Thursday, 22 December 2011

Un-Go - Episode 11 (Completed)

With Rinroku Kaishou dead, it seems as if Un-Go's finale is all set to turn our "defeated detective" Shinjurou into an eventual victor.  But is his rival really deceased at all?

If last week's episode didn't drop enough hints that Rinroku is still very much alive, then the arrival of invitations to the remains of the television studio supposedly handed out by the man himself only serves to ask further questions of what's going on.  With all of the main players gathered in true, time-honoured detective series fashion, it's time for some truths to be outed - or for everyone to kill one another with the weapons provided by the organiser of this little party.

When this fails and Shinjurou starts to probe, pry and dissect his current train of thought, a commotion leads to the introduction of this shocked audience of Kaishou himself, who then proceeds to point the finger of blame squarely at Shinjurou as the true mastermind of it all.  Not only that, he also has Ingo on-hand to back up his claims... except little does he realise that Shinjurou has no need to answer Inga's question, nor has he been fooled by the true culprit.  Thus, the truth is revealed, culminating in an attempt by the guilty party to kill themselves while Inga and Bettenou reveal their true form in the mother of all scraps.  All's well that ends well though, and Rinroku's name is cleared of any wrong-doing... although of course that doesn't mean that he's an entirely innocent party in the grander scheme of things.

Having built up significantly to this finale over the past couple of weeks, Un-Go certainly delivered in spades here to bring the series to an impressive close.  Okay, so there were some odd moments - Bettenou and Inga's fight felt a little out of place, and the real Rinroku Kaishou wins an award for "worst disguise ever" - but otherwise, there was a near-perfect placing of twists, turns and "what, really?!" moments to make for an episode which stuck very much to detective series conventions while remaining hugely compelling for the most part.  This was topped off by a smart ending that reminds us that the line between a man who exposes the truth and circumvents it is so thin as to often by indefinable - an important thought on which to close the series, complete with enough to open up the possibility of a second season.

This makes for a great ending to a show which looked set to falter initially, only to find its feet and come to focus in on its strengths as it gained in confidence and found more time to develop its stories across multiple episodes.  Un-Go is a long way from perfect, but it has so many strengths and played to them so smartly that its flaws are easily forgiven, making way for an intelligent, relevant and occasionally thought-provoking take on the detective mystery genre.  A worthy fit for the noitaminA time slot, in other words.

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