Gosick (-ゴシック-, Goshikku, Gothic) is a Japanese Light Novel series written by Kazuki Sakuraba, illustrated by Hinata Takeda and published by Fujimi Shobo. The first novel was released on December 10, 2003. The ninth and final one was published on July 23, 2011. GosickS, a series of short stories set in this universe, released four collections total. Tokyopop licensed the novels in the United States and has released the first two.The story is set in 1924, in the fictional European country of Sauville (also known as Saubure). At St. Marguerite Academy, a school where the students love to gossip about horror stories and urban legends, many real mysteries find their way into school lore. There, Kazuya Kujo, a Japanese transfer student and the third son of an Imperial soldier, meets Victorique, a strange girl who is so small and beautiful that she can easily be confused with a living bisque doll. Her intelligence and smoking habit, however, make her resemble Sherlock Holmes more than Shinku. She spends her days skipping class, reading multiple books at a time on the top floor of the library, and solving mysteries so difficult they have even the police stumped. As the series progresses, Kazuya and Victorique continue to get involved in strange cases, where they meet many kinds of people, both good and bad. Despite the moe-style art, its tone is rather serious.A manga adaptation, illustrated by Amano Sakuya, runs in Monthly Dragon Age. A drama CD, based on the first volume of GosickS, was released on April 21, 2006. An 24 episode anime adaptation by Studio Bones began airing on January 7th, 2011. In America, Bandai Entertainment licensed the anime, although they decided to stop distributing DVDs before they were able to give it a physical release. However, the Gosick anime is being streamed by Crunchyroll, and Australian licensee Madman Entertainment released the series in in two DVD volumes as well as streaming it on their site.
All Love Is Unrequited: Grevil has been in love with Jacqueline for years. Pity that she's (a) married and (b) completely oblivious. Also Avril's initial jealousy of Victorique over Kujo's clear fondness for her, though she seems to get over it.
Alternate Universe: Apart from the existence of the fictional country of Sauville, it seems that World War II starts in 1925 in this world.
Victorique. Grevil could qualify as well, seeing as his inspector-status is due to his aristocratic position and not actual talent.
Grevil also acquired his position due to taking credit for solving cases which Victorique actually solved.
Arc Words: "The coming wind" or all other variants, which can be easily inferred to be World War II. Preparing for this is the reason Albert do Blois did everything he did.
Arrested for Heroism: Kazuya gets arrested when he reports a murder he witnessed to Grevil, who thinks the way it supposedly happened was impossible, and therefore Kazuya is lying to cover it up.
Art Shift: Most of the opening sequence is drawn and colored in an Art Nouveau style reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha, a renowned artist in the Art Nouveau movement.
Asshole Victim/Laser-Guided Karma: Roxanne the fortune teller turns out to be one, as does every single guest on the second Queen Berry who (a) isn't Kazuya or Victorique, and (b) isn't the person who set up the entire Death Course to begin with.
When the bookworm starts beating the shit out of an axe-murderer with a pair of brass knuckles, one might imagine that he's not to be trifled with.
Or when the other bookworm drops books on the fake Avril.
Batman Gambit: In Episode 22 Victorique uses one on Kujo (and the other students at the school to an extent) to make sure that when they take a gift from under the Christmas tree he gets the one she brought.
Chekhov's Gun: Several of the various legends and fairy-tales Kazuya and Victorique have to deal with are introduced several episodes before they become relevant, such as the Grey Wolves and Leviathan the Alchemist.
Chekhov's Gunman: Duh, practically every secondary character appears in his/her first scene as a seemingly irrelevant bystander. A good example is the redheaded magician on the market, who turns Kujo's textbooks into a bunch of pigeons. Over the next few episodes he is revealed to go by the name Brian Roscoe and to be associated with Victorique's mother. Or the two calm elderly gentlemen who sit right to Miss Sophie during the performance of the Queen Coco Rose play. They are Jupiter Roger and King Rupert.
Children Forced To Kill: In episodes two and three of the anime adaptation, Victorique and Kujo discover information about an incident of this that happened 10 years ago.
