little in the way for this arc becoming the best arc so far.
What I really like about this series is that the mysteries aren’t just of “the butler did it”-variant, but there are tons of details about them that just make them more intricate. There are many layers that make solving them a lot more challenging than usual. Unlike Gosick, the gathering of intelligence makes sense and things flow logical into each other.
I also think that amongst the Gosick Trilogy, Alice is the best amongst her counterparts, or at least around the seven episode mark. Dalian of Dantalian no Shoka unfortunately turned out to be just annoying, but I even feel that she’s more dynamic than Victorique, who at the beginning was just a simple genius who once in a while showed a cute side. Alice’s dialogue is always interesting to read whenever the fanservice isn’t involved, and her bond with the male lead doesn’t just consist out of tsundere type insults. Instead they can just have normal conversations, and Alice’s insults are usually much more subtle than her counterparts.
Now, whether Alice will really turn out better than Victorique overall… that totally depends on her development of course. This episode gave a big hint that that’s coming somewhere, but the problem with this series is that it still feels like a 13-eepisode series, pretending to be a 24 one. This show is arc-based, so it won’t have an as big of an ending problem as No.6, but the current pacing makes sense for 24 episodes, but not for 13 of them. With one arc taking up a whopping four episodes, there’s hardly any time left for the rest of the content.
Oh, and the characters were actually playing the Colonists of Catan here. That’s a reference I never expected to see in an anime. :P
Rating: *** (Awesome)