Blu-ray Review: Un-Go – The Complete Series

un_go_review_screenshot (3)The tale of the ‘defeated detective’ has arrived into the UK, but how does it compare with the US counterpart? Find out in our Blu-ray / DVD Review of Un-Go – The Complete Series.

Synopsis:

He pursues his job as the “Last Great Detective”. Others call him the “Defeated Detective”. What’s certain is that he’s Shinjurou Yuuki, a young man with a passion for mysteries and a talent for solving them which has made him the target of dark forces now stirrin within the sinister underworld of a near future Tokyo. That could prove lethal, given that not even the other “good guys”, including the police, are exactly on Shinjouro’s side. Fortunately Yuuki’s not completely on his own, and with the aid of his uniquely talented associate Inga, he’s ready to cut a swath through the veils of secrecy that have been laid before him. Get ready for mind against matter and a lot of cloak and dagger as the ultimate battle of clue and deduction begins in UN-GO!

Our View:

Un-Go tells the tale of Shinjurou Yuuki, a detective that is commonly referred to by the Police and the Public Prosecutor’s Office as ‘The Defeated Detective’, due to his deductions being proven false by JJ Systems Chairman, Rinroku Kaishō. Despite this Shinjurou is still considered the ‘Last Great Detective’ and so along with his strange young assistant Inga, they team up to solve crimes and mysteries hidden under power, wealth and deception.

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While Shinjurou Yuuki is publically known as ‘The Defeated Detective’ his deductions are indeed correct but never made public, as Rinroku Kaishō (JJ Systems Chariman) uses his connections with the Public Prosecutor’s Office to create fake reports so that panic does not spread out across the city. When Rinroku Kaishō daughter, Rie Kaishō, learns of this fact she hires Shinjurou for a variety of crimes in hope that he can claim some of his notoriety back as well as give him the chance to prove her farther wrong.

This is the path that Un-Go mostly follows, with each episode introducing a new crime a new set of characters and another chance for Shinjurou to prove his worth in the detective world. Despite being a short anime with a small cast range new characters are introduced to the main cast, an example of this is when Shinjurou meets Kazamori Sasa, an artificial A.I that belonged in the Sasa household. After that particular episode Kazamori becomes a regular member of Shinjurou’s detective group and is used in the ‘technical’ side of things, whereby it will hack into computer records and preform background research, furthermore Kazamori can interact with any electronical device which proves extremely useful to Shinjurou throughout this investigations.

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Un-Go is not just about the mysteries, conspiracy theories or murders that are taking place in each individual episode, as there is also the mysteries surrounding Shinjurou’s young assistant Inga. Inga has a unique ability where he can transform into a beautiful woman that can ask anyone one question, a question which must be answered. It is later revealed that Inga is not alone with his unique ability, as a girl who can create a false perception of reality also exists, which inevitably creates trouble in paradise for Shinjurou. Furthermore when an enemy appears from within the Public Prosecutor’s Office it creates chaos for Shinjurou Yuuki, Rinroku Kaishō and the Justice departments, but who will be able to unravel the truth when everyone appears faithful?

Extras:

The Blu-ray disc, excluding episode 0, contains nothing in terms of extra content and this is most likely due to the fact that all 11 episodes (and the 50 minute OVA) are included on a single Blu-ray disc, so there isn’t any room to fit the extra content on. The included DVD Discs do contain some minimal extras features.

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All of the extra content is on the first DVD disc which contains trailers for Persona 4 Part 1 and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Part 1, both of which appear before the main menu, as well as the text less opening and closings videos for the series.

Tech Specs:

Media: BD 50
Running Time: 5:02:73 (11 Episodes + 1 OVA)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Un-Go is an enjoyable addictive series that, in my eyes, does things properly by being smooth, swift and simple with its episodic approach to storytelling, as the viewer is never left bored or waiting for something interesting to happen. While each episode is a new story certain elements do develop over time, such as the strange partnership between Shinnjurou and Inga as well as the continued rivalry between them and the Public Prosecutor’s Office – these over time form a larger picture that inevitably leads to a rather interesting, but surprising conclusion.

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Another positive note for the series, is the English Dub, which is provided by Sentai Filmworks. Usually English dubs produced by Sentai are stale and boring, however in Un-Go the voices seem to fit the characters they are trying to represent with even some emotion coming from the actors voices during crucial scenes. While the English Dub does receive high praise from me I noticed that the same voice actor was used for multiple voices, while this is usual in English Dub productions (such as Transformers (1986) and Dragon Ball Z) I have never witnessed it being so obvious, but this is a minor dent in an overall positive performance. As per usual with Sentai productions the English dub, along with the Japanese dub, is only available in Stereo but for this type of anime a surround sound option is not necessarily needed. English subtitles are available, for the Japanese Audio track, however due to Kaze Company Policy (which states that they can only have so many lines of text on screen at once) some of the background translation text is lost. Basically when watching the Japanese Audio track viewers will see the subtitle dialogue  appear as normal but translation text for Books, Letters, Buildings will not always appear, however if your watching it in English the translation text will appear. it’s not a big issue for those wanting to watch it in English, but if your wanting to watch it in Japanese with English Subtitles then you may miss out on all of the on-screen translations.

As you’d expect from a High Definition Blu-ray release, Un-Go is visually enjoyable to watch with most scenes offering a sharp detailed approach to the series, with only the minute of grain appearing during flashback scenes which was made intentional by the animation studio Bones. Despite this praise the Blu-ray quality is only a slight improvement over the DVD editions and this is most likely due to the fact that over 5 hours’ worth of content is squeezed onto a single Blu-ray disc, something which is not usually seen – even in the movie industry.

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This is not the only problem with the UK release either, as not only is the Blu-ray Disc not compatible with Panasonic Blu-ray Players but none of the extra features that were on the US release are included, thus meaning we receive a ‘condensed’ version of Un-Go. These ‘missing’ extra features would have included Inga Nikki Shorts, an alternate opening for the OVA episode, an all Night event, Japanese TV Promos and a conversation with Ango Sakaguchi. If these extra features were included then the Blu-ray would have been spread over two discs, just like the US release, rather than the single disc that we receive, it also means that the picture quality may have been slightly better as there would be more space available on the discs.

These complicated issues aside we are treated to a truly enjoyable series that fans of mystery, murder and deception will enjoy with the only drawback being that we, as a UK audience, were not treated to the full features that the American audience received.

Score: review-stars-4

Un-Go – The Complete Series will be available as a Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack on the 8th July 2013.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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