Chocolate Baby: Turned up after Queen Coco Rose's affair with the African court alchemist Leviathan, with predictably messy consequences.
Clear My Name: Kazuya begs Victorique to help him when he is accused of murder.
Conviction by Contradiction/Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Victorique certainly has a few Encyclopedia Brown moments in her "boring" cases. Almost all the claims she makes are plausible deductions, and certainly damage the original case, but they're a long way from proof. In one particular sequence which wouldn't hold up in any sane court: Cheesewire over the road when the police arrived? Absolute proof that your friend didn't garrotte the victim with it beforehand. The use of a trap device like that? Could only be a woman or a child, as men are always directly violent. Oh, and your friend thought about blonde hair while out walking? Clearly that's your criminal, seen from the corner of the eye, because boys never daydream about women randomly!
Darkest Hour: Episode 22. Sauville is preparing for war. Marquis de Blois gets ready to make his move and Grevil has revealed himself to be his loyal dragon. Also Kujo has been kidnapped and is being used to blackmail Victorique.
One of the "hares" from the first Queen Berry did this. He perfectly replicates this tactic on the second Queen Berry.
Also Queen Coco Rose's maid took the king's beating for bearing an illegitimate child for her leading to her own death. We see her once toward the episode where her escape is realized by Victorique. Suprisingly the King didn't realize it wasn't her that he killed.
Fictional Country: Gosick is set in Sauville. Which was likely based on the historical country of Savoy (same location and very similar name).
Foreshadowing: One notable point in the anime's opening is when it shows Brian Roscoe. When the spotlights hit him he casts two shadows.
Victorique carries a pipe and enjoys smoking◊ it in the novels.
It may be a bubble pipe in the anime; no smoke and no tobacco are visible. Possibly a case of No Smoking, as it's illegal to show underage people smoking or drinking alcohol on Japanese public television.
Gorgeous Period Dress: Even though the series is set in The Roaring Twenties, Victorique wears old-fashioned Elegant Gothic Lolita style dresses. Possibly explained in that Victorique is said to sound and act like an old woman, and tends to be given old hand-me-downs by her family rather than anything more modern due to her interesting parental issues.
Victorique. When she sings in the bath, Kujo first thinks that she is screaming in pain or fear.
One of the CDs features her singing the song "Incertitude". It is absolutely painful to listen to. There's also a second version of the song included as a bonus track in which her VA sings properly. It's difficult to tell that it's even the same person.
Victorique is most used to solving mysteries second-hand, so while she does pick up on a fair amount while she's on-scene, most of it is pretty basic or relates to her personal experience. In fact, it's Kazuya who she tends to rely on to get the facts for her.
Luigi, however, has an amazing memory and once counted the money that fell out of Kazuya's pocket before it hit the floor.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The series makes an art form of this, with episode titles are all heavily metaphorical some you can get an idea what the episode is about just from the title ('Blue Roses Bloom in the Cannibal Department Store') other's only make sense after viewing the episode ('A Malicious Frill is Censuring the Farting Newt').
Improbable Hairstyle: Grevil, which Kazuya immediately points out and Victorique relentlessly mocks. Grevil mentions to Kazuya that it was Victorique's idea in exchange for her cooperation on a case, and was one of the reasons he doesn't like asking for her help directly.
Inexplicably Identical Individuals: There are an astonishing number of Sauvillian women who look very much like the late Queen Coco Rose. To make matters even weirder, she was not known for her plain, generic features (which might explain such a coincidence), but for being one of the country's most celebrated beauties. Given how much Coco Rose's inspiration Marie Antoinette influenced contemporary fashion, it meant that many women actually tried to look like her. That, a large enough sample size, and the usual stylization can explain the rest.
In-Series Nickname: The students of St. Marguerite call Kazuya "The Black/Dark Reaper" or "The Reaper Who Comes In Spring". They also call Victorique "The Golden Fairy of the Library".
Interchangeable Asian Cultures: It takes quite a few of the citizens of Sauville more than one go to correctly identify Kazuya's country of origin. Hardly surprising, given the relative lack of international travel at the time. Some people throughout the series call to him by saying, "Hey Chinese!" They either don't know his Japanese heritage or just don't care.
