This season promised another detective-mystery series, Un-Go. I admit that I’m not an absolute fan of this anime genre because I always end up comparing what I’m watching with the works of Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes novels) and Dan Brown (Da Vinci Code/Angels and Demons). In fact, the first episode of this show didn’t impress me. As I tweeted:
According to S.S. Van Dine’s Eighth Rule on Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories:
“The problem of the crime must be solved by strictly naturalistic means. Such methods for learning the truth as slate-writing, ouijaboards, mind-reading, spiritualistic séances, crystal-gazing, and the like, are taboo. A reader has a chance when matching his wits with a rationalistic detective, but if he must compete with the world of spirits and go chasing about the fourth dimension of metaphysics, he is defeated ab initio.”
It doesn’t really bother me if I have to compete with the world of spirits in chasing the truth when watching or reading a detective novel. What I’m always after is the feeling of psychological thriller as I try to outwit the author. In this department, I would say that Un-Go definitely falls short in providing puzzling mysteries. Take for instance in episode one, it’s too easy to identify who the culprit was, since Rie got dizzy right after she drank what the hostess gave her. Then, episode two was another no brainer since patterned from the first episode, someone who seemed to seek for justice would eventually turn out to be the killer. And on episode four, making Komamori as the culprit is a cheapshot, since his character was deliberately taken away under the radar of the viewers on episode three. Aside from that, there are no major twists neither enough more or less prominent characters to pass the blame on which make the cases predictable.
But on the other hand, the lack of mystifying suspect is compensated by the confounding motive of the killer for committing the crime and remarkable portrayal of the characters. Personally, I find Rinroku Kaishou as the one to outsmart on this series. His logical deductions are calculatingly off and his calmness is enquiring. I realized Un-Go is not about conjecturing who killed who—because it’s already obvious—but rather, it’s about unravelling what Rinroku is trying to conceal and publicize which tell us more of the underlying issues, impartiality or justice, and ethics behind the revelation of the crime. For example, on the first episode, although Mrs. Kanou was the one who murdered her husband, Rinroku still passed the blame on the dead SP in order to preserve Mr. Kanou’s honour.
Another character whom I find amusing is Inga. Her truth obsessed character and her mysterious bond with Shinjurou are intriguing. It’s also interesting how people cried as the busty Inga forced the truth out from them. And most of all, it is mindboggling why Shinjurou shed tears as Inga obliged him to show the human truth. The horrifying look on Shinjurou’s eyes was suggesting that there must be an appalling reason behind their relationship. To be honest, if it wasn’t because of this fantasy-mystery behind Inga’s strange character and her attachment to Shinjurou, I don’t think I would be following this series. And seriously, I’m prying to know why Inga is a panda-lolicon.
Lastly, I decided to include this on my list because I was captivated by its OP and ED songs. I was on the verge of dropping this series after watching the first episode until I saw the ending and replayed the opening song. For me, this series has the best songs of the season.