The problem with this week’s episode is that everything tangential to the actual mystery is actually more puzzling than the case itself. Once the episode revealed that the late Sasa Komamori was into advanced AI and robotics, it couldn’t have been more obvious that Kazamori was a robot himself. The case was just unremarkable and uninteresting; in the end, the apparently inconsequential clues are what I remember when I review the content of the episode.
For instance, why did Fumihiko seem so depressed and morose-looking? Did he also know that Kazamori was a robot? Was the mother too domineering? Also, was the live-in “doctor” also in on the ruse? Oh well, I guess the answers to these questions don’t really matter in the grander scheme of things.
In any case, I hope this weak episode is just an outlier and not a sign of things to come. I want to talk about it, but I’m just at a loss of words. The case-of-the-week was just so straightforward unless someone can convince me otherwise. Did I overlook something profound? Did I fail to see a larger point being made?
Of course, you could argue that it’s the overarching mystery — the one involving Inga — in Un-Go that’s really of interest. You could then say that the cases-of-the-week are just vehicles to deliver that story. Still, it would be nice if everything in the show — from top to bottom — was executed well. Of course, we want to know who or what Inga is, but it’s no fun when everything else is so predictable.
Anyway, it seems that with every new episode, we get a closer and closer look at Inga’s transformation process. Usually, anime will make a big deal out of a transformation sequence the first time and abbreviate each subsequent showings. Un-Go opts to go in the opposite direction, but for what reason? We also got to see child Inga display some inhuman traits. Obviously, transforming into a well-endowed woman is superhuman, but child Inga is apparently Stretch Armstrong as well.
Finally, how does the 9/11-esque setting tie into the bigger picture? We saw shots of a skyscraper collapsing, government in an uproar, Ground Zero-esque environments, etc. Some commenters call this show a dystopia, but I think that’s too broad and simple of a label. Sure, there are the familiar tropes of the ubiquitous police state and the burgeoning presence of Big Brother, but I get a very 21st century “War on Terrorism” vibe in Un-Go that wouldn’t have made sense twenty years ago.
To thus call the anime a dystopia just doesn’t quite do it justice, but the more important question is why? Why take stories from the Meiji era and add 21st century terrorism to it? Unfortunately, we are no closer to the answer and that’s a shame. Combined with an ineffectual case-of-the-week, this show sure felt like it was spinning its wheel in this third episode.
Anyway, sorry for the lack of updates. Hectic life and all.
P.S. What was with the animal brutality, i.e. Shinjuro throwing a rock at a dog?