Knight of Cerebus: Things get considerably darker once the Marquis de Blois takes an active role in proceedings.
Large Ham: Grevil, who even has hammy, over-exaggerated hair. According to his childhood friend — who married someone else — he used to behave differently before he got the hair. Which means that he decided to become a ham in order to live up to his hair.
Locked Room Mystery: Episode 1 has one of these. In fact, the lock itself turns out to be instrumental to the murder method.
Magical Realism: Despite the down-to-earth explanations for most of the strange occurrences in the story, some apparently genuine supernatural elements (such as highly accurate prophecies and the Grey Wolves' possibly-superhuman mental faculties) do appear to exist.
Magic Versus Science: The heart of the Secret War between the Science Academy and the Ministry of the Occult. Whilst the Academy has the advantage of far more empirical evidence on its side (and of not being run by the Marquis de Blois), both factions fight so dirty that it's impossible to call either one the good guys.
In the Queen Berry case it was the Arabian Maid who killed Roxanne.
In the Seyrun village case it was Harminia, who successfully framed Cordelia.
Meido: Victorique has to borrow a change of clothes from the train staff in Episode 18 having been soaked at the climax of the previous episode and somehow they find a maid's uniform that fits a very short 13-14 year old girl who looks like 10 or 12. Maids tended to start out at that age in the period, so it's not out of place.
The Mole: The English boy Ned on the first Queen Berry.
Mood Whiplash: Frequently changes from dramatic crime-solving, to humor, to d'aww, often within seconds.
Moral Event Horizon: The in-universe reaction of just about everyone to Victorique's mother, Cordelia, apparently murdering her village's elder, a highly revered prophet. Among other things, it resulted in her being banished from her home, losing her prospective husband, and having her daughter locked away from society for most of the rest of her life. Although, as it turned out, the husband-and-daughter thing was really more of an excuse told to the rest of the world to cover up something farnastier.
Kazuya. It's not often you see a 15-year-old wear a hat like that.
Victorique usually wears a frilly bonnet. In Episode 6 they briefly wore a jewelled turban, though it looked silly on her.
In Episode 21 Victorique tries on a crown (it's prop, not a real one). It's much too big and actually covers her entire face when she's not holding it up. Her whole purpose in trying it on was to make certain that it could contain an entire human head of specific size.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Pulled off by Grevil, of all people, in Episode 10. If Episode 11 is any indication, Grevil has always been fairly bright... just not as bright as Victorique. He's still quite dumb with various weird conclusions he makes. He's smart in very narrow fields, and police work is not one of them, despite his good eye for detail — when he bothers looking in the first place.
Phone-In Detective: Very common for Victorique, due to the restrictions her family have placed on her movements. In fact, it's implied to be the exclusive method by which she helped out Grevil before Kazuya came along. She's literally this in the Jeantan case, due to being bedridden with sickness.
Ping Pong Na´vetÚ: Victorique is solving a complex crime with second-hand information one moment, and not knowing that one can get a carriage for hire the next.
The fake Avril's injured hand. It was, in fact, evidence of a crime, but not the one Kazuya was thinking of.
Also, Cordelia's murder charges. Those were the reason her child's father wants nothing to do with her any more, right? Wr-ong!
Say My Name: Kujo has the tendency to shout Victorique's name about ten times an episode.
Scary Black Man: Leviathan the Alchemist is shown to be this, although it had nothing to do with his being African, but with the fear people had of the mystery of his mask and his alchemy, which was revealed by Victorique to be false. The clothes he donned and the ruse he perpetrated to try to discourage further exploitation of his home country by Sauville's royalty.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Harminia's motivation for murdering the Elder of Seyrun and later attempting to destroy the tiny city-state was to prevent her own foretold death at age 26. Naturally, the plan went wrong and eventually ended upcausing her demise just as the elder had predicted.
Sherlock Scan: Victorique is very good at this, though her tendency to rely on second-hand information means that she lacks much of the corresponding Hyper Awareness when she's on the scene herself.
