The Imperfect Insider

Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider wasn’t obvious, but it was no match for Umineko logic + the process of elimination.

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.

Final Grade: +

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.┬áNobody 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.

8 Replies to “The Imperfect Insider”

  1. I’d say the intro sequence does fit. Based on the choreography Souhei and Moe have nice moves, but even then they can’t touch Magata. No one can.

    Pretty meh show overall.

    Also the reason why you couldn’t figure out Rokka no Yuusha is because the only clue to figuring out who the Seventh was is buried back in an earlier episode (back when they were 1st trapped) with one innocuous detail. Everything else was just characters either pursuing red-herrings or proving their innocence.

    • The other thing that makes Rokka no Yuusha difficult is that it turns into a mystery before you expect it to. The clues are already revealed before you start looking for them.

  2. I only realized it 30 seconds before the girl did. So like, episode 9 or even 10.

    Well, I like mysteries but most of the time I don’t put any active effort towards solving them.

    It is true that it didn’t act much like a murder mystery. Never seeeming to suspect the staff at all.

    (