Subete ga F ni Naru: Perfect Insider – 10

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Purple is the loneliest colour

So “everything becomes f” is “everything becomes fifteen.” It’s also apparently a clever computer science reference, which is lost on me completely, but maybe some of you liked that lengthy classroom scene. I just got distracted by the amusing way they said FFFF.

It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for…the big reveal of this locked room mystery! I have to hand it to the director, they really brought out some gorgeous visuals for the dramatic explanations. I remember complaining about how drab the palette of the show was, but now I see it’s meant to contrast the vivid colours of the “virtual” world each person imagines. The lab is monotonous and white-washed while the virtual world is mostly bright and filled with playful, dream-like environments. I love how Saikawa’s meeting with Dr. Magata was laid back and imaginative, to reflect how much he wanted to just sit down and chat with her. Nishinosono imagined a stifled, musty interrogation room because that’s all she expected from her confrontation with Dr. Magata. As per usual, we have no clue what it is Dr. Magata is seeing or truly thinking.

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Perfect Insider gets full marks for aesthetics this week, but the rest of the episode left me feeling empty. I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what it is though. I’d hazard a guess and say that it’s because the whole reasoning behind the murder seems inconsequential. What do I gain from knowing the murder was just a result of Dr. Magata being a genius with psychopathic tendencies? Dr. Magata killed her daughter because the daughter wasn’t deranged enough to murder her own mother. That’s the entirety of her motive and it’s still very difficult to digest. It is impossible for me, a non-genius, to understand her actions. After all this time, we still can’t understand Dr. Magata as a person – and she was the best part of the mystery.

Dr. Magata could have easily continued to live on with her daughter in secret. Why not live together happily without the whole…you know…killing thing? If they did it for 15 years, they could surely keep at it. It’s such a strange idea to decide that your daughter must murder you in the same way you killed your own parents. There’s no reasoning behind this I can grasp or relate to in order to make sense of the crime. It feels disappointing to have this huge mystery all boil down to “Dr. Magata was weird so she killed her daughter” and…that’s it.

Not only is her motive weak, now the entire murder feels like a minor case. Her death has little to no impact on society because no one liked her and she had no friends except her Uncle. The only problem with her death is that it’s creepy they had to witness her mutilated body and that now the lab won’t get more grant money. It seems like such an inconsequential thing that now I wonder why everyone wanted to solve the mystery so badly. I wanted to know more about Dr. Magata, but in the end I’m just more confused and repelled by her. This was a locked room mystery in the truest sense – none of the other characters mattered at all other than those in the locked room. The lack of complexity for this murder case is depressing.

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Where are his footprints?

The whole affair induced a “so what?” reaction, and I can’t say that’s a good thing. I feel like everything I didn’t care about was explained meticulously and everything I care about was forgotten. Dr. Magata is still an enigma, Saikawa is still in denial of his feelings, and Nishinosono is still a hot-headed, emotional thinker who loves Saikawa. Very little has changed. Perfect Insider was a slow burn, but I was expecting a big pay-off at the end to balance that. Instead, it’s just continuing to slowly plod along and never give the viewers that big reward for holding on through the suspense.

It’s strange. I thought this was an intriguing mystery with many layers going on at first. I thought Nishinosono might be involved somehow, a revenge plot, something extra with her uncle, or maybe lab members trying to sabotage her… All those clues and the only thing that mattered was Dr. Magata. She killed her child then ran away thanks to a computer hack, simple as that. The red herrings, so to speak, were just embellishments to make the mystery seem deeper than it was. They were empty promises of deeper characterizations that fell flat. While there is no denying the dialogue was snappy and interesting and that all the conversations about the mystery well well-written, the mystery itself ended up being a dud. Perfect Insider was good…but didn’t deliver what I wanted. I know there’s still one episode left, but I doubt that will change much.

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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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8 Responses to “Subete ga F ni Naru: Perfect Insider – 10”

  1. LazyJ says:

    I think the reactions to this episode can be summed up into two camps.
    The Moes: Who end up disappointed that the mystery had a simple solution and confused by Magata’s character and motives because they didn’t get a straightforward answer.
    And the Saikawas: Who end up satisfied by the elegant solution and enraptured by the ongoing mystery that is Magata Shiki.

