And I’m back! …With a lot of catching up to do.
Introducing the Avril arc, short lived at only two episodes.
Quite a few mysteries this time round – from a beheaded motorcyclist to an infamous phantom thief…or should I say thieves? Regardless, Gosick has yet to blow me away with its so called conundrums, which honestly, aren’t all that puzzling. Unfortunately for us, episode four and five were of no exception.
For starters, there was the Beheaded Motorcyclist case; a simple “appetizer” for the fans to enjoy…that is, if they did at all.
Kujo, being the idiotic man he is (and I still can’t believe that he’s an academically skilled student yet lacks the common sense to solve Gosick’s mysteries himself), gets arrested by Inspector Grevil for suspicion of murder; that is, beheading a motorcyclist. Kujo, being not only idiotic but also helpless, goes and seeks rescue from his one and only friend Victorique. Victorique being…Victorique, effortlessly deciphers the murder but not without a price – Kujo’s “odd-looking” Japanese sweets (and thus another source of comedy is born).
And it’s as simple as that. No action, no romance, and most definitely of all, no complexity. Just a snap of my fingers, and voila, the world is saved.
Moving onto the “main dish”, we meet Avril Bradley (above), another transfer student, this time however, from Britain, the country most known for its horrid food . Avril, upon being seated next to Kujo, befriends the “infamous Black Shinigami” as 1) they’re both transfer students, 2) the teacher won’t stop pestering about it, and ultimately 3) Kujo has a blonde fetish (or is that a loli blonde fetish?). Nevertheless, Kujo’s reactions to Avril’s flirting are adorable as.
Before long, Kujo notices Avril’s bandaged hand, to which he remembers how the murderer of the Beheaded Motorcyclist case also happened to be injured on the hand as well. To be honest, I was actually suspecting the same idea – that perhaps Avril was the killer and that the other girl who got arrested was actually a stand-in. Unfortunately for me, Avril had her own story to tell; one which did not involve a beheaded motorcyclist.
And it’s finally “dessert”! Quite sentimental towards the last bite though.
In a request, Kujo, along with Avril and a few others, visit the school’s crypt where they meet with an ugly “mummified knight”. Victorique and Grevil are immediately called in for the job, and like déjà vu, Victorique resolves the Mummified Knight case with no difficulty whatsoever. Her…”fountain of wisdom” informs us that the culprit Mille Marl was well aware of her own death and thus drugged Maxim – the victim as well as her “lover” – before locking him up in the crypt for seven long years. Quite disturbing when you imagine it as Maxim was pretty much surrounded by dead bodies in every direction (Millie’s included) which all happened to be uncoffined. God, just think of the smell. But simply said, this case was another one of those “obsessive lover” derived murders, the “let’s be forever together, therefore if I die, so must you” sort.
We see that Avril finds an important book to which she later hides in the library. Victorique states that it must have been secretive enough for her to do so and thus, accompanied by Kujo, the duo play a game of “Where’s Wally” . Despite it being less than one in a millionth chance, Victorique, as her name would suggest, is victorious like always . Her deductions are ridiculous though; the girl wouldn’t even pass for a C in her “detective skills” exams.
Prying open its contents, Kujo and Victorique discover an undelivered postcard with an especially rare stamp, otherwise known as the Penny Black. It’s so terribly rare that’s worth millions of dollars…which is complete bull (more info in Blabberings). Following the discovery of the postcard, Kujo stumbles upon a depressed Grevil who informs him that a phantom thief by the name of Kuiaran is on the loose. Unconcerned, Kujo continues to ponder on Avril’s true identity, and amidst his thoughts, hears some weird noises from the school’s storehouse. Believing full well that’s he’s not schizophrenic, our protagonist approaches the storehouse but is rendered unconscious by a whack to the head.
