UN-GO 05 — Shitting Gold Bricks

Out his tank.

You’re Shitting Me, General

The thing I love the most about UN-GO is how the mysteries are actually mysteries. It’s highly non-obvious how the cases will turn out.  I mean, take a look at this guy:

How can he not be evil? Any intelligent viewer will instantly think that this guy is the murderer. I decided he was the murderer before there was a murder. And these three heroes? Psshaw. How could this “bombing” possibly not be an inside job? Then the son reading the tragic story turns out to be an actor? Guilty as charged.

But the thing is, UN-GO assumes the viewer is intelligent, and takes advantage of that. We cycle through several other theories before arriving at my initial ideas. Then I thought, “Hey! That’s what I thought! These people aren’t idiots!” Only to immediately have my theory (and Shinjuuro’s) shattered by Inga’s question. But then at the end of the episode, after many more twists and turns, it turns out he was still guilty of a different crime.

There are so many layers to the mystery. As I mentioned before, it’s like an onion. And the characters and mysteries are actually intelligent. It’s not like Gosick where the mystery is completely obvious in the first five seconds and we spend twenty minutes watching the detective act like a moron.


I think there was supposed to be some heartbreaking scene about the defeated detective giving up on the truth and on humanity, when he was talking to Kaishou’s daughter and she was bawling. It didn’t really strike a cord with me emotionally though, because I was busy laughing hysterically at her horse. She overhears her father’s conversation and immediately goes bounding off on her horse. When she starts crying, she nearly tramples Shinjuuro to death. She definitely lied about why she uses the horse in that earlier episode.

The horse was funny, but a bit out of place. There were a few other scenes that stood out for being great though. I especially enjoyed Inga’s appearance as a female in this episode, as she snuck up on Izumi. Izumi beats Saber for girl in suit of the season, hands down.

I also appreciated seeing everyone’s reactions to the unveiling of the truck, at the beginning of the episode. I had already concluded that the terrorist attack was an inside job, and it was nice to see Shinjuuro share my opinion. His sigh here was more expressive than any words could have been. The contrast is even more pronounced when we have the audience applauding, Inga oohing and ahhing, and Kazamori just staring blankly ahead.


A.K.A. my own random thoughts, which are actually utterly brilliant, but I had to continue the theme in titles.

  • What a dumb place to hide gold bricks. He should go dig a hole somewhere instead of hiding them in plain sight in a museum.
  • I love having the stereotypically evil guy who loves war preaching to the main character about the beauty of humanity. The best part is he actually means it.
  • Great idea with the red marks on the face being the big hint! I thought it was strange when I first saw it, but didn’t think much of it, and it ended up being so critical.
  • Overall, a great episode. This has managed to become my favorite show that’s currently airing, next to Penguindrum.

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10 thoughts on “UN-GO 05 — Shitting Gold Bricks

  1. The mystery in and of itself was pretty interesting, but it got even more interesting when it turned out to be the first time that Shinjuuro was wrong due to his own prejudices. We haven’t seen the fallible side of him before now.

    1. Yes, he’s starting to become a more interesting character. I’m guessing that we’ll learn more about his background in the war soon. I like that unlike Dantalian no Shoka, these stories are mostly distinct but do seem to be buildling up to something overall. We’re slowly learning more about the sitting, and things do change over the course of series: now we have a robotic assistant for one thing.

  2. We cycle through several other theories before arriving at my initial ideas. Then I thought, “Hey! That’s what I thought! These people aren’t idiots!” Only to immediately have my theory (and Shinjuuro’s) shattered by Inga’s question.

    I was watching this episode and went through the same thing! Like you, what I enjoy about UN-GO is the layers and layers of ideas and thoughts all mashed into this weirdly paced episode. It should be bad, but it isn’t. What a strange show.

    1. The thing is, the ideas aren’t really just mashed together: they’re arranged very thoughtfully in a logical progression. The pacing is fast, but I thought it was fine: I’d greatly prefer fast to slow, and it’s not like they’re skipping over anything due to the pacing.

    1. Oops, thanks! Yeah, more people should definitely get freaked out by Inga. They don’t seem to question his transformations into a woman either. I suppose it’s probably an issue of time, that they won’t want to waste it on people acting surprised. The pacing has been pretty tight so far, they don’t seem to have a second to spare.

  3. I think the horse is there for two reasons: (1) It adds to the alternate reality feeling of the show. (2) Rie looks cool in a riding suit.
    Both Rie and Kazamori look so attractive and are so well-dressed that they alone would make this show one of my favourites this season.
    Besides, Kazamori seems to be quite a complex character which I hope will be further developed. Is the girl body really just a vessel for a non-human intelligence or is there some sort of a mix between girl and AI? I’m thinking of Gunslinger Girl, where the borderline between human and machine was explored quite well imo.
    It is a shame that this show is already almost half over. It seems the source material is not available in English.

    1. Definitely agree on (2). It looks crazy awesome. And along the same lines as (1), it helps to show the stratification of the society. Here the detectives are walking through this bombed out slum surrounded by an army, and this princess comes prancing in on a horse. Rie, as her father’s daughter, lives in a different world from the rest of the country. We’ll see if they explore this in more detail later.

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