Thursday, 27 October 2011

Un-Go - Episode 3

With a couple of solved mysteries under it's belt, we enter a two-parter beginning with Un-Go's third instalment, via a story that introduces us to a rather oddball but formerly influential family.

We meet the family in question seven years to the day from the death of its former head, Komamori Sasa, an influential yet secretive (to the point of never showing his face to anyone) genius in the world of AI and androids whose life was seemingly cut brutally short in an explosion at his home, coinciding with the banning of his devices and research in war-torn Japan.  After his death, the role as family head was controversially passed on to his adopted son Kazamori, an introverted and strange individual, yet undoubtedly something of a smart person in his own right.  When Kazamori runs from his room aflame on the anniversary of his father's death, is this the work of a curse, spontaneous human combustion, or something altogether more sinister?

Of course, it's up to Shinjurou and Inga to investigate this state of affairs, and as they pay a visit to the Sasa household they soon find their investigation joined by those of Rinroku Kaishou, between them pondering who would have most to gain from the family head Kazamori's demise.  For Shinjurou however, there's an entirely more important question to be asked, and it's left to Inga's powers to lift the lid on what interests him most - just who is Komamori Sasa really?

It's almost a little unfair to cast any judgement on this particular episode of Un-Go given that it leaves us effectively half-way through its story with its main mysteries still unsolved - but hey, that's never stopped me from having my say in the past!  I'm genuinely a little torn about this instalment - parts of its setup felt clumsy or downright pointless (although some of them may prove to be less so come next week), and the episode simply doesn't have enough time to properly build up all of the family's motives for murder to give us an opportunity to figure things out for ourselves, but the general idea is portrayed solidly enough and despite Inga's transformation and power continuing to be gimmicky I must admit it gets the job done on occasions like these.  Ultimately though, much like other shows of a similar ilk such as Gosick, my biggest frustration is that murder-mystery stories in anime always seem to be rushed to the point of dissolving any real "whodunnit" element for the viewer - a critical piece of the puzzle that Un-Go may eventually leave us crying out for.

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