For general information on this series: Gosick entry
This review is for the second volume of Gosick by Kazuki Sakuraba (with art by Hinata Takeda). The English edition was released by Tokyopop in March 2010. The remaining novels of the series were never localized (with seven left to go for the main story).
Gosick: The Crime That Has No Name is the second volume of the series, and the last one officially available in English. Interestingly it came out almost two years(!) after the first, and is probably one of the last light novels Tokyopop released before the company shut down a year later. I can’t help but wonder if things could have worked out for the Gosick LNs somehow… Was the anime adaptation that aired the very next year popular enough to potentially breathe new life into the books? Speaking of the anime though, it seems Gosick couldn’t catch a break on that front either. Bandai Entertainment licensed it in July 2011… and then they too (more or less) shut down! Being an English Gosick fan is suffering…
But enough of what we don’t have; let’s take a look at this second volume here. It’s generally what you would expect of a follow-up to the first volume: same sort of design for the cover, same quality for the lovely B/W interior artwork, and same amount of editing for the text itself. I feel the translation for this second entry flows a bit better than the first did, but the amount of grammatical errors seems to have unfortunately increased. It wasn’t bad enough to make me quit reading, but it does leave the impression the project was a bit rushed.
The story itself is thankfully quite enjoyable. I read this volume after I had seen the anime (in contrast to the first, which I had read beforehand), but I waited long enough that I had forgotten most of the smaller details for this particular story arc. In this self-contained story, Kazuya and Victorique go to a secluded village hidden in the mountains, where the citizens have maintained a medieval-esque society cut off from the rest of the world. Victorique is determined to solve a curious murder mystery that took place there 20 years ago, but for this case she has a personal motivation: It was her mother who was found guilty of the crime and promptly exiled from the village. While Victorique works to clear her mother’s name, a new murder plot is uncovered amid the furor of a summer festival…
The mysteries themselves are not what stand out in this volume, or for Gosick in general in my opinion. It is fun to try working out the who, how, and why of each mystery, but what always kept me reading were the amusing and cute interactions between Kazuya and Victorique. We get to learn quite a bit more about the two characters in this book, making them that much more dynamic than they were in their first adventure. While we get to understand better why Kazuya is in Europe and about his family situation, the hints regarding Victorique’s own family situation and why she is always in the “library prison” paint a picture that grows a little clearer… but also a lot larger in scope.
While this volume and the first each tell a self-contained story, The Crime That Has No Name clearly hints at much more to come–and as of now the only feasible way to get the full story is through the anime. (I was going to say “the only official way,” but it seems the anime is no longer available on Crunchyroll…) With all that in mind, I will strongly suggest giving the anime a try–and if you’re a fan, see if you can find the two LNs for a reasonable price! Used copies seem to be going for outrageous prices at the moment, so you might have to conduct a pretty dedicated search.
Cho’s Rating: Maybe Recommended