Thursday, 20 October 2011

Un-Go - Episode 2

Having set its tone and premise via its opening episode, it's time to join Shinjurou and Inga as they investigate another crime, flying in the face of officialdom as they do so.

The episode begins with our crime-fighting duo checking out the queue for the latest release by a Dol-pli, this futuristic world's evolution of Vocaloid.  However, with all media including music tightly controlled in this post-war era, the release of a highly anticipated track is cancelled and prohibited by the powers that be and their censorship laws.

All of this seems initially unconnected with the death of an investor named Hisako Osada whose body is found dumped in a suitcase and delivered to the victim's own home - a murder which is assumed to be the work of the victim's cross-dressing former boyfriend, Aramaki, as far as information gatherer Kaishou is concerned.  Of course, Shinjurou has other ideas, and upon meeting Hisako's daughter and discovering her talent for singing, links begin to form in his mind to the Dol-pli music which opened the episode.  Before we know it, we're knee-deep in the story of a band named Yonagahime who rode to fame on the back of one of their members who was killed in a terrorist attack, and a government conspiracy to gee up the population in time of war - a combination of elements that once again sets Shinjurou's version of the truth in this murder case against the official story of what happened.

After holding a few reservations about Un-Go following its first episode, I have to admit that this was actually a pretty good murder-mystery yarn that told its story in a tempered, well-paced manner.  I'm still not sure exactly what purpose Inga serves to the series (surely Shinjurou is smart enough to get information out of people without relying on a walking deus ex machina), but even with his "unique" input this was an eminently satisfying episode, not least because this time Shinjurou's victory was more than just a pyrrhic one in the face of officialdom.  I'm not sure that Un-Go has what it takes to be a classic, but I'm certainly warming to it nicely.

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