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Issue 02: First Days in Sauville

Sauville Chronicle
Volume 1, Issue 2 Freedom, Expression, Knowledge 23 January 2011

First Days in Sauville
Of Black Reapers, Young Detectives and Running Hares

They say that in Sauville, everything supernatural is all the rage.

Kazuya Kujo, a young Japanese boy who is admitted to Sauville's Saint Marguerite Academy, just found this out in his first day as a student. Although it was uncomfortable for him to be called the "Black Reaper" - of all names - Kazuya lives on with his new namesake, with the help of his teacher Cecile.

However, things go beyond the normal when he stumbles upon a girl sitting alone atop the school's vast library complex: a girl named Victorica (or Victorique, whichever you prefer). This boy-meets-girl incident sparks the start of a series of adventures somewhat reminiscent of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, with a juvenile twist.

Currently, there have been three episodes of the series currently released, with Victorica and Kazuya's adventure focused on a series of events that occured ten years ago. It started with the death of a fortune-teller named Roxane, and followed up with the revelation of the sinking of the Queen Berry, a ship that has witnessed a bloody game that dictated the fate of Europe at that time. These episodes appeared disjointed at first, but the third episode acted as the link between Roxane's death and the maritime chaos that brought feelings of deja-vu to those involved.

I was impressed by how Bones handled the series. First of all, the overall feel of the series is appropriate to the moment; you are not startled with fanservice or excessive characterization when things get serious, and one can feel chills when needed. Although Victorica presents her respective moe and serious moments, she does not become too much of both. The colors also contributed to the look and feel of certain situations, e.g. the dreary grays of Queen Berry from the storm-laden decks and the vibrant range of hues from Victorica's haven on the topmost floor of the library.

The cases are also handled well; it does not attempt to recreate the feel of a Holmesian mystery, so it allows the viewer to be immersed in a more comfortable atmosphere while avoiding him or her to think too much that it is distracting. I admit, however, that the story suffers a bit from pacing issues, causing Victorica to solve cases "too fast" and creating an assumption that Victorica might be too smart at times.

Nonetheless, Gosick - for its first three episodes - is still impressive, and perhaps, might be a successful anime title for those who are interested in mystery.

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