Gosick 23 – lanterns of peace, sea of grief

June 25, 2011

We must now say our goodbyes.

Wow. This is the second to last episode of Gosick, and the prophesied storm has come. A sad ending had been hinted at for a long time now, so seeing friends drift apart, heroes victimized, the peaceful country of Saubure (Savoy) inflamed with the desire for war, and the villain. Albert de Blois, ascendant is not really a surprise.

Avril, is one of the last to leave, thus she sees Saubure, once an idyllic mountain kingdom, wracked by the madness that accompanies a nation eager for war.

Albert de Blois manipulates the King, along with everyone else.

The guilt of past misdeeds is used to justify a new cycle of bloodshed.

Albert sways the king into rejecting the path of peace, and Saubure forms an alliance with Germany, in anticipation of the coming war. It might not be clear from the screen shot above, but this was actually a clever use of surrealism to evoke the complexity of the king’s emotional state. Provoked by Albert, the King remembers how he killed his beloved wife, Coco Rose. The blood spattered on the painting splashes from lower left to upper right, in accordance with the Queen’s beheading, but a single stream of blood runs down the cheek of the painted figure as if she has started crying in accordance with the King’s acknowledgment that he “killed love”.

Kujo is still alive, but not in a very happy place.

One thing that was very powerful about this episode was that Kujo was completely missing for the first half. It turns out that Greville shipped him back to Japan as soon as use in capturing Victorique was over. We eventually catch up with Kujo training with the military in the snows of Hokkaido. In addition to the normal rigors of military training, Kujo must defend the ring that is all he has left of Victorique from a thieving superior.

Modern homunculi.

Albert has managed to twist the popular tale of the monstre charmant into a tool to attain the blind allegiance of the citizenry of Saubure. But his sense of theatrics, and belief that he has triumphed over all of his enemies, create an opening, and Victorique’s mother, Cordelia, darts in to avenge what Albert has done to her daughter.

Victorique's escape goes horribly wrong.

While Cordelia and Brian Roscoe #1 sacrifice themselves in an attack on Albert, Victorique is attacked by her would-be rescuer, Brian Roscoe #2. Really anything can happen at this point. It appears that both Cordelia and Brian Roscoe #1 have been fatally wounded, and Victorique seems to be at the utter mercy of Brian Roscoe #2, who wants to eliminate Victorique to prevent Cordelia from crying. Somehow I don’t think that is going to work, even assuming Cordelia survives her fight against Albert. With Kujo trapped in a military camp in East Asia, Victorique seems pretty helpless.

This is shaping up to an excellent ending, and, in my opinion, more than justifies the series.

14 Responses to “Gosick 23 – lanterns of peace, sea of grief”

  1. I doubt this will have a “happy” ending, but a hopeful one would be great. I just don’t want the series to end on a real downer or cliffhanger, in anticipation of a second season that may never come.

    Cordy has some mean ninja skills, I must say. Makes me wonder if she might have travelled to Japan during the first war. I hope she survives.

    As for Victorique, the only person I can think of who might be in a position to intercede for her would be…Grevil. I was hoping he might turn into a real, live Human Being and confront his father at the climax. That didn’t happen. But he’s in the area, and he did again show at least some doubts about his actions. I wonder if it’s possible he’s the one who let Cordelia in? Probably not.

    Although I was disappointed that the mysteries in the series were not scripted a little better, it’s now obvious that the whole “mystery” element of the show is there merely to bring Kuzo and Victorique together and lead them down a very bumpy path. And THAT has been done excellently. The bond between these two has been forged slowly but steadily, and is now entirely believable.


    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yes. I agree about the mysteries. They turned out to be of maybe tertiary importance, behind the KujoXVictorique relationship and an adventure story. Looking back, even the first arc turned out that way, so I guess we all could have caught on a lot quicker. (Maybe we were too hung up on that pipe!)

      You have a point about Greville although he did seem to have turned into a heartless bastard. In some ways I wouldn’t mind a definitive tragic ending, with Victorique knifed and left to bleed to death in the snow. At any rate, I kind of hope they don’t make another season, because it would probably be underwhelming. It took them a while to build up the current story line, with all the arrows pointing in the same direction. Anything else will just come off as a side adventure.

