Instead of the usual assortment of sweets, Cafe Daifuuku!’s special today shall be mystery meat. Good old mystery meat that is mysterious in all ways except that it is definitely meat. It could be full of great flavours, it could also be full of disgusting ones. We won’t know till we try it.
Get your spoons ready folks, because we’re about to dig into…
Episode 1- The Black Reaper Finds the Golden Fairy
And so it begins. The first clip of the episode immediately grabs my attention. A man is going to die, and his death will cause the world to turn to stone and tumble into pieces. The only way to resolve it, according to the skeleton-like fortune teller named Mistress Roxanne, is to prepare a large box afloat on water and send 11 hares running. What an effective delivery – lightning, thunder, and hunting dogs biting the head off cute little hares. As much as I was frightened by the blood and dead hares, I was hooked. Oh yeah, this is going to be an interesting anime.
The story of GoSick takes place in 1924 in a fictional European country called Saubure that is bordered by Switzerland, Italy, and France. Within Saubure is a prestigious school for children of the aristocracy, located at the foot of the Alps. It is in this school that we meet our main character, Kazuya Kujo, a Japanese exchange student and the third son of an imperial solider. Because of his dark hair, he is nicknamed “The dark reaper”, and is believed to have a soul as dark as his hair. Poor Japanese boy has no friends. The only person who interacts with him is his lively teacher, Ms. Cecil, who tells him to read more ghost stories so he can make 100 friends to climb the Alps with.
Since he has nothing better to do and has no friends to hang out with, Kujo goes to the library to read ghost stories, where he discovers a single strand of blonde hair. Seeing the reflection of the light off of something at the top, Kazuya runs up a series of stairs to discover a doll-like blonde girl named Victorique. Now this girl, though small in figure, is large in intellect and wit. She is intuitive, cunning, and can access the fountain of wisdom to tell the future. She expected Kazuya to show up, which sends him off flying down the stairs. Kazuya comes back the next day to deliver her homework, only to find her rolling on the floor out of boredom. Her interactions with Kazuya, along with Ms.Cecil, made for nice light-hearted comedy so far in the episode.
It was even better when Grevil de Blois, a local detective with a unicorn-like hairdo, shows up and starts explaining his latest case – the murder of a rich fortune teller named Roxanne. The scene of the crime was the mansion, where the only ones present other than the victim herself was the granddaughter, the Arabian maid and the Indian servant. All were gathered around Roxanne’s room when they heard a gunshot go off in the house. Since the door was locked and Roxanne gave no answer, the Indian servant tried to break down the door, but was stopped by the Granddaughter, who didn’t want her mansion damaged for her inheritance. The maid then shoots the lock with her gun, and opens the door only to find that her master is shot in the eye. There are no weapons or any possible points of entry at the crime scene.
Victorique immediately takes the case apart and piece all the clues together to come to the conclusion that the Arabian maid was the culprit. Since only Roxanne was the only other person in the house that understood Arabian, the maid fired a gunshot in the next room, tricking all other members of the house, and finally misleading Roxanne into thinking that she was in danger. She then told her to come closer to the door, where she shot her through the lock. A plan that was almost perfect – it left no evidence, no suspects or any clues whatsoever. It was a plan only Victorique could figure out.
Grevil claims this information as his own and solves the murder. In return, he is praised by aristocrats, receives a kiss from the granddaughter, and is rewarded Roxanne’s yacht. Kazuya, infuriated by the fact that Grevil claimed Victorique’s ingenuity as his own, goes to yell at him at the police station. In attempt to shut Kazuya up, Grevil invites him and Victorique to his maiden cruise on his yacht (Roxanne’s old yacht). It is also revealed in the mist of the conversation that Victorique cannot get ‘outside’ without his permission.
After hearing that she’s going on the trip, Victorique starts packing and ends up with a literally mountain-load of supplies that her brain meticulously calculated that she will need, including snacks, a compass, a chair, and a desk lamp. Kazuya, being the one that has to lift all her baggage, starts digging though her suitcases and starts throwing out all unnecessary things from her suitcase. This causes Victorique to burst out, for a moment, in a bratty way “If I SAY IT’S NECESSARY IT IS NECESSARY!” These brief outbursts were extremely cute in juxtaposition to the usual sophisticated and mature being Victorique is.
The cuteness continues as Victorique enters into the outside world and watches in awe with her glistening eyes. She projected a child-like wonder and curiosity as she pointed and asked about many different ordinary things, such the newsstand. As they arrive at the yacht, Grevil tells them that the motive of the Arabian maid was the “revenge of the box”. The significance of this ‘box’? We don’t know yet, but we’ll soon find out. Only to think the Roxanne murder was the mystery, but it was merely a piece of the puzzle. This is only the beginning.
Grevil then gets called by an officer, for the Arabian maid has escaped (such poor security in such a small European country), and has to leave. Victorique and Kazuya boards the ship and discovers an invitation, addressed to Roxanne, for The Miniature Garden Box Evening, an dinner on a luxury liner, namely the Queen Berry. The main dish? Hare.
“You must set a box afloat on water and let 11 hares run loose!”
Everything is falling into place – the box, the hares, and our duo. The two decides to investigate and boards the luxury liner with Roxanne’s invitation. Could it be the “revenge of the box” at the “Miniature Garden Box Evening”?
What’s going to happen next? What significance does the ‘box’ and ‘hares’ have? So many questions to be answered…
GoSick is off to a good start. The characters are pretty lovable, though the fact that Victorique is a bit too smart compared to everyone else is a bit questionable. (Blame the Saubure education system) The animation is great, as expected from BONES; I especially love the style of the OP sequence (although the transition of blood and dead bunnies to the white flowers was a bit wtf). Victorique’s cute faces won me over this episode, though Kazuya’s Bon Festival dance was a close second. I’m really looking forward to see how the relationship between those two develop, because they are SOOO CUTE together. I also want to see how they interweave it with the mysteries. Solving crimes + good character development = WIN WIN WIN
This first episode has accomplished its task – it captured my attention, kept it, and makes me want more. The cliff-hanger of the episode acts as a nice introduction to what is to come, and the ED mixes so well to the tone of the end of episode. I expect the next few episodes to be full of suspense and probably less of the comedy.
I give this episode 8 unicorn hairdos out of 10, or in French, huit coiffures (qui resemblent les licornes de dix).
OP:「Destin Histoire」 by yoshiki*lisa
ED: 「Resuscitated Hope」 by Komine Lisa