Subete ga F ni Naru: Perfect Insider – 02

perfect insider 2010

A thinly-veiled secret, indeed

I recently tried going to my university’s anime club to see if it would be any fun. Why not, right? It ended up being a dull evening spent re-watching anime I had already seen in a room full of people too busy dicking around on their laptops to pay attention. Why go to a club where you watch anime with other people if you’re not going to watch? Needless to say, I left the anime club early and went home…to watch anime. Enjoying Perfect Insider on my couch alone was a far superior experience to watching Sankarea in a room that smelled like long forgotten Chinese take-out.

I pegged this show as a slow burn with high pay-off. It still flows at its own speed, but the way this episode ends suggests that we’ll be getting to the pay-off much more quickly than I anticipated. Episode 2 starts off slowly working through a camping trip filled with long conversations. The more exciting events one would imagine occurring at a beach party are shrugged off in exchange for long spans of monologues or dialogues without much action. Swimsuit fanservice is not even close to being a possibility. The conversations are enjoyable, but they couldn’t go on forever without something else happening. Nishinosono and Saikawa are at a bit of a dead end as Nishinosono continues to straight-forwardly court someone who neither accepts her nor turns her down. There’s only so much the two can keep talking about like this. So yes, things are still moving very much at a “Perfect Insider” pace, but we get some wonderful pay-off sooner than I expected in the form a heart-pounding cliffhanger.

perfect insider 2009

Gotta love the character designs. Look at how average or ugly they all are!

More on that cliffhanger later….I’m going to make you wait just like Perfect Insider did! The earlier beach scenes may not be the “main” part of the story, but I really enjoyed how telling they were of Nishinosono’s personality. She’s a rich, sheltered girl who has lost her parents and does everything she can to get what she wants. Since Saikawa is the only thing she can’t obtain, she focuses all of her attention and energy on chasing him as it is likely thrilling to have something just outside her grasp. Everything else, she can buy..or get someone else to buy it for her.

However, if being a spoiled brat was all that she had to her, I’d immediately start bagging on her for being an annoying ojou-sama with no concept of the world. Seriously, who doesn’t realize that sauce can be bought in a store? She acts like everyone should serve her but part of me gets the feeling that she is fully aware of the burden she is putting on others. It’s not just out of habit that she bosses people around, but because she makes a conscious decision to do so. She tells her friends to carry her luggage, fully well knowing that it’s a mean thing to do. She does it anyways because she doesn’t care about them and she knows she can get away with it. Likewise, she weasels her way out of cooking with an excuse as lame as “I’ve never held a knife before” which must be a huge lie because how else would she cut the expensive A5 Premium Filet Mignon Steaks that she is clearly eating? The prick. Just watch her interact with anyone in the lab other than Saikawa and it’s clear she doesn’t care about them at all – or worse – hates them. Even directors from Dr. Magata’s lab get the full force of her jealous cut-eye when they get between her and Saikawa.

perfect insider 2003perfect insider 2007

“Date me!”  “First, let us define the word ‘date’ in this argument…”  “Goddammit, this is why I hate philosophers”

Nishinosono is conniving and quick to tell lies. In order to lie, one must first have a firm grasp of truth and reality in order to warp it. She’s actually very smart to do so! It takes skills to be so deceptive. Furthermore, her interview with Dr. Magata shows us glimpses at the types of profound thoughts she is capable of. She may have led a sheltered life, but she is far from naive. She knows exactly just how much of a brat she is and I love her for it.

Characterization aside, we also get a huge chunk of worldbuilding…er…labbuilding? But it all really boils down to 1) Dr. Magata is a hikkikomori 2) her lab is hella high-tech. I was quite enjoying the scenes before, but I got really on edge when Saikawa and Nishinosono entered the lab. I expected them to get some good intel from Nishinosono’s headache ruse, but I could not have prepared myself for Dr. Magata herself to come rolling out in a wedding dress and firetruck red lipstick.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve read the MAL summary, and it says they get caught up in a “murderous game” at the lab. It is likely they are now locked in and we’ll be getting to the “mystery” portion of the show very soon. I’m so excited! There are just so many unknowns here, my head is already spinning! Why did Dr. Magata finally leave her room? Is she alive? Why is her sister coming? WHO WILL BE THE FIRST TO DIE? The benefit of blogging such a series is that I don’t have to figure it all out alone…the comments section means we can work it out together!

