Oct 202011
 

 

Am I the first one to notice that the kid in Un-Go is basically Ghost Rider if he wore one of those fuzzy animal cosplay hats? I doubt I’m the first one to make the connection, but I haven’t seen anyone say anything about it. The connection seems pretty damn obvious to me, so let’s talk about that.

Ghost Rider’s whole shtick is that it’s a “spirit of vengeance” that possesses some dude so that it can use said dude as a vessel to dole out 70′s-styled Death Wish-certified justice. Its main power is his Penance Stare, where it looks into the eyes of some hapless mortal sap and causes the “victim” to feel all the anguish and suffering they’ve caused. It usually causes the villain in question to regret their actions, or at least causes them to be paralyzed with fear and pain long enough for Ghost Rider to finish him off.

Inga’s shtick may not be a perfect correlation, but it has enough similarities to make my comic book nerd senses go off. Inga has the whole “possessed” thing going on, where this “being” is barely held in check and occasionally forces its way into control of his body. When said “possession” kicks in, the being in question behaves in an inhuman, otherworldly manner that’s more concerned with its own motives than it is with societal niceties and the like. But the kicker is Inga’s ability to look into someone’s eyes and make them answer one question. It isn’t Ghost Rider’s “make you feel all the shit you’ve done to others,” but it has a similar effect in forcing the victim to reveal the truth. It’s all about forced confession in one way or another.

That was the thing that caught my attention about the first episode and led me to watch the second. That first episode was decent and all, but everything we saw wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen in any other so-called detective anime. It was a lot of posturing and making irrational declarations with little actual, y’know, detective procedural shit.

The second episode had a lot of that as well. The actual mystery was stock stuff. What made it kinda awesome was everything else that was going on in the background.

There’s been a pattern in both mysteries. The main character stumbles across a case. His “rival” comes to a perfectly reasonable conclusion but the main dude disagrees. We see everything play out and the real culprit is found.

The catch is that everything is covered up. The rival’s scenario is given to the public as “the truth.” Nothing is done to the main character or Inga,  since there’s nothing they can do to screw up the whims of the government and the forces backing their cover-ups, but at the same time we get the feeling that if they did do anything that things would blow up. So Our lead characters are allowed to continue on while a very obvious conspiracy is brewing right before our eyes.

If this pattern keeps up, and we see more cases covered up to hide dirty actions carried out in the wake of some sort of world war, then we don’t have a detective anime on our hands. The detective format is just a device used to create this potential government conspiratorial thriller. We have a Japan that has recently survived some major war. We haven’t seen the entire picture, but it seems to be a case where Japan was on the winning side of this war (or at least survived and has managed to revert to “normalcy” after the fact). The catch is that Japan’s leadership may have done some less-than-noble things to win this war, and these actions are starting to rear their ugly heads.

It seems that the being that’s possessing Inga may be some primordial being summoned forth to expose the evils wrought during the war. Or something like that. That would be awesome.

Also: Inga is wearing a cow hat, right? Even if he isn’t, I’m always gonna see that as a cow hat. Cows are the new cats. What do cows sound like in Japanese? Do they go moo? We need a new replacement for “nya.”

  3 Responses to “Penance Stare”

  1. [...] episode was pretty obvious. Dude makes robots, so the culprit had to be a robot. Like we’ve established before, Un-Go ain’t about the actual mysteries but all the other craziness going on around said [...]

  2. What is even more interesting is that he is willingly allowing the government (well, Rinroku) to cover the mysteries up. Perhaps he’s far more in this conspiracy than we might think…

  3. [...] Anime Blog) (spoilers) 12 Days of Anime #11: Un-Go’s Double Episode from Scamp (The Cart Driver) Penance Stare from Landon (Mecha [...]

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