Some Thoughts on UN-GO Prequel

If you have been following this blog, then you know that I’ve been waiting to watch this episode for a long time. The time has finally come, ladies and gentlemen.

I always viewed this episode as an important piece to answer the questions raised in the series. Some of the obvious questions are related to Inga and Shinjurou directly. How did Inga and Shinjurou meet? How did Shinjurou end up having to feed Inga souls? Who is the mysterious blonde girl and her role in Shinjurou and Inga’s relationship? This surprisingly short movie resolved the questions I had and provided a little more.

I often wonder why the production team went out of the way to create a movie to explain the meeting and the relationship of Shinjurou and Inga. It’s straightforward and it probably only takes one episode to do it. Is it because they think that viewers might feel disconnected from the rest of the series? Episode 0 certainly gives off a different air when compared to the other 11 episodes. It has a lot more focus on the main characters, which is something I didn’t see in the series. Even if this is true, they should have aired this episode before the series started anyway.

If you’ve seen Un-Go series, then you’ll see a lot of familiar faces and there are a few incidents (including the mystery case) happened in this movie that made you go “Ahhh…no wonder why (insert name) said that” or “No wonder why (insert name) reacted like that”. This part, the movie and the series connect so it’s kinda fun doing that. But seriously, I don’t think a mystery case is all that necessary for this episode. It’s nothing but a device to further elaborate the agreement Shinjurou had with Inga.

I appreciate the effort on fleshing out Shinjurou a little more by showing a side of him that was different. Through this prequel, we also understand better why he is on such bad terms with Rinroku and his team. And it’s not just because he’s labelled as “The Defeated Detective”. There’s a solid history behind the hostility. I believe these are some of the missing pieces that assist in our understanding of the main characters in Un-Go. After all, the anime series has always shown more focus on the characters and less on the mystery cases.

The concept of truth in Un-Go is never easy to understand. Shinjurou has always been all about finding out the one truth of a case while Rinroku tell beautiful lies that are made to believed as the truth. Rinroku once asked Shinjurou if there’s always only one truth and in this movie, this question is emphasized again. Only this time the idea is raised by a person Shinjurou cared about. Now, this made me wonder why Shinjurou had seek so hard for that one truth when he already knew truth has different shades of color.

After all is said and done, I guess it’s fair to say that this episode did a job well done in shedding light on the biggest mystery in Un-Go – Inga and Shinjurou. And  it’s done in Un-Go style, no less.

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6 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on UN-GO Prequel

  1. I fully agree in putting episode 0 before the rest. Additional context before hand provides a tool to avoid misunderstandings or “out of place reactions” in anime and real life 🙂 Then again, maybe others preferred it this way… having to watch til ep 0 made them enjoy a piece of a missing mystery til the end. 😀 at least future anime watchers will have the opportunity to see this ep first.

    • Oh, I’ll definitely encourage people to watch this episode first before watching the series if they have not watch Un-Go. It provides a better ground for understanding the main characters as well as Shinjurou and Inga’s relationship. But then again, you’re right – it all boils down to preferences. =)

    • You already started the series so it doesn’t matter when you watch it anymore. Otherwise, I’d ask you to watch the prequel first before starting the series.

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