I just had a sudden insight about Gosick–which left me feeling rather stupid.
I’ve been enjoying the show but it tends to leave me frustrated. The episodes are a series of mysteries and often include references to classic mystery stories, but the show doesn’t seem to understand how a mystery story should be told. We are given a seemingly inexplicable mystery, then we are brusquely given an explanation, but the explanation never seems particularly plausible. What make the show enjoyable is the interaction between the characters, not the plots.
What I just realized is that despite the format, this isn’t a mystery series at all. It’s a gothic horror story. That’s a very different genre with very different rules. A classic mystery story gives us a situation that seems to defy rational explanation, but then proves that there is a rational explanation after all. In a gothic story the everyday rational world turns out to be just a facade that masks something stranger and more terrifying.
So the reason that Victorica’s explanations seem pat and inadequate is that they are in fact superficial and incomplete. Victorica is evading the real truth, which is that the world is not as rational as she would like it to be.
The show suddenly makes a lot more sense to me. But the reason I feel stupid is that there is a great big clue that I was aware of from the start: “Gosick” and “Gothic” are the same word when written in katakana.