UN-GO – 02 Review
Shh! Listen to what she has to say…
Once again, this episode covers a case in its entirety and leaves me with this question…
Is this how the rest of the season will play out to be like?
This series is slated to span across 11 episodes which was the same deal with BONES’ last series No.6. The difference between this and that was that unlike UN-GO, No.6 actually had an ongoing plot which meant that the series had a certain structure to it – buildup, climax, end. (Although the last part was basically clump into one big episode for No.6)
UN-GO on the other hand seems to be following the “episodic/arc” style of storytelling. The first couple of episodes were essentially episodic with unrelated plots and whilst we can’t actually say that it wouldn’t matter at all if you had seen the first episode before seeing the second, at the same time we somewhat can. This leaves me wondering what this series hopes to accomplish in such a limited time span with such a story structure. To me, this sort of structure works well for shows that span across a 2 season period as that gives the audience time to appreciate the show. Alternatively, it also works well for Slice-of-Life series due to the type of atmosphere those shows have and the focus being placed more on the characters than anything else.
Whatever the case, I shall cut my rant short by simply saying that whilst I do not see a real on-going plot currently being developed (apart from the mystery behind Rinroku and Shinjuro) the series seems to prove to be an entertaining watch that would not leave us in awe but at the very least leave us feeling like the 20mins of our lives spent watching this show were not wasted by rubbish.
Now onto the actual episode.
What we had learned today was that Rinroku is not actually a detective but an investigator and this fact makes his character appear less corrupted in my eyes and enlightens us as to how his actions may end up being justified later in this series. His character appears to be a contractor that people would hire to get their stuff done and he simply knows the right people and has enough power to pull off the things that he wants done. Either way, I am still curious as to who he really is and what the whole rivalry/uncaring attitude is behind the relationship between Rinroku and Shinjuro.
Despite the fact that Shinjuro’s past will be covered in a movie, that is meant to be out in November (which worries me that this series is meant to be a promotion of sorts), the show does drop little hints about Shinjuro’s past like how he had made a promise to Inga about feeding her truths and about how Shinjuro himself was not in Japan until recently. These little hints do enough to give us a rough idea of the situation but it also does tempt me to watch the movie to find out more, which is a smart move by BONES in my opinion. My conclusion over this fact is that we won’t be learning/given too much about any of the character’s past during the lifespan of this series. Hopefully I am wrong about this.
As for Inga, I really love his (her? o_O?) attitude she/he brings a nice comical element with his/her quirky personality and the bells that he (lazy to do the whole him/her thing) wears was a nice touch for me. I am however questioning the whole cat situation that he has going on there. Inga’s female self also does a nice job at bringing a creepy element to the show with her leaving bloodstains on Shinjuro’s face after touching it and her crazy thirst for the truth. Despite how the whole notion might sound lame, the execution made is less painful than what it could have turned out to be.
The series has proven with this episode that it focuses more on the motive and reasons behind the kill as oppose to who the actual killer really is and the mystery behind it. I am not sure I like this approach since it is a mystery series after all, but I guess I would have to commend it on being somewhat different from normal.
Heh, I know what’s going on. Do you?
The mystery structure is also pretty simple in this episode. You are pretty much given clues and forced to play detective (due to how obvious they made the hints) while watching the show. I could not help but guess along with Shinjuro and went “aha! I knew it!” or “it is her/him (shall not reveal it) dammit!”. This “interactive” aspect made it fun for me but at the same time I would rather a more difficult challenge just as long as it does not tread into the land of the impossible; with the use of crazy and over elaborate schemes that is fun to watch unravel, but one would never be able to guess the answer in their lifespan.
Yes, I am important because I am the main character.
What I had not liked at all was the philosophical part of the show. Why did they have to do the whole ‘it is normal for people to break down and everything breaks down in the end”. It was so random, odd and unnecessary since no one wanted that piece of insight into life. To top it off, Shinjuro for some odd reason thought that everyone at the scene of the revelation would actually care about what he was thinking and thus started to rant on about how even he would breakdown at some point and that then turns into a mini-monologue about why he is searching for something and what he is searching for. Sure, this information is probably important to the overall plot, but it felt as out of place and oh so very random. If this had happened in real life, I would have ask him to hold it in until a more appropriate time. I mean, come on, that killer was about to grieve and wallow in self-pity! Have some respect dude. =P
Then we have the end of the episode which suddenly felt like the scene was cut short with the ED song suddenly popping up. I have no clue what went on there or if the animators were aiming for a dramatic ending, but it just felt sudden and abrupt without really doing anything at all. I actually scanned to the preview to see if there was some short clip at the end or if there was some continuation in the next episode. However, it is looking like there’s none.
Are they trying to promote the fact that downloading is illegal and that you will get caught? Is this meant to reflect the fact that a bunch of illegal uploaders have been getting caught recently? =/
Overall, this series is developing a certain plot structure which is ‘Mystery of the Day’ -> Shinjuro solves it -> Rinroku covers it up. The series will probably be a solid 7 or might be pushed slightly above it depending on if there’s an actual backstory that is interesting in this series. The mysteries are engaging enough and despite it’s “low difficulty level” it does well in not coming across as being childish or retarded in nature (which Phi Brain seems to love to do). The characters are also intriguing and I am still undecided as to what sort of character Shinjuro is meant to be since he does not seem to fall perfectly into the mold of any stereotypes just yet, and that’s a good thing. =)
Episode Rating: 7/10
P.S.: I really like the art style in the OP and ED sequence. Do you?