Un-Go – 03

Kaishou Rie summons Shinjurou and Inga to the Sasa household, where its heir Kazamori met a most unusual demise on the seventh anniversary of the death of his adoptive father, Komamori, previously the foremost authority on AI before his research was shut down by the government. When Kaishou determines it was murder and not suicide, the other members of Sasa become suspects. Inga asks the widow who Kazamori is, she tells her there was never a human Kazamori, but an android; a creation of her late husband. Kazamori’s program is still integrated into the house.

Wow, what amazing twists befall this show! Unveiled at just the right moment after careful and intricate build-up, we had our suspicions that the masked Kazamori could be anyone or anything and that the manner in which he burned up suggested something not human. And yet, for seven years after a wing of Komamori’s house blew up – with him in it – his “adopted son” essentially ran the family business, without ever revealing his face. The widow found out quite by accident, but even as she was suspected in his murder, she stayed tight-lipped about it – until Inga, of course.

Once we dive into the engrossing Sasa story, it’s east to forget the first act, in which Shinjurou is helping an…ahem…companion, restore her iPhone contact list, in the ruins of Shinjuku. Terrorists bombings claim the NTT Docomo Building and Takashimaya Times Square, and the station is a mess. It’s great how this series continues to build the very strange, possibly insane world in which Shinjurou, Inga, and the other detectives operate. They represent the enduring human spirit in their own way. The series also continues to maintain fantastic production values, and the ending sequence is the best of the season.

Rating: 4

Guilty Crown – 03

Inori not only transfers to Shu’s class, but moves in with him as well, so that she can teach him about drawing out peoples’ voids. Everyone’s void takes a different form based on the “shape of their heart”. Gai instructs him to find a witness to their operations in Roppongi before the GHQ does. The witness Yahiro, a student at his school with a reputation for kindness and caring. In reality, he’s addicted to a drug called Norma Gene. When Shu confronts him, he wigs out, but after returning his void, they agree to keep each others’ secrets, rather than let Inori kill him. Yahiro then immediately rats Shu out to the GHQ, and Major Segai arrests him.

Last week was about helping The Little People. This episode was about cleaning up the mess, while Shu learned what voids were all about. We kinda knew as soon as Shu got home that he’d find Inori there. We also found out pretty darn fast that Yahiro was “Sugar” the witness. But that didn’t make the confrontation any less tense. Shu’s experimentation with classmates (including accidentally groping Kanon, his rep) and all the strange, random voids he drew out, provided some levity to the proceedings. But once he had his man, things got real stern and serious real fast.

Shu’s fatal mistake this week was believing in Yahiro’s nice guy persona, when he really didn’t know the whole picture. Meanwhile, Inori’s instinct to shoot him, while cold, was spot-on. There’s also a kind of ironic cruelty that Shu’s own mom, a researcher at Sephirah Genomics, is involved in the operations to wipe out Undertaker. The early foreshadowing about Major Segai’s success in investigation the Norma Gene industry was nicely connected to Yahiro’s addiction. Segai uses whatever methods are necessary to achieve his goals. We’d like to hate Yahiro for his sudden but inevitable betrayal, but it was certainly Segai pulling the strings behind him. And now Shu is seriously in the shit.

Rating: 3.5 

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 03

As the clock ticks down on Nora, Grodek has the core tethered to the Diva for extraction. A UE enters Nora and destroys the base where Bruzar was standing by to separate the core. He’s seriously injured, but is able to make it to an older section of the base where the separation can take place. Meanwhile, Flit buys Bruzar and Grodek time by keeping the UEs busy. With Yurin’s help, he’s able to learn the patterns of their movements and keep up with them. The last UE makes for the core as the Diva pulls it from Nora, but Flit blocks it, and it withdraws. Bruzar sacrifices himself by ramming a pylon that was blocking the core. The Diva and core escape, and Nora blows up.

If we were Flit, we imagine our laps would be a bit numb after having Yurin sitting on it for an extended period. But it was certainly a good job he rescued her, yeah? I mean, he’s just firing wildly into space and barely moving as the UEs toy with him, but she settles him down. What’s her deal? Is she somehow affiliated with the UE? We don’t learn anything today. And once the operation is over and everybody’s safe and sound, Flit and Yurin part ways just as quick as they met, though not before she give him her ribbon and a very loving look indeed. The character design may be simple, but there are nice subtleties in expressions when it matters.

As for Nora, well…so long, we hardly knew ye.  We shudder to think how much time and money went into it, only to be destroyed by a mere handful of UEs. If Flit’s is the only mobile suit that’s a match for them, what’s stopping them from attacking other bases, in larger numbers? More importantly, why did that UE just…um, leave when Flit ran out of ammo? Enemies retreating to fight another day is a core Gundamism, and in this case, it showed these UE are more than just mindless killers. There’s a plan in place, and killing Flit and letting the core go is part of that plan.

Rating: 3