Once you get past the catchy but unfitting opening sequence, you’re thrown into a mystery that’s so confident you won’t figure out its twist that it sees no need to misdirect you. Then when you’ve figured out the twist by the fourth episode, you’re left watching a drama instead of a mystery. On the bright side, the professor’s backstory was interesting, the particulars of the mystery were hard (if not impossible) to figure out, and there were a few surprises towards the end that left me satisfied with the show overall.
In conclusion, if you want to enjoy
this show life to its fullest, don’t read Umineko, and avoid spoiler-laden fan discussion forums.
Spoilers from here to the end.
Let’s start with the stuff you can figure out without Umineko logic. Based on character development alone, there were only four potential suspects: Nishinasuno, Smoker, and Mother/Daughter. Nobody else is presented as a viable suspect. Remember the other folks who went to the island? I tried to, figuring they’d be suspects, only to feel like an idiot when they turned out to be completely irrelevant. The lab staff? Please. Even if by some twist one of the minor characters turned out to be the killer, it would’ve cheapened the show as a drama.
Now let’s throw Umineko logic into the mix. There was a high-tech security system in place. One of Knox’s Commandments is that difficult or impossible to explain contraptions or phenomena can’t be the key to the mystery. When a high-tech system like this is introduced, you have to rely on the characters’ assumptions to simplify things. For this show, you more or less have to buy into the characters’ assumptions that the operating system was perfectly programmed and completely unhackable, and that any “glitches” in the system were intentionally placed there from the start. Given the timeline, that rules out Nishinosono.
Could it have been Smoker? That would’ve been interesting for sure, and it would’ve forced Nishinosono to be useful for a change. But Smoker was doing all the heavy lifting, and going back to Knox, the detective can’t be the killer. I never really eliminated Smoker with hard evidence. I just came up with the Mother/Daughter theory first.
After the professor’s backstory revealed she was banging a pedophile, I considered the possibility of her getting pregnant and carrying that pregnancy into the locked room. Would it be possible for nobody to find out about the daughter? Would the daughter be the spitting image of her mother? According to Umineko, yes and yes. Also considering how the show wouldn’t stop sucking up to the professor’s brilliance, I was pretty confident the cards couldn’t fall any other way.
I’m by no means a master detective. Last season I wasn’t able to solve Rokka no Yuusha. The key difference is that Rokka no Yuusha presented everyone as a suspect, whereas The Perfect Insider presented nobody as a suspect. Umineko logic applies particularly well to the latter because it’s all about going overboard with cockamamie theories. Something as normal as pregnancy was child’s play.