GoSick Review

This is review number two hundred and twenty five. This anime is part of the Winter 2011 lineup. I was supposed to close this lineup a long time ago but I really have no spare time anymore. I’m still going to tackle the Summer 2013 lineup though and backtrack some other time. I am still in the processing of finding ample time to watch anime in my busy schedule. Sorry if the reviews and blog updates are late.

Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is Go Sick. It’s a twenty four episode anime about a boy and a loli in some murder mystery show. It’s a really cool anime and I really love this one. I saw this back when it was airing and re-watching it was a pretty sweet experience. Let’s read on.

 

Story

The anime is about a Japanese exchange student, named Kujo Kazuya, who attends the Saint Marguerite Academy. He has no friends because he has been dubbed as the terrible “Black Reaper that comes in Spring” by the students of the academy. Bad luck follows Kujo because of his nickname. One day though, while visiting the school’s library tower, he happens to meet a girl named Victorique. The Golden Fairy meets the Black Reaper. Kujo is amazed by Victorique’s appearance and her amazing wit at deducing mysteries. He has decided to become closer with the girl and get her to open up. Victorique has a dark past though and an unchangeable fate that Kujo is now a part of.

Taking the Pants Off

God, I feel like a freshman again as I re-watching this anime. GoSick was something I fairly hated back when it was airing. The story felt awesome for me but the second half seemed to crumble under its own weight. After seeing the anime again, the story is now very clear to me now. This is a wonderfully weaved anime with a strong story of love, mystery and deception. It also has a sprinkle of loli so that’s always a good thing. I remember the success of GoSick convinced other studio to adapt the loli detective angle but I think the trend died down pretty fast since the loli detective anime that came after this gem was pretty subpar. GoSick is a rare occurrence of a light novel adapted on point. It has a high form of storytelling that I’m sure you don’t get to experience all the time. In simpler terms, it’s a mystery inside a mystery inside a mystery. Did that make sense? I hope it did because that’s how deep the presentation of GoSick is. I, myself, didn’t understand the beauty of the plot at first but ever since I became TPAB, things always looked a bit clearer for me. It’s like a super power of the pantless persuasion. Anyways, this anime is awesome. Whether it’s the cute characters, the engaging mysteries or the romance of the two main characters, there is certainly something to enjoy in this anime.

The show has a simple premise. It’s simply about Victorique and Kujo being involved in some mysteries that Victorique soon solves in a highly dashing and entertaining manner. It’s a fairly easy premise to follow since a mystery is just presented and then the audience watches the unraveling commence. It deceptively grows from there though and slowly turns into a highly convoluted story. When I first watched this anime, I really hated how the second half turned the intriguing premise away in place of something so badly paced. I now realized though that it’s actually something the anime has been smartly building up to. It’s done so timidly and you’re often focused on the mysteries that you barely feel the ever changing status quo in front of you. It’s actually a wonderful style of storytelling that I am a huge fan of. I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s first start breaking the show down by pointing out the three plot points that make up this anime.

The first plot point is obviously the various mysteries of the anime. It’s the main premise where Victorique solves certain murder mysteries. It can be something her brother, a detective, would ask her to solve or something she and Kujo would accidentally stumble on. Either way, it goes about the same way. The facts are presented, the theories are formed and the mystery is slowly solved. I’ll point it out right now that the mystery portion of the anime is pretty bad. It’s either very easy where years of watching Detective Conan would beat it with a nailed baseball bat or something that wasn’t meant to be solved by the audience because certain facts are deceptively downplayed or omitted to give the illusion of a shocking reveal. It’s not that good and the audience plays nothing more than “the audience” in the mysteries. You are asked to just watch and in no way solve the mystery on your own. It sucks a bit because part of the fun of a mystery anime is having the audience rattle their brain trying to answer the question yet we just watch it get solved. It’s like watching someone else play a video game instead of playing it yourself. I seriously am very much disappointed that I wasn’t able to solve the mysteries. If I can, it’d be because the setups are too easy to predict.