perfect insider 2008

Now, while the mystery portion is very exciting and I’m absolutely in love with this show there is one aspect that may cause some sqeaumishness in the future. Perfect Insider seems to be hinting an awful lot at relationships between older men and younger women. With Nishinosono and Saikawa it’s not too bad because she’s legal, Saikawa looks pretty young, and there’s no sexual lust in the equation. It’s a one-sided puppy love thing that Saikawa is entirely aware of, but chooses to do nothing about. His neutrality over having a younger lady pursue him so aggressively is a little strange since he could easily turn her down, but the whole situation never reaches a “creepy” point. It does with 13 year-old Magata and her uncle. Thankfully, nothing much happens, but we may get some stronger pedophilic undertones in the future. Perfect Insider is treading a dangerous line, and whether it chooses to fetishize Magata or speak about how unhealthy and terrifying such a relationship is will really bend my opinion of the show in one way or another.

But for now…let’s focus on the obvious things such as Dr. Magata escaping her hikkikomori den and wheeling off into the darkness, shall we?

perfect insider 2001

You gotta love to hate a girl like this


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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26 Responses to “Subete ga F ni Naru: Perfect Insider – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    Wow, that lab went HAL 9000 right quick! But really what do you expect? It’s like those houses that shifty real estate folks try to sell, they always forget to mention it’s haunted! In this case, the place is home to a possible serial murderer!

    I’m sure I might have missed something the first episode, but it really seems that Nishiosono might be playing around with “her version” of the ouja-sama archetype, or that she’s playing the best type that can be expected of her.

    Oh, yeah, and the relationship between Dr. Magata and her uncle. It’s horrible to blame the younger one, but given that we know she’s a murderer anyway? What kind of story are they cooking up there? Nothing un-creepy that is for sure…

    • Overcooled says:

      Having a computer system named Deborah in charge of everything is also pretty ominous. Totally not dangerous to let her control every aspect of the building when it’s already sketchy enough! Even the location is sketchy…

      You mean like she’s just living up to the oujo-sama archetype for fun?

      First murder and now this. Her story is going to be endlessly creepy…

  2. JPNIgor says:

    It’s scary how close Nishinosono is to Dr. Magata when their scenes are intertwined the way it was this episode. Suddenly this girl seems much darker than I ever imagined her to be.

    Gotta love the character designs. Look at how average or ugly they all are!

    I’m so glad you highlighted this. It’s probably the 3rd of 4th time I’m saying this, but this guy is AWESOME. Read his stuff.

    • Overcooled says:

      YES, that was really unsettling. Especially when Nishinosono was reciting almost the exact same lines about wanting to see the beach at night.I hope she doesn’t fall into the same trap as Dr. Magata…

      I’m very tempted to check him out now!

  3. Highway says:

    I really like Nishinosono’s character. I don’t love to hate her, I think she’s a terrific character, and probably not that bad of a person. To me the true nature of her character would be shown when someone refuses to do as she asks, and I don’t think she’d flip out or be horrible. I think she’d get pouty and whiny, sure, but not retributive. But if you can exploit your reputation, and you don’t care how it makes you look, then go for it.

    As far as the relationship between 13-year old Magata and her uncle, I don’t know if I’m all that squicked out by it. She’s obviously mature beyond her years, not a just a naif who is smart. As such, I don’t know if the same kind of judgment about a minor really applies. She had her doctorate by, what, age 9? I’m not gonna go look it up, because I’m sure I’d end up spoiled on all that happens in the show. But it was some age significantly younger than when we saw that scene. I wonder what it is about her that is so attractive to her uncle, whether it’s the attention, the youth, or just being highly susceptible to manipulation, which Magata is certainly a pro at.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I get the feeling that she’s not that bad either. Good point that she never really lashes out when someone refuses her orders. She doesn’t have the sense of entitlement that other people must serve her, it’s just a nice bonus if people do what she says when she asks.

      I dunno how much “mature beyond years” can apply because even if she’s a genius, there are just parts of her brain that just haven’t developed yet. No matter how much of a prodigy a child is, they can’t change that. I don’t think it’s possible for her to be fully aware of the consequences of what she’s doing at this age.

      It’s a very complex relationship that will take time to explain (if they do). It is rather surprising that a man with a wife would be seduced by a child, but Magata is a very special kind of person. It’s probably a combination of all the things you mentioned that makes her so attractive to him though. We’ll see!

      • Highway says:

        And on the other hand, I do think it is possible to be aware of the great majority of consequences if one has considered them enough. Consider that in getting her doctorate by age 9, she may have done the same amount of thinking about things that other people do by age 26, and this is happening four years later on from that. And it’s not like it is completely necessary to experience situations to determine a ‘correct’ response. I do not find it difficult at all to believe that Magata is not ‘playing’ at being an adult, she is an adult, albeit a very out of the ordinary one.

