Un-Go ~ final thoughts

December 22, 2011

Shinjurou and the boss.

This is a brief spoiler-free review of Un-go, a Noitamina show from Fall 2011. Un-go is a short series (12 episodes, including an unaired “Episode 0” that was shown ¬†in theaters) produced by Bones. Before the series aired it was commonly believed to be in the Mystery genre, as it was “inspired by” various stories written about a Meiji-era detective by Ango Sakaguchi, who died at age 48 in 1955. But Un-Go is NOT a Mystery series. Un-Go is an excellent example of a genre called Speculative Fiction, that came to the forefront as the New Wave of Science Fiction, during the 1960s.

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Interviewing the "novelist".

Episode 7 of Un-Go continues from the introduction of the “novelist” who writes stories in reality. The great detective, Shinjurou Yuuki, has been selected to play a part in his next story. As the detective, he must reveal the identity of the murderer, no matter how difficult the consequences. In the process, this episode picks up, and studies the major theme of this series from a fresh angle. We look once more at the relationship between Truth and lies, or we might say this episode studies how we humans create “truth” to satisfy our need for meaning.

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Inga works her magic.

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.

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Murder!

The Noitamina shows have finally premiered, and thus I present Un-Go episode 1. Un-Go is a (Sci-Fi) mystery series produced by Bones, who have a mixed reputation amongst anime fans. Several series that I like a lot (notably¬†RahXephon) were produced by Bones, so, for me, their participation in this project was a selling point. Obviously one episode isn’t enough to make definitive decisions, but I enjoyed the first episode, and am intrigued by the mysterious world in which these crimes take place. The art and music was good. The mystery was also competently handled.

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