Genius programmer Shiki Magata has been living in isolation at a research facility on a solitary island since she was a girl. Nagono University associate professor Souhei Saikawa and Moe Nishinosono wish to meet Shiki in person, so they visit the facility but get caught up in a murderous game.
It’s not easy to watch a show like “The Perfect Insider”. Generally speaking, the show is about mystery and in this case involves murder. It’s something that can be a sensitive topic as we learn more about the circumstances. And given the mystery aspect of the show, it’s the narratives that captures the essence of story. Really though, what is The Perfect Insider?
Subete ga F ni Naru (also more commonly known as The Perfect Insider) is based on a Japanese mystery novel written in 1996 by Hiroshi Mori. Produced by A-1 Pictures, the show is symbolic for how mystery can be so…mysterious. The setting takes place on a remote island and begins when Souhei Saikawa, an associate professor of National Nagono University, goes on a vacation there. During his vacation, he is also accompanied by 1st year student, Moe Nishinosono. What started out as an ordinary trip turns bizarre when a mysterious corpse shows up at the lab. At the same time, it also became well known that a woman named Shiki Magata lives there. As one of the most mysterious characters in the show, she has literally lived in a laboratory for the past 15 years. Can you imagine that? Trapping themselves like a rat in a box hardly sounds like a paradise. For someone like Magata, there’s also a dark past that involves the parricide of her parents. It’s the establishment of these three characters that makes The Perfect Insider a dark and grimy tale.
It’s a very talky show. The first episode has an immense amount of philosophical vibe that follows with its heavy dialogues. The character interactions between Moe/Magata and Moe/Souhei can be described as cryptic. There’s some lighthearted humor as well but mostly follow a suit of dark comedy. When they reach the island, there’s also more of an experimental feeling as if there’s something that’s hidden there. It’s not long before they discover the grim truth there. What the show also concentrates a bit on is the background story of Shiki Magata. Obviously, she isn’t a normal woman by the way she talks or behaves. The bits of past we see implies that she is an unstable child although her actions are difficult to decipher because of her personality. [spoiler]This includes her involvement with the death of her parents as well as the perverse relationship she forges with her uncle.[/spoiler] I think at some point, viewers may find it unsettling with what they witness. And that’s no surprise either considering how much we learn that Magata is far from normal.
Throughout the series, there are many clues that has connections with the murder case. It’s also apparent that some of the clues are presented through intentional means. One of the most prominent is a message called ‘Everything Becomes F’, which is also synonymous with the series’ alternate title. What’s more about the clues is that they are all seems to be related to Shiki Magata. What I find the show intriguing is how each episode’s performance triggers events that correlates with one another. Even the episode titles has some sort of meaning or is symbolic with the storytelling. Some sensitive topics are used as plot devices and while can be unsettling is important to establish Magata’s character. On a weaker note, the show has a slow pacing, one that I think can really test the patience of viewers. Furthermore, the story is structured in a way that explores both Moe and Magata in almost parallel ways. As the story progresses, we also learn a bit more about Moe as well. While her personality is not similar to Magata or Souhei, something suggests that her past isn’t as bright as some people have hoped.
The main character interactions of the show is expressed by the building tension and relations one draws from another. Moe’s conversation with Souhei can be interpreted from many angles but it’s obvious that he shows a great deal of bizarre interest in Magata. Moe’s interest with Souhei also crafts a bizarre relationship angle as Magata shows unusual interest in Moe. It’s a really weird way of presenting the story and I’d have to advise to watch the show with an open mind. Not just because of the main characters but also for some of the more mature and sensitive topics. Otherwise, this is probably a show that is not worth the investment especially considering how talkative it is. There’s still also some minor comedy although mostly is far eclipsed by the thrilling feeling of its mystery.
For a mystery show, it also invests a decent amount of time with its unusual artwork. There’s a hollow feeling that anyone can draw from its backgrounds. Most characters are also designed to look simple without unusual features. Well, that is until you see Makata Shiki. Additionally, the show portrays its mystery with symbolism and disorder. The clues translates into a more detailed form of analysis such as the message Magata left behind or more prominent features Moe herself discovers later on in the show. To put it simply, artwork is unorthodox but also stylistically fitting for a show like this.
I have to admit a bit, the soundtrack is surprisingly impressive. From the unusual execution of the OP song (that features rotoscope done effectively) to the thrilling atmosphere, each episode offers what mystery should be. More intensified scenes are also adapted with quietness to add on more to the thrilling suspense. In addition, character voice mannerisms has a profound tone of philosophy behind them. In particular, Souhei speaks with intelligence and purpose and that’s something I find quite compelling. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to apply to Moe as she can be legitimately frustrating to watch with someone of her personality. And of course, there’s Magata. Her conversation portrayed in the show through that near-sinister like voice really can feel mysterious.
