(in some alien language because Tokyopop’s gay ass doesn’t keep things in color)
Because I don’t talk about it enough, you may or may not know that Boogiepop and Others is my favorite novel ever and one of my favorite anythings ever. I don’t think it would have been half as great though if the translator, Andrew Cunningham, hadn’t done such a fucking amazing job, and Seven Seas adding all sorts of juicy extras that tugged me into the series with utter force. Long after reading and loving Boogiepop I found out that Andrew Cunningham had a blog and I could, like, talk to him and shit. Also, he translates a whole shiltload of novels now, and even reviews some of the ones he does and others. Well anyway, he translated Gosick and his review was favorable. Plus it had a gothloli involved and I LOVE gothloli. So seeing it in the store, I knew it had to be MINE.
For those who aren’t familiar with light novels, they are basically like reading an anime but with no pictures. Plus they are short. I read very slow so it took me about 3 hours to chomp through Gosick, but if you are the type who reads a graphic novel in 15 minutes, you should be able to finish Gosick in 45 minutes. When reading, I felt like it could have made a good movie or OVA, though by the end I was more leaning to the first arc of a series because I definitely want more.
Gosick is essentially a quirky episode of Detective Conan with more interesting main characters. The whole Sherlock Holmes style is strong with this one, and the formulas were very Conan-reminiscent. Shocking things happen, people yell in shock, most of the supporting cast is killed, and a shocking twist mixed with the most ‘no way’ clues possible reveal the truth. Replace Conan’s ‘One truth prevails’ with Victorique’s ‘I reconstructed the chaos based on the facts that sprung from the fountain of knowledge’ and there you have it.
The only trouble I had with Gosick was at the beginning when it didn’t exactly tell you where it was going, but I ended up feeling glad that time was taken to really get me into the characters before the action started. The main character duo will make many cry ‘Haruhi’. Kujo, a Japanese student at a European school full of white kids, takes himself and everything a little too seriously, can be very frank and a little stubborn but has a heart of gold. It’s easy to imagine him talking in Kyon’s deadpan. Victorique is conversely the opposite of Haruhi in terms of outward personality, but her dialog is almost the same minus the tsun. While she isn’t energetic and outgoing (n fact, she spends all of her time sitting in a tower reading multiple books in different languages at THE SAME TIME) she does command Kujo to do her bidding and acts out of sheer boredom. However, she is also a genius unlike Haruhi and states everything only according to absolute fact. Throughout the novel, we are given equal evidence that she might be more of a kid than she lets on and that she is, in fact, a robot. The duality makes her fun and interesting, and I look forward to the two characters returning again.
The mystery itself didn’t seem like it was all too original, especially since a lot of the clues were completely ridiculous. However in the end, when things came together, I was genuinely surprised by one major plot twist that made me feel like a complete idiot. In the end it was worthwhile, and since the book was so brief, it helped make the whole experience feel satisfying.
If you like mystery or are just a light novel freak like me, I definitely reccommend reading this.