There's also a moment in the anime when Jacqueline reminisces, Luminescent Blush and all, about how striking Grevil was when they were younger. It's fair to assume that if Grevil had expressed his feelings for her earlier, he might not have ended up an Unlucky Childhood Friend.
A girl with long golden hair trapped at the top of a tower by the person who raised her until a boy stumbles upon her. Remind you of anything?
Victorique uses a pipe when she's thinking in a way similar to the popular conception of Sherlock Holmes, although in the anime she just holds it in her mouth instead of actually smoking anything.
Shrouded in Myth: The Grey Wolves, a legendary European bloodline known for their short stature, golden hair, and vast intellect, are the source of several local legends and a great deal of general superstition.
Spanner in the Works: Kazuya and Victorique to the Queen Berry murder plot. It didn't help that the culprit, being a Sympathetic Murderer, didn't want to see two innocent children die in the gigantic Death Course they'd set up, and so had to expose themselves more than they would have otherwise wished to in order to keep them safe.
Spell My Name with an S: There is some contention on how to romanize various names in the series, including those of the main heroine, the police inspector, and the fictional country they live in.
Stage Magician: Several, including the Phantasmagoria troupe, though towering above them all is the legendary Brian Roscoe, whose stunts include using a magic lantern and a picture of the Virgin Mary to take out an entire German bomber squadron.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Or whatever their relationship might actually be. The elder of Seyrun predicted that an event that will soon come will tear Kazuya and Victorique apart. With World War II coming up, it'll be no surprise, seeing as he's Japanese and she's (Allied) European. Then it actually happens, over a decade early, and they still get back together afterward.
Strong Family Resemblance: Victorique looks so much like Cordelia that even Kazuya and Grevil, her own brother, mistake the daughter for the mother and vice versa. Apparently Cordelia's hometown in filled with Inexplicably Identical Individuals. Her mother has noticably larger breasts (that is, any) than her daughter, even after the Time Skip where we see Victorique at around 18, but it's hard to tell under the frills.
Theme Tune Cameo: Near the end of Episode 17 the instrumental version of "Resuscitated Hope", the first Ending Theme, plays as Kujo and Victorique chase after the departing train while Beelzebub's Skull gets flooded. Also note the situation - for once it is Victorique who has broken down and it is only because of Kujo her hope is resuscitated.
Translation Convention: In the final episode it can be assumed that most of the cast have been talking French the entire time as Kujo's sister says she doesn't speak enough of it to talk properly with Victorique when she arrives in Japan.
Upper-Class Twit: Grevil is one who happens to be in a position of actual authority. One can only imagine what state Sauville's criminal justice system would be in without Victorique around....
Vague Age: In Episode 7 Victorique indirectly states that she's around ten to twelve years old, though later recollections by other characters place her as being around fifteen, which would fit with the tendency for Grey Wolves to be Older than They Look and explain why she's in Kazuya's class at school. This is acknowledged in the Episode 24 description given to folks trying to capture Victorique as she runs as far away from Sauville - as was suggested - as she can get.
Episode 19, which shows just how horrifying Victorique's Back Story really is.
Episode 22 when it turns out Grevil helping Kujo find Victorique and his affection for his little sister might have all been an act.
Dear God, Episode 23. Kujo's been deported. Victorique is Albert's prisoner. Albert has defeated the Science Academy and taken control of Sauville. And then... Cordelia reaches new levels of Bad Ass in confronting Albert at a public function, stages a terrorist attack on him with Brian Roscoe's help, and then kills him in a swordfight. Then she gets killed, and Brian's twin makes an attempt on Victorique's life. Holy shit.
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Kujo, so far, demonstrates an admirable degree of restraint even in the face of likely death. When the lives or freedom of innocents hang on subduing a female villain, on the other hand...
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After he'd had her provide him with a child, the Marquis de Blois dumped Cordelia in an asylum. Not, strictly speaking, a death sentence, but considering that this was the 1910s, close enough.
You Wake Up in a Room: The food at the Miniature Garden Box Evening was drugged, and when everyone wakes up, they've been moved to another room.