The Dark Reaper Meets the Golden Fairy
Under the shadow of a red moon, Mistress Roxane proceeds her nightly ritual. As her followers gather, with faces completely hidden except for a pair of eyeholes, they listen to their superior's predictions of the future, which consist of an imminent death, followed by a disastrous event. Roxane's followers are alarmed by what future has in store, and so they followed Roxane's advice: to release a box into the ocean, and to set free eleven hares to be torn apart by rabid dogs.
At the start of Spring of 1924, a newcomer to the prestigious school Saint Marguerite Academy arrives: Kazuya Kujo. His first day does not bode well for him, as he was already acquired a reputation... as the Dark Reaper (黒い死神, Kuroi Shinigami), particularly for his dark pupils which are foreign to Europeans. Nonetheless, he endures this treatment and takes his first moments on his desk to read a letter from his eldest brother.
Then, their teacher named Cecile arrives, giving Kazuya an unusual piece of advice: to read ghost stories.
After his class, Kazuya accompanies Cecile and there, she begins to talk about how everything occult is so famous in Saubure. Cecile also includes how he acquired his nickname, which is basically "the Springtime Reaper" (春来る死神 Haru Kitaru Shinigami) with the "dark" added as a 'personal' touch by the students. Cecile also urges Kazuya to make many friends, and learning about ghost stories are a nice topic to start a conversation, so he visits the school's immense library complex.
Kazuya starts reading about ghost stories, including a certain ghost ship Queen Berry that appears at night, and an alchemist named Leviathan that can turn intestines into gold. As he flips through more pages, he discovers a strand of golden-brown hair between them. Upon looking up, he sees a glint of light, and this sparks Kazuya's interest in going to the topmost portion of the library,
Kazuya instantly finds reaching the top a grueling task, as the library is several stories up, and he has to catch his breath as he nears his destination.
After what seemed like Kazuya's highest climb on a flight of stairs yet, he discovers a hidden paradise on the topmost floor; the entire floor is covered with flowers and tropical trees, and it was designed to welcome the light of the sun. Kazuya then shifts his focus to a motionless girl sitting on the floor. At first, the girl's beauty made Kazuya assume that the person in front of him was just a doll, but the "doll" did speak, and she even told Kazuya that he would visit the next day.
Kazuya made a mad dash out of fright, that a doll actually told him his future.
The next day, at noon, Kazuya tells Cecile about his discovery of the garden at the top of the library, and Cecile reveals that the girl is actually his classmate Victorique, who is the owner of the seat usually left unoccupied in Kazuya's class. Cecile is happy for Kazuya's progress and, since she assumes that Victorique is now Kazuya's friend, she asks him to give her handouts for that day, which Kazuya can't just turn down.
Like Victorique predicted, Kazuya returns to see her again; there, she points out that she knew he was coming because he wanted to know more about the "Springtime Reaper" urban legend.
Soon, the elevator to the topmost floor opens, and a man with an outrageous hairstyle emerges. After noticing Victorique's guest, the man, introduced by Victorique as Inspector Grevil de Blois, begins to talk about a certain case of murder involving someone named Roxane.
According to him, the old fortune-teller lives in a mansion with an Indian manservant and an Arabian maid; she is also accompanied by her granddaughter for that night. At the night before the murder, Roxane was resting in her bedroom. Meanwhile, the manservant was putting back the hares released at a recently-finished ritual (those hares are usually left to die under the jaws of hunting dogs).
Then, the sound of gunfire rattled the mansion, and the fortune-teller's three companions gathered at the hallway. There were no answers from Roxane, and the granddaughter did not want the manservant to axe the door, blurting out that the mansion will be hers as long as her grandmother dies. They are left with one option: shooting apart the lock. The maid uses her pistol to destroy the lock, and upon opening the door, a gruesome scene unfolds: Roxane is dead in her wheelchair, her left eye shattered.
Upon investigation of Roxane's companions, the window is locked from the inside, and there are no weapons to be found.
Grevil asks Kazuya about his point of view, which he evades, and Victorique speaks about solving the crime herself, using her "fountain of knowledge" to "piece together the fragments of chaos". Grevil ignores this, boasting that he knew who that suspect is (the manservant), but Victorique points out that the maid is the culprit, much to Grevil's annoyance.
