Gosick 16 – nuns behaving badly
May 8, 2011
Gosick episode 16 kicks off a new arc. This one takes us to Lithuania of all places. I conclude with a comment on exoticism.
Here is one of the interesting things about Gosick, when was the last time an anime took place in part in Lithuania? Gosick continues to intrigue me, not only because of the accomplished voice acting of Aoi Yuuki, not only because Bones can deliver effective visuals (at least when they are in the mood), but because the author chose to entwine the story with the disastrous events in Europe in the first half of the 20th century. I find the setting intriguing, and it lends an air of gravitas and foreboding, as the relative calm of the society in which Kujo and Victorica live is sandwiched between World Wars I & II.
As always, the new arc starts with a supernatural-themed story. In this case an event from the past known as Maria’s Felling Ghost, in which German planes bombing a convent are destroyed by the apparition of the virgin Mary. When Kujo discovers Victorica missing, due to yet another machination of Albert de Blois, he sets out to find her. Bringing him to a mysterious convent named for the Lord of Flies.
This being a setup episode, there isn’t too much to say, except that we seem to be getting ever closer to the bigger story at the heart of the series. In truth I’m more inclined to remark upon the insane depiction of nuns, as exemplified by the screencap above. Japanese anime is loaded with references to “Chistianity”, or at least the outward trappings, such as nuns, exorcists, and weddings, but (with a single exception) I have never seen anything that suggested that these elements were being used by people who understand anything about the core of the religion. My natural inclination is to blame this on the missionaries who sought to convert, instead of explain. The one anime that I have seen that makes a sincere attempt to deal with the message at the core of so called “Christianity” (that is the teachings of Jesus) is Trigun. Nor would I say this is a particularly Japanese tendency; American culture is full of illogical appropriations from all sorts of cultures, that emphasize, “ooh, pretty,” over a nuanced understanding of the significance of cultural artifacts and practices within the originating society. At any rate, I found it kind of funny, seeing a room full of nuns, holding up crosses, essentially shouting “kill, kill!”