The Perfect Insider is a show with some unique dynamics even in the mystery genre. From disturbing plot devices to insightful conversations, it’s a series that goes beyond just a simple murder case. It becomes complex with its dark themes, the riveting style of the storytelling, and heavy characterization. The first three episodes will probably be a make or break for most viewers. But if you manage to stay, it’ll be a thrilling ride that is not short of perfect. read more
The Perfect Insider is what I would like to call the first 'proper' mystery anime I've seen in quite some time. By 'proper' I don't mean to say that it's amazing per se, but that it actually follows the best story design for the genre. That is to say, it takes its time to give the viewers all the details you could ever ask for as well as plenty of red herrings, it doesn't blatantly break the rules of detective fiction like certain other recent works, and it is also not episodic in any way. It gives you a fair chance to reflect on the case at hand and try to figure out the problem on your own, and it doesn't try to include any needless supernatural elements in the process. It's just 11 episodes of content all dedicated to a single in-depth mystery, and as a result it actually feels like a traditional detective story. It's simple, but very effective.
Based on a mystery novel of the same name from 1996, The Perfect Insider follows the cryptic death of a genius computer scientist named Magata Shiki, who has been locked up in an isolated research facility on an island for the last 15 years after having been accused of murdering her own parents as a teenager. Nishinosono Moe, a rich young lady, and the university professor Saikawa Souhei travel together to the island with the hopes of meeting Shiki in person, only to find her dead inside her room upon arriving, with her arms and legs cut off. Based on the guards' testimony as well as the security camera footage, it is clear that no one else ever entered or left Shiki's quarters. So who killed her, how and why? Those are the main questions which the story revolves around. In other words, at heart it's a classic 'locked room' problem. Though that's not all there is to it since as you'll find out, the case only escalates even further from that point onwards...
Now since mysteries are very spoiler-sensitive I don't really want to say anything more than that about the story, but I can at least say that while the overall plotline didn't exactly blow my mind... I still found it very satisfying. The most important part of a good mystery is to give the viewers a fair chance at figuring out the problem before the truth is revealed, and The Perfect Insider does a good job at that. Part of the solution is actually not that difficult to figure out on your own, but the whole thing? Yeah I don't think very many people were able to do that, but it all made sense when I finally heard the explanation, and that's all I can really ever ask for.
Shiki herself is unquestionably the most interesting character of the anime as is made evident when the others slowly but surely come to realize who she used to be whilst investigating the case. She's crazy, but unbelievably intelligent. As far as Saikawa-sensei and Moe goes though... I can't help but feel like they're utilized more as plot mechanics than actual persons. Saikawa-sensei quite simply fulfills the role of the detective of the case. To quote one of the 20 rules of detective fiction: "The detective novel must have a detective in it; and a detective is not a detective unless he detects. His function is to gather clues that will eventually lead to the person who did the dirty work in the first chapter; and if the detective does not reach his conclusions through an analysis of those clues, he has no more solved his problem than the schoolboy who gets his answer out of the back of the arithmetic." And that is effectively all he does: logically solving the problem, one step at a time. Beyond that he's honestly a quite bland and uninspiring character, but at least he fulfills the role that the story has given him very well. Moe on the other hand is the intermediary character who is there to ensure that the viewers are able to follow along and don't get confused, by not being quite as sharp as Saikawa-sensei is, and thus making him have to explain most of his discoveries vocally to her, thus indirectly informing the audience in the process as well. And all the other side characters... well they're mostly just 'there', not a whole lot more to say about them.
The Perfect Insider is produced by A-1 Pictures of all studios, which is pretty unexpected in and of itself since this is hardly the kind of series they usually adapt. They pretty much always make shounen anime, but this time they're tackling a philosophical seinen mystery instead. But either way, they do a surprisingly good job at it, and the animation is as top notch as ever as well. Something that might be worth mentioning here as well is that the character designs are actually made by Asano Inio, the mangaka of Oyasumi Punpun and Solanin among other things. And although The Perfect Insider perhaps doesn't look *that* crazy relatively speaking, you can still really see who the artist is. It's just too characteristic to be unnoticeable.
