Subete ga F ni Naru: Perfect Insider – 03

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Taking notes from L on how to sit to improve problem-solving skills

I wonder if Red Magic is a red herring or not. It’s on version 4…4 in Japanese is “shi” which is pronounced the same as death…Dr. Magata’s name is SHIki…IT’S ALL A CONSPIRACY, I TELLS YOU! ALL OF IT!

A locked room mystery is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The guards are certain it’s impossible that no one left or entered the room, and yet it’s also impossible for this to be true since Dr. Magata was murdered by someone (or something). The key to solving a locked room mystery is thinking outside the box and not blindly accepting what everyone says. It’s important to separate opinions from facts. “There is no video footage of someone entering the room” is very different from “There is no video footage of someone entering the room, therefore it is clearly impossible no one entered it.” Deborah has already gone rogue, so I wouldn’t trust anything that’s left in that system’s care…which means I’m suspicious about almost everything.

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smh if the murderer isn’t dressed like a groom

Unlike Sakurako-san’s penchant for one-episode mysteries, Perfect Insider launches us headfirst into a murder mystery that looks like it’s going to take the whole run of the series to solve. So far things are pretty calm and everyone is just busily researching what could have gone wrong while waiting for help to come. I’m actually quite surprised that no one has started to get antsy and pull the classic “the murderer is among us” cards. With the uncovering of victim #2, I think everyone is going to start to get more fearful for their lives. When that fear starts to kick in, people will do crazy things.

However, that’s in the future…and only maybe. This episode, everyone was rather civil and organized. In fact, most of the runtime was spent watching Nishinosono and Saikawa discuss possible theories, almost all of them being random and based off of whatever straws they can grasp at for the moment. They go around and talk to the programmers and guards in a very “let’s talk to all the NPCs to gather evidence before the story advances” sort of feel. It’s a meticulous, slow, and grueling process, but it shows the reality of the issue. No one knows anything. Even brilliant people like Nishinosono and Saikawa can only come up with things like “Uh..maybe..he like…snuck in and out?”. Everyone is at a loss for an explanation as to what happened, fully depicting just how stunned everyone is in this situation. What on Earth do you do when someone who has holed up for 15 years somehow is murdered without any evidence of her leaving or anything entering?

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The biggest lead they have concerns Red Magic and Deborah. It’s clearly a very powerful system and the chance of it screwing up and letting an outsider in is infinitely small. It is noted that perhaps someone planned this out 15 years in advance (or more!). Afterall, if it’s not a virus, it must be deliberately programmed in. It makes sense, but who would do such a thing? What motive could they possibly have to plan this for 15 years in the future instead of 5 years, 10 years, or even just 2 weeks? There’s a lot of talking but no one really knows what’s going on. I like the sense of how lost everyone is and how they’re barely holding it together. I think some are still stuck in a deer-in-the-headlights moment after such a shocking event that they haven’t even processed it yet.

I’m quite content to let Perfect Insider go at its own pace. Any show that has the nerve to mock its own predilection for expository dialogue and make the pretentious philosopher guy wear a “bread” shirt for the entire span of a murder mystery is ok in my books. I think they know what they’re doing here. There’s a lot of talking, but as the Monogatari franchise has proven, that is not always a bad thing if everything else can keep you engaged. I love the way the story always returns to the conversation Nishinosono had with Dr. Magata, and I think they will become ever more important now that she’s dead. It’s also interesting to see all the parallels between Nishinosono and Dr. Magata, as she also fell in love with an older guy. As a very character-driven show, Nishinosono’s feelings will likely be just as important of a mystery as Dr. Magata’s death. Likewise, we’re getting some snippets of Dr. Magata and her forbidden relationship as well. I can’t tell if it’s a clue for solving the mystery, or just something to tell us a little more about what she was like before she got locked away. Now that she’s dead, we can only learn about her through flashbacks such as these and what other characters tell us.

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I already sense a connection

Perfect Insider is doing a great job at keeping the tension of the mystery alive, while still exploring characters in-depth. I have no idea whatsoever what will happen next but man, I can’t wait for next week. With the introduction of Miki and a new murder victim, there will be plenty of stuff to discuss.