The thing that I love about the mystery aspect of the show is the backstory behind it. There would often be a very intriguing story behind every riddle presented in the anime. Most of the mysteries the first half tackled are often about certain legends that are famous in the school. Things like “the Reaper that comes in Spring”, “the cursed ship that drowns its passenger” and stuff like that. They often have a fairly interesting story of their own that simply watching Victorique disprove its existence is something I really find entertaining. If it isn’t a story drowning in legend, it’d be a story full of superstition or infamy that she also tries to shoot down. The revealing of the mystery isn’t just about finding out who the murderer is but also slowly debunking the “truth” that people believes in and presenting the real one. Part of the reason of the mystery angle is so complex is because it’s part of the timid presentation of the overall story. It’s merely presenting the amazing deductive skill of our main characters because that very skill would be the main focus of the other plot points. It really starts and ends with Victorique’s delicious brain and it’s something the anime pushes forward very slight handedly. Of course, there is also this subplot of how a lie can often become a truth if a lot of people believe in it but I’ll let that soft interpretation be up to how you perceive the message.

The second plot point is about the relationship our two main characters. I love how the anime was able to satisfy the first plot point by having a really engaging mystery yet it also have time to develop our characters. There is this cute little playful interaction between the kind Kujo and the tsundere Victorique. It starts from there. Kujo would show his kindness in the most gentlemen of ways and Victorique would try to be as snobbish and mean as she can be while deeply loving the time they spend together. As the anime progresses though, the relationship between the two characters grow into something more. It’s a really lovely story of romance. It’s nothing serious but the bond the two have often has some of the sweetest moments in the anime. The strong foreshadowing in the anime concerning the characters also give it that little bit of spice that makes it a whole lot more interesting.

 

The third plot point, and the most confusing of all, is about Victorique’s past and her relationship with her family. This is a fairly big plot point and the anime really sprinkled a lot of ideas regarding this one throughout the anime. It was introduced towards the second half yet the buildup happened long before the anime started. It’s a pretty impressive approach of the show. As you watch an episode, you are guaranteed to enjoy a mystery, a playful banter of the characters and some foreshadowing regarding the third plot point. It’s complex and very much intimidating yet you never really feel it until this plot point was introduced. As I said before though, this is pretty damn confusing because it covers a lot yet very little was presented. The audience is tasked to piece together the story by themselves and there is a big chance you’ll get lost in the story. It’s very convoluted in a nice way so it’s all good.

First of all, the anime introduced the idea that Victorique is a “Gray Wolf” and it explored the many different facts that support this claim. The little loli gothic princess of ours isn’t such a normal person because she seems to have ties to some pretty weird people. Being a Gray Wolf is something that sprung from a superstition someplace and her father was intrigued with the idea. Throughout the anime, you’ll be very much doing your best to figure out who Victorique is. There are a lot of flashbacks and conversations regarding the Gray Wolves that triggers the events for the third plot point. Deeply related to this Gray Wolf angle is her mother. Born from the blood of a “Gray Wolf” and seemingly separated from her, Victorique’s mother is also a pivotal part of this plot point. Her relation to her daughter and her role in the slow unveil of the plot point was something that was really important in the show. It looked a bit like a distraction when I first saw it, to be honest, since you’re focused on the main loli yet the anime was also establishing angles regarding a mother torn apart from her daughter. The anime did it very timidly but the mother’s role was something that made the third plot point pretty important. It gave us a clear picture of what lies ahead for Victorique and the impending hurdle she will have to face.

The Gray Wolf and her mother isn’t the only thing involved in the third plot point. It also presented her father’s angle regarding his plans for the future. It’s actually something that was established fairly early in the anime. Victorique is somewhat of a plaything for her father and nothing more. The anime spends the rest of the episodes slowly revealing what exactly is her father’s plan. It’s very vague and something the anime doesn’t immediately present. Her father is pretty crazy but the anime did a good job of really laying the groundwork for her father to come into the picture.  His background and his reason for wanting Victorique were smartly presented in the show despite the chaos that ensues towards the second half. Like most of the important elements in this plot point, it’s also something timidly presented. Along with her father’s role in the story, the anime also presented this long standing battle between the Ministry of the Occult and the Academy of Science. Go Sick was set in a place where the world was slowly embracing technology but there are still some resistance from people who believe that such a change is unnecessary. This little subplot about the ongoing struggle of the Occult against Science was something the anime also hinted at but never presented fully. It may not seem much but this actually completed the circle of the third plot point.