        And one thing that I go back to as far as the development side of their presumed relationship: For millenia, 12-15 was old enough for marriage and setting up ones own household. The fact that current parenting and society tends to infantalize children for years, protecting them from the consequences of their decisions and actions and teaching them not to be independent adults but dependent wards for so long, besides being a recent development, does not mean it’s the ‘right’ way for things to be.

      • Highway says:

        Also, it’s really not surprising that an older man could be hooked by a manipulative girl whose aim is to get him. It’s been happening for the entire history of humanity, I’d bet. It would be more rare that a man, married or not, would resist the continued overtures of a woman who is determined to get him, especially one as smart as Magata.

        • HannoX says:

          I agree that 13-year old Magata knows what she’s doing. She’s deliberately toying with her uncle. Whether she’s actually trying to seduce him or merely teasing him either for kicks or to manipulate him we’ll have to see.

          And she’d be much more mature than your average 13-year old. As a genius who got her doctorate so young she’d have spent her life around adults. She probably never associated with children her age. So being around adults pretty much constantly would have had the effect of speeding up her maturity process.

          While it is true that like the rest of the body the brain and its functions aren’t fully adult until late teens or early twenties, people do develop at different rates. As a genius it’s very possible her brain has developed to an adult stage (or near adult stage) years earlier than is standard.

          And yes, the long adolescent period of modern western (and some other countries) is a recent development. In much of the world early teens is still considered old enough for marriage, especially for girls. That’s the way it’s been for most of human history and pre-history.

          • Overcooled says:

            I can’t say for sure, but I do find it unlikely that Magata’s brain would simply defy all conventions and develop at a faster rate from the rest of the population. Being a genius doesn’t mean defying biology, unless something is REALLY weird with her brain. At her age, her prefrontal cortex should still be developing and thus her decision-making processes won’t be the same as adults. I believe she has the brain and the body of a child, no matter how much she’s pondered the meaning of life.

            I do agree that she knows what she’s doing is dangerous though. The manipulation is all intentional. I just think she can’t be fully aware of the weight such actions will have…especially if her uncle follows through with anything.

            • Highway says:

              I could go along with won’t be the same as adults, but that’s not the standard. The standard is whether she’s understanding of what she’s doing. We give children a pass on their decisions because it is assumed they don’t understand the consequences. But I’d argue that having more effective time pondering the meaning of not just life, but everything, would give Magata a pretty full understanding of 1) what she’s doing, 2) what it would lead to, and 3) not just her consequences but also those around her.

              And as far as ‘not fully aware of the weight of her actions’, then just about everyone is a child, no? It’s not exactly rare to tell grownups that “you didn’t think about what that would mean, did you?” My main point is that by just about any standard besides Elapsed Time Since Birth, Magata is an adult.

            • skylion says:

              Speaking of “Elapsed Time Since Birth”, Nishinosono brings up an issue about her age, as she is “almost” an adult in respect to drinking?

              But as the conversation stands, I’m on Highways end of looking at things in the context of the show.

            • HannoX says:

              But isn’t it possible that the brain of a genius would develop somewhat quicker than most? Couldn’t that be part of what makes them a genius–a more developed brain both as a child and an adult? People’s physics vary widely so why shouldn’t their brains, which are also physical. And perhaps the synapsis of a genius connect faster with pathways most people never get.

              In our society we consider people adult at 18 even though very few of them have the maturity of say someone who’s 25. So 13-year old Magata could be as mature as someone who’s 18 or 20 with much the same understanding of sexuality (as much as you can have without having had sex), but still be behind someone who’s 25 or 30.

            • Overcooled says:

              @Highway: Ah, I’m actually seeing adulthood as the standard in a kind of “minors can’t be charged” sort of way. Minors can’t be held accountable for their actions (for the reasons I stated + more), so they don’t get treated as adults. Rightfully so, because kids make dumb mistakes.

              But what you’re saying is adulthood is not necessarily the ideal standard to hold everything against, right? If I’m following you, I think that difference in anchoring points is why we see it differently. As long as she comes to some level of understanding (saying “fully aware” was a mistake on my behalf because you’re right, not even adults can be FULLY AWARE of the consequences of EVERYTHING they do) past a certain threshold then you can say she is in control.