In the end, The Perfect Insider might be very dialogue-heavy and slow-paced, but I still found significantly more consistent enjoyment value in this anime than almost anything else from this season, mostly because it actually feels like a real mystery for once. Like a legitimately interesting one which teases your imagination and makes you think for yourself. It's surprising just how rare that is to see in anime, but it means quite a lot to me. So even though the mystery in this case might not have been completely flawless, it's still a hell of a lot better than getting nothing at all. I'll just take what I can get.read more
SUBETE GA F NI NARU DOESN’T GIVE A FUCK: OH SHALL I COUNT THE WAYS
(Otherwise known as True Detective - Season 3)
If you’ve read the entire monstrosity of my Bakemonogatari review, you would know quite a bit about the New Orthodox Detective movement, of which Hiroshi Mori happens to be one of the more ‘pedantic’ members of the bunch. This is because he was a smart-researcher man. And smart researcher people don’t have time to care about petty things like nuanced human characterization and all that stupid Dostoyevsky and Chekhov shit. I mean, how do you expect a person that probably deals with like Rheology and Viscous Plastics and all that shit, to care about the stupid biological affectations that goes on in your human brain? He doesn’t. To him humans are robots that love to spout strange philosophical exposition and go around solving logically complex mysteries. Nope, Hiroshi Mori does not give a fuck.
Does this make Subete ga F ni Naru a bad story? Does Hiroshi Mori give a fuck? The answer to both questions is No. In fact that very critique was levied straight at Yukito Ayatsuji, the writer of the Decagon House Murders that started the whole New Orthodox Detective Movement in the first place. Shall we say, that he also did not give a single fuck? Yes. Yes we shall. When you create one of the most important meta-fictionally complex dual-plotlined locked-room murder mysteries in the whole of Japan, something tells me that even if you write characters that are a bit like paper cutouts, you should not give a fuck. Likewise, if you happen to be called Soji Shimada, and you write a murder mystery which involves 3 locked rooms with 8 victims over a span of several years, that includes a psychotic killer’s diary and a Challenge-to-the-Reader thrown in for the hell of it (and if you actually manage to guess that one, then bloody hell), then you should not give a fuck that all your characters sound like Sherlock Holmes. And, finally, if you happen to be called Natsume Kyogoku, and you write a novel adapted into the Anime Mouryou no Hako, and you have a completely insane plot involving a linguistic interpretation of Japanese Youkai Folklore, and a solution based on the level of coincidental coherence that Borges wrote in his own Murder Mystery parody, Death and the Compass, then you, clearly, do not give a fuck.
Let me pose it from another viewpoint. Does Edogawa Rampo give a fuck when he writes about weird-ass things like human chairs and people who go into Lovecraftian madness by staring at a perfectly spherical mirror? Nope. He does not give a fuck. He does not give a fuck because he thinks people who live in chairs are goth as fuck (which they are). No, Edogawa Rampo, like Edgar Allen Poe, does not really give a fuck that he isn’t making Shakespeare. Back then an entire movement of writers did not give a fuck that they were making dark as hell pessimistic ornate baroque dense poetic writing. Matthew Lewis did not give a fuck when he created a stupidly complex novel that involves a bargain with the Devil, incest, cross-dressing monks, the appearance of a ghost, the appearance of the Wandering Jew, and stories within stories within stories.
When the murder victim appears as a decapitated doll dressed in a fancy wedding outfit, all of my 変態性欲 triggers went off. And, when the main detective Souhei Saikawa spends the first episode waxing about the philosophical nature of Genius and all that rubbish, clearly Hiroshi Mori does not give a flying fuck. No, Hiroshi Mori does not give a flying fuck. He does not give a fuck because he has written a locked-room mystery involving a one-way door inside a computer science research institute that involves a closed-system self-created operating system, and he has simultaneously weaved that in with a 15 year long family conspiracy, so, as a result, everything indicates that Hiroshi Mori has reached the level of New Orthodox Godhood at mystery density, that he should not give a fuck. And when you have a setting like that, you better have characters that existentially question their own worth every 10 seconds, because it only seems fair. When Nishinosono Moe says that she talks to herself because she wants to try out what it feels like to reveal exposition like a fictional Detective, that is the grandest sign of meta-fictional not giving a fuck.
For that matter, Inio Asano also does not give a flying fuck. When he chooses to put an existentially moping hipster computer professor in a hipster outfit with a パンshirt, and when he chooses to have his more realistically designed (comparatively) slow moving characters make a face that looks like the mascot Peko-chan, he does not give a fuck. And when Moe spends about half an episode running around in a Tiger-Striped bikini with a towel around her neck for no reason, that’s the kind of Jean-Luc Godard Tarantino Cassavetes style random deviation that indicates an impossibly high level of no-fucks given, given.