As you can see, this anime is confusing as hell but it never really seemed that way. It was decently paced and satisfying at every episode. It had time for fluff without sacrificing the beauty of the story. I guess the best part of it all was how the show was able to interlink all the plot points together to form one beautiful anime. Imagine a mystery show with a romance as another genre with an overall story full of convoluted elements being able to smartly deliver its idea. The mysteries of the anime often relate to another mystery that actually relates to a bigger story that slowly connects to the actual story of the anime. It’s a wonderfully layered anime that it had all the chances to suck yet managed to pull off one hell of a grand story. I marathoned the anime so I was able to notice the timid elements of the show and I’m pretty sure the pieces fit themselves fairly easily. It really just needs time to join them together.

Part of what makes this anime easy to enjoy, despite the intimidating story, is because of the characters. They are really engaging and well rounded. While the anime was throwing a lot of stuff at you, it also had time to develop the characters and I really just love how they manage to do so without ruining the other aspects of the show. The main characters are Kujo Kazuya and Victorique. Kujo is the typical main character with a gentleman personality that accommodates the tsundere. He is an exchange student and his personality is pretty charming. He has this wonderful connection with Victorique where he often tolerate the stuck up and stubborn personality of the loli tsundere. They would get into a fight but Kujo is pretty open about caring for Victorique that it is pretty charming. He also seems to run into a lot of trouble. He would get caught in a murder mystery fairly easily that it is usually the set piece of most episodes. Kujo develop pretty slightly since the only conflict he had was slowly accepting the enigmatic loli tsundere he is so fond of and jumping over the hurdles put before them. His giving personality really made certain romantic moments a lot more special. The other main character is Victorique. She is a bit eccentric and stuck up to an unbearable degree. She is also pretty smart though. She usually sees through every trick and misdirection that would leave others stumped. She has a knack for solving mysteries pretty easily and it’s actually the main reason a lot of people are interested in her. I really love how she solves a mystery. She would often put her pipe in her mouth and spout some words about how the spring of knowledge helped her construct the fragments of chaos. It’s cute and a bit intriguing even though it’s all just for show. The anime did a good job of keeping her past in the shadows and slowly revealing it because it made her a lot more interesting. Wouldn’t you want to know more about a girl spending her days at the top of a library tower by herself? The anime made sure that you do.

 

The rest of the recurring cast is pretty intriguing as well. From the eccentric brother of Victorique to the upbeat classmate of Kujo, the other characters of the anime really added their own charm to the show. There was a really entertaining interaction between the rest of the cast and the main characters. Even though some of them contributed little to the actual story, they still had their moment in the show. The anime even had time to present some episodes about them without affecting the general pacing of the show. It was pretty awesome since it actually gave the show a more lighthearted feel despite the heavy story. I really enjoyed the rather absurd personality of Victorique’s brother despite being an underling of her father. I also love poor little Avril who like Kujo very much yet cannot beat the little loli in his eyes. In fact, even the rowdy teacher had some moments in the anime that truly stands out.

The other characters aren’t that nicely developed yet they still served a lot in the story. The various characters involved in the mysteries all had their moments and even helped shape the overall plot of the show. They’d present information regarding the overall plot or hint at the importance of certain elements that really made certain aspects of the show much clearer. Even the characters that appear only in the stories regarding certain mysteries had their own charm as well that made them special. Some are pretty obviously expected to die in the show though. It’s pretty easy to spot who will die or not in the show but it still doesn’t ruin the anime in anyway. It just sucks that I already know that a certain character would die since his role is pretty limited or the story was so predictable.

This is an amazing show. I love a good story in my anime and this one just happened to have that particular aspect but it’s a more elevated kind that I really love. It’s deep yet light hearted. It’s romantic yet thrilling. It’s cute yet also gruesome. It’s a lot of things that this long winded review can never properly present. It’s really something worth experiencing. The show might not come off as much anymore though but it’s still as entertaining as anything you’d watch today. Studio Bones really hit big with this one. I’m a bit concerned the studio isn’t as consistent as I’d hope they’d be but they really know how to pack a punch when they need to. I love that about them. I just hope they’d capitalize on the success they would bring to themselves a lot more. Go Sick is a good example of just how amazing this studio is.

