Sunday, January 15, 2012

Short detective series - Un-Go and Kami-sama no Memo-chou

So over-due.  What can I say?  I got busy. 

 These days I've cut down on the number of series I'm watching, mostly because I can't keep up any more.  I was down to watching a record-breaking 3 series, but some new series came out this month and I simply can't resist trying some out.  Last Fall I watched several short series that I enjoyed and so I thought I talk about two of them today.

Un-Go and Kami-sama no Memo-chou are both detective series.  They're both short, 11 and 12 episodes respectively, and they both follow their respective genius-level detectives as they solve various mysterious cases.  That's pretty much where the similarities end.

Un-Go's main character detective is Yuuki Shinjuurou.  His side-kick is a 'boy' named Inga, who is not human, and who becomes an over-developed woman with the power to extract one true answer out of any person.  This talent/gift of Inga's is used by Yuuki to help him solve his cases.  In return for extracting the answer, Inga apparently gets to 'eat' that person's soul.  These two are joined along the way by an artificial intelligence who alternately takes the appearance of a small plush toy, and a small girl child.  Yuuki and Inga have a nemesis in the form of a character named Kaishou Rinroku. Kaishou is a wealthy media-king who takes credit for many of Yuuki's case solutions, and manipulates the truth on others.   At first I thought this series was going to be similar to the series Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, but it's not.  There is a much more definite story line to Un-Go and less random cases.    Of course, 11 episodes vs 25 explains that difference.   With 11 episodes, the extraneous has to be left out.  Un-Go's story line is good and it's not predictable, although I do wish the series had been long enough to give back-story on the relationaship between Yuuki and Inga.  Or barring that, that someone would subtitle the movie which is a prequel to this series.  The series music is good, as is the character design.  Essentially, it's not what I consider one of the great series, but it's enjoyable and worth watching.

Kami-sama no Memo-chou's main character is a small computer-whiz girl named Alice.  She is a NEET (not employed, in education or training), as are all her side-kicks except Fujishima Narumi, the series' other main character.  Narumi is dragged into the detective business by Alice and her friends and becomes embroiled in the Yakuza business by them also.  He ends up playing a large part in the dealings of both Alice-tachi and the gangs, as he tends to be the one who asks the reasonable questions. Narumi has a strong sense of right and wrong, and he stands by what he believes, causing him to be on more than one side in a struggle between gangs that occurs along the way.   Again, this is not an outstanding series, but it has a good solid plot line, really nice animation and character style and decent music.  It's quite an enjoyable watch, if nothing spectacular.

 One other thing the two series have in common is that the protagonist in both is dedicated to the TRUTH.  They will discover the truth and tell the world, no matter if the truth is actually harmful.  Yuuki is a little more cold-blooded about this trait, which makes me wonder about back-story, but both characters are not interested in human frailties.  The truth is the truth.

Anyway, that's my first blog of the new year.  I'm also watching a cool series right now called Guilty Crown.  I'll be talking about this one in the future, so hopefully they won't screw it up.

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