With the "Queen Berry" arc finished, I was quickly looking forward to the next arc in Gosick. As I waited, I wondered what would happen next. Would it be another action-related arc? Or an introduction to more of Gosick's universe? Filled with optimism, I decided to dig into this week's (or last week's, rather) episode.
New mystery after the jump!
This episode is an introduction to the "Headless Rider" arc. It begins as our good friend Kujo is arrested for a crime he didn't commit. It turns out that he was merely witnessing the decapitation of a man on a motorcycle by a steel wire trap. Victorique proves Kujo's innocence by revealing that the killer was the girl Kujo spotted before the murder. The next day, Kujo's class gets a new addition: an English exchange student named Avril Bradley. As the episode progresses, it is implied that Avril Bradley might have had something to do with the murder of the nameless, and headless, rider, as well as a mysterious case that happened long ago. I won't elaborate further about this mystery, but when Kujo tells Victorique all of this, she promptly runs downstairs towards the library's spiraling bookcases to "provide salvation to [Kujo's] troubled soul". Cue cliffhanger.
From a technical standpoint, this episode was very good, as expected. The animation is still very good, with no quirks or errors. The colors pop out just as brightly as ever, even in a dark minded anime as this one. The cliffhanger at the end did what it did: it made me wonder what would happen in the episodes to come. It kept me thinking about the conclusion, as mysteries should. And that's great, for what it's worth.
Sadly, this is where the positives end. The problem with this episode is that it was just simply "okay". Not astounding and not horrible. It just sits on the little fringe in between. The introduction of a new arc was nice, yes, but it felt like it was just that. It introduced and arc and provided all there is to know about it. And that's all it did. Again, there was no real plot development that affected the entire story, and the characters this time around just served their purpose, and did nothing else. Overall, nothing story or character-wise wowed me. Rather, it just left me wishing for more. More substance, that is.
On the whole, I found this episode not as enjoyable as the last three. The introduction of an arc and a character was good, but unfortunately the case of plot and character development remain a mystery. I see this series has a pattern: it gets better and better until it hits the climax, then goes back to drab and uninteresting once a case has been solved. I've still got a bit optimism in me, so I'll keep watching to see if it gets better. If it gets any worse, it'll be in danger of being dropped. And I really don't want to do that to an anime series with potential to amaze. I hate to break it to you, but a petite Lolita fashioned detective genius will only get you so far.
Plot Advancement: 1/5
Horror, Mystery: 3.5/5
Episode Plot: 3/5
Animation Quality: 4/5