Gosick (ゴシック goshikku?) is a Japanese light novel series by Kazuki Sakuraba, published by Fujimi Shobo. Set in a fictional European country in 1924, a Japanese exchange student meets a mysterious, brilliant girl who only leaves the library to sleep. Her brother, a policeman, relies on her mind to solve difficult mysteries, several of which draw her away from the library.
Tokyopop released the first novel in the series in English in April 2008 and the second in March 2010. The series is being published in Germany by Tokyopop since November 2006. A manga adaptation started serialization in the shōnen manga magazine Monthly Dragon Age on December 9, 2007. On March 15, 2010, it was announced that an anime adaptation is in the works.
Plot and settings
Gosick takes place in 1924 in the small, fictional European country of Sauville. The story centers on Kazuya Kujo, the third son of a Japanese Imperial soldier, who is a transfer student in St. Marguerite Academy, where urban legends and horror stories are extremely popular among its students. There he meets Victorique, a mysterious yet beautiful and brilliant girl who never comes to class and spends her days reading the entire content of the Academy's library or solving mysteries that even detectives are unable to solve. The series mostly focuses on Kazuya and Victorique becoming involved with different mystery cases and their struggle to solve them, at the same time forming important bonds with different people.
He is one of the main character in the story. As the youngest son of a soldier, Kazuya has spent most of his life struggling with living in his highly successful siblings' shadows. Jealous of all the attention his brothers recieved, he worked hard to compete with them, but everything changed when he understood that adults, who think that the youngest child is always spoiled and useless, will never acknowledge his efforts. With a permanent scar in his heart, he left the military academy in Japan and, before anyone from his family could stop him, went to study abroad to St. Marguerite. Unfortunately, his appearance, combined with the student body's belief that "the traveler who comes in the spring brings death with him", has resulted in Kazuya being called the "Reaper" and having no friends. By some twist of fate he becomes a messenger and companion to the most eccentric pupil in the school, Victorique. At first, he did not like Victorique because of her arrogant attitude, but after some time, he started to care for her and be protective of her. He is described by Victorique as a good and sincere person whose soul is pure and beautiful enough to admit pride. Despite of everything that happened in Japan, he is proud to be a soldier's son.
The heroine of the story. Victorique has the appearance of a small, almost doll-like, girl with long hair and emerald eyes and a voice that sounds exactly like that of an old woman. Another important part of Victorique's appearance is a pipe that she smokes when thinking about something. Along with her sharp tongue, abusive bluntness and eccentric attitude, she possesses amazing detective skills and Kazuya soon finds himself getting dragged into many crime investigations after a near-arrest that Victorique saved him from. Because of her half aristocratic blood and behavior different from other children she was raised cut off from the world in the depths of the de Blois mansion. And then she was sent off to school, under strict orders to never leave the campus. When she first met Kazuya she didn't like him and thought that he was annoying and stupid for climbing up all the stairs in the library, even going as far as ignoring him or making fun of him, but gradually she warmed up to him and began to trust and cherish him.
Grevil is an aristocrat who had forced the local police to make him a detective purely because he had an interest in crime. The most noticeable thing in his appearance is his drill-like hairstyle that Kazuya thinks could be used as a deadly weapon. Despite being a terrible detective and always having to rely on Victorique to solve his crimes, he refuses to acknowledge she even exists. That is because he is Victorique's half brother and even if they are family they could never acknowledge each other in public. His mother was their father's proper wife and because he is the eldest son he takes all the glory for solving crimes and will take over after their father dies. He is described by Victorique as a heel and a playboy.
An international student from Great Britain. Because she and Kazuya were both from abroad, they quickly found common ground and were able to talk freely. A beautiful girl with short blond hair and blue eyes. It is hinted that she has feelings for Kazuya.
A teacher in St. Marguerite Academy. A small woman with a baby face, fluffy brown hair and big round glasses.
There are nine light novels out in total for Gosick. Like many Japanese series, the chronology is a little confusing, since there are both novel length works and short story collections, which were published out of chronological order. The Gosick novels are full length works, and the GosickS books are short story collections. The series was authored by Kazuki Sakuraba with illustrations by Hinata Takeda. The first novel was released in Japan on December 10, 2003 and the last one on April 10, 2007. Tokyopop licensed the novels for the US market.
- Gosick (Gosick -ゴシック-?) ISBN 4829162295
- Gosick II -Gosick - Sono tsumi wa na mo naki- (Gosick II -ゴシック・その罪は名もなき-?) ISBN 4829162546
- Gosick III -Gosick - Aoi bara no shita de- (Gosick III -ゴシック・青い薔薇の下で-?) ISBN 4829162732
- Gosick IV -Gosick - gusha o daiben se yo- (Gosick IV -ゴシック・愚者を代弁せよ-?) ISBN 4829162880
- Gosick V -Gosick - beruzebubu no zugai- (Gosick V -ゴシック・ベルゼブブの頭蓋-?) ISBN 4829163283
- Gosick VI -Gosick - kamen butōkai no yoru- (Gosick VI -ゴシック・仮面舞踏会の夜-?) ISBN 4829163755
GosickS takes place before Gosick, GosickS II between Gosick IV and Gosick V. GosickS III takes place after Gosick VI.
- GosickS -GosickS - Haru kitaru shinigami- (GosickS - ゴシックエス・春来たる死神-?) ISBN 4829163100
- GosickS II -GosickS - Natsu kara tōzakaru ressha- (GosickS II -ゴシックエス・夏から遠ざかる列車-?) ISBN 4829163526
- GosickS III -GosickS - aki no hana no omoide- (GosickS III - ゴシックエス・秋の花の思い出-?) ISBN 9784829163870
A drama CD in which the story is based on the first volume of GosickS, was released on April 21, 2006.
Anime News Network's Carlo Santos commends the light novels for "a mysterious, elegant atmosphere and an intricate plotline make this a thrilling read from start to finish". However, he criticises the light novels for "flashback scenes [that] never really fit in, and the final conclusion is rather far-fetched".
"Takeda has a clean drawing style and uses a mix of crosshatching and tone work for the black-and-white drawings. Character designs are about average with large round faces and large round eyes for the teenage characters and narrower eyes for most of the adults. She puts in a lot of details into Victorique fluffy, frilly dress (lots of lace, ribbons, bows, and buttons) while Kazuya's suits and the adults' eveningwear are much simpler. Backgrounds, whether seaside backdrops or garish interiors, are also carefully detailed." - Sakura Eries, Mania.com
- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-06-18/tokyopop-confirms-38-upcoming-manga-manhwa-novels ANN News Piece
- TOKYOPOP - Bücher: Romane: Gosick
- Santos, Carlo (May 23, 2008). "Gosick Vol. 1 (novel)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
- Eries, Sakura (May 30, 2008). "Gosick the Novel Vol. #01". Mania.com. Retrieved 2009-08-13.