With bodies on the ground, the mystery deepens that only Victorique can solve.
What They Say:
Two visiting outsiders have been murdered at the village's midsummer festival, but Victorique solves the mystery of their deaths. However, the village elder claims, "This isn't Saubure" and won't allow the murderer to stand trial. And then, Victorique and Kazuya are on the verge of proving Cordelia Gallo innocent of the crime she was found guilty of 20 years earlier.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The exploration of the village and Victorique's past has had some interesting moments as it's progressed but it's faltered more than it's engaged as it's progressed. With the village elder having shot what he thought, and continues to believe, is a wolf, there's a lot of tension in the village now. His adamant stance that he didn't shoot the man but shot the wolf stand in direct opposition to the fact that one young man is definitely shot. But it's just one of several mysteries that are ongoing within the village. Victorique is ready to start putting it all together though, almost right from the start, as Inspector Blois has arrived and is ready to hear what's going on.
Of course, there's additional tension that comes into play as the village itself isn't exactly that but rather a country all on its own called Seyrun. This stops Blois dead in his tracks from taking anybody in since they're not actually in Saubure and he has no jurisdiction. It's an amusing moment when the village elder reveals this and that he's not really just the village elder but actually its king. Even Victorique seems a little taken aback by the revelation but it just shifts her perceptions in the right direction so she can peel back the layers for the other mysteries that are at hand.
The deeper exploration that goes on for the majority of the episode though is all about what happened to Cordelia years ago that lead to her death. It's a bit convoluted at times with the way it's all brought about and some of that comes from the fact that the story has gone for three episodes now and told somewhat languidly at times with other little subplots coming into play as well. The truth of what happened to Cordelia, how she was framed and why, is certainly interesting but it doesn't actually captivate or engage you. It's simply something that happened that Victorique is now finally able to know the truth about. The impact on her and how she handles it is what could make it interesting, but Victorique's personality won't really let it have all that much of an impact on her. It's an interesting story overall, but the structure and pacing of it proved more frustrating than not as it went on.
Gosick accomplishes all of its goals with this arc but it's one that has again rather let me down in some way. I like the overall series premise and sense of style, but the storytelling continues to slowly push me away. It's relaxed approach isn't a bad thing, but it's too relaxed at times and doesn't engage you enough to really hold on. It's the kind of show that I suspect will play a lot better when watched in sets or marathon runs. Victorique's past is something that definitely needs to be explored, but was it something that needed to be covered this early overall? Or could it have come much later and instead focus on the exploration of the pairing of her and Kujo with more interesting mysteries. It's an important story but it's one that would have worked better later on when we're more established not only with Victorique but also Kujo.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.