Studio Bones hit their 20th anniversary this year, which got me thinking about which anime of theirs is my favourite… and the answer kind of surprised me.
I have a simple way of defining my “favourite anime” as the years have gone by. It’s the anime that makes me smile the most when I think back on it. I don’t have time to rewatch much anime these days, so I can’t precisely define why certain titles have stuck with me, but if something makes me smile, it’s a good anime.
When I went to the Bones 20th anniversary exhibit and saw the key visual of all the Bones characters all in one group, I saw lots of characters from great anime represented. It reminded me that Bones has made a lot of creative and original anime over the years. Some of them, like Eureka Seven and Fullmetal Alchemist, are titles I would regard as kami anime (godly anime).
And yet out of that entire group of characters, I found my eyes lingering on Victorique and Kujo from Gosick, because theirs was the show that made me smile the most. Right then and there, I decided that Gosick was my favourite Bones anime.
To be honest, though, I’m not sure if I regard Gosick as a particularly well-written anime. I don’t actually remember the plot anymore, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t very good. But I do still remember the characters. I even wrote a blog post about how good Victorique and Kujo are as a couple. Three years after I watched the series, their charm still sticks with me.
I also still love the OP and ED themes, and to this day I still sometimes rewatch those sequences on Youtube. The OP has a memorable art style, and the second ED in particular is rather beautiful and haunting.
I’ve seen Aoi Yuki and Takuya Eguchi in a lot of roles since watching Gosick, but I still think that show contained some of their best acting. Aoi Yuki in particular made a character who could have come across as an utterly cliched stereotype feel extremely human and relatable. Eguchi, for his part, was simply adorable. His character in Uta no Prince-sama has nothing on Gosick.
Of course, it’s one thing to say that Gosick is a good anime, and quite another to say that it’s better than all the other Bones shows, to which I can only shrug. I’ve watched a lot of anime by this point, and very few titles manage to stick with me vividly years after I’ve watched them. I may have enjoyed some of the other Bones shows more than Gosick when I first watched them (I remember being glued to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood at the time), but Gosick makes me smile the most nowadays when I think about it. And that deserves credit in my mind.
As for why Gosick of all series stood the test of time for me, I think that the anime scene is rather starved of detective stories, which may be why the style and content of Gosick still remains memorable to this day. Even if the mysteries themselves weren’t very good, the plot gave the characters a lot of things to do, so Victorique didn’t just sit around eating cake and trying to look cute for the audience the whole time. I recall that the second half of the series was particularly dramatic and emotionally engaging.
By the way, the anime that made me smile the second most was Blast of Tempest (AKA Zetsuen no Tempest).
Which Bones anime would you describe as your favourite?