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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31 Responses to “Subete ga F ni Naru: Perfect Insider – 03”

  1. IreneSharda says:

    I’m going to go back to this series now.

    I’ve pretty much finished the drama version which was a pretty good episodic locked room murder mystery series. The “When Everything Becomes F” mystery took about two and a half episodes of the series. It will be interesting to see how this version extends it for the whole series.

    I of course won’t ruin anything, but I’m interested in how this series will reveal each piece of the mystery. However, let me say that Rokka no Yuusha’s mystery was much easier to figure out than this one is.

    • BlackBriar says:

      However, let me say that Rokka no Yuusha’s mystery was much easier to figure out than this one is.

      Then I’ll be looking forward to this series all the more.

      • IreneSharda says:

        Now that I’m looking at it, the anime (probably because it has a lot more time) is giving you quite a few more clues than the drama version did. They have to solve the mystery in two episodes, which is about two hours’ time, so they rushed a little probably. However, that might make the anime version easier to figure out than what I had to work with.

    • Overcooled says:

      This mystery was solved in less than 3 episodes in the drama? Wow, I can’t imagine everything being wrapped up that quickly in the anime version. I wonder if this is going to feel really dragged out for you.

      I couldn’t even figure out Rokka’s mystery so..uh…wish me luck…

      • IreneSharda says:

        Well, there a lot of extra stuff here that is taken out there. We don’t get the constant shift from past to present (only two-three flashbacks of Shiki’s past. There is no expository narration by the uncle every so often. Moe and Sohei’s characters were already set up episodes ago, so they didn’t have to do that. And Sohei doesn’t talk nearly as much there as he does here. He does talk, but he’s more of a silent observer than anything else. His conversations with Moe are basically just discussing the crime itself and running over different ideas of what might be going on. They really are your basic detective duo, Sohei is Sherlock and Moe is Watson. They don’t spend time talking about the meaning of life or expository dialogue. Sohei is a lot less pretentious there.
        So, if you really take out all of that, the mystery itself is not that long. 😀

      • IreneSharda says:

        Also, if I read it right, this is based off a single mystery novel story, that was made into a single manga volume. you could easily fit that into 2 hrs and 30 mins of drama time, or extend it into 6 hours worth of a 12 episode series. You just have to change the way you present certain things in order to fill out time.

        • Overcooled says:

          Ahhh I see. It’s just cool to see the differences between the drama and the anime. I guess you could save a lot of time taking out or cutting down some of the conversations and flashbacks.

  2. Highway says:

    I really enjoy this series. I like the nosiness of Nishinosono, the grudging acceptance of this characteristic by Saikawa, Nishinosono’s somewhat flitty attention (like when she shut down Marimba Guard).

    And I was surprised that the murders continued. I did think the conversation they had with the director in the helicopter was rather odd, mainly because you can’t have a conversation with someone next to a running helicopter, especially with one person in it and another out of it.

    • Overcooled says:

      Haha, I really liked her casually shutting down the Marimba guard too.

      I was a little confused about how they could hear each other next to a running helicoptor, and how the pilot didn’t want to get out and ask any questions. Maybe it’s actually part of the mystery?

  3. skylion says:

    One, Red Magic. I’m suspicious of any computer system that get’s this much credit…they always fail! HAL 9000 people! And like you I’m like “15 years ahead of time”. Yeah, pull the other one, will ya?

    But the part that I find weird is the conversation they had with the Director. It felt staged. Like someone knowing the deed was done, and that’s all. Removes him from the list of suspects, possibly? But not really cause why kill him unless he knows something?

    Yeah, this is a much better locked room mystery than Rokka

    • IreneSharda says:

      Yeah, this is a much better locked room mystery than Rokka…

      I won’t go that far, but it is definitely much harder to figure out, unless you are genius level like most characters in this anime.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I’m suspicious of any computer system that get’s this much credit…they always fail! HAL 9000 people! And like you I’m like “15 years ahead of time”. Yeah, pull the other one, will ya?

      Hey, I’d sooner live with that than giving a computer complete power over a horrifying weapons system. Calling it “hazardous” would be an understatement.

