What They Say:
There’s a masquerade Christmas party at the academy. Cecile takes two costumes out of storage in the attic, with the intention of outfitting Kazuya and Victorique. The costumes, a pink dress and a rabbit suit, are based on the fairy tale, “Monstre Charmant”. Victorique and Kazuya go to the party in costume and have a good time, but a gust of wind is about to blow between them…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The land of Saubure as quite a few traditions, myths and folklore pieces that figure into various events and this episode drops us into a Christmas themed episode, circa 1924. The school setting is an amusing one for it as one of their traditions is to wear costumes for it, which as Kazuya confused at first when he runs across students wearing them. Of course, with his reputation preceding him, they’re all far more scared of him than his shock at some of the costumes which is amusing to watch. With so many instances of death surrounding him, it’s no surprise that nobody outside of Victorique wants to deal with him.
Which is something that Cecile forgets when she gives him a costume to wear as well as one for Victorique and does so in front of Avril, the only girl to feel romantic towards him there. The episode has some very sweet moments to it, particularly the evening dance that the two attend with the other students since they dress up in outfits out of local folklore, which has Kazuya in a giant rabbit costume with a glittery pink heart attached to it. While it’s all filled with light, fluffiness and fun as the two stand apart from everyone else but enjoy themselves, it turns bad not long after was Kazuya finds himself kidnapped in essence by mustached men in black. A forced separation is in order apparently and that jogs Kazuya’s memory of being told about a gale that would come and separate them. With war seemingly brewing around them, and now military men after Kazuya who want to interrogate him, thing are turning decidedly dark on a very happy occasion.
Kazuya finds himself in a strange place with this where he manages to get away and we start to see how many people are returning home from the school because of the growing tensions. There’s a quiet somberness about the events as they unfold but Kazuya still has some slivers of a smile coming out, as does Victorique in her own way as she patiently waits for Kazuya to return to her while not changing her costume from that night. The time spent with her and Avril is very telling though as there’s a bit of a thaw in their relations, mostly from Victorique’s side as Avril has done her best to be friendly, and Avril is being very sensitive to the way she’s dealing with this new, sudden loss of Kazuya. That Kazuya and Victorique keep getting separated is starting to be a real trend and it reduces some of the tension of the episode because he’s starting to feel like a damsel in distress that does his best to get himself out of these situations.
Gosick continues to have large events play out while only lightly bringing awareness of them before. The threat of war has certainly been there for some time, but that things become even more prominent here feels like it’s being forced into the forefront in a less than gentle and natural way. As a launching point for the new story that will take the series to its conclusion, it’s going to have to be suitably large in scale, and personal for the two leads, and they have the elements for it in place here. But the execution of it is clunky and forced and has too many repetitive elements that we’ve seen earlier in the series. The quiet moments in the first half are really welcome and the emotional side at the end is spot on, but the way it moves between these points wasn’t executed well.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.