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
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.
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.
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!
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” .
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