Sight and Sound

Character design isn’t really that special. There are some eccentric designs but almost everything else is pretty ordinary. The wonderful thing about Sakuya Amano’s character work is the amount of heavy details she put in her characters. Despite Victorique looking nothing more than your typical loli character, the amount of detail work in her frilly dress and the extra effort in the details of her bangs and eyes really made her a lot more special. It’s the strong attention to detail that really made her a wonderful eye candy. She’d look like a doll you’d want to dress up and every aspect of her look really made sure that point is delivered. She’s short, has wonderful skin and her clothes are truly stunning. I also love how there are many variations of her rather Lolita look. There is a black frilly dress but there is also an open shouldered red and violet one that adds their own charm to the living doll we watch on the show. Kujo also looks pretty normal but the details on his uniform really make him standout. The white lining on the uniform really adds personality to the outfit despite being so generic. Kujo is meant to be normal though and I think the design did him justice. There are a lot of standouts though in terms of heavy detailed character design. I love the goofy hair of Victorique’s brother and I also love the round blue eyes of Avril coupled by her short hair. The anime was able to capture the dainty design of the light novel and I love the effort put into that.

gosick7

The background design is also pretty top notch. Studio Bones did a good job of marrying painted scenes with digitally animated background that it truly gives every scene a life of its own. The setting was absolutely grand and it gave the anime a lot of opportunity to show off. From the beautiful mural of the library tower mingling with the bountiful green of the botanical garden to the European style buildings with carriages walking past it, the background is detailed to the point where you truly are embraced by it. It’s pretty awesome and it was unique back in 2011. A European styled anime was limited until Go Sick graced us with its presence.

The anime also had time for blood. The mystery the show presents often involves a dead body and the anime provides blood at most scenes. It’s nothing too extreme but it also adds some depth to the story. Some murders are a bit gruesome that the addition of some graphic scenes adds a lot to the scene. It’s not over the top bloody though but enough to truly establish a murder mystery.

gosck

The animation is pretty decent. It’s not really something that made the show special. There is a lot of talking done in the anime and it requires very little action. It does live up to the scenes that demand strong movements though so that’s a good thing. There isn’t any stand out moment in terms of animation though. The show was drowning in dialogue that it didn’t really need some. The murders are decent and the movements are pretty precise to help with the story telling and I think that’s a good thing for this anime. There also some cute moments but really nothing to add to the overall appeal of the show.

 

The anime’s OP is “Destin Histoire” by yoshiki*lisa. This is a pretty cute song and a catchy one too. The beat is easy to follow and you can really sing along with the sub. It’s pretty awesome. It has a nice theme of romance that nicely fits the shows rather unique play on a love story. The singer’s voice is pretty lovely as well since it really added a lot of personality to the song. The OP sequence is really good. It has a lot of animation work done to it in a whimsical storybook way. It’s a short montage of all the things in the show without any spoilers. It summed up all the key points of the show in a highly intriguing OP sequence.

The anime’s ED has two ED. The first one is “Resuscitated Hope” by Lisa Komine. This is another wonderful song. I love Lisa’s voice since she has this really high voice that sounds pretty lovely. The slow pace of the song coupled by the impressive instrumentals really gives the song a unique personality. The ED sequence is simply a short montage of Kujo and Victorique in a pretty dark presentation that looks a bit gothic Lolita in some aspects. The second ED is “unity” by Lisa Komine. It’s pretty much the same as the first one. Lisa’s voice is really heavenly and it’s also a romantic song about the two characters. The song has the same vibe as the first one but it’s a bit more lighthearted in its lyrics. The ED sequence is about the two characters really just looking cute together in a short series of pictures.

Overall Score

8/10 “Wonderfully weaved story despite looking so convoluted.”