When Souhei’s thinking process involves silhouetted cavemen dancing around, that is quite another glaring sign of no-fucks given.
(Incidentally, the last episode gives me hope for the future, because it feels exactly the way Inio Asano would animate that part of the ending of Oyasumi Punpun involving Aiko. If Inio Asano has Animation directorial ability now, the world is indeed changing.)
Should you give a fuck?
If you believe in everything the New Orthodox Movement and the Post New Orthodox Movement stands for, which is plot-purity, focus on the logic of the mystery, meta-fictional in-jokes about detectivery, philosophical weirdness for the sake of pure aesthetic, hyper-genius detective characters (people complain about the philosophical dialogue and yet both Sherlock and Dr Who are equally insufferably entertaining characters?), and Locked Room mysteries, then yes, maybe you should give a fuck.
If not. Don’t give a fuck, because Hiroshi Mori has no fucks to give to you. read more
So, it seems that this anime was a hit more miss with most, who watched. I personally enjoyed the show thoroughly from beginning to end. What seems to be the "problem" that most people point out is that the characters are unrealistic or that they are just idiots trying to act smart but I didn't see it that way at all. Agree or disagree I will give you my 2 cents about this series.
I will start with first with the [b]Characters[/b].
If you don't like 'different/perfect' characters, you won't enjoy the show.
Our lead protagonist Saikawa is a professor at a college but his personality is anything but normal, he is very anti social and spends his time thinking about the way humans think and why they think that way. He is curious why people do many things for no reason.
His mentality is detached from society's typical way of thinking, the way he questions anything and everything would make most people in society look at him like he was crazy. I personally saw his statements as realistic questions to be asked.
"Every morning I wake up and think am I the same Saikawa I was yesterday? Or am I just trying to play the role of Saikawa?".
"In here it feels like we've been abandoned by time."
"Isn't 'released from' a better phrase as opposed to 'abandoned by'"
"Seeing nature and thinking its beautiful is what is unnatural"
"In the end, everybody is tied down to their one body, don't you find that terribly restrictive?"
I enjoyed his character because he would say things no other main character would say. Which was something great to me.
Female lead protagonist Moe, a math genius who can answer any math question immediately, she is also an unusual character, she isn't quite as curious as Saikawa when it comes humans but she tags along with him. Her above average intellect helps conversations with this unusual male lead to make some sense. Saikawa can't talk to somebody who refuses to share the same train of though.
Lastly the main focus of the series, is a woman who is a super genius named Magata. She is world famous for being super smart at the age of 11 and thus they locked her in a room so that she can work alone, for 15 years. Her character is similar to that of Saikawa in that she questions the human train of thought and emotions. Her train of thought is similar to Saikawa as well.
If you can't stand 'different/perfect' characters with drastic world views then do not watch this show.
The two leads go to the island where the famous Dr. Magata works, and the fact that Moe's family is well known, they are let in upon arriving. When they enter a murder is committed where the limbs of the body are missing. Although Saikawa prefers to leave Moe convinces him to stay and help figure out this murder mystery.
Not much to say about it in general except, I felt that the revelation of the murder and how they get there is enjoyable. The reasoning behind the murder might be acceptable for you depending on what kind of person are you. Like I said before the characters mainly determine how your enjoyment of this series will go.
Great fantastic awesome whatever. The music was great in this series OP and ED. One of the best of this season. If a great ost is enough to get you to watch a series then this is your show.
The art wasn't bad. The only thing that bothered me is the way they drew everybody's eyebrowss, and occasionally how some of the characters eyes looked. Other than that the art was good.
Enjoyment was great, probably my favorite show of the season. If you think that OPM is the anime of the season, then I recommend you to avoid this show like the plague.
Subete ga F ni Naru is a show that requires your undivided attention, missing the smallest of details can change how you view it. I don’t blame you for not liking it. It is a metaphysical journey that’s more about exploring its concepts than anything. It isn’t meant to be taken at face value and demands you to pay attention to understand it. It’s a show that touches upon the human condition and finding one’s purpose in life. I suggest watching lesser complicated shows before trying to tackleSubete again. Subete is an anime made for people who understand philosophy and also have a keen understanding on how to properly analyze content. read more
Everyone knows the genius chick trope in anime: meek, socially inept, hiding behind a pair of glasses. It’s time to break the mold and meet 11 girls whose brilliant minds and beauty are both top-notch. Some are scientists, and some are simply brainiacs－there's more than meets the eye!