Anime Review: Un-Go Episode 1

Anime Review:
Un-Go Episode 1

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Un-Go is a weekly television anime series produced by Bones and airing during the prestigious Noitamia timeslot, starting in October 2011. Yuuki Shinjuurou, nicknamed “The Defeated Detective”, solves mysteries in a post-WWIII Japan with the help of a strange little boy named Inga.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Spoiler-free set-up: Kaoru Kanou has been accused of illegal profiteering during the recovery in post-World-War-III Japan, and is throwing a grand ball shortly before he is expected to be arrested. In attendance to this extravaganza is Rie Kaishou, the daughter and serving as proxy for her well-respected detective father. But also Yuuki Shinjuurou has been invited, along with his puckish assistant Inga. Known as “The Defeated Detective”, he carries a notorious reputation for his great insight but not solving cases. When Kanou is killed before making a major announcement, suspicion immediately falls on one of the SDF guards at the event. But under Yuuki’s keen eye and Inga’s unusual abilities, it turns out the case is more complicated than it first seems.

My Impressions: …uh…uh…I don’t quite know what to make of this show. Leave it to me to pick a real puzzler for my first Fall show reviewed for the season.

Well, for a mystery series at least it does have a bit of a mystery, which is a refreshing break after being repeatedly disappointed with non-mysterious mystery and/or lackluster shows in the past year such as Psychic Detective Yakumo, Gosick and Dantalian no Shoka. It’s not much of a mystery, but the clues are laid out and it’s all quite logical enough to follow, even if it was very short and simple. Also, the mystery itself is not really the point of this episode, which is more to lay out the setting and introduce the characters.

And here’s where the the big question mark comes into play: the characters. I don’t quite know what to make of Yuuki and his role of “Defeated Detective”, although the rivalry dynamic between him and Rie’s father has potential. I am especially dubious of Inga, who jumps around like a six year old who needs to pee real bad, and then transforms into this voluptuous albino woman with the inexplicable power to force anyone to answer one question. Weirdly traptastic, to say the least.

The setting itself is what is most intriguing, in a near-future Japan that has been ravaged by war and terrorist attacks, occupied by the SDF to keep the peace. The friction between the role the government and the individual may prove to be the impetus for some interesting conflicts in the future.

In any case, I don’t know whether I like this or not, so I’m going to have to punt and wait to see what befalls the second episode. All I can say is with the high pre-airing expectations, it did *not* live up to the hype. NOTE: There is also a separate “episode 0” that aired after the series started, that explains when Yuuki met Inga, so that might answer some questions.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “While the premiere wasn’t bad by any means, it didn’t have a lot of success in drawing me into the premise. First episodes of mystery series are often tricky affairs, trying to balance the need to introduce the characters and setting with offering a compelling mystery to solve. While Mizushima-sensei certainly tried to do both, what resulted was an an introduction that felt rushed and a mystery that failed to pop. ” – Random Curiosity
  • “The mystery is probably the most important aspect to a murder-mystery series, so the crime here was in itself rather weak. It served as a good way to introduce the characters and hint at their past, but nothing much aside from that. However, what this reveal about the main cast’s past is rather intriguing to ponder over. Grade: 7.5/10.” – Emory Anime Club
  • “The first episode felt pretty rushed as the show seem to want to wrap up the introduction of the characters as well as the dynamics between the characters in the story all in its first episode with Shinjuro solving the case and proving his deductive skills…But despite the fact that it was rushed and the mystery did not manage to buildup as much suspense as I would have liked it to have, the episode was entertaining to watch and is one of the better first episodes of the season. Grade: 7.5/10.” – Otakuness
  • “There isn’t a lot of real meat to the episode, but there is substance here to balance out the very strong looking animation and character designs so that it’s not all about the flashy. It has a certain quirky nature to it as well, particularly with the music, that makes it surprisingly engaging to watch. It’s not an out of the park hit by any means, but it definitely merits more episodes to figure out what it will really do and how it will all come together. Grade: B.” – Fandom Post
  • “Well, Bones. Let’s see what we’ve learned from GOSICK and No. 6 about creating a mystery/thriller. You’ve taken an old detective novel and decided to add… a magical boy that transforms into a slutty woman who uses magical hypnosis to send an entire room full of people into a heretofore unseen and unknown flashback about their past where they confess their crime and motive. At this point, the latin guitar kicks in. Bones. What the hell are you doing?” – Tenka Seiha
  • “Other than Aki surprising the socks off me, UN-GO looks like a pretty interesting take on the detective genre. There’s a sort of self-parodying touch here I quite like, but it also takes itself seriously enough to feel like a proper detective genre show.” – Kurogane’s Anime Blog
  • “Brilliant! I absolutely loved this and I’m glad it lived up to my expectations. UN-GO’s first episode is a package. It’s got all the good things covered. It has an outstanding sense of style to go with it’s off-beat character designs, it has a rather unusual plot and boasts of an fabulous (oh, how fabulous it is!) musical score. This was like an excellent appetizer, it gives us a good taste of things to come.” – Hachimitsu
  • “The pacing really hurts the characterization. Un-Go’s cast simply falls into a long list of stereotypes: ‘The Defeated Detective’ is that cool guy with a dark past. Izumi is that I-don’t-like-these-shady-people-who-get-in-our-way officious policewoman. And Rinroku Kaishō, goodness, is he a descendant of Alice or something? The detective’s sidekick looks like it wandered off from [C] and crashed into the party (More of that later). Hopefully, the next few episodes would rectify that.” – How I Met Your Otaku
  • “If it sounds like I’ve been dan­cing around doing a proper review, it’s because I am. Un-Go didn’t leave much of an impres­sion on me at all.” – The Cart Driver
  • “In short, Un-Go has plenty of promise, but it needs to do more with its premise, characters and setting to really prove its worth – in those terms, this first episode is not bad as a starting point, but there’s little more to it than that.” – Hanners’ Anime Blog
  • “The first episode didn’t really describe any future plot or ultimate evil that will conflict with the detective, nor did it tell us why we should even care. We were simply introduced to a few key characters, which are more mysterious the closer we get to the main character, Yuuki. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and look forward to the next.” – Days of our Past Megaten Lives
  • “One thing about Un-Go that may become a good or bad thing is that it’s not wasting any time. Almost the entire cast of characters is pushed on you at once, and the only character I can remember is the perpetually purple Inga, and only because his name was so different that it stuck out to me. Grade: 3/5.” – Population GO
  • “However, first cases in detective shows often aren’t that strong so I’m hoping the series picks up because I think it has a lot of potential. The leads seem pretty interesting, Inga’s adorable and I do want to find out more about whatever his power is (and why he was so desperate to use it, my guess is maybe he gets some kind of nourishment from mysteries like Neuro), plus the music is pretty great. Grade: 3/5.” – Moeronpan


Thumbs-up for Round One: Un-Go

Thumbs-down for Round One: None yet.

Coming up next: Chibi Devi, Morita-san wa Mukuchi Season 2, Working Season 2, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Kimi to Boku, C3, Shinryaku Ika Musume Season 2, Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Ben-To, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, Chihayafuru, Phi-Brain, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing, Fate Zero, Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Shakugan no Shana III, Hunter x Hunter, Mashiro-iro Symphony, Tamayura Hitotose, Persona 4, Maken-ki, Cross Fight Bedaman, Digimon Xros Wars II

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2 Responses to Anime Review: Un-Go Episode 1

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Recap of the Fall 2011 Season (after watching the 1st episodes) | This Euphoria!

  2. Pingback: Anime Review: Un-Go Episode 2 | This Euphoria!

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