      • Wow! Really? That’s almost impossible for me to comprehend. When I get involved with a character I like, the idea of wishing a bad ending for them is utterly foreign to me. I understand the concept of the “Artistry of the Tragic,” but I’ve never been able to get into it.

        Horribly nasty shit happens in real life all the time. One of the main attractions of creating fictional universes is that we don’t have to let the worst happen. Putting good people through the wringer, and then screwing them in the end, is too much like reality. What’s the point? Just turn on the news.

        But then again, that’s the whole different strokes for different folks thing. Personally, I’m pulling for the non-bleeding-to-death-in-the-snow ending. And since this anime is pulled from a long-running series of novels, it’s actually possible (though not entirely likely) that a follow-on series might even be better, now that they’ve got the relationship between the main characters established. In any case, in less than a week we’ll know!

      • Joojoobees Says:

        Well, it’s not like I don’t understand where you are coming from, but there is something beautiful about tragic deaths. I mean the whole RomeoXJuliet thing, for example. It is much more elegant than living on, and getting into a fight over who did the dishes the last time, you know?

  2. Jo Says:

    Kinda wish I didn’t drop this series…
    May have to pick it up again to see what I am missing.
    Darn it..


    • Joojoobees Says:

      In all honesty it wasn’t one of the greatest series I’ve ever watched, but it was much better than some of the crap that gets put out every season. The second course was where it really hit it’s stride.

      • Jo Says:

        Do you think its worth picking up again then? Was there still a lot of Kujo yelling ‘Victorique!!’ everytime something happened? I hated that…
        or should I just leave it and continue on with the new season…


      • Joojoobees Says:

        Ha ha! I don’t remember how much, but he definitely does that some times. If you caught the first few episodes you could jump in late (like episode 18) and just watch the ending. It is pretty impressive that they built up the larger story from little bits dropped all along the way. If you jumped in late, you would miss that, but the ending would still be intelligible, as long as you knew who the main characters were.

      • Jo Says:

        Thanks, I’ll probably do that…


  3. Heh! But ya see, if someone says to me, “Davey, my boy, I’m gonna give you the choice between a moving and tragically beautiful death, and a boring old living on doing what you do…” I’m choosing the boring living on. I LIKE living on. It’s my favorite thing, actually. And I guess I feel the same way about characters I like. But then, I never really liked “Romeo and Juliet” and the other Shakespearan tragedies, either. My response at the end was always, “Well, that sucks!” In reality, I probably identify with the characters TOO much. But whaddaya gonna do? : – )

    • Joojoobees Says:

      🙂 As long as you’re enjoying the show, you can’t be doing it wrong. Surely there is something to what you say about the escapist function of fiction/anime.

      Now I’m by no means urging you to seek out a glorious death, but the “living on” you mention strikes me as a fictive construction, an escapist fantasy.

      “Past and future are as perishable as any dream, but the present is merely the dimensionless and durationless borderline between the two.” — Nietzsche, describing Heraclitus’ philosophy

      You might be right in saying that it is in the real world that things must come to an end. In fiction we can assert that “they lived happily ever after”.

      • Yeah, that was really my only point. In a fictional universe we get to play God and make the rules whatever we want them to be. I’m a romantic by nature, so I tend to go for the “kinder, gentler, happy-ever-after” option. Especially since “romance” in the real world is hardly ever all it’s cracked up to be. [Heavy sigh.]

  4. Ryo_kun Says:

    This was a very powerful episode I must say. From the moment Kujou defended the ring to the moment when Albert the rapist was stabbed. Though I still think that there are chances that Grevil might save Victorique in the nick of time. Who knows. =)

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Yes to both of those. I really hate people who abuse their power, so I was pretty emotionally invested in both scenes. Albert definitely needed to be shut down, and it was great that Cordelia had the opportunity to do it, but I am a bit worried that he is still in business. Looking forward to next episode to see how it all turns out.

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