Ah Friday, such a glorious day— except for the fact that I had to watch the last episode of Un-Go. Why was Un-Go only 11 episodes?! Why?! It deserves more episodes as opposed to Guilty Crown, which has certainly gone down the drain now, in my blunt opinion. However, I believe that 11 episodes was enough to uncover the underlying personality of Yuki Shinjuro— and of course Inga AND Kazamori.
Un-Go didn’t start out that great as opposed to Guilty Crown. Un-Go’s first two episodes were about different issues with no relation to one another. It had an “introduce case then solve’ vibe in each episode. It didn’t do much justice to the series at that point as it was just drabble, drabble and oh look, more drabble, I can’t even remember what happened in episode 2, which is sad. Though one thing Un-Go did right in the first two episodes is character introduction. Each character, that was important in the beginning until the end, was given enough air time. Though it’s also from that first episode that I thought Inga’s power would be abused until the end of the series (which Un-Go decides to debunk as the episodes pass).
But Un-Go manages to step up its game with the arrival of Kazamori through the glorious episode 3 & 4. Even though her introduction involved being tied up in a case, Kazamori was an amazing asset in Shinjuro’s truth searching arsenal. Simply because Kazamori is a RAI— robot artificial intelligence. She is the last one in existence and is doomed to disposal. Shinjuro, however, saves Kazamori making Kazamori part of the team. Over the episodes, Kazamori has become a vital member in the team as she is used for infiltrating both government and illegal networking. The importance of Kazamori has been tremendous over the series that it’s unimaginable that Shinjuro would solve the major case without her help. In addition, Kazamori has some insight on the human psyche that she has a better grasp of how to deal with Shinjuro. There were some episodes when I even thought Kazamori was a better companion than Inga for Shinjuro.
However, the beauty of Un-Go was showcased by a key figure— Bettenou. Un-Go took the right move by creating a major mystery that took 5 episodes to conclude. Such a challenge was done tremendously as each episode had some connection with the other. The best way to fight a supernatural entity is with another one— that’s how odds are evened out— that’s what Un-Go did. The execution of Bettenou’s psychological control was incredible that even I had no clue what was going on. The culprit I thought of is the actual perpetrator except even I got thrown off by the events that occurred after my initial conclusion. Un-Go had told me to give up on my theory for another one only to be brought back Full Circle. The power of Bettenou to turn words into reality is so powerful that even I was fooled. That shows how great Bettenou was as an mythical antagonist.
But it’s because of Bettenou that viewers see the vulnerability of Inga. Inga eats souls in order to gain the truth— that’s how Shinjuro stopped him from killing people upon their first encounter. However, Inga is still prone to manipulation as he is still human. This is highlighted greatly with Bettenou controlling Inga— even to the point of ordering him around. Here we see that Inga isn’t as powerful as he was depicted to be because Bettenou is a ‘kami’ or god, so she has superiority over Inga— Inga therefore cannot resist her. The only reason Inga is powerful is that he can force any person to answer one question— truthfully. It’s a powerful tool a detective could have at his arsenal, but Shinjuro knew the price to using it— souls. Exactly why Shinjuro watches over Inga and exactly why the Bettenou lost. Bettenou is simply a soul of mere words— in any angle, she’s still a soul. Shinjuro had to wake up Inga through that conclusion because Inga depicted Bettenou as a god. But because she isn’t, Inga managed to get himself out of the ruts.
Yet in the end, Yuki Shinjuro has managed to stay in his current state. While he may not have received much character growth as the other characters, his mindset went through the most resistance. Shinjuro has always been searching for the truth in each soul— believing each truth should be exposed, but that’s why he’s titled the Defeated Detective. Even though he catches the perpetrator, the convict isn’t assigned a punishment in par with the offense. Why? Simply because the government intervenes. In a world wherein prestige is an importance along with contributions to society, even if one is condemn of misconduct as long as you have contributed to the significant growth of the country, you can be saved. And well, Shinjuro is the type to jump into these cases; therefore he is constantly defeated. Yet even with this defeat, he still feels good about himself as he’s getting his deductions right. However, when his deduction goes astray, he starts facing pressure— this is highlighted by a momentary outburst in the series. Shinjuro is still human and makes mistakes, but by concluding a wrong statement, he went against the truth— which is like going against himself. This began when Inga disappeared. Shinjuro had become to dependent on Inga and he knew that to get out of his mistake, he’d have to fend on his own. In fighting for reformation, Shinjuro’s belief about the truth having to be exposed returns with no hesitation. You can say Shinjuro had built upon his belief so adamantly that by its destruction he lost his way— but because it was an adamant belief, it returned to him after contemplation.
In total, Un-Go was a great series to watch. It deserved the Noitamina slot because it had a wonderful mix of characterization, plot development and animation. It’ll be a memorable series for me— though the last episode is very questionable. I never expected Un-Go to have an actual action scene or one that involved confrontational fighting. Imagine how surprised I was when I suddenly see Bettenou and Inga transform into monsters with Inga chasing after Bettenou before eating her soul. It was the most random part of the series. Even I don’t know if it’s of importance.