    • Overcooled says:

      They say it’s a perfect system but no system can be perfect if it’s made by dumb humans!

      I thought it felt odd too. He just sat there in the face of all that crazy news and didn’t say a word. I guess they killed him so he wouldn’t use the helicoptor communications to ask for help?

      I liked Rokka, but felt like I couldn’t catch any of the clues that were thrown my way. However, for Perfect Insider, I feel like it could be solved if one pays enough attention because there should be some sensible clues. That’s not to say I’ll be able to solve this one though, just that the potential is there!

      • BlackBriar says:

        They say it’s a perfect system but no system can be perfect if it’s made by dumb humans!

        Sybil System, anyone?

      • skylion says:

        Well, I’m going on memory for the show right now, but, didn’t they say Red Magic was a non-UNIX system? Those are fairly uncommon; why bother when UNIX-like OSes exist, that are just as secure, and just as robust without having to start from scratch. But Red Magic makes me think of Red Hat Linux, which is a UNIX-like OS.

        But this is a show full of “geniuses” so making your own custom OS from the ground up is par for the course; especially one that will “fail” 15 years from when you want it to; through one would assume all four versions…

  4. BlackBriar says:

    I wonder if Red Magic is a red herring or not. It’s on version 4…4 in Japanese is “shi” which is pronounced the same as death…Dr. Magata’s name is SHIki…IT’S ALL A CONSPIRACY, I TELLS YOU! ALL OF IT!

    Aside from your own theory on the series, I think there is some symbolism going on. Pay attention to the episode titles so far.

    1: White Meeting
    2: Azure Encounter
    3: Red Magic

    The plot thickens and I’m enjoying it more. Nishinosono and Saikawa’s conversation was long but raised interesting theories (Did anyone keep count of the number of cigarettes he used in the meantime? It seemed like a lot). I’m leaning more on the one where a programmer arranged the “malfunction” if the others say it’s all green. Possibly the one who designed it in the first place or another who has reached the same level of knowledge. As for the footage, it wouldn’t be farfetched to assume it could’ve been looped at some point in time. The flaw I detected is the screen didn’t show a timer to make that evidence more concrete. So rewinding and fast forwarding wouldn’t have much significance.

    I didn’t want to believe what was being carried on the cart was a mutilated corpse. It looked more like life sized doll minus the arms and legs. Disturbing… Equally so learning Shiki’s sister was on the helicopter whereas my bets were on her being somewhere else. It leaves to question as to who that 13 year old girl is. If Nishinosono’s point on the motive being the Magata fortune is true, I think we may be dealing with an illegitimate child.

    One thing I’m reluctant to buy is the Red Magic system’s capabilities. You can’t tell me one system can continuously produce surveillance footage spanning over 15 years. It’s software, so there has to be updates every now and then that obligates a temporary system shutdown.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m one of those people who never read the episode titles and now I wish I did because wow that’s a real theme there!

      The guards swear it’s impossible that someone entered or left but it’s very possible the system has issues. Preprogrammed ones and the potential for people looping footage. It makes a lot of sense since 90% of the time the camera is just showing an empty room with a door…you could just copy and paste that and cover up any break-ins easily.

      I didn’t even notice she was missing limbs when they showed her in episode 2, I just thought they were under the veil/dress. A creepy touch, but at least they didn’t show us where she was amputated.

      I thought the 13 year old girl was Magata Shiki in the past before she locked herself up.

      • Highway says:

        Yes, the 13-year old is Shiki Magata, before she was locked up. I figure she was compelled to be locked up, due to being found guilty of her parents’ murder.

        One thing the missing limbs would seem to indicate: She’s been dead for a while, long enough to not leak blood all over that wedding dress and P1.

  5. HannoX says:

    Red Magic has to be key to solving the mystery. If it runs everything in the complex then someone must have programed it to shutdown the video recording for a certain span of time or to erase that time period. And then that programming had to be removed from Red Magic.

    So who could have done that? Dr. Magata clearly has the skills. And this would not be the first locked room mystery (or incident in real life) that the victim let the murder in because the victim knew and trusted the killer.

