My first ever review is of the Fall 2011 anime series UN-GO. Enjoy.
UN-GO revolves around Shinjurou Yuuki, a detective, and his mysterious assistant, Inga. Shinjurou is known for losing to his rival, Rinroku Kaishou, while aiding police investigations, earning his nickname, ‘Defeated Detective’. In the series, Shinjurou and Inga solve numerous cases together. While each episode has a different case for the first half of the anime, a story eventually develops near the end. This story could of come earlier on, and because of this many people probably decided to drop the series from an early point, but it is worth the wait. I am a fan of detective anime, and I was not disappointed. However, don’t expect the cases to be so complex that they are almost impossible for you to figure out until the very end.
UN-GO has a unique set of characters, from their design to their backgrounds. The only exception to this is Rie Kaishou, Rinroku’s daughter. I thought that her personality was rather dull, her character design was plain, and that she was rather predictable. A character I particularly liked was Inga, as he never failed to interest me, and I thought that he was cute, too. As you can see from the screenshots, Inga certainly has an interesting character design, especially his clothing, that somewhat resembles a panda. While some personalities of characters I thought that I had never seen before, some of them were rather bland.
UN-GO was animated by the studio Bones, which is well known for anime like Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist. Everything I have seen by Bones so far has been really well animated, and UN-GO is no exception. From the animation to the art style and the way it is coloured, Bones have done an amazing job again. Inga’s transformations (fans of the series will know what I am talking about) are particularly well animated, and are a visual treat.
UN-GO has pretty good sound. The opening song, How to Go by School Food Punishment, and the ending song, Fantasy by LAMA are both songs that will probably end up stuck in your head for a while. The soundtrack isn’t the most memorable soundtrack I know, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. The main characters, Shinjurou and Inga, are voiced by Ryo Katsuji (Shinjurou) and Aki Toyosaki (Inga), and they certainly did a great job. Aki Toyosaki did a particularly good job, as she is mostly known for voicing cutesy girls, but Inga is completely different. I am not familiar with Ryo Katsuji’s other voice acting roles, but he did a good job as Shinjurou.
As a fan of the mystery genre in all sorts of medias, not just anime, I have seen my fair share of detective stories. And I have to stay, I have never seen anything like UN-GO before. Most aspects of UN-GO are original, with the exception of the story at the beginning at the anime, it’s just solving cases. The second half is more original, but like I have previously said, it came in too late.
So overall, even though it’s not perfect, UN-GO is a pretty good anime, and I recommend that you check it out if you are a fan of the detective genre, or if you like a fairly original series with good art.