The Perfect Insider Review

perfectinsider

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.

OVERVIEW

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.

VERDICT

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.

19 thoughts on “The Perfect Insider Review

  1. I can see the appeal of staying in my room for a few days but years would be pushing it. Haven’t seen this one yet but it sounds like a good mystery. And I’m always up for some gruesome limbless torsos.

    • It’s a cool whodunit, although some people would argue that the story works better as a book due to the plentiful amounts of dialogue. To be honest, if it weren’t for work commitments I would be okay with retreating into my bedroom for weeks at a time… especially now that the cold weather is starting to hit.

  2. “Yuck, I hope you weren’t eating dinner whilst reading this!”
    No, but I was just about to go to sleep, and that’s not a nice image then either, thanks… 😛
    *reads the rest of the review*
    Annnd now the nightmare is complete.

  3. I actually dropped this when it first aired as practically nothing happened in the first two episodes and I had forgotten what it was about. However binge watching made it much easier to digest and to follow, turning into an intriguing tale.

    I still think it could have done more with its 11 episodes had it stayed focused and not meandered so much early on.

    • Shows with a slow burn certainly benefit from the option of bulk watching rather than waiting a week between installments. Yeah some of the discussions were superfluous, but hey at least the chatter didn’t meander into Cat Girls and groping sisters (like a certain other wordy anime I know you love.)

      • Funnily enough that show did cross my mind as a parallel to this one in terms of its garrulous passages and how it at least tries to distract us from the ongoing wafflefest which in itself becomes such a distraction that you can’t follow the dialogue anyway! >.<

  4. This was a real strong review – nice one! I d have to disagree on one point, though, as I have a soft spot for Sohei Saikawa.

    The ending really was a shock, and I have to admit I didn’t see it coming, though some of the other revelations were a bit predictable.

    Mysteries just work really well in anime format, so I wouldn’t mind more like this.

    • Perhaps I didn’t like Sohei because he reminds me of myself? I too am emotionless, squeamish when it comes to applying eye drops and guilty of owning horrible shirts 🙂 I wish more mystery shows would get the animated treatment too because I have enjoyed all the ones I have watched to date.

      • Haha, that might just be why. Perhaps me too. You should’ve have seen me when I needed eye drops.

  5. I was interested from the first sentence of your review and convinced before the end! I’ll definitely be adding this to my list. It wounds absolutely fascinating. Mystery is one of the genres I want to write in one day, so the more I can read/watch, the better!

    • Best of luck with your writing aspirations. I love mystery tales but cannot imagine penning one. It’s so difficult to pull one off that doesn’t have plot holes or telegraphs the culprit too early in the story.

      • I know right? The one thing I realized though is every story is kind of a mystery even if it’s not in that genre! You want to make sure you’re not giving your plot away or creating gaping holes.

        I’m definitely still in the very early planning stages of any mystery genre stories in question. I have the beginning and end, but the middle as to how the detective figure it out is still floating around in the ether.

  6. I just finished the series yesterday. I must say that your review was spot-on.
    It had a reasonable ending, which is very important to me.

    The last episode was a little anti-climatic. The last couple of scenes especially.
    (Part of that problem was that Crunchyroll dropped me three times during the last two minutes of the last episode. I had to keep restarting the PS3 and the service.)

    Otherwise a very WORTHWHILE SERIES.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s