UN-GO – 06 Review

Episode 06 – The Code Too Simple

There is finally some sort of direction with this series as it hints at a bigger plot. I wonder what this would mean for how the rest of the series will play out.

Also in this episode, Kaishou is finally the main focus of a case instead of being hidden in the shadows.

Review

Damn, I couldn’t stop my hiccups through the episode and that had made it so painful and tiring to watch the show. Also, it really didn’t really help that I am so tired and mentally drained from work.

Every time I watch the beginning of the OP of this series, I always wonder if some other background music is playing simultaneously. Am I the only one who feels that the start of the OP gives off the feeling of two songs having been mashed together to become one? I am not sure if it was intentional but it is quite fitting for a series that is constantly filled with shades of grey and colliding beliefs.

Convenience is a Pain

Once again, I couldn’t help but feel that this show has way too many “convenient” characters. While last week was Inga being the “be all and end all” character for the solution to problems, this week, the RAI (Kazamori) takes front stage.

She has one hell of a convenient body, it is definitely what one would expect out of a genius inventor. But despite that fact, 2 convenient characters in a series makes it feel like somewhat of a cop out. Even though the cases are not the main focus of this series, one would think that the writers wouldn’t simply come up with some random ways for Shinjurou to get the answers to his questions. The scene with Kazamori using her hand as a scanner was pretty amusing to watch and I really wonder what other secret abilities are hidden in her body. Then we have her “mini-body” which is actually able to analyze things through a lick. I thought that the “mini-body” was a normal item and not some upgrade piece of invention. =_=” Sometimes I really wonder about some of the things in this series.

Case Notes

Then we have the mystery of this episode. Whilst I did enjoy this episode a lot more than the previous one, the way the situation had played out was pretty complex. However, with that being said, the message of the episode was was rather intriguing. I think that the best thing about this series is all the little “moral notes” and “things to think about” that is thrown at the audience through the cases. This episode takes the not-so-unique question of “if there is only one truth” and did a rather good job in making the case play to that concept.

Although, I have to admit that I did get confused following the revelations behind who-did-what as things kept taking different twists and turns as the case unraveled. Perhaps it is due to the fatigue that I am finding the case complex, but it had definitely made the episode interesting to watch. I know that I for one didn’t guess the outcome of the show and was simply going along for the ride. Hell, the case was never really even stated until 3/4 through the episode and this format had made the episode even more interesting because we have to guess what both the case and the answer to the case was. =P Talk about driving around blindly. Speaking of blind, I did like the way the wife had decided to blind herself and remove all signs of her ill-deeds through changing all her behaviour (bedside habits) and everything around her (children pictures). It is things like this that keeps me entertained.

I would like to think that the whole use of the sunrise is like light shining in on darkness -> truth being revealed. But who knows if it means anything more than just pretty visuals. =P

New or Old?

Old: This is the first time Shinjurou is meets Kaishou face to face. Or so I assume. Kaishou did introduce himself upon seeing Shinjurou so I am going to say that it is indeed the first time.

I liked how Kaishou is now brought under the light and out from the shadows. The way that the series had played his character out to be somewhat of a “bad guy” until the last moment really left me questioning if there is in fact another side to his actions targeted at the greater good. I was deadset that he was some dodgy bad guy at the start of the episode. But this episode had me thinking that he might be a dodgy “kinda-okay” guy. =P He did help the kids, and the way Shinjurou had come to the conclusion that Kaishou was merely covering his ass had made me wonder if we were simply mislead all along due to not having been shown the whole situation thus being unable to judge what right is from wrong.

As for Kaishou’s question of whether there is only one truth… Well, I believe there is only one truth. Ignorance does not change the truth, just our perception of what we believe to be true. =/ But that is a whole other discussion.

“You were chosen by me”
I wonder if this this line is meant to elude to something deeper related to the past or if it is eluding to the start of something new.

New: To add to that whole situation, the way the episode had ended with the Novelist had really introduced a nice suspense to the plot. This suspense might just be the much needed kick to alleviate the mood the story to make things less flat and more interesting. It seems like the girl and the Novelist might be the antagonist characters of this series. After all, the look of shock on Shinjurou’s face does lead us to believe that he knows who the two of them are thus resulting in his fear of them.

