Un-Go – 11 (Fin)

Everyone is invited back to the damaged TV studio and given weapons. But Shinjurou insists everyone stay calm as he works through the mystery. Kaishou reveals himself after a staged gunfight, but Shinjurou exposes him as a double created by Bettenou. He names Hayami as the culprit, working with Kuramitsu to eliminate the threat of Kaishou, and in Hayami’s case, to be acknowledged by Izumi. Inga chases down and devours Bettenou, who is not a true god. Even with this mystery solved, Shinjurou still has questions for Rinroku. He finally sits down with Rie and tells her about how a woman who became Inga saved his life.

Kudos to Bones for giving this relatively brief 11-episode series a stirring, mind-twisting send-off. We enjoyed every episode thoroughly, and as a result has earned the highest rating of the Fall shows (not including Penguindrum). We’re not sure if this final mystery was our very favorite (the Kazamori arc was awfully good), but it can claim the most twists and turns, and put Bettenou’s reality-warping powers to more clever, subtler use than her introduction. Our experience watching taught us to suspect the characters who either appear the most innocent or the most underused, and the revelation of Hayami and Kuramitsu as the culprits proved us correct.

The overarching theme of this mystery, and perhaps all those before it, is that we are driven by those we perceive to be gods, whether they truly are or not. Hayami’s God was Izumi’s acceptance; Kuramitsu’s was the power of the government; Inga’s was Bettenou; Rinroku’s was the dream of a world without borders. And Shinjurou? The Truth is his god. For him, it isn’t enough for him to better himself. He wants to expose everyone’s souls until that final truth is uncovered. It may only be another impossible goal, but working towards it gives his existence purpose, while repaying the woman who saved his life and became Inga.

Rating: 4

Un-Go – 10

A hearing is held, run by Diet Member Kuramitsu, to investigate the studio bombing. Rinroku and Rie attend via sattelite, and Shinjurou is among those questioning him. He harbors a consistent suspicion that he’s hiding something, and that he’s using Bettenou to bend reality. Bettenou is at work, but her loyalties are ambiguous. She does have contact with Inga, who has grown distant from Shinjurou and extracts vital state secrets from Izumi. Upon being discharged from hospital, Rinroku’s van explodes with him and his bodyguard Mizuno inside, but Shinjurou is convinced he faked his death. The truth continues to elude him.

This was a tough episode to follow, but by gum were we entertained. It frankly blew our minds with possibilities. As Rinroku says, there are as many truths as there are people. Indeed, every day, every moment we cultivate our own truths, which may change from one moment to the next. Those like Shinjurou live to find the truth, something infinitely elusive, and even though they may even know what he seeks is an impossibility, he still tries. No matter how much he uncovers, there’s always more. No single human lifetime is long enough; the search for truth is eternal.

Is truth an enemy? A foe to be defeated? Why is it he knows Bettenou is at work in the proceedings that surround him, but no one else does, save Rinroku? Throughout this episode, we were fed a lot of information, but like the Defeated Detective, we feel like we haven’t crafted a satisfactory explanation for wtf is going on. Things are getting very weird; abstract; conceptual. The episode where the author trapped Shinjurou in a fantasy world was only the warm-up; the real mind gymnastics begin here- and next week, end. This is one 11-episode series we wish wasn’t ending.

Rating: 4

Un-Go – 06

A professor recently released from prison tasks Shinjurou with solving the mystery of a note written on his personal manuscipt paper hidden in a book belonging to Rinroku Kaishou. While it initially looks like the professor’s blind wife was having an affair with Rinroku, the notes were actually communiques from her “missing” children, who were actually victims of abuse by their mother, and subsequently put into a protective home by the police. They’re still alive. Shinjurou meets the prisonmate who gave the professor the book, hoping it would lead to him murdering his wife. Indeed, this “reality novelist” may be responsible for setting up many murder mysteries Shinjurou has solved.

Un-Go shakes a few things up this week. Firstly, Rinroku is portrayed not merely as another investigator, but someone potentially involved in the crime. Secondly, Inga doesn’t transform or ask anyone a question; Shinjurou unravels much of the mystery with his own gifts of deduction – though kudos to Kazamori for the tech support; she’s proving quite the valuable colleague. If we may be so bold, we find her the most interesting character so far in a show that’s propelled mostly by the story, not its players. That’s not meant as a slight in the least; after all, one of the best characters in the Star Trek universe is Data, a yellow-eyed android just like Sasa…though he couldn’t transfer his being into a little plush doll.

And finally, rather than solving a case of Murder Moste Foul, Shinjurou arrives earlier in the mystery, before it has escalated. Indeed, the revelations he uncovers almost lead to the professor killing his wife, but that doesn’t happen this week. What is very interesting indeed is that blue-haired “novelist” inmate who seems to be crafting real murder mysteries for the sole purpose of being solved by Sinjurou and Inga. Is this meant to be the meta manifestation of Ango, the author? And who’s the redeyed beauty beside him? They would seem to know more about the Defeated Detective than the rest of the cast. With each week and mystery, another piece of the underarching mystery – that of Shinjurou himself – falls into place.

Rating: 4