Hey guys! Remember that impressions I did of UN-GO, from way back? Well after watching the series, and being rather disappointed with the sub-par and predictable ending in addition with the lack of closure, I was hoping that the prequel OVA to the series could do it some justice. Like what Gaiden was to Gemini (Darker than Black), I hoped Inga-ron would offer me some proper answers. Ultimately, I got what I wanted, but I’ve still my set of complaints! So let’s analyze some anime!
Get diggin’, and dig in! Itadakimasu~
So, in Inga-ron, we find out that Shinjuurou was an orphan, but was raised by many kind-hearted people. Thus, for much of his life, he was trying to figure out how to give back to his community. He finally decided on becoming a film-maker in some 3rd world country, so he could bring smiles to the children’s faces. Something cheesy like that.
In said country, Shinjuurou meets a troupe of volunteer singers who specifically travel to war-ridden areas. One of these members is a friend from high school, named Makiro Serada. Another is some woman, Yuuko Kurata, he bonds with and falls for, through their desire to make under-privileged children happy, or whatnot. The character development and pacing here was much too fast, as Yuuko gets a total of about 5 minutes of screen time; so the romance turned out a messy job. Well, it doesn’t matter quite that much, because, well, she dies. Why? Well…
Shinjuurou and the troupe head to their next location, but are driven into a sort of deserted cavern in the ground, in which Shinjuurou’s blood and near-death awakens an age-old power, Inga. Possessed by Inga, Shinjuurou proceeds to consume his companions’ souls, or specifically as Inga sees it, their screams upon having to see the truth about themselves. This particular method lead to death.
However, when it’s Yuuko’s turn, she chooses death rather than let Inga have her soul. This is when Shinjuurou makes a deal with Inga: he’d feed her as many souls as she wants, but she was forbidden to kill. Apparently, this method is possible if Inga asks a question that exposes a deep-set lie. The whole concept of soul-consuming is much better explained in the anime.
I always thought it was strange that Shinjuurou could be so level-headed in that situation. He’d just lost his friends and potential lover, yet he just flips a switch and calmly proceeds to strike a deal with a devil. Bizarre.
The truth is shown sparingly as Shinjuurou’s flashbacks, as Inga-ron is actually set during one of Shinjuurou’s detective jobs after he returns to Japan. Apparently, Serada of the singing troupe found a god named Bettenou in the same place Shinjuurou found Inga. Instead of using Bettenou’s power for good, Serada was creating chaos and another war. Thus, Shinjuurou had to find out how Bettenou’s powers worked, as well as how to use Inga’s powers.
One thing I didn’t understand was why the flashbacks weren’t in the main series, and why Bettenou has such a large role in the prequel. The flashbacks could have been easily incorporated into the main story, and would have given the series a better foundation and a conclusive ending. Furthermore, the point of Bettenou’s existence is always to explore and expose the extent of her power, and to overcome it with Inga. But to do this twice, which is what happens, is redundant.
What’s worse is that the Shinjuurou in the main story seems to have forgotten all the deductions he’d made about Bettenou in the prequel (of course, we didn’t know that while we were watching the main story, as the prequel comes afterwards). So, correcting myself, rather than redundant, having Bettenou as the center of the problems in the prequel is actually an inconsistency.
Well, in conclusion, although Inga-ron adds some “bad” to the table, specifically messy pacing and plot holes, I can overlook these long enough to enjoy the fact that this OVA definitely provided me with the answers that I wanted, as well as the closure that the main story didn’t have.