Un-Go 10 – Shades of Revolution

Un-Go isn’t the sort of show that hits you over the head with it’s themes. Yes, there are themes and ideas more obvious than the others but Un-Go never tries to overplay them. It takes things in moderation, and this isn’t something I find often in the recent anime I’ve watched. Yes, there is a lot going on and the pacing was all over the place when it started but once you follow the show every week, it’s easy to get used to how Un-Go flows as a story.

The themes in Un-Go all interconnect in one way or another, and the reoccurring characters in this arc prove that. The Prison Arc in particular, points out how war is being turned into a ‘toy’, and that’s with each character having their personal agendas and using Kaishou’s post-war contributions against him. They way things have played out, it appears it’s Kaishou who possesses a clear vision of what is in front of him. Chances are that this series is going to go ahead and crush that trust under its heels but watching Kaishou’s reactions during the trial have me convinced that he’s just as baffled as everyone else.

Speaking of the trial, it was possibly the most intense moment of the whole episode. The commotion and clamor following Izumi’s big reveal is a large contrast to how the case was being treated before the existence of a document altering software was revealed. You could see most of the people involved weren’t necessarily taking it as seriously as they ought have been. That is, until Kaishou’s suspicious actions are revealed.

There’s also a jab at how people naturally jump at the wildest conclusions whenever something terrible happens. Kaishou speaks of how people often feel that the truth is being hidden from them, and then there are those who believe that they are the only ones who have arrived at the truth. His philosophy is simple: “There are an innumerable number of truths.” Kaishou sees things differently and while his words do strike me as being hypocritical– what exactly do we know about Kaishou? He too, must have his own reasons as to while he decides to cover up the ‘truth’.

I love the script in Un-Go. It’s dialogue heavy but it never, never gets boring. This episode in particular mostly had characters exchanging words. The voice acting here shines through, and it’s the sort of acting unusual of anime. I found Izumi’s breakdown during Kaishou’s funeral to be an excellent example of how voice acting can speak volumes about a certain character.

Another aspect to this episode that I really liked was Shinjurou doing his information gathering. The scene with the Novelist in particular was weird with Kazamori cutting his mouth open like nothing. It’s just weird and nonsensical but somehow the characters all decide to overlook it.

The novelist elaborates on Bettenou’s rules and restrictions, giving Shinjurou more data to go by. Listen…Guys, I love it when a series goes on about rules and restrictions and how these characters are required to comply to aforementioned rules and restrictions. Things like these are vital to stories in that it adds realism and highlights the importance of cause and effect. I recall mentioning this on my post on the fourth episode and I’ll repeat it again, Un-Go is a show that isn’t too immersed in it’s own absurdity or its supernatural elements. Bettenou and Inga have their own weaknesses and their own goals too, but in one way or another– it’s not completely impossible for either Kaishou or Shinjurou to comprehend and analyze their actions regardless if they’re spirits or deities.

Dude, I just want to eat souls.

The biggest, and perhaps one of the most important mysteries here is how it’s hard to find out what Inga’s motives are throughout the first two episodes of this arc. Bettenou is being controlled by someone, Shinjurou just wants to seek the truth while Kaishou obviously wanted (? – It’s not like we’re 100% sure he’s dead) to prove his innocence…what’s in it for Inga? Is it really that difficult to east human souls without killing them? I was under the impression that she was fine with her current arrangement with Shinjurou too.

The other mystery would be who exactly is controlling Bettenou? We’ve seen a mysterious silhouette from time to time and it resembles Hayami’s stature a lot. If the scene in the trial is any indication, Hayami has feelings for Izumi and the Diet member (the girl with glasses) is very aware of this. There’s also the involvement of Mizuno to be considered. There’s a chance that there are multiple people involved in framing Kaishou but we’ll never know until the next episode.

Random Note:

Fantastic background art for this series. I’m surprised to see CG cars and doors but this show’s visuals are enough to make up for that.

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  1. After watching this episode, I think the story resolution will hinge on these questions: what is Inga to Shinjuro? What is Shinjuro to Inga? It’s been easy to take their “relationship” for granted so far, because it’s been portrayed so matter-of-factly, but there’ve been so many little asides and comments I’m starting to wonder: what is the nature of their relationship? What are the implications of that relationship for Shinjurou (eg: would it prevent him from entering into a relationship with Rie)? What does Inga think about that? What does Shinjurou think about that?

