Anime Review: Un-Go

December 30, 2012


Since I did not get the prequel episode, which I was willing to wait out the week to find out if iTunes got it, and that my season pass for Inuyasha: The Final Act is over, I guess I better fulfill my promise and do a series review. Today, I will be reviewing Un-Go.

On the verge of death, Yuki Shinjuro makes a deal with an entity known as Inga that he would reveal the truth of humans if Inga did not kill to consume soul. To keep his side of the bargin, Yuki has dealt with numerous cases but instead of being celebrated, he is called The Defeated Detective, while somebody who hides the truth is considered the best. Now, Yuki is determined to find the whole truth that people do not want revealed.


I really wanted to like this show, but sadly I could not think of any thing good about it, even if I found something good about each of the eleven episodes. There were cases here and there that were enjoyable, but the vast majority was rather uninteresting. Seriously, fans of detective, mystery, crime fiction, which are largely drawn to series like Detective Conan (Case Closed), Q.E.D., C.M.B., and few famous authors like Agatha Christie and Sir Authur Conan Doyle, expect cases that interesting. For example, Agatha Christie is well known for the book The A.B.C. Murders. In that book, which Gosho Aoyama makes reference to in Detective Conan (Case Closed) Volume 39, random people are killed in order to mask the murderer's true target. I doubt that such a book would be remembered if the case was dull. Likewise, I doubt Arsène Lupin would have become as well known as Sherlock, thus being an inspiration for KID from Detective Conan (Case Closed) and Magic Kaito, if he did not have any heists that were hard to figure out. There are so many other examples too, but I will just leave it at that. Each one contained or were interesting cases for the fans of the various subgenres of crime fiction, but this show did not even live up to the standards set by those examples. In fact, very few were ones I was interested in solving myself. Another issue I had with the show was that many of the cases were very hard follow. Things that contributed to this were the fact that we never really got to know our main cast, or anybody else for that matter. Detective Conan (Case Closed) may not be entirely linear, but we do learn and grow attached to our main cast, such as Jimmy, Rachel, Richard, and Haibara. We even learn more about Sherlock and Hercule Poirot throughout their various cases. The thing they all share though is that it is not just the main cast we get to know, we also get to know the people involved in the case well enough that we can draw our own conclusions. People who like detective, mystery, and crime fiction all enjoy making their guesses and finding out whether they are right or wrong, depending on how observant they are. Here, however, the fact that we do not get to know our characters just makes it seem like the Bones Studio staff just sat a hat or bowl on a surface and had everyone draw to pick out who the criminal was. Now, some of the cases were supposedly based on cases from the novels that this series was adapted from, but even those felt like they were just randomly chosen in the anime and did not even remotely interest me enough to seek out the novels. The other thing that made things hard to follow was appearances of Inga and Kaisho. As I have been complaining about numerous times, Inga just decides to do whatever he wants when he wants, which makes it difficult to pick out what is and what is not obvious. Assistant characters are never supposed make it harder for the audience to follow cases. They are supposed to help us find clues and draw our conclusions by not acting on their own accord in cases. As for Kaisho, it seems like he crops up whenever the staff of Bones Studios wants. Yes, a single person in real life does not solve crimes, but nobody gets involved without a reason or purpose. Something crops up that makes that individual or group important. For example, whenever blood and other things that contain DNA are found, forensics is given the samples to test for things like whether the blood on a hunting knife belongs or to a human or animal or even whom the DNA belonged to. In cases where computers are involved, computer specialists are called to do things like retrieve data and find out what a computer was being used for. Here, however, Kaisho just takes up space and gives us details that we should have been able to figure out during the actual investigation in most of the cases that are presented. Does Bones really believe that the audience is too stupid recognize the clues and put things together? Maybe that would be the case for those not familiar with either detective, mystery, or crime fiction, but for fans of those genres and people like me, who people think have a keen eye for detail, we hate being treated like we cannot see the stars in the night sky when we can. After all, everyone may overlook the obvious in real life, but I think that is it is rare for a fan of detective, mystery, and crime fiction or somebody like me to not notice the obvious in other people's work. As if that were not enough, I mentioned in my review of the final episode that the ending was not satisfying at all. Because I have covered most of what I wanted to say about this issue in that review, I will not go over it again. For a series that seemed like it was going to be good, the fact that the ending was unsatisfying, and most of the cases were hard to follow and/or were uninteresting seems to outweigh any good that this series would have had.


Even though I usually try and think of something good to say about a book, series, and episodes first, the fact that only the negative aspects came to my mind, to the point where I do not care if iTunes has a different content rating than everyone else, means that there is nothing good worth mentioning about this series.

Considering that I cannot think of any good to say about this show, I will say that this was so much a waste of my time that I am not going to cover the prequel, even if iTunes does get it. I recommend everyone avoid this series, even though there were episodes I did recommend.

What are your thoughts on Un-Go? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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