It seems to be a common recurring thread in anime, and I guess in a lot of other mediums too. The real climax of the story comes in the penultimate episode, leaving the finale as a bit of a letdown. I wouldn’t call this final ep of Gosick a disappointment, and I enjoyed it – but in the final analysis it didn’t pack quite the emotional punch I expected.
So Kujo was in Japan all along last week, which I guess makes the most sense. And so, the old man in Seyrun’s prophecy came true – a great storm did separate Kujo and Victorique. It just happened about 14 years earlier than I expected, thanks to the magic of alternative history. With Kujo enduring horrible conditions (and apparently fighting in Northern Scandinavia for some reason, by the looks of the weather) Victorique manages to elude whichever Brian is trying to kill her. He flips out, mistaking her for Cordelia, and ends up grievously wounded after a fall from a cliff. After she saves him, Brian apparently decides to accede to Cordelia’s wishes. Cordelia’s original escape plan was for Brian and Victorique to escape on a ship, which they manage to do thanks to…
That’s right, Grevil. Gee – who could have predicted? Thanks to his feigned inattention she and Brian slip away, as Cordelia and his twin apparently perish in the burning Saubere. Brian #2 (or #1) dies too, from his wounds but not before using one last bit of magic to turn Victorique’s hair silver so that she can avoid capture.
If you’re getting the idea that things were pretty rushed here, you’re right. They were last week too, but that somehow contributed to the drama, the sense of a world spinning out of control. There was that here too, but a lot more feeling that they were just trying to tie up a lot of loose ends quickly. And really, all I cared about was Kujo and Victorique. And boy, they did a good job there of making me think Kujo wasn’t going to make it. Victorique kept imagining him at her side in spirit (a serious death flag) and the hits just kept on coming for him – barracks bombed, patrol wiped out… They even had me convinced his legs had been blown off on the battlefield, in the scariest moment of the episode.
But Gosick was as much fairy tale as anything, albeit with perhaps a good dose of FMA and Agatha Christie thrown in. Roget made sure Victorique got Kujo’s letters, which led her to his family’s home in Japan. And that’s just where he finally turned up after the time skip you just knew was coming, this one four years. Kujo had gained about a foot in height and his hair back, and fortunately seemed to be in one piece when he met Victorique and his sister on the quay. Roget returned to the King’s side, the war was over, and all was finally right with the world.
I was moved by the reunion of Kujo and Victorique, but probably not as much as I should have been considering they were the best couple of the year in anime so far. Perhaps it was the extremely low-key tone of their meeting, or the fact that so much drama had been spent on breaking them apart and on the heartbreak it was causing them. That’s a microcosm of my feelings for the episode as a whole – I enjoyed it, but not as much as I wanted to.
Still, the fact remains that the last arc was the best of the series for me. All the strands came together beautifully, and the heartbreak of the parting of our heroes was beautifully executed. If the joy of their reunion wasn’t at that level, I can forgive it. And with the storm already out of the way, there’s presumably no reason they can’t stay together forever now, be it in Japan or in Europe. Now that’s what I call a happy ending.