Un-go 5 ~ people live with things they don’t talk about hidden in their heart
November 12, 2011
Episode 5 of Un-go is fascinating on a number of levels. Like much of the series so far, it seems to be less interested in telling a mystery story than in developing a critique of society, or perhaps of human nature. We also get some interesting insights into Inga and the “defeated detective”, Shinjuurou Yuki.
This episode was full of food for thought, and I highly recommend heading over to Hachimitsu for an interesting take that is informed by a reading of Sakaguchi Ango’s On Decadence. I’ll simply say that the Hakuro Shimada and his young followers remind me of Yukio Mishima and his young followers, the Shield Society. Mishima’s glorification of militarism, expressed in works such as “Voices of the Heroic Dead”, is echoed in Shimada’s cult of the fallen members of the Rising Sun party, and this is the source of contention for Shinjuurou Yuki, who doesn’t believe the lies that politicians use to consolidate power.
Shinjuurou’s profound reaction to this issue seems important. In one scene we even learn that Shinjuurou had some connection to “the young people who were the first victims in the war”. Shinjuurou seems to loathe himself at several times during the episode. He describes his own wish to stay alive as “petty, vulgar, and stupid”. He tells Rie that nobody should place their faith in him. Kazamori tries to trip him up in a logical conundrum, by showing that he acts altruistically, but tries to deny it.
We also get a short explanation of Shinjuurou and Inga’s relationship, which is a good thing, because episode 0 might take a while to get to reach those of us incapable of watching it on a movie screen in Japan. I’ve been very interested in what is happening here, so even a hint is helpful. Inga volunteers that Shinjuurou feeds him/her human souls in such a way that the humans aren’t killed — Inga consumes their Truth. But as a result, Shinjuurou is haunted by Inga.
There are three interesting images of statues in the OP. The first two appear to be in the same place; there is rubble strewn about, and we can see a ruined cityscape in the background. To me, this pair of statues appear to represent the two sides of Inga.
The third image is seen very briefly. There is a shrine deep in a cave. The shrine is covered in statues, but the central statue is clearly the same statue of a woman we can see above. Note the positions of the arms, and the ribbons flowing from the headdress.
I would be very interested in learning more about what Inga is and what exactly caused them to team up. Hopefully we’ll see episode 0 some day.