Un Go anime review

Un Go anime review

He pursues his job as the "Last Great Detective". Others call him the "Defeated Detective". What's certain is that he's Shinjurou Yuuki, a young man with a passion for mysteries and a talent for solving them that has made him the target of dark forces now stirring within the sinister underworld of a near future Tokyo. That could prove lethal, given that not even the other "good guys", including the police, are exactly on Shinjouro's side. Fortunately Yuuki's not completely on his own, and with the aid of his uniquely talented associate Inga, he's ready to cut a swath through the veils of secrecy that have been laid before him. Get ready for mind against matter and a lot of cloak and dagger as the ultimate battle of clue and deduction begins in UN-GO!

When it comes to the detective genre, we've seen it all from locked room mysteries to train-stopping murders to classic Holmesian whodunits. In a genre that's become repetitively stale, Un-Go blends both old and new sensibilities into its narrative, shape-shifting into something unique. Although loosely based on the post-war Tales of Crime in the Meiji Era by Ango Sakaguchi, Un-Go

sets itself in motion along a near future timeline.

With one foot planted firmly in the tradition of Japanese detective fiction, and the other in the realm of a real, technological future, Un-Go creates an intriguing universe that is as familiar as it is relevant.

The anime attempts to realize a post-modern, wired-up world where corruption and terrorism are the tokens of the times. In this media-saturated society, information is like precious cargo, that is, if it isn't already censored by the government. Un-Go is no Brave New World, but it clearly has something to say about the 21st century.

Detective Yuki Shinjuro has an easy, yet unrewarding job. With each new case, Shinjuro effortlessly corners his suspect with some verbal jousting and then calls upon his sexually dimorphic assistant, Inga, to pluck the truth from their sorry, overripe souls.

This routine loses its charm around the seventh go, and Shinjuro's use of Inga as his supernatural ace card only sucks all the fun out of the juicy details of interrogations. After minutes and minutes of tenuous build-up, it seems a little unfair (and unsatisfying) that Shinjuro and Inga are privy to every creature secret with a simple wave of the hand.

The actual mysteries themselves lack the fundamental element we expect from detective stories: suspense. Systematically, almost clinically, Shinjuro sleuths towards the truth with nary a shade of doubt. Besides the occasional red herring, Un-Go's first few cases feel formulaic and dispassionate.

The obvious suspects crack too fast; on the other hand, their motivations are at the heart of the


An invisible thread connecting the victims from various cases keeps the narrative tight as a whole and ensures thematic consistency. While its mysteries may be transparent, Un-Go cleverly uses its cases as vehicles for social commentary and examination of the human condition. We can also savor the deductive rivalry between Shinjuro and the nation's top information analyst, Kaisho

Rinroku. Don't get me wrong, their "battles" are no L and Light cat-and-mouse games; instead, they feel more like duels between a mouse and a lion.

No matter how ugly and selfish and bitter Shinjuro reveals the truth to be, the magnanimous, omniscient Kaisho covers it up with a beautiful lie. Shinjuro, in his Sisyphean task of revealing the truth, is constantly masked by government smoke and mirrors.  By tapping into the facades and forces we can't control, Un-Go makes itself remarkably relevant in regards to censorship, war, and political power.

The show even takes a stab at the artificial intelligence debate. Un-Go has oodles of thought-

provoking themes, it's just a shame the mysteries are executed clumsily.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Un Go. Watch it now:
Browse Anime by Alphabet:
Browse Anime by year of production:
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1979