This was purely a setup episode for Gosick, but an effective one. I was never blown away by any specific moment on screen, but just at the moment I was expecting the eyecatch the ED started rolling. Fast paced and efficient, it told a lot of story in a clear and concise way.
But what is it setting up, exactly? We have quite a ways to go before the end, but this really feels like it should be the final arc – it’s certainly bringing together all the elements that have been hinted at for the first 15 eps. The Marquis de Blos has made his move, deciding that he needs to stash Victorique away to prepare her for whatever nefarious purpose was hinted at in the Leviathan arc. One day Kujo goes to the tower, only to find her gone – and sensei tells him that she’s been taken to a nunnery by Grevil and one of their father’s men.
Ah, but Grevil – as predicted here – really is on Victorique’s side. Even his father accuses him of growing attached, but when she refuses to eat or even read he has no choice but to allow Grevil to dispatch Kujo to her side. The nunnery is certainly an odd one – a remote convent in Lithuania (an old ally of Saubere) where a strange event occurred during WW I – a squad of German bombers destroyed by a gigantic image of the Virgin Mary. Ah, but it’s also rumored to have been a secret testing lab for the military of Saubere.
What in the world kind of convent hosts a monthly sort of bacchanal/magic show for invited guests? Beelzebub’s Skull, apparently. Grevil gets Kujo a ticket and he’s joined by all the important players – Brian Roscoe and Cordelia Gallo, a strange chap named Simon Hunt and an old man, both of whom Kujo meets on the train. Roscoe always seems to be around when the shit hits the fan, and he’s apparently ready to launch whatever gambit he’s been building towards – clearly in opposition to Blois, and willing to risk Victorique’s life in the process.
To what ends we can’t exactly say, but Cordelia makes sure Kujo finds her daughter, cowering in her dark but unlocked chambers. She greets Kujo with venomous words, but also with tears – and doesn’t resist when he takes her in his arms. He really has the patience of a Saint, Kujo – fortunately for Victorique – and absorbs her abuse with his usual good humor. As promised, he’s found her – with a lot of help from her brother and mother.
Now, I suppose, is when everyone’s loyalties are going to start being revealed. About the only thing we can say with absolute certainty is that Kujo is steadfast for Victorique, but there are so many other players with their own ends in mind that it’s hard to keep track of all the crossed purposes. The convent is certainly an odd place for this play to be acted out, but I doubt the story will stay there for too long. I can’t see this setting taking up the entire final 8 episodes, but it also seems odd that they would start this confrontation if they intended to detour again before the finish. Will we have one long arc, spreading over several mini-arcs? At this point, that seems the most likely scenario.