Ongoing Investigations: Case #150

UN-GO is one of the few shows of the season I have finished up. It is a very odd mystery show kind of in the vein of Demon Detective Neuro where the answers come from both deduction and supernatural means making them rather impossible beyond just guessing. It also has a bizarre sense of humor, too. The cases keep getting stranger as the show goes on bringing future technology like AIs into the mix as well further complicating any and all cases. The detective team of Shinjuro and Inga and later Kazamori combine with the tag along Rie make for an eclectic mix of talents and personalities. Shinjuro is a good lead detective that I came to really like, he has the observation skills but does use Inga a bit too much though the reasoning for that is more obvious later on. I like the last two cases a lot but truly they are more about experiencing the atmosphere. In fact, I am incredibly interested in the world surrounding these things like the seemingly militaristic Japan, there is a lot of world to explore but sadly there isn’t much time to do so before the end. Sadly there probably won’t be anymore either with the exception of the 0 episode (which I think will give us Shinjiro’s backstory) since only incredibly popular Noitamina shows get sequels. UN-GO is based on a novel but again sadly I won’t be able to read it either.

I finished UN-GO and I still don’t have a firm grasp on if I liked it or not. I will say that I do not regret watching it. It was unusual enough that it made the experience worthwhile. Sort of like the latest BBC Sherlock the series takes the post WWII mysteries of Ango Sakaguchi and puts them in a future setting. This odd juxtaposition gives the show a unique vibe of old and new. At the same time as I mentioned in my last look at the show it is also a clear example of why Knox wrote his rules of mysteries in the first place. Inga’s powers always make the mysteries feel unusual and sometimes the solutions feel unearned. The episode with the movie set was undoubtedly the most surreal episodes of the series. At times the show felt a bit strange but these episodes take that feeling to an entirely new level. The last three episodes distinctly feel like the end of a season but not the end of a story. There is the movie I have yet to see but that is just a prequel. I have to wonder if they hoped that this would do well enough to get a second season or did they just not want to put a cap on Ango Sakaguchi’s stories even if it is a heavily modified version of those stories. I can’t say everyone will like this show. It can be a very easy show to dislike. But it is worth checking out just to see if you like it as there is little else out there like UN-GO.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #134

I started watching Ashita no Nadja on and off in between other shows, I’ve seen four so far. It is a shojo series with a small following. I’ve always been curious about it because it has a It also boasts a fabulous opening. Nadja is a young orphan girl who receives a mysterious package on her 13th birthday which contains a letter revealing her mother is still alive. This sets her off an adventure where she joins a traveling troupe and becomes a dancer, as she searches for her mother she meets various people along the way including many suitors, and she is pursued by villains trying to stop her progress. Nadja is a hard-working dear girl, the troupe is a colorful bunch, and there is a blond prince plus a phantom thief so far! This is such a children’s wish fulfillment show and it is utterly charming in its execution. It also has a bit of a Masterpiece Theater feel. I’m looking forward to watching more.

With a morbid curiosity I decide to brave the first 4 episodes of the 2011 reboot of Thundercats. The original Thundercats is distinctly one of those show that you might have liked as a kid but does not age well at all. The new series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation but the animation is done by Studio 4°C so I also watched for the tenuous anime connection. But make no mistake while some of the visual fair has an anime feel this is very much an American cartoon. It is closer to Avatar: The Last Airbender than Bleach. And that is not a bad thing. The story telling for children of all ages make entertainment that has the ability to stand up over time. Some of it dips into the just for kids cache at times but overall it is a fairly smart remake. The reboot wisely keeps many of the things that people remember fondly about the original and jettisons some of the more frankly stupid parts at the same time. I mean Snarf is now a clever pet as opposed to his old annoying nursemaid persona which I am sure earns the show a metric ton of goodwill. The first episode setup the main cast, had them soundly beaten, and gets them on the run. I will say that Mumm-Ra plan that involved assault mecha, a turncoat, AND a Trojan horse seemed a bit overkill but it does show you that he is a credible threat. The next two episode have been fairly entertaining with a Moby Dick story and the tale living for the day. I think I will keep watching to see where it goes. Be warned no matter how this series turns out it will  be a furry generation engine like the original. This is just an unavoidable fact.

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