I caught UN-GO last year during its original run and at first I didn’t know what to make of it. It was interesting, but it often left me feeling confused. As a viewer you’re thrown into a world that already has a rich history. With only 11 episodes UN-GO doesn’t fully explore its world’s backstory. This will frustrate some, but explaining how the world arrived at its current state was never the series focus – it’s all about the mysteries, post-war corruption, and the characters.
Shinjurou Yuuki: The Last Great Detective…or the “Defeated Detective”, depending on whom you ask. With a love of mysteries and a knack for solving them, the young man’s prodigious talents have made him the target of some less than savory people in a near future Tokyo. What’s worse, his fellow policemen are not even on his side! With only his quirky assistant Inga, Yuuki must evade friend and foe alike in order to finally prove that he’s the best in UN-GO!
At its core UN-GO is a weekly detective anime. You’ve seen this formula before, a new mystery is presented every week and it’s up to one talented detective to solve it. But a couple of things set this apart from its peers. Shinjurou and his partner Inga have their own unique reasons for pushing forward.
Japan is war-torn and everything that happens in the series can be traced back to the war. The government is corrupt, information is controlled, and blood is on everyone’s hands. It paints a grim picture of a post-war society where nothing is as it seems.
Once again Sentai Filmworks shows that they know how to produce a great English dub. Inga and Shinjurou sound how I imagined they would. Messing up these two characters’ voices would have been disastrous. If you prefer the Japanese voices, though, you’ll be happy to learn that they are included with this release. But I recommend watching it in English. Some episodes contain a lot of information and you’re bound to miss bits if you’re reading subtitles.
Studio Bones (Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gosick) handles the animation and most of the characters have long limbs and faces (Inga has one of the coolest designs in recent memory). The characters don’t reach xxxHolic levels of lankiness, though. The animation didn’t bother me; the art style goes well with the series tone.
I was thrilled to find out this collection features ‘Episode 0’. Because the series is somewhat frustrating without it, the official final episode leaves you with more questions than answers. Beside the essential prequel episode there’s a good amount of extras on this Blu-ray. There are some shorts, behind the scenes videos, an interview with Ango Sakaguchi, and more.
I recommend UN-GO the Complete Collection to fans of supernatural mysteries. Nothing is black and white and ultimately we the viewers are left to come up with our own conclusions. UN-GO asks you to use your brain. Trust me – this isn‘t a bad thing. Rating: 8/10 ‘Great’