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Un-Go: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14 (V)
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 30, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Un-Go (アンゴ) is an anime series from Bones based on the Ango Sakaguchi novel Meiji Kaika Ango Torimono-chō (明治開化 安吾捕物帖). Directed by Seiji Mizushima and written by Shō Aikawa, the duo who worked together on Fullmetal Alchemist, the series is one of a number from Fuji TV’s noitaminA (Animation backwards) program block designed to introduce anime to a broader audience beyond its primarily young male demographic. Whether Un-Go is successful on the former is unknown, but it is a stark contrast to the usual fare we see in the anime market. The series is primarily a mystery/suspense/thriller with a dense thicket of characters and subplots. Set in a Japan of a near future recovering from a war that is the outcome of the Japanese Self Defense Forces’ intervention in international affairs and one fought through terrorist attacks on the Japanese homeland, Un-Go follows a brash young detective, Shinjurou Yuuki and his partner Inga who has unique, supernatural talents. Shinjurou, known to others as “The Defeated Detective” since all the crimes he solves are always thwarted by government cover ups slowly gets drawn into an increasingly complex web of government conspiracies and dangerous situations.

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.

There is also an issue at times with far too many things going on, too many mysteries being stuffed into the limited amount of time, confusing the overall story arc. With so many characters and subplots, some of these extraneous one-off story lines could have shed for a leaner, easier to follow sci-fi thriller.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The digital animation for Un-Go has the same sort of subtle softness that we often see in anime releases from Sentai, but it is absent of fatal flaws such as aliasing and macroblocking. One can spot some slight video noise in color fills and colors at times don’t quite pop from the screen, but everything is otherwise pleasing and enjoyable.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Japanese and an English dub are provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit). They have clean and natural sounding dialogue, spacious stereo panning, natural high frequencies, and a decent amount of dynamic range.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The bulk of the supplements are of promotional materials, although an Inga OVA is offered alongside interviews with Ango Sakaguchi and Seiji Mizushima.

The supplements:

  • Un-Go “All Night” Event (1.78:1; SD; 00:28:09)
  • A Conversation with Ango Sakaguchi (1.78:1; SD; 00:22:13)
  • Inga Nikki (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:43)
  • Japanese Promotion Video “Retake” (1.78:1; SD; 00:03:21)
  • Japanese Spots (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:14:34)
  • Chapter of Inga Alternate Opening (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:00:31)
  • Clean Opening and Closing Animation
  • U.S. Disc Credits
  • Additional Sentai Filmworks Blu-ray Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Although it does have its flaws, Un-Go still provided a different sort of entertainment that we are used to for an anime series, and a bit of fresh air, a release if you will, from all the fan service, mecha, and high school comedy/romances that flood the market. A few tweaks here and there and it might have been perfect. Still, this series offers a lot of potential to grow and I’d love to see a second season.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Un-Go on Blu-ray  at CD Universe

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Purchase Un-Go on Blu-ray  at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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