“When you sleep with a woman, which side of the bed do you sleep on?”
The series shifts it’s focus from the political undertones and introduces the Yajima family. The father was imprisoned for his writings that violated the New Information Privacy and Protection Act. During his incarceration, he meets a mysterious young man who shows him a book acquired from a second hand bookstore. The book is from Kaishou’s private library. Within its pages, Yajima discovers a piece of his manuscript paper with a number code.
Now a free man, Yajima seeks Shinjuro to the solve the mystery behind the code.
This episode felt very different from the previous cases we’ve seen, everything functioned in a personal level. While the episode never allows us to have an intimate look into the emotions of these characters, the quietness in this episode felt like a thin layer to cover up the boiling tension below. Kenji Fujiwara’s work on Yajima was excellent, you could feel his insecurity, his unhappiness and his loathing in the most subtle of ways. The script was especially powerful as well. Together with sleek pacing and stylish art direction, you’ve got one hell of a short story. I don’t think any other show has improved this much over such a short period of time, Un-Go keeps on trying different things when you least expect it to and the result is something very unusual but fitting of the NoitaminA timeslot.
The sly nature of this episode reveals itself upon the second viewing. This isn’t a show that you can only watch once, some people might think that this is a bad thing but I personally find series that continue to be interesting despite repeated viewings one that can stand the test of time.
There remains a mystery behind the facade of a happy end. Did Kaishou really have an affair with Yajima’s wife? It seems that the maid and Kaishou kept visiting last year, not to mention she explicitly states that she delivered toys to the house last year for the children. That doesn’t make a lot of sense once you realize that Yajima tells Shinjurou that his children were missing since that time period. Also, the wife seems to be hiding something as well. I like how the clues are thrown in but it allows the viewers to come up with their own speculations. Why not tell Yajima about the family’s real condition? Why did Kaishou intend his friend not to find out about his wife’s neglect? Also, had Shinjuro not interfered would Yajima ever meet his children at all?
Okay, this is going to sound strange but let us consider ‘intuition’ in this case. Rie and Yajima, both arrived at a similar conclusion upon seeing the coded message. Kaishou’s story coincides with Shinjuro’s conclusion but our detective was unable to hear the maid’s statement. This is why Inga’s face is darkened when Kaishou asks ‘Why do you reveal the truth?’. I believe that this time around, Shinjuro was unable to reveal the whole truth and as such, he truly was defeated.
The Novelist vs. The Last Detective
In the final minutes of this series, we find that a character referring to himself as ‘The Novelist’, a man who writes stories not with a pen but in reality. He premeditated this whole mystery. His aim is to have Shinjuro become the ‘Last Great Detective’ by revealing the truth right after Yajima had murdered his wife.
This newly revealed conflict is bloody brilliant. The novelist character has an Inga counterpart with him, a possible opposing force. Inga, is ‘karma’ a representation of ’cause and effect’. This girl might be, the belief that regardless of one’s actions– all things are predetermined and written by a greater force. The Novelist is playing god with the way he attempts to control certain events in order to arrive at a certain end.
Another triumph for Un-Go this week. No other series this season has improved over such a period of time and this episode highlighted the storytelling prowess of the people behind this project. One thing to note here is how sex also plays a part in this series, the approach here is very ‘adult’.
When Yajima asks Shinjuro if he sleeps with Kazamori, Shinjuro doesn’t respond with your typical flailing and head shaking. He responds with silence. This sort of thing could go either way, but I doubt he sleeps with a sexually abused RAI. I say this because Inga would never allow it either. Although it’s obvious that Yajima suspects him to be a pedophile, I don’t think Shinjuro has gone that low.
I also liked how Inga switches from creepy, annoying , sexual and innocent in just 22 minutes. It just makes this character so much more unpredictable. It seems that their loss this time around really ticked her off.