This is an amazing anime. It hits a lot of good points and barely has any downside. In terms of an entertaining anime, this show really hits the spot.  The second half may get a bit confusing but it’s really just part of the show’s charm. If you love loli in anime then you’ll like this one. If you enjoy a good mystery with some interesting characters then you should try this show. If you prefer some cute romance on the side then this show is for you. I highly recommend it.

11 thoughts on “GoSick Review

  1. Hey

    (I reveal a minor plot event in my review later on, if you don’t want anything spoiled don’t read on)

    Pretty much how I felt about this anime too.
    it’s been maybe about two years since I saw it and I remember being
    confused toward the latter episodes. I thought at that time it was because this was an adaptation of a manga so those who read it would easily pick up the story but for me it felt rushed toward the end. So many things happening at once while you’re used to a slight reveal every episodes at that point. A mystery happen, get solved, same thing goes for the next episodes, which wasn’t a bad thing as I enjoyed it throughout.

    I remember something about a conflict or a war and it appeared out of nowhere with little to no explanation and our guy goes and not much (as I remember) was explained about that and I felt these events where a bit out of place

    With that aside, I believe you picked on everything in your review. I enjoyed Victorica and Kujo dialogue with each other. Great opening, I felt it sounded (but isn’t) victorique singing the first lines, and I liked the few english words in the ED 1 before it switches into japanese.

    Maybe a second watch would help though, and it was among the first animes I watched so that could explain a bit my confusion, maybe.

    • I felt the exact same thing you did. I was enjoying the show until it suddenly dropped this sudden story on me about this stupid war with no proper build up whatsoever. I later realized, everything was actually cleverly set up in the previous episodes.
      I like you as well, I was pretty new to anime when I saw GOSICK. or rather, re-introduced so my little mind cannot comprehend it. 😄
      the story may still not be for everyone though since it is pretty complex. It’s still an awesome though. 🙂

  2. Gosick was quite the enjoyable anime, though it’s been a while since I watched it. I think it was almost a couple years ago, looks like it was around half a year after it finished. Anywho, it’s one of the only detective-style mystery series I recall actually completing, but I definitely like how it offered more than just that. Victorique was a very interesting character and really made Gosick what it was, it was great learning more about her backstory. The atmosphere and storytelling definitely changed a lot in the second half though, and the sense of scale became a lot greater really fast. I don’t think I noticed much foreshadowing for that back when I watched it, but then again, that was so long ago I probably wouldn’t remember even if I had. I definitely want to rewatch this sometime in the future though, it was a good watch and definitely a reason why I tend to have high expectations for Bones anime.

    • Bones do make instant classics. It’s been proven time and time again. as for the foreshadowing, it’s very timid. barely noticeable but it was still presented in a way that it justifies the abrupt shift in a war setting.
      the ending was cute so it’s all good. 🙂

      • Definitely, I’ve encountered a decent share of Bones anime I really enjoyed (in particular, I loved Darker than Black, Eureka Seven, and FMA Brotherhood) and Gosick is certainly no exception. And I’ll definitely have to pay attention to it when I rewatch, it’ll be interesting to see how they allude to what happens later on, especially since I wouldn’t have imagined the shift in scale that would take place judging from the first few episodes. And the ending was pretty sweet, I was worried it would be one of those dark, depressing conclusions with the war and all, but things turned out pretty well for our main characters.

        • gosick was a bit hard for me to re-watch because I already knew the plot progression but it definitely deserves a good second watching. good luck on your re-watch. 🙂
          and yup, bones is awesome. ouran high school host club is a fave of mine. 🙂

          • I never did get around to watching through all of Ouran. I saw a few random episodes back when my sister was watching it, but I never did see it all. I’ll have to get around to that one as well since it seems a lot of people like it.

  3. Victorique is one of the main reasons I fell in love with Aoi Yuuki and have dedicated myself to watching as many of the shows she has a role in. This show was most enjoyable. It was not a good mystery anime but it was an awesome action/drama/semi-suspense show.

    Kujo is a real man’s man, despite what others say about him. He is a cool dood and several of the show’s best moments are when he and Victororique work together to get themselves out of a doozy of a jam.

  4. Hi.
    This was the best review that I’ve got about this anime. You made this anime stand up on it’s feet again. I’m so glad, I’m not the only one who think this was awesome.

Thoughts~

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