Un-Go at a Glance

Well, finally, Magical Trap-chu got an anime!

So, here it is, the last show of the new season (for me, since Crunchyroll was being LOLCRUNCHYROLL so I watched Guilty Crown first), and yet another chance to be fantastically disappointed by anime’s recent inability to craft a good mystery show outside of Detective Conan. Nothing says ‘great show!’ like mysteries a kindergartener could suss out!

However, Un-Go proved to be pleasantly surprising, at least in that regard. While the mystery of the first episode wasn’t terribly fascinating or particularly complex, it nevertheless wasn’t transparent from the get-go. This shouldn’t be something that is shocking to find in a mystery series, but given anime’s recent track record, this alone sets Un-Go apart from the crowd (KamiMemo, go die in a fire… maybe that one that Psychic Detective Yakumo had burning underneath it as it farted around on the roof).

I had previously expressed reservations about the change of setting from post-WWII Japan to a futuristic-type setting. I must apologize, because I made a mistake here – while the novel upon which Un-Go is based (Ango Sekiguchi’s Meiji Kaika Ango Torimono-chou) was written post-WWII, the book itself takes place during the Meiji Era. However, even after learning of this, I was still disappointed in the update, in part because I don’t understand the need for it, ultimately. I also think that, quite frankly, leaving it in the Meiji Era would’ve been more interesting, and it showed in this episode – the woman was upset that her husband was being viewed negatively despite his efforts during a conflict. What conflict? Oh, a conflict, some terrorist stuff, too. The original story took place during a period of frequent conflict for Japan; why invent a war when there was already a lot to dig into there in the original narrative? Sure, the world constructed in Un-Go looks as if it could be interesting. But I’d much rather they had left the setting alone.

Anyway, we already know the reason Un-Go is going to get talked about at all is the magical transforming… well, folks keep calling him a trap, but that isn’t quite it. Inga is freaky little boy who wears a panda hat and… sleeves/gloves and transforms into a boob-tastic woman who can ask people one question and they have to answer it. Its… strange. It looks as though Inga might be two people combined, after a bad car accident, but answers are currently elusive. Oh, and his eyes glow sometimes.

This was the first ED I really noticed this season. Well, I noticed the OP, too, but only because the band singing it was ‘school food punishment’. Well. There’s one band-name that’s original, at least. But stylistically the ED had it completely all over the OP, and was much more eye-catching than anything else so far. Of course, given how many shows this season just use scenes from the episode itself as their ED animation, guess that isn’t much of a distinction. Either way, I liked it quite a bit.

Yeah, this post sucks. Oops. Here, skip it all and just read this bit:

Actually, no, this post doesn’t completely suck, its just poorly organized because I’m half-asleep and still have to run two miles. My points about the change in setting are entirely valid, if not particularly well-worded, because I am at a loss of how to explain it in prose form. If I was sitting across from you at a table, I could probably explain it better because I could weave back and forth about it and gesture. The limitations of the printed word!

But, here, short version anyway:

  • Un-Go was solid so far
  • change of setting annoyed me
  • animation was fine, looked smooth although didn’t do anything new or terribly interesting
  • the characters were fine, although Inga’s place in the show is unclear
  • the mystery wasn’t the murder equivalent of a tic-tac-toe game
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Un-Go at a Glance

  1. kadian1364 says:

    But the mystery wasn’t too out there that only the Gosick loli had a chance of solving it. The backstory of the setting did seem a bit slapdash, so hearing about the change from the original isn’t surprising. But not every anime can do it like Gankutsuou.

  2. Vucub Caquix says:

    Not much to say other than I found this more interesting than Guilty Crown’s first episode, although I’m not discounting that show completely either since I hope they play up the politics angle in the plot. But, that ED…. man, I think it’s my favorite ED of the season so far.

    I legit felt myself falling in love with it about halfway through. And it wasn’t for the visuals, it was the downbeat/triphop/glitch nature of it with the monotone male vocals and the super high Knife-like female vocals had this fantastic contrast that worked together to kinda drag me along as the piano had a repetitive melancholic lilt that set the pace. There was some dreamy synth stuff in there towards the end, too.

    I wonder if that made sense.

    I need to go to sleep.

  3. kluxorious says:

    Inga is interesting and mysterious. Other than that, this show has nothing much to offer. Oops, maybe it’s too early for me to say that!

  4. Mitch H. says:

    It’s a left-wing noir mystery story in right-wing parlor-detective drag. That’s different.

    And now I’m picturing a young Jack Nicholson wearing a Mrs. Doubtfire rig & playing Mrs. Marple on an Off-Broadway production of The Murder at the Vicarage, being pulled away by some rural character, saying “Forget it, Miss Jane, it’s St. Mary Mead” .

  5. Pingback: Un-Go First Impressions (and first dropped) | Black and Blue Socks

Comments are closed.