The Others

I had mentioned before about how the show is ambiguous with it’s statements, and often leaves us with more questions than answers. I found it interesting how Shinjurou had simply chosen not to respond to the question of whether he sleeps with Kazamori. I am wondering if the lack of an answer was done on purpose to allow the audience to draw their own conclusions or simply by accident. Then we also have the way the scene with Rie and the deciphering of the notes had ended. Shinjurou had asked Rie if she had the courage to decipher the notes and learn the truth behind the case. Without giving the audience an answer as to whether Rie was present during the deciphering of the notes, the scene cuts to the notes having been deciphered. These little things really plays into the idea of not being shown the whole story and most of the conclusions we come to are left to our minds.

Then we have the way Inga defends Kazamori’s humanity by declaring “she’s human” when Yajima had asked if Kazamori was a human. Perhaps this was Inga’s way of defending her own humanity and her need to be considered a human is leaking through her facade? After all, both Kazamori and Inga share the common trait of being special and definitely not “normal”. It begs the question of what Inga’s true purpose is and the reason behind her dual personalities.

I had also love the subtle way this show tried to add some romance into the mix. Sure it could be brushed off as being nothing much, but the way Rie clings to Shinjurou and buys him crepes does seem to be a hint of Rie liking Shinjurou. I mean, she was disappointed when Shin had said that he has tasted crepes like that before. The poor girl couldn’t impression Shin.

Episode Rating: 8/10

This was a solid episode and it did raise some nice philosophical questions. Although none of the musings were anything new, the approach was refreshing and I am once again brought back to thinking about the idea of limited knowledge leading us to draw wrong conclusions thus reacting in a “wrong” manner. The pacing was nicely done and although the episode moved away from a traditional structure of a detective case, it is definitely one of the better episodes. Instead of having a clear goal in mind for the detective to work towards, Shinjurou is left wandering around finding answers to a question he was never fully given. Similar to how we are always left pondering about the “deep” musings these characters sprout aloud.

-ra

Can you spot the man? =P I thought that this image was suitable with the whole idea of hidden truths. =P (Actually, I just wanted an excuse to show you this cool photograph.)

Ra’s Question of the Day:

What methods do you use to cure your hiccups?
(It doesn’t have to work, I am just curious as to the different things people do to get rid of the hiccups)

I usually just drink many small sips of water if I have the hiccups. If it is someone else who has it… Well, it gives me a reason to scare someone. 😉

Here are more images:


[click to enlarge]

About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Anime, Reviews, UN-GO and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. You asked me in a reply to a previous comment of mine what I did/didn’t like about the show, so here’s off the top of my head…

    I will say that this episode was leaps and bounds more interesting for me than earlier ones. It seems like it’s about time to start exploring some of the more bizarre supernatural (?) elements at play. Hopefully the final moments of the show were cueing an introduction into some sort of plot.

    So far, I’ve liked the music a lot. I like the visuals – nice backgrounds, not much detail to the characters but they’ve got an interesting look. Overall, I think the show is just very stylish in a good way.

    Unfortunately, since I do have a life outside of watching anime, I have to pick and choose what to follow. These days, style alone isn’t usually enough to justify an anime for me. There are exceptions – like, Canaan in HD kicked *ss (but it had a good enough story), and Madoka was so awesome cool to look at that I wouldn’t have cared if there was a story or not.

    What UN-GO really lacks for me is character development. I’ve learned that Japanese have different pacing styles in film/anime, so it usually takes an episode or two to get a feel for a show. But, this is half way through and I feel no sympathy or interest for the characters at all. Kaishou is getting more interesting, while Kazamori and Inga are plain annoying. I wish I had a cute super-robot-stuffed-animal that would figure any/everything out for me too. Maybe it would even hack the bank and put some money in my account for me. You know what I mean?

    Aside from that, it seems like the story can’t decide what genre it’s going for – war/political intrigue, mystery/detective, or campy animal-like sidekick slice of life. The humor… oh, wait… there isn’t any. No plot, but the bigger issue is just lack of continuity, because the “detective” work isn’t holding it together much. Hopefully the emerging supernatural themes and background on Kaishou will help to tie it all together.

    I really really want to like this show. It wants to be cool so bad. I hope they turn things around for the better next week!

    (My answer was pretty long… I hope that’s alright. And, again, thanks for the great blog!)

    Like

    • “Unfortunately, since I do have a life outside of watching anime, I have to pick and choose what to follow. These days, style alone isn’t usually enough to justify an anime for me. ”

      True, style is always a good motivation factor but definitely not the be all and end all for watching a series.

      “What UN-GO really lacks for me is character development. I’ve learned that Japanese have different pacing styles in film/anime, so it usually takes an episode or two to get a feel for a show. But, this is half way through and I feel no sympathy or interest for the characters at all. ”

      I have to agree with you that the characters themselves are rather bland and apart from Inga, I too have not much “feelings” towards the characters. =/ Hopefully things will pick up with the introduction of the Novelist and his female shadow. At the very least, the Novelist is turning out to be a rather interesting character.

