WARNING: The following article contains minor spoilers for the first season of The Detective is Already Dead, currently available on Funimation.
The Detective Is Already Dead (Tanmoshi) ended its first season with a climactic encounter, and anime fans have some time before the release of a possible Season 2. Though there are no anime quite like the story of perpetual sidekick Kimihiko Kimuzuka and his "legendary detective" partners Nagisa Natsunagi and Siesta, there are series that share the same romantic yet mysterious vibe.
Gosick is a 2011 historical mystery anime from Studio Bones, adapted from Kazuki Sakuraba's light novels. It tells the story of Kazuya Kujo, a Japanese boy who attends Saint Marguerite Academy in the French-inspired nation of Saubure, and the genius detective Victorique de Blois who lives in the academy library's greenhouse. TDIAD and Gosick have some surprising similarities that should inspire fans of each one to give the other a chance, as well as noteworthy differences that make both series unique.
What Gosick and The Detective Is Already Dead Have In Common
Gosick and TDIAD both star investigation teams dealing with overarching conspiracies as they take on individual cases. Certain forces want to take advantage of Victorique as an asset in the war to come in Gosick. Meanwhile, TDIAD's Siesta is in constant battle with SPES, an organization of cyborg assassins who follow the prophecies of a mysterious tome. Despite constantly having to dodge these looming threats, Kujo and Victorique -- as well as Kimihiko and his partners -- still manage to take on seemingly smaller cases. Siesta and Kimihiko investigate a string of disappearances in the latter's school, while Victorique and Kujo solve mysteries based on their library's collection of ghost stories. This is one way both anime evoke the feeling of a classic, Holmesian detective anthology of standalone cases -- even if some of both duos' mysteries are more interconnected than they appear.
Both series take advantage of the added tension that comes from solving a case while stranded in an inaccessible location. Kimihiko must deal with terrifying opponents on a plane and a cruise ship, while Kujo and Victorique become embroiled in deadly encounters aboard a ghost ship and a steam train. Perhaps the commonality that will leave the biggest impression with The Detective Is Already Dead fans is the way both series' complex plots belie universal themes of friendship and love. Both series feature potential romances disguised under a layer of acerbic banter, and both love stories involve missed connections and petty or misguided jealousy.
What Sets Gosick Apart From The Detective Is Already Dead
There are many significant differences between both shows, meaning The Detective Is Already Dead fans will still be surprised by Gosick's twists and deductions. In fact, Gosick is probably more exemplary of the mystery genre overall. The story usually gives the audience the same information Victorique and Kujo have, allowing them to try their hand at solving the mystery before Victorique's "wellspring of wisdom" puts together the "pieces of chaos." TDIAD’s deductions can be somewhat more contrived, often taking a secondary role to gun-toting action. Kimihiko even admits Siesta is more like a secret agent than a detective in Episode 11.
Gosick and TDIAD both star a Japanese boy who joins forces with a European detective girl, but Gosick's mystery solvers engage with deadly serious real world issues such as racism and colonialism. Kujo is ostracized when he arrives at St. Marguerite’s for his different appearance, and the investigation of a mysterious alchemist reveals a tragic link to Saubure’s most brutal crime. In contrast, very little is political about TDIAD -- despite the series’ globetrotting nature bringing Kimihiko and Siesta face to face with a giant alien creature hidden beneath the UK Houses of Parliament.
The Detective Is Already Dead has an eye-catching, simplified art style with mostly soft, pastel colors. In contrast, Gosick has a detailed, Gothic style that resembles a realistic Victorian painting. The differences are exemplified by each series' opening sequence. TDIAD has a punchy, symbolic opening that surrounds the characters with bold, colorful shapes. Gosick's theme is in the style of stained glass windows or an illuminated manuscript.
The characters' personalities are also quite different. Kimihiko responds to Siesta's barbs with sarcasm of his own, glibly commenting "this is absurd" whenever she gets him into trouble. In contrast, the younger Kujo becomes animated and indignant when Victorique presents him with another of her unreasonable demands.
The Detective Is Already Dead and Gosick take the premise of cross-cultural teen detective duos in wildly different directions, but both maintain the sensation of solving a case with an iconic mystery-solving team. For fans of both series, it's fun to imagine the aloof, impatient Victorique and the sarcastic yet playful Siesta facing off against each other in an extra-temporal battle of wits. Fans of The Detective Is Already Dead, however, have a lot to look forward to in Gosick.