              If I’m comparing her directly to an adult, I feel there is something lacking largely because of her age. It also depends where you draw the line of agreeing or disagreeing that her level of awareness is acceptable. She can be..kind of aware…or mostly aware…or 99.9% aware so it’s a tough call to make. I just don’t think she hits my threshold for being aware enough of her situation that she should be held responsible for her actions in the same way an adult would.

              @Hannox: I’m not familiar with the literature, so I really can’t say for sure. It may be that geniuses do have faster development times. I just don’t see development speed as being important. It’s more about the types of synaptic connections, level of plasticity, and the brain tissue itself (such as the ratio of grey matter to white matter, perhaps). The way I see it, having an “adult brain” sooner doesn’t mean it’s gonna be a “smart” adult brain.

              Maturity is a vague concept and I would still say the most mature and astute 17 year old in the world is not an adult.

            • Highway says:

              I figured that was your standard, but that’s already a malleable standard in that minors get charged ‘as adults’ for things with some regularity. If someone is expected to understand the consequences of their actions, such as a 13-year old genius 4 years on from getting her doctorate, then they would be considered ‘an adult’ for all intents and purposes.

              I mean, you can say “kids make stupid decisions and mistakes”, but I can point to plenty of adults who make equally stupid decisions and mistakes, and you can point to plenty of teenagers that make perfectly fine decisions about most of the things in their life.

              Given what we’ve seen of Magata, I think it’s fine to take the starting point as “She is responsible for her actions”.

    • skylion says:

      …at the tail end of the conversation…I’m looking at one aspect of authorial intent. Japanese children are encouraged to mature quicker than, say, their US counterparts in some aspects, and not so much in others; and that can be run along the axis of mature interdependence vs. mature independence…more or less.

      So for authorial intent, do we have an aspect of a Take That approach. We want our kids to mature faster, but are we creating monsters adults won’t understand, and are beholden to in a crippling fashion?

      Compare and contrast this with Nishinosono’s “fake” rich girl act, and the fact that she and Magata are at an “understanding”?

      Ah, well, it’s early days for the show, so speculation is gonna run in all directions at hiiiiigh levels.

  4. IreneSharda says:

    I’m actually going to try this out again. The 1st epsiode wasn’t for me, but I’m trying out the drama series version of this series that came out last year and I find it much better to understand and swallow. Maybe after I finish that, I can better receive the anime.

    One thing’s for sure, Nishinosono is much more palatable in that one this one. Maybe it’s because she’s a real person that her way of acting and talking are more understandable.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahh, interesting! Hope the drama is good! I actually didn’t know there was a drama…I’ll have to be careful of spoilers then. I wonder if the story will be exactly the same between the drama and the anime or if things will diverge a bit.

      • IreneSharda says:

        The drama has already diverged heavily. There, so far, it’s mostly episodic murder mysteries with Nishinosono and Saikawa solving murder mysteries together as they go back and forth with a “will Saikawa finally acknowledge his student’s feelings?” subplot. I’m on episode 3 and Dr. Magata has kind of been forgotten after her intro in the very beginning.

        I think it’s because the drama is really stretching things out by adding in several of the writer’s other stories as well as the Everything in F story. The drama is 12 hour-long episodes in length.

        • Overcooled says:

          Oh wow, that already sounds really different. Especially since Dr. Magata is being ignored so much.

          The drama version of Nishinosono is so cute! Very different from the anime version!

  5. Mikazuki says:

    Do you watch anime with your PC or TV ?

    • Overcooled says:

      I plug my PC into my TV with an HDMI cable so I can watch on a big screen

      • Mikazuki says:

        Thank you

        I should probably do the same, I’m getting tired of my pc

        • skylion says:

          Oh yeah, it’s a boon. I went from watching SD on a ten inch Atom powered netbook to HD on a much better computer piped over to a big old flat screen. Different as night and day….

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Saikawa is pretty insensitive if you ask me. Nishinosono is essentially confessing to him in an indirect fashion, he’s aware enough of it but here he is fawning over another girl in front of her and isn’t trying to pull the brakes.

    Shiki is that kind of girl: Charming, alluring and manipulative. All signs that should trigger alarm bells in the brain. You know better to steer clear but can’t help yourself wanting to get closer.

    I’m on the fence on whether or not there is a sibling based on what’s said. They said Shiki has been isolated for 15 years but the girl in the car is said to be 13 years old. One of these possibilities has to be false.

    • Overcooled says:

      Japanese people are notorious for never giving a direct no, but to me it really does just come across as being rude and insensitive.

      Hmmm, that’s true. I’m already so confused

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