      “Maybe it would even hack the bank and put some money in my account for me. You know what I mean?”

      LOL!! I understand what you are trying to say. =)

      “Aside from that, it seems like the story can’t decide what genre it’s going for – war/political intrigue, mystery/detective, or campy animal-like sidekick slice of life. The humor… oh, wait… there isn’t any. No plot, but the bigger issue is just lack of continuity, because the “detective” work isn’t holding it together much. Hopefully the emerging supernatural themes and background on Kaishou will help to tie it all together.”

      Well, the show does have it’s problems with settling for a genre. Personally I would file it under political rather than detective mystery since the show really doesn’t play up the whole detective situation as much as the political agenda in the UNGO world.

      “(My answer was pretty long… I hope that’s alright. And, again, thanks for the great blog!)”

      Long answers are are always welcomed =D

      Since you mentioned that you are following a pretty selected list, what shows are you currently following?

      Like

  2. My two favs so far are Mirai Nikki and Chihayafuru. Pre-season, I didn’t think I would like either of these. I’m also enjoying Boku wa Tomodachi and Working!!2, for my weekly fun/cute-ness quota. I’m not really following anything else.

    I started off watching more this season, but have dropped quite a few shows. Some of which I might watch a few episodes here and there at the end of a long day (Ben-To or Tamayura). Others – C3, Kimi to Boku, Last Exile, and Fate Zero – I’ve just dropped for various reasons. I really liked the other series of Shana, but this one is completely un-watchable for me. I haven’t thought about why, but I’m just not into it. UN-GO is still up in the air. Anything I didn’t list are shows that I’m not interested in seeing.

    In my years of watching anime, this season has been the biggest dry spell of all. I’m not sure if I’m just busier, pickier, or what. It seems like a lot of the series *should* be awesome but aren’t. Worse, I think I just want them to be awesome, but they aren’t meeting my expectations for whatever reason. Maybe I will rediscover some of these series when the season is over and be pleasantly surprised – that happens for me pretty often.

    Like

    • “I’m not really following anything else.”

      Awww, no Mawaru Penguindrum? It’s good, although I would have to say that it is a slightly acquired taste since it is not all that generic in it’s style.

      “In my years of watching anime, this season has been the biggest dry spell of all.”

      Well, I have to agree with you on that. Too many mediocre shows but there are a few entertaining ones that still get me excited (although nothing fantastic). I hadn’t expected to like Mirai Nikki but I did, the characters are really carrying that series for me since the plot itself is nothing exciting at this point in time.

      Well, I am hoping for Winter to be better than this season. 😉 Hopefully things will pick up then.

      Like

  3. I’ll have to give Mawaru Penguindrum a try.

    I’m hoping winter season will be better too. 🙂

    Like

  4. woohoo! interesting plot….ish!

    Like

  5. Rie was quite cute in this episode, I must say 😄 and Shinjurou always throwing her off…

    About Kazamori being convenient… she does object quite a few times about “Hey, I’m not a GPS!” or something similar. Now that I think about it, this convenience is getting a little annoying. Shinjurou is much better than that and I’m sure he could solve cases without her or Inga’s side powers (However I do suppose he’s making the most of what little he has).

    The ending of this episode left me stumped – not only the cliffhanger, but the true intentions of Kaishou during the entire show. This will be a series I’ll have to rewatch to truly appreciate. But the ride’s been amazing so far ^_^

    I have a suspicion they may not go into a lot of detail about these two new characters in the series, leaving more for the movie.

    On the official teaser website for Inga-ron, the girl we meet at the end of this episode has been dubbed the “Betsutennou” which from what I can translate, isn’t really a name but more of a position/status or religion. The man is nowhere to be seen in the main cast of characters for Inga-ron. (Also, doesnt the new girl look suspiciously like a panda too?)

    Lots of the characters we see in the OP and ED are also featured in the movie. We’re going to get a ton of questions from the upcoming episodes of UN-GO, but I think to really answer them we’re going to have to watch Inga-ron.

    Like

    • “I have a suspicion they may not go into a lot of detail about these two new characters in the series, leaving more for the movie.”

      Well, the movie is going to be about the meeting between Shin and Inga so it would be a lot of backstory for the characters (or so I would imagine). I just wonder if the series plans on having a season 2 or if it is going to have multiple movies.. =/ I am a bit confused about what the show wants to be.

      Like

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