Victorique recalls that Roxane knows Arabic very well, and so, might have warned about the gunshot heard earlier. Assuming that the gunman is outside, the maid asks her mistress to move towards the door. The maid tricked Roxane into doing so and, peeking at the keyhole, receives the shot from the maid's pistol. Victorique also assumes that the first gunshot was fired elsewhere to scare the rest of the household.
Grevil, admitting his defeat, walks back to the elevator room and plans on returning to the police station, but Victorique asks him if he wanted to know what the maid's motive to the crime, and which was the maid's target on the first gunshot. Unfortunately for Grevil, the shutters have closed, and he groans as he is lowered, missing vital information from Victorique.
With Grevil gone, Victorique feels bored once again, and Kazuya is left more curious about her than before. Victoria orders Kazuya to dance so that he can learn more about her, and since she was not interested much about his Bon festival dance, he failed to get any more details about Victorique even after three dances.
Kazuya laments over his failure at the school cafeteria and, when he sees the daily newspaper, he is furious upon reading Grevil's "achievement" over the case (that Victorique solved by herself).
He rushes to the police department to confront Grevil, who received a yacht and a kiss from the granddaughter of the victim, both of which not his efforts. Before Kazuya could leak any information about Victorique, Grevil takes him to a room and invites them to the maiden voyage of his yacht instead.
Kazuya returns to tell Victorique about the trip, and although she suspects that Kazuya might be biting more than he could chew, she thinks that the trip will be the perfect moment for her to escape from the library that has been a prison for her. Victorique heads off to the elevator room, telling him about her preparing for the trip while she leaves Kazuya to use the stairs like always.
The day of the trip arrives, and Kazuya is surprised at the amount of Victorique's luggage. And what's worse for Kazuya, is that he is going to be her porter throughout the trip. Kazuya finds out ways to loosen her load, checking through her stuff while Victorique annoyingly glares at him.
Victorique maintains a pouting face along the way, until the scenery unfolds from outside the locomotive they are boarding in, where she shows a smile of a child that has boarded a train for the first time.
Soon, they arrive at the city, where Victorique no longer was the detective that could solve crimes in no time. She childishly points at every unfamiliar sight she sees, as if she does not know where to go first. However, Kazuya is there to guide her along, taking her to the port by carriage.
After the carriage ride to the port, they head off to Grevil's yacht, welcomed by the owner who wears a sailor outfit. He instantly talks to Victorique about the recently solved murder, and he tells her that the first gunshot was through a mirror that he discovered in one room in Roxane's mansion. As for the motive, Grevil explains that according to the maid, she did it as "revenge of the box" and this is something he could not understand.
Then, one policeman alarmingly reported to Grevil that the Arabian maid has escaped. Grevil frantically leaves the yacht and leaves it to Victorique and Kazuya; while Kazuya is disappointed to have a voyage like that be cancelled, Victorique heads off inside the boat.
Since the yacht is originally owned by Roxane, Victorique decides to investigate. She then finds out an opened invitation letter addressed to Roxane, inviting her on a dinner with hare as a main dish. Kazuya reads the letter and finds out that the event is called "Miniature Garden Box Evening"; he thinks that the "box" the Arabian maid is avenging might be related to the "Miniature Garden Box" in the event.
Using the invitation, Victorique and Kazuya join the event and boards a ship... a ship named Queen Berry.
This episode is adopted from GosickS: The Springtime Reaper (GOSICKS -ゴシックエス・春来たる死神-, GOSICKS -Goshikku Esu- Haru Kitaru Shinigami-).
(In order of appearance)
- According to some fans, it is impossible for the Arabian maid to fire a bullet through the keyhole of the door and still maintain enough momentum to push Roxane away from the door. It has been proven in an episode of Mythbusters, and it is argued that the design of locks even at the 1920's period avoid such an incident to occur.
- There are some questions about the gun depicted in the case, which appears as if it was not a period-accurate gun.
- Some fans question the term "hand-outs" in a series set in 1924, when photocopiers are introduced only 35 years after, in 1959. One explanation is that those hand-outs are produced using an earlier technology or are handwritten.
- What is the sentimental value of Victorique's necklace?
- Why is Victorique forbidden to go outside to the point that her travel requires a permit?
- What does the Arabian maid pertain to when she mentioned "revenge of the box" as her motive to the crime? (The next two episodes point to the events in the Queen Berry as the event that inspired the Arabian maid to perform the crime.)