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 #145

Carnival Phantasm Season 2 has an all Saber related episode. Therefore Carnival Phantasm Season 2 is rated A++ with a side order of extra credit. But with all my horrible blatant prejudice aside Carnival Phantasm continues to be a series of in jokes piled on top of each other. There is some good material that does not rely on the mythology but there are few people who would be able to sit through what would otherwise be rather incomprehensible episodes otherwise. This set of episodes really favors the Fate side of things. Episode five is mostly Berserker running around wreaking havoc.  Episode six is sort of dodgy since it mostly revolves around the fact that Shinji often beats and rapes Sakura while Rider does her best to protect her in a faux soap opera. It is really is a dark type of humor that could easily turn people off. Episode seven is the only split episode with the first half being about Arcueid making okonomiyaki and the second half being about Caster’s love life. I wonder if this skit is enough to make people actually like Caster. Unlike Sakura she has never really been hated but mostly just ignored.  The eighth is all about Saber so I naturally enjoyed it immensely. They thankfully end the Phantasmoon story for the most part in episode 6. It was never that long but they were stretching what was originally a one page gag pretty far as it were.  I assume we will get one more Phantasmoon skit in season 3 but I think the break will go do it a world of good. Lancer continue to be the Kenny of the series dying in every episode. I have more to say but maybe I will save it for its own post. Other than that: ALTER! ALTER! ALTER!

 In volumes 27-28 of Kekkaishi we finally get confirmation, at least in part, of what Karasumori’s deal is. 27 is mostly battling the witches spell which threatens not just the sacred site but the surrounding city. But big surprises occur when Yoshimori is able to harness the mind-emptying technique that we’ve been so curious about. Along with this comes the reveal of his new familiar which leans towards creepy. Since all of this involves the head of the Organization and every major player I can only assume we have entered the final arc of the series. I still feel as though Yoshimori’s family has secrets lurking in its depths but we’ll have to wait and see.

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S.W.A.T. Reviews: Fall 2011 Pt. 3

With the success of the S.W.A.T. reviews last season we’re trying it again with the autumn line up. The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful. These are the last two (for us) of the new season:

Listen – Episode 1 of Guilty Crown from Production I.G with the opening “My Dearest” by supercell and is streaming on Hulu.

Listen – Episode 1 of UN-GO from BONES with the opening “How to Go” by School Food Punishment and is streaming on Crunchyroll.