「野兎(のうさぎ)達は朝陽の下で約束をかわす」 (Nousagi-tachi wa Asahi no Shita de Yakusoku o Kawasu)
“The Hares Break a Promise Under the Morning Sun”
The first half was an absolute thrill, with BONES action, high flying emotions, and some actual suspense. Although, I am curious if a tennis ball in an armpit can really halt your heartbeat in your arm even momentarily, so I will try it later for science.
Victorique’s character continues to deliver with wit, laughs, and your daily dose of cuteness. She displays more facets of her personality this time, most of them belonging to her vulnerable side, but cleverly covers most of them up later as if they were acts. The hand holding, calling out to Kujou to stand by her, they all “apparently” had reasons. Though when death seems imminent, Victorique shows that she does care about Kujou, and her cries for him to not leave her alone were almost chilling. She’d never let him know that though, at least not out of a life or death situation. Kujou, of course, helps bring most of it out by being the man he is, and his moral code is strong. I have to say, those punches he laid out were just spectacular. Until the action started, I almost forgot this was a BONES show. Punches move with fluid speed, with water smashing against the opponent’s face, and then spraying outwards for impact. Felt like Hajime no Ippo for a second there.
And now, I’m going to spend a second paragraph on Victorique, because this is how I show my love. Near the end, she reveals a bit about her past, her relationship with Grevil, and her general current situation. A captive princess in a castle slash library, with an “evil” brother, and an “evil” mother, who isolated her in some deep part of the de blois mansion as she was the black sheep of the family. Take evil in the broadest terms, because at least Grevil, while still a major egotist, isn’t as douchey as he seems, yet. Victorique’s already an awesome character, so if you throw some broody past she had to deal with, you get some easy sympathy. Plus, she laughs at her own misfortune. I’d commend to that.
History lesson! The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which if you remember from high school history class, pretty much led to the beginning of World War I. That’s the “big war” Victorique was referring to. It’s pretty much an alternate history take, where people used fortune tellers to predict who was going to win the war, leading to the creation of Queen Berry and the Hares. As for the mystery itself, it was either going to be Julie or Ned, but it kind of turned out to be both.
Julie’s quite the actress. I had to think about it before realizing Ned was the one that couldn’t recognize Julie, rather than the other way around. Skimming episode two, her and Ned’s reactions to things were so ambiguous, it’s almost like they were both fooling each other. So, Victorique knew Ned was the killer (even though he didn’t kill anyone up till then), Julie knew who Ned was (but couldn’t find a way to kill Ned without suspicion, hence the expression when she had to throw away her gun), Ned just resumed his role as the hunting dog probably out of psychosis, and Kujou.. became a man. It’s funny though, Ned probably died never realizing Julie was the one that set everything up, which would explain him throwing her aside, going straight after Victorique and Kujou. I did have one problem though. Julie wanted to set up the Queen Berry as a revenge system, and she invited everyone from the first Queen Berry that ran the thing, so why isn’t that elaborated upon in the end? Sure, it was only one episode ago, but bringing it up and connecting it to everything would have made a lot more impact than playing vague and smiling smugly at my face, forcing me to go back to episode two to confirm things. Still, it was a satisfactory mystery that actually tied itself up pretty well. I liked the connection with the maid being Lee, and how everything came full circle. A pretty good starter mystery, if anything.
Apparently they’re starting with a mystery from the manga next week, something that probably has to do with the new transfer student. I haven’t enjoyed such a crafted chemistry between two leads in a long time, and it has made GOSICK one of my favorite shows this season so far. The question is, do I want these mysteries to be spoon-fed to me, or do I want to have to do my own homework to understand it even more? Nothing wrong with either, but for the lazy man, give me the former!
Note: Actually, it’s not exactly clear whether or not Julie really knew who Ned was either. Ned was called “Huey” back then, and her words referring to that time were extremely ambiguous, at least in translated form. “After all, he didn’t have a pulse then either.” She could have either been using he as referring just to Huey, or connecting Ned to Huey as the same person. But then if she didn’t know, why did she invite “Ned”? Argh. It seems safer to assume she knew.