Our first foray into episode blogging, doing it the Reverse Thieves way (whatever that is)!
The story begins with a grizzly occult ceremony where rabbits are being slaughtered and some dire prophesy is being made. We then cut to Kazuya a lonely transfer student at exclusive St. Marguerite Academy in the small European nation of Sauville during what seems to be the early 20th century. While exploring the campus library tower Kazuya encounters the reclusive golden-haired Victorique and their fates become irrevocably entwined when a mystery is set before them.
Since this is a detective show, how well the mystery is executed is paramount to judging each episode. In this first installment, a story is related to Victorique involving a locked room shooting. Once she solves this in a matter of moments, the true case begins. Being the viewer let’s you solve the shooting fairly quickly as well, but our detective is merely hearing the story and not seeing anything. Victorique’s speed at deciphering the mystery is about letting us know who she is. As does the realization that she hasn’t been out in the world very much, she is eccentric plain and simple. The hints of a bigger mystery ahead as they find an invitation to a cruise is tantalizing.
The main purpose of this first episode is to try to show as much as they can without directly stating it. We see that Kazuya is noble but awkward and naive, that Victorique is brilliant but eccentric, sheltered, and a bit petulant, and that Grevil is the stereotypical incompetent glory hound that relies on the true sleuth. Like the first case in any Encyclopedia Brown novel, it is a case that stumps the investigators on the scene but is simply solved remotely by the great gumshoe with only a cursory description of the events. When done correctly the case at the front shows how brilliant our main character is while providing something that ties into the main story when all is said and done.
I am, of course, full of questions at this point. Since I already know the outcome of this first case I’m looking for differences. I will say I don’t necessarily think it was the best point to start out on because this is a fairly lengthy mystery. There are 24 episodes planned so they could have started with a case that is a little more compact to really warm everyone up. This causes there to be no real standout scene in the first episode. Being that I am already familiar with the source material, I have faith in the coming installments. On another note, the opening itself is really beautifully done.
The major oddity in the anime so far is that Bones started by adapting the first book in the Gosick series. This seems like the immediately obvious choice but as it turns out the first Gosick novel starts with Kazuya and Victorique knowing each other; their first meeting having taken place in a short story written later. Bones has decided instead to make this story their first meeting which makes the story slightly smoother as now Kazuya is no longer making reference to an unexplained murder mystery which connects him to Victorique. I know throws some people when they read the book. At the same time it makes Kazuya’s nickname a little awkward and makes it seem like everyone in the school is just afraid of Asian boys. For the record everyone shies away from him in the novels because there is a school superstition that transfer students are unlucky and then on Kazuya’s first day he gets blamed for murder and quickly gains a reputation for having Jessica Fletcher syndrome (aka murders just seems to happen around him all the time). Therefore people are naturally reluctant to hang around him. Hopefully as the series goes on they will go back and explain this in the new continuity.