    My theory as to what’s been going on is that Inga’s been given a raw deal: if Inga cooperates with “shady government faction” then Inga will eventually be allowed free reign to go “hunting”; if Inga doesn’t cooperate then “shady government faction” will do something to Shinjurou. Bettenou isn’t “confusing” Inga — that ability won’t work on Inga — but Bettenou is being used as a messenger for safety’s sake (b/c, as we saw in episode 4, Inga can be *very* dangerous). Inga’s cooperation is at least somewhat reluctant, and Inga dropped that handkerchief in the hope of giving Shinjurou a clue that’ll help him unravel this last mystery.

    Or, at least, that’s what I think has to be happening so far. But, what next, once Shinjurou unravels this mystery? That’s where the question of the Inga-Shinjurou relationship comes to a head, I think, even if I’m not precisely sure how it’ll come into play.

    There’s also a curious bit of ambiguity here: if Kaishou’s humming a new Yonagehime song, that means (a) there *is* a new Yonagehime song and (b) Kaishou knew about it. What an ambivalent fellow he is, even en route to his own death(?). One more week, fingers crossed it’s a good end, and that things go well in real life, too.

    • I’m starting to wonder: what is the nature of their relationship?
      This really makes me want to see the movie. I’m not sure if summaries do the film any justice. That thought aside, I agree with you. Whenever Shinjurou, Inga speak of their relationship, it comes off very simple: Shinjurou feeds Inga truths and Inga won’t kill people. But that’s just one side of the story. We’ve seen them interact, and their are small moments spread through out the series where it does appear to be more of an intimate relationship than it appears. On the surface we see a relationship of convenience but there has to be more to it than that.

      My theory as to what’s been going on is that Inga’s been given a raw deal: if Inga cooperates with “shady government faction” then Inga will eventually be allowed free reign to go “hunting”; if Inga doesn’t cooperate then “shady government faction” will do something to Shinjurou.
      If so, then it must be a rather complicated ploy to get Kaishou Rinroku. A bit risky and ruthless, but nothing I wouldn’t put past the government in this series. If this indeed is true, it’ll show that Inga has began to care about Shinjurou but I do this Inga’s already done that for some time. In fact, it’d probably be more convenient if Shinjurou wasn’t around.

      Bettenou isn’t “confusing” Inga — that ability won’t work on Inga —
      I’m not so sure about this, perhaps Shinjurou was quick to make rash assumptions but in episode 9, it sounded like Shinjurou was certain Inga wasn’t immune to Bettenou.

      The next episode preview has Inga being cryptic, the easiest way to interpret the is that Inga is saying goodbye. But that would be too predictable for this series’ finale.

      The Yonagahime song might be a huge clue and maybe it has something to do as to why anyone would want to get rid of Kaishou? Man, only an episode left for the series to explain itself and I’m hoping next week will bring us to an amazing conclusion. Thanks for the fabulously in-depth comment

  2. Totally psyched for the final episode! I really hope this show doesn’t fall on it’s face. I reckon the main themes are the nature of truth and guilt (in particular post-war guilt). Inga says that truth = human soul, and that’s what she feasts on – which of course clashes with Kaishou’s theory. I wonder if the show will choose to come down on one side in it’s conclusion…

    The trial scene made it look like Hayami (who has Bettenou?) and the Diet member were working together to bring down Kaishou – which is probably totally justified (I love Kaishou but he’s really not a “good guy”). The question is: who is the Diet member? Because of Bettenou’s power all the characters we see could be someone else. (Yajima’s also connected somehow.) I also can’t give up on the theory that Kaishou might be using Bettenou, because who else would fake his death but himself? (…but then again why would he change the status quo when he was the one benefiting from it…)

    The Yonagahime song is the big clue, but I have no idea what it means. If I remember correctly, they were a pro-war propaganda group that got written out of history once the war was concluded. Are the perpretrators all the people that Kaishou has censored out of existence for the sake of the “greater good”? A revolution of freedom and the truth?

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