Un-Go – 05

Hakuru Shimada, a powerful politician, is dedicating a new memorial hall with a statue honoring three soldiers who sacrificed their lives to save others, including himself. When the bodies of two members of a rival party are found in the base of the statue, Shinjurou suspects Hakuru is the culprit. But after Inga asks Shimada’s son, he’s proven wrong, shaking his confidence. He eventually works out that Youko, the artist who built the statue, is the murderer, by looking past the illusion she created to throw him off.

For anyone thinking Shinjurou has it too easy with Inga by his side, here was a mystery that initially stumped him, even with Inga’s help. For the record, we also learn a little more about Inga – that he has a deal with her in which he supplies her with truthy souls to eat, and she doesn’t murder anyone. For all of Shinjurou’s hobbesian philosophizing, he is, as Kazamori postulates, sacrificing his life for others. We like how in her first episode as one of the gang, the AI doll makes herself useful by laying things out from a different perspective.

Perhaps her mere presence as the artificial illusion of a human, got him to thinking that maybe his preconceptions of the case were illusory – and indeed they were. There is certainly truth in Hobbes’ notion that humans are by nature brutal and short. The ultimate culprit is beautiful and talented, but she wants that gold, too. He plan for getting it was simple in its aims – distract everyone and get Hakuru to point out the gold’s location – while the execution, involving a trojan horse and lots of deception, was anything but. The story moved fast and confidently, and it was challenging to keep up, but also extremely rewarding.

Rating: 4

Guilty Crown – 05

Before Shu can become a member of Funeral Parlor, he must undergo basic training in order to keep up with everyone. Gai puts Ayase in charge of training him. Despite being wheelchair-bound, Ayase is tough and strong, and initially finds Shu hopeless, like everyone else. He proves himself to them in a mock battle in which he gets past Ayase’s endlave Steiner by drawing a void from Argo, one of the members in the audience. She gives him back his pen, and he becomes a full-fledged member. But Gai’s next big operation hasn’t started well.

This week, Shu meets more of the gang, as do we. We see a lot more of Ayase in particular and we have to say we like her proud, spunky character (voiced by Kana Hanazawa). Shu, meanwhile, is still pretty wimpy and unconfident – when he’s not drawing out voids, that is. Inori, so lovey-dovey up to this point, is much chillier to him, telling him not to get too close, then dropping a bomb on him: Gai told her to act like that, no doubt hoping the pretty girl would be successful in recruiting him. Part of us doubts this is how Inori really feels, but it’s what she’s told Shu, so that’s what he believes.

The twist of the knife comes when he sees Inori go into a bedroom with Gai, then hearing from Ayase that they do it two to three times a month. He gets the idea they’re a couple, when…it’s actually more complicated than that (perhaps she just has to sit by the bed and protect him from vamps or something?). His heartbreak aside, this episode efficiently dealt with Shu’s training and initiation. His void genome powers are crucial to Gai’s plans, and next week, Shu will likely need to put them to use in a life-or-death situation. And then there’s that dang pen he still has…

Rating: 3