Talk about a wasted trip. University professor Sohei Saikawa and his teenage student Moe Nishinosono travelled all the way to a remote island lab for nothing. The purpose of their journey was to meet up with programming prodigy Shiki Magata, but upon reaching their destination the pair soon discover that the female coder has been brutally murdered. Shiki’s dismembered corpse was found sitting atop a trolley with all her limbs missing. Yuck, I hope you weren’t eating dinner whilst reading this! Anyways… with the facility’s communication system on the fritz, preventing anyone from calling the police, it falls on brainy Sohei to deduce the identity of the culprit before they are able to strike again.
Also known as Subete ga F ni Naru, The Perfect Insider is an anime series based on the nineties novel penned by Hiroshi Mori. The story revolves around a locked room mystery that Sohei has the unenviable task of solving. Who, from the research laboratory’s small workforce, committed the crime and how exactly did they accomplish the feat without being detected? Shiki Magata was an eccentric recluse who hadn’t left her bedroom or met any visitors in years (wow, and here I was thinking that I was the most anti-social person on Earth.) Dr Magata’s abode is guarded by twenty-four hour surveillance and a sturdy door, which only her palm print can unlock. How could anyone possibly manage to breach those safeguards?
Super sleuth Sohei Saikawa reminds me a little of Aldnoah Zero’s Inaho Kaizuka. The manner in which he overcomes adversity by using coolheaded logic is impressive, but his lack of charisma makes him a dull protagonist. In terms of personality Sohei’s only distinct traits would have to be his phobia of eye drops and a questionable taste in t-shirts. Poor fashion sense hasn’t however prevented him from catching the eye of Moe. Miss Nishinosono, who is the Watson to Sohei’s Sherlock, has an unrequited crush on her tutor. She is also the heir to a vast fortune and no slouch in the IQ department. When it comes to math she can resolve complex equations, in her head, faster than I can input the formula into a calculator.
My rating for The Perfect Insider is a four out of five. What can I say? As a fan of Danganronpa I am a sucker for a good whodunit. In my opinion the show’s length is perfect. Eleven episodes means that the series doesn’t overstay its welcome, whilst still having sufficient time to adequately cover the full investigation and flesh out the cast’s backstories. Your opinion may differ however if you watch anime purely for the visual spectacle. Be forewarned that The Perfect Insider’s script is heavy on dialogue. Viewers expecting action may find the narrative to be a ponderous slog. The psychological discussions worked for me though, and to their credit A-1 Pictures did try to spice up the chatter with some dream like Sensory Deprivation Tank sequences.
Overall I thought that The Perfect Insider’s mystery was clever and well constructed. The finale surprised me, even if other viewers claim that they managed to suss out the killer’s identity around the show’s midway point. My only real complaint with the series would have to be the uninteresting lead. Thankfully the supporting cast are there to pick up the slack. Shiki Magata in particular is a very intriguing character. It’s a shame then that her deceased status limits the victim to mostly flashback scenes. Aside from being an accomplished computer wiz Shiki’s other “accomplishments” include juggling multiple personalities, committing parenticide and losing her virginity to her uncle. Blimey, Christmas time at the Magata household must be rather awkward.