Yuuki Shinjuurou: Character Analysis

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Shinjuurou is a character from the Japanese anime series called Un-Go.

Un-Go is a philosophical detective/mystery anime.

One of the main themes in this anime is that of “the nature of truth” and what other character would be more suited to explore this topic other than that of the detective. Yuuki Shinjuurou is the detective of this show.

His defining characteristics are his need to get to know the truth by revealing lies(he is kind of a truth seeker) and his cynicism but then again he is not the only detective who is a cynic. He is quite rude and easily annoyed but then again it isn’t too uncommon for fictional detectives to be rude coughSherlockcough. As for the character designs well I am okay with them, but I have heard some people complain that the chins of the characters in this show look too pointed.

What I am trying to say is that you shouldn’t go and watch this anime for the characters because I don’t think it is a character driven story and even the mysteries sometimes if you have watched hundreds of detective shows like me, then you might be able to figure out some of the cases. What makes this anime good is the themes that it discusses.

Then why am I even bothering to make a character analysis? Because Shinjuuruo and the antagonist of this show both represent different but not necessarily incompatible philosophies. Shinjuuruo’s attempts to uncover the truth are always obstructed by the antagonist, the criminal mastermind but what if sometimes it is better to cover things up and not reveal the truth. It’s almost like one of those well executed detective film noirs that achieve something more than being just thriller.

Most of the philosophy in this show comes from essays by the Japanese writer Ango Sakaguchi as this whole anime is dedicated to him and based on a series of detective stories he wrote. Our detective says philosophical stuff from time to time that comes from Ango’s essays. Actually Shinjuuruo’s personality and background are also partly based on that of the author. It is also hinted that Shinjuuruo’s actual name is that of the author. So why not read the extract below from one of his essays:-

“Pardon me. I am completely hopeless. Why? Because I am no teacher. I am a student. And yet I dare to lecture.
I am but a single ball of unease. I am just searching. Be it women, the truth, whatever. I leave it to your imagination. I am just, definitely, searching.
However, that thing known as truth does not exist. Namely, truth has always been that thing which is searched for. People search endlessly for the truth, but the truth will never exist. It is a thing whose existence comes from that it is being searched for, and whose existence therefore implies its none existence. If there comes a time when truth comes into existence in our mortal realm, when truth’s existence is here before us, then humans will have ceased being human. Humans will be nothing but pigs in the form of humans. The truth will be fed to humans, and the humans will eat it, no different than pigs.
I did away with traditional Japanese thinking, and denied the concept of the impermanence of things (mono no aware) and the thinking of the occult. However, what I say is not the truth, or anything close. It simply has some meaning of the era. I, defeated, for the sake of the defeated words, the lies are seen through, the arguments are won. Putting my denial aside, I once again hold true the impermanence of things. There is no need for something like a dialectic. What I am talking about is obvious. People die. Things break. Just like the Hojoki states, there is nothing which does not break.
I have been broken from the beginning. All I am doing is searching. “You. Why do you search?” Because I am not so grand as to not be searching. I am not so grand as to say “This is a pain” and sleep for eternity without eating.
I search. And, along the way, I create. I create things with all my might. But, these things will all surely break. But, for just me, with my effort, they just barely stay intact. But beyond that I can do nothing.
If that is to be judged by the corner that runs counter to the public order and morals of the world, then I have no intention of being judged by the public order and morals.
I must be judged only by myself. Probably, I am also no longer a judge of “humans”.

Essay Source:http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=3914831#post3914831

Oh and if you didn’t realize yet Un-Go should be pronounced in the the way that Unlike, it is a play on words to the name of the name of the writer. Un-Go= Ango.