    I believe the biggest payoff is that one on one encounter between Saikawa and Magata that ends with a handshake, a special occasion.
    And even if we are denied full access to Magata’s point of view, I think we have enough information with the flashbacks told by the director and Saikawa’s rants about her to make up our own idea of why she did what she did. Maybe the last episode will provide even more.

    • Overcooled says:

      Welp, I’m in the Moe camp. You seem to be in the Saikawa camp…what is it what you liked about the solution? Maybe if I know what you liked about the payoff I might enjoy the finale more.

      • LazyJ says:

        I liked that the solution was simple but required some outside of the box thinking, that it was possible to figure out most of it thanks to the many clues in each episode.

        Calling Magata simply psychopathic also seems wrong to me, because of her genius intellect she’s clearly set up as someone with a very different set of values about life, freedom and death, but the fact that she wanted to atone for her parents’ death by dying with her uncle means she has her own sense of pride and justice. That makes it interesting to try and see things from her point of view.

        And now her successful escape sets her up as some kind of Moriarty-esque figure that will tempt and push Saikawa’s brain to its limits in future adventures.

  2. HannoX says:

    The murder mystery left me unsatisfied. It all boiled down to “Dr. Magata is a psycho.” It would have been much more interesting if someone else had been the killer with a motive for wanting her dead. I still think the daughter was a cheap contrivance and the author did not play fair. I just cannot accept that in fifteen years no one began to suspect Dr. Magata was not alone in her prison.

    For me the only good parts of the show were the conversations between Moe and Saikawa and their relationship and those could have occurred outside the context of a second or third rate murder mystery.

    Your mileage may vary.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s such a weak motive…I really feel like that was a bad way to end the whole thing.

      I loved the conversations too, and I was hoping we’d get a good mystery and good character development. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t get both :/

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I’ve got to hand it to the creators. They made a story that keeps you guessing and when you think you’re close, you’re yet again at arm’s length of the truth.

    What do I gain from knowing the murder was just a result of Dr. Magata being a genius with psychopathic tendencies? Dr. Magata killed her daughter because the daughter wasn’t deranged enough to murder her own mother.

    Deranged indeed. I see that as a twisted form of circle of life she led herself to believe. She killed her parents without realizing the gravity of the act or maybe just didn’t care, and so came to the conclusion it would only be natural to be killed by her own child. But the daughter’s conversations with Nishinosono interfered with the demented cycle. Not to mention, the daughter had to be the same age she was when the crime was committed.

    What makes Shiki intriguing is not being able to read her easily as opposed to those who are considered “normal” because the majority pretty shares the same mindset.

    To me, Shiki’s type of psychopathy is of the nihilistic kind. During her talk with Saikawa, she elaborated of being uninterested in material things and she hasn’t shown any kind of attachment. So it’s safe to assume she hopes for nothing and feels everything is permitted. Saikawa may have been the only aspect she put any interest in. A worthy challenge.

    • Overcooled says:

      It was kind of interesting that the daughter wasn’t a genius like Dr. Magata, so she couldn’t understand whatever complicated reasoning Dr. Magata had for killing her parents at age 15. I mean, wow, killing your parents is already messed up but then getting your own kid to kill you to repeat the cycle is even more insane!

      I think that’s why Saikawa and Dr. Magata can connect so easily. They are both disinterested in the material world to some extent, and people often comment that Saikawa looks dead. He’s the closest thing to an equal she has.

      • Highway says:

        Hmm, I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t a genius that the daughter didn’t understand Shiki’s reasoning. I think we would all agree that it takes quite a bent moral compass from what is ‘normal’ for humans to end up like Shiki. And when the daughter, who I’ve been thinking is named Michiru, started having contact with the outside world, as part of Shiki’s plan to have her “take over”, she started to process the information she was given, as all humans do, and came to her own conclusions about what she wanted to do, something more ‘normal’. It’s just too bad for her that that ran against Shiki’s pretzel view.

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