    There’s also a good chance the Director had the skills and was in on letting someone into her room, possibly not knowing murder was the intent. Then he was killed by the murderer trying to cover his/her tracks.

    Of course, there should be others on the staff with the necessary skills. The Director should know who each of them is, possibly including one not known to others. So then the Director is murdered so this possible unknown programmer doesn’t come under suspicion.

    So again Red Magic seems to be key in solving the mystery.

    But that is method. Motive is the reason why. If they can figure out why Dr. Magata was killed they should eventually figure out who. Or approach it from the other direction–who would have reason to want her dead? If there’s more than one person, then who has both reason I agree this is a better mystery than and the necessary skills to hack Red Magic?

    I agree this is a better mystery than Rokka.

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t trust Red Magic either. It’s the best lead we have right now, too. We can probably narrow down the main suspect to someone who has the skills to program Red Magic to do something very specific at a very specific time…but even that doesn’t limit our choices that much. And it it’s multiple people, that makes it even harder because one could be a programmer and another could be…anyone.

      The motive is going to be a toughie…

  6. BlackBriar says:


    Anime news: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 Manga Gets TV Anime

    • Overcooled says:

      Nice! I heard people getting real excited about this on Twitter! I’ll say right now that I won’t be blogging it (a lil burned out blogging Jojo) but I’ll certainly be watching!

  7. HannoX says:

    Come to think of it, the critical time doesn’t have to have not been recorded or erased. If Dr. Magata was a creature of habit doing the same thing at the same time each day a pre-recorded version of her doing that could have been inserted during the critical time while the murder was being carried out.

    As for the guards supposedly watching her 24/7. They could have been distracted by something so minor it’s slipped their minds. Or they didn’t keep as close a watch as they’re supposed to do and they’re lying to protect their jobs. It might not even have been this pair of guards. As for the distraction or why they didn’t keep the close watch they were supposed to do–how does playing the marimba sound?

    • Overcooled says:

      Yep, the footage is mostly just nothingness since that room is boring so that’s very possible. It’s my guess for now at how someone snuck in.

      Haha, Marimba Guard might have gotten too distracted with a jam session to notice a killer sneak in. That would be hilarious. But yeah, things like that are why I don’t take the guard’s remarks very seriously. It’s not “impossible” someone got in just because the footage says otherwise because…well…the fact of the matter is someone did.

      • HannoX says:

        Well, it just suddenly struck me that the marimba might not be a throw-a-away. That it might actually be one of the clues. I’m not a big mystery fan and do a poor job of trying to solve them, but I have learned that in a mystery story everything has to be looked at as a potential clue.

        • Highway says:

          See, that’s what I think the difference is between a mystery presented like “Everything is F’d” and Rokka. In F, the things that are potential clues are actually kinda obvious. I mean, who has a marimba around? Now, that one’s kinda super obvious (especially with the headphones, because seriously, a marimba with headphones is kinda dumb, it’s still gonna bother anyone around), but there are other things like Red Magic that are definitely clues.

          Conversely, in Rokka, it felt like there weren’t any actual clues when they were investigating things, just, as I’ve said before, post hoc justifications why “oh, that was suspicious / important”.

  8. HannoX says:

    Spammy, Spammy, wherefor art thou, Spammy? Right here, damn you.

  9. Kyokai says:

    Anyone who can hack Red Magic is capable to play with the video feed (not to mention, they are immensely brilliant to boot). They could simply erase the incriminating footage with a rerun of some old data. With how things were, I’m pretty sure the guards wouldn’t even realise until they discovered Shiki’s dead body. An autopsy should be the next step as the time of death is important should be determined.

    My suspicion for now is staying with the females in the vicinity. Let’s see how it goes.

    On a separate note, my heart is crying for the misuse of Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Makoto from Free!, Takeo from Kuroko no Basuke, Hiroomi from Kyoukai no Kanata)… He has such a nice voice but he’s playing the almost-jiji Yamane. Tsk!

    • Overcooled says:

      The guards seem pretty useless right now. I don’t know why they aren’t convinced someone could erase/rewrite the video footage.

      The girls, huh? They certainly stand out more than the guys here.

      Oh gosh, I didn’t even notice him and I love his voice! That really is quite sad…

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