The boy eventually awakens in what I would suppose to be the school’s clinic, with an ominous-looking Avril by his side. It’s fairly obvious by now that the said blonde is plain evil and Kujo, being the generic idiot he is, fails to realise that he’s being tricked. Somewhat confused between reality and Avril’s ghost stories, especially the “Golden Fairy of the High Tower”, Kujo begins to question whether Victorique is in all honesty a ghost. Soon after, he makes a run for the library and again, meets Avril, who unbeknownst to him, is in search of her million-dollar stamp (Victorique had hidden the postcard you see).
With the curtains coming to a close, the truth pretty much reveals itself from there onwards as we learn that Avril is in fact an imposter – her real identity being the second Phantom Thief Kuiaran, the first haven been Maxim. Laughably, this time round, it was Victorique who saved Kujo (though I doubt it was highly necessary; BONES just needed an excuse for perfect timing) by throwing a stash of heavy book at the murderous Avril. Though not as cool as Kujo’s fighting, it worked nevertheless.
After the crisis, Victorique explains her conclusion on the Kuiaran case and with the imposter dealt with at last, it’s time for the real Avril to show herself.
Returning to the haunted storehouse, Kujo notices a hidden basement and surprise, surprise! Who would have thought that we would meet…another Avril! The two befriend one another and given the circumstances, it’s assumable that this Avril will have a thing or two for our dear hero.
 In reference to IS: Infinite Stratos where apparently Britain wins the most number of awards for the world’s worst cuisines…Do they even have such a competition?
 I’m being sarcastic. They just searched for the book, though it was more like Victorique showing the way with her assumptions.
 A terribly poor joke but you get it right? Victorique = Victorious?
Let’s be honest here. Gosick is an anime you would definitely not watch for its mysteries. I bet more than half of its fans are only continuing to do so because of Victorique, who is arguably the cutest gothic lolita of all time. But with mystery as its prime focus, which is notably a 99.9% failure, I don’t think that Victorique’s cute mannerisms will save the show. Rather, it would be known as “the terrible detective anime with the cutest detective”.
…Scratch that. Victorique wouldn’t even pass as a detective. Half of the time, her deductive reasoning isn’t even reasoning; they’re more like lucky assumptions which happen to be correct cause Gosick’s just that cliché. For example, the Beheaded Motorcyclist case. How can one so confidently declare that the murderer is a blonde female, relatively smaller than the victim, simply from the fact that a suspended wire was used as the weapon? True, it would have been the more general assumption to make if you considered the stereotypical “female inferiority”, however, what if the murderer was a male, intent on a “clean” kill instead? As if Kujo’s fantasies about blonde women would determine such a resolve. It would’ve been a total different story if they actually provided some factual evidence or scientific basis for this gender identification, but otherwise, no.
Believe what you want, but with this and Victorique’s “13th Step to Heaven” theory, I’ve lost all hope of Gosick ever, ever, being a decent mystery anime for life. Well, technically I lost hope back in episode one but with six episodes out already and not much of an improvement (or any at all), it’s officially final.
Another complaint about the show: it has terrible intertextuality. The author of the original novels, or the anime producers, never thought of even inspecting the accuracy of their facts right. I stumbled upon Bokutachi no BLOG’s post the other day and it read:
The Penny Black is not a rare stamp. The total print run was 286,700 sheets with 68,808,000 stamps  and a substantial number of these have survived, largely because envelopes were not normally used: letters in the form of letter sheets were folded and sealed, with the stamp and the address on the obverse. If the letter was kept, the stamp survived. However, the only known complete sheets of the Penny Black are owned by the British Postal Museum.
The Penny Black is readily available on the collectors’ market; a used stamp in poor condition can cost as little as £10 ($20); in 2000, a used stamp in fine condition cost about £110, an unused example about £1,600, with prices steadily rising. By contrast, a used Penny Red was £1.50.
– From Bokutachi no BLOG, originally Wikipedia.
Now ain’t that enlightening?
Next time: The Gray Wolf Summons A Compatriot
Seems like we meet the redhead magician shown in the opening…along with a nun?