UN-GO – 08 Review
Episode 08 – The King of Paradise
This was an interesting change in pace and atmosphere for the episode.
After last week’s crazy cryptic dreamlike moments, this episode has decided to wrap up the murder case.
I can just imagine some viewers being disappointed by the way the episode had turned out. Last week’s episode had given the show a chance at becoming something really interesting and engaging. However, instead of continuing the mood from the last episode, this episode had immediately went on to explain the happenings of last week’s scenes.
It seems that the mystery had turned out to be quite simple after all. It was just as some of you had guessed, Shinjurou was stuck in the prison under hypnosis playing out a “novel” created by the new enigmatic character – “The Novelist”. I was expecting something more complex but that was not what was delivered. However, with that being said, the mystery in this case was definitely still one of the better ones. It just goes to show that time is needed in order to develop a decent atmosphere and mystery.
Shock therapy seems to have worked a treat in this episode =D
I was a tad torn between liking and the episode and questioning it. Whilst last episode was too mysterious and deep for my tired brain, this episode was too much of the opposite. It had seemed that the direction of this 2 episode arc was simple. Create a super confusing case in one episode and move onto solving it in the following episode. Everything felt very scripted (no pun intended) without the actual “awe-filled” moments one would have expected when the case had started to unraveled. Although I do call it a 2 episode arc, I am merely referring to the murder case. The actual case of The Novelist is probably going to be something that will carry on until the end of the series (or so I hope).
The start of the episode had done a nice job in integrating the “behind-the-scenes” moments during last episode’s events and had thus explained how things had turned out the way they did. It then went onto breaking Shinjurou out of his hypnosis in order to move onto the part of the story that has him solving the case.
Instead of a usual – “you did it!” moment that many detective series suffer from, this episode was more thoughtful in it’s revelation by focusing more on the character development of both the main characters and the supporting cast. I had definitely liked the way Shinjurou had declared he would like to stay in the prison a while longer in order to ponder and reflect on things. This particular moment really adds to the mystery of his past. The fact that he had found the prison to be somewhat of a break from reality adds to his distorted outlook on life, and this is most likely due to the War. I had never seen a prison as a “zen” place to reflect on things, but after this episode, I can see how that might be a possibility.
The thing that I hadn’t like about the episode were some of the loop holes. Why was the technician uninfluenced despite everyone else being under The Novelist’s control? Also, is it really plausible for such a thing to happen? To have everyone under the influence of the Novelist? When had this started and how had he gotten everyone into his cell? The logic of the hypnosis wouldn’t work unless everyone was under it. However, that had not seem to be the case in the previous mystery with Yajima. For now, I shall accept what had happened as the truth without questioning too much.
The episode had also proven that this would not be the end of the ‘The Novelist’ (although I do wonder if they plan on locking up in solitude from now on). I am hoping that the mentioned Bettenou case would be covered in the next episode, it would be really odd if things were to end in this manner. By the way, did you guys think that since the prison is privately owned, it might be possible that the Novelist owns it?
Moving on to the characters in this episode. It turns out that the 3 girls were prisoners who had each gone down the wrong path in life due to the War. Here we have a hacker, a prostitute and a mother, all seemingly normal prior to the War. The hacker, she had been corrupted by the “glamor” information had provided her. Her whole background was focused on her knowledge and the disclosure of the information that she had attained, which had then lead to her falsifying the truth.
As for the prostitute, she had realised that by the end of the War that she had sold her body and had turned into a mere prostitute.
The murderer aka Mother-turned-terrorist was probably the most interesting one of the lot (and probably the reason as to why she is the main focus out of the three girls). She had turned to terrorism in order to stop the War (which is really interesting) since terrorism can lead to War.
It was really very intriguing to see how the these three main themes makes up the series of UN-GO are personified in these 3 girls and how that had led to Shinjurou’s need for reflection. Each girl had represented one of the main theme in the episode, and being able to see the personal aspect of each of the 3 themes had allow me to appreciate the series even more. That was definitely the highlight of the episode as the rest of the episode had felt like it was simply going through the usual motions, all done in order to get to that point of the episode.
There were a couple of other surprising things in the episode. Kaishou ends up bailing Shinjurou out of his situation in this episode. And instead the usual dynamics between these two, we have Shinjurou being in debt (some what) to Kaishou for his help. This is the first time we see Kaishou going after the truth instead of covering it up. Another first for this show is the fact that this is the first episode where Shinjurou had solved the mystery without the aid of the supernatural Inga. I had really enjoyed it a lot more without Inga’s involvement. Although I like her personality, the “help” that she provides during the cases makes her existence to convenient.
The funniest moment of the episode for me.
Overall, this episode had showed us that Shinjurou is a busy man and that he loves to reflect on things (just kidding). Honestly, it was a good episode even if it was a tad sad that the case was as simple as it was to solve. The show was definitely riding off last epsiodes’ build-up but had managed to redeem itself with the last few closing moments of the episode.
It seems like the show is building up an on-going plot with ‘The Novelist’ and The Prison as we get towards the end of series. I can’t wait to see how things turn out as we get closer to the end of the series.
Episode Rating: 7.5/10