In a dystopian future, detective Shinjuurou Yuuki—known by some as the “Defeated Detective”—solves mysteries throughout Tokyo. Aided by his odd associate Inga, Shinjuurou’s insight and ingenuity in cracking cases, particularly homicides, lead to numerous mysteries solved and culprits caught. However, his partner seems to have some other, more sinister intentions for the people they catch, and the truth of the assistant’s identity and motivation is shrouded in secrecy. – My Anime List
Based on 21 review scores:
Whether you’re searching, falling, or perhaps something in between, Un-Go is a landmark anime series that evokes thought, emotion and that romantic curiosity for meaning that resides within us all. It is a modern day classic that is honestly far ahead of its time. The world may not be ready for Un-Go, but its the truth the world needs.
I hope this anime goes on for many more episodes, as I am enjoying it very much. Excellent job getting the simulcast Crunchyroll!
Not only does UN-GO have some fascinating mysteries, but it presents some fascinating ideas as well. There are these underlying threads on the nature of intelligence and the question of “what is truth?” and whether the truth should be known.
I would love a second season, I cannot get enough of the characters, or the well thought out mysteries that linked so much more. Each mystery can be overlooked and we would see character exploration, political concerns, hints about what happened in the past, and a gradual buildup to the events surrounding Kaisho. No episode felt like a filler and each one showed us something new in the Un-Go world.
At the end, the story, which is the major reason for this series entertainment value, doesn’t feel complete, and prevents this series from truly achieving greatness. Un-Go is a series with many strengths, with excellent production values, writing and pacing, but its also a series that’s doomed to be forgotten unless a second season comes in and truly wraps up the story.
The mysteries in this series are also carefully intertwined with this series’ setting. It’s post apocalyptic, but it uses this really well to spice up its stories, and it does so in quite some imaginative ways. This series really loves to pull heel-turn twists, in which things turn out to be completely different from what they seem at first. You can definitely see that a lot of time was spent on the script of this series, and that makes it consistently enjoyable for those who are in for something with a very fast pacing. It may seem overwhelming at times, but it’s because of this that the creators were able to put so much in so little time and somehow make it work.
Anime News Network
Overall this series is quite good. Once it picked up I wasn’t bored again. The characters and story all have drawn me into their world. The ending was even quite fitting with the story, which seems pretty rare theses days.
It isn’t visually stunning and it can occasionally demanding, but beyond that Un-Go is an intelligent and fascinating series rife with thoughtful commentary on society and the nature of truth.
Un-Go is a mature addition to the detective genre—but not in the sense that it’s a hyper-violent, sexy mystery thriller. Rather, Un-Go’s focus on its complex thematic material regarding the nature of truth, politics, and human technology so rightly captures the post-9/11 Zeitgeist, it’s almost scary. Although fumbling occasionally on execution and relying too heavily on deus ex machina, this curiously short series is sure to please fans of brainy, hard-boiled detective fiction.
My Anime List
Ultimately, UN-GO is the best kind of bait-and-switch, providing the tale of a man seeking truth in a sea of deceit, under the guise of a detective story. Anyone intrigued by the premise and willing to be surprised would do well to give it a look.
Mind The Ethos
Un-Go is decently animated. Nothing will knock your socks off but in some important scenes you can be able to feel the tension of the situation more than others. The soundtrack isn’t anything special either but, I will say the outro song for this show is one of my favorite songs from anime of all time. Ultimately, UN-GO is an anime that doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. It plays it safe for the most part and at some parts throws a curveball or two. If you like mystery or detective shows like Death Note, I’m sure you will enjoy watching UN-GO. It is a compelling story of a detective seeking the truth surrounded by deception and lies. If you are remotely curious in this anime, give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.
The Nihon Review
If there’s one flaw with Un-Go, it’s that the supernatural aspect often seems forced and inexplicable next to the relatively “real” feel of the rest of the world. There’s an explanation for it late in the series that is actually clever, but it’s not totally satisfying. It’s not a flaw large enough to cut down what Un-Go does right and in my eyes, this is the best show of the Fall 2011 season.
While the series successfully captures the dystopian future view of our present anxieties on terrorism, increasing surveillance over our lives, and distrust of government bureaucracies, where Un-Go fails to succeed is in the formation of its characters and successfully incorporating the supernatural elements it so desperately wants to include. The character of Inga seems an unnecessary appendage tacked on to fulfill some anime requirement to send stories off into the netherworld rather than keeping them grounded in something more human and natural. The relationships between Shinjurou and his acquaintances, most notably Rie Kaishou, daughter of Rinroku Kaishou, Shinjurou’s rival detective, is never allowed to flourish.
Un-Go has been getting a lot of praise, and some of that is warranted, but in the end I had a hard time really immersing myself in it. It’s a lot more interesting than most of what comes out of the anime industry, but never really achieves the greatness it’s striving for. In the end I’d file this with most of the noitaminA science-fiction series in the “ambitious but rushed” folder.
The Hollywood News
It’s a shame that the mysteries come from the SCOOBY-DOO school of sleuthing. Each episode has that one character that stands out and is obviously responsible. Revealing how crimes were committed and what the motives were are also uninspired. In a futuristic world with demons and a rich mythology embedded in the politics of the world, UN-GO could have made its mysteries so much more surprising and involving. You’ll figure them out quickly but you should enjoy what else the show has to offer.
This is definitely NOT a series I’d recommend to anyone new to the genre. Maybe something is lost on cultural translation because you just couldn’t imagine a series like this getting made in Europe or the US. It’s all over the place with a twisting and convoluted premise that, unfortunately, destroyed the potential for a straight-forward detective mystery series that just looks great. But I accept that this is just one view. The series must have its fans and I guess they must have understood what was going on.
Sadly, there is something fundamentally wrong with Un-Go. The makers took what could have been a great little series and treated it very shabbily indeed. Big changes aren’t necessary, if it had just taken its time, had fewer mysteries over a longer period of time with some time taken to get under the skin of the stories and its characters then I could possibly have been looking to give this show four stars or possibly more. Eleven episodes weren’t long enough to realise the ambition of the material but the makers’ decision to cram it all in regardless has given us something of very little worth at all levels.