Summer vacation has hit and Kazuya finds himself in a bit of a guilty situation of his own making.
What They Say:
It's summer vacation at the academy and all of the students are going on retreats from the heat, except for Victorique, who is forced to spend the boring break alone there. However, after Kazuya turns down Avril's invitation, he pays Victorique a visit, bringing along the most recent goodies sent from Japan. Among them is the answer to the puzzle Victorique posed to Kazuya's second elder brother. Under the midsummer sun, Kazuya's thoughts go to earlier summer days in Japan.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The schooling side of the series gets paid very little attention overall, which can be kind of frustrating at times, but it at least does keep to delaing with some of the basics as we see campus life and all those that Kazuya knows around there. It's mild material overall, but it does provide a bit of a backdrop that lets you realize that he is indeed in a school and knows a couple of people there. With this episode, it's time for summer break and Avril is doing her best to spend some time with Kazuya by inviting him to Mediterranean with her. He's all set to go, too, with the way Victorique gets all bitchy about it.
Since Victorique can't go, she's taking things out on him a bit and making her complaints after he's gone about the sun and so forth, which is rather cute since she gets all pouty about it. Kazuya's a good guy though, because even after he gets mad about her attitude and gets ready to head off, he finds that he still can't bring himself to do it and instead spends the break with her, sharing his care package from Japan with her. Summer break with her is definitely an odd thing, though you can see the way the two do find a calming effect on each other. The time spent under the tree with Victorique reading and Kazuya in the tree watching over her is very relaxing and comforting in its presentation and atmosphere.
The show does spend a little bit of time showing some of Kazuya's home life in Japan when he was younger, and there's a good bit of material from the packages he's got about the culture and the like that he both imparts to Victorique and just talks about in general with himself that it foes help to flesh him out a fair bit. It's a very mellow episode in how it deals with these things, but it does have some fun moments, such as having Kazuya walking around his building in his traditional kimono which is very alien to the servants that are still there doing chores and the like, and they do comment on it. It's a good reminder of how he's really not from there and something unusual and different to most of those at the academy, something that has largely been lost over the course of the show I think. They do delve into a little mystery closure with a small revelation at the end, and it's a nice way to tie things up, but it didn't particularly grab me either.
Gosick has itself a very nice and relaxed episode here for the most part and having it being a standalone piece definitely works in its favor. There's nothing huge here, but it's good to have some mellow time without any real big mysteries for the bulk of it and to just let the dynamic between these two main characters unfold without any outside interference. It definitely reinforces just how good the two are together and how they interact as well as the calming presence they do largely have on each other. Victorique has some very cute moments at the start with her attitude about everything, but considering her position it's certainly understandable. An episode like this is a reminder as to why the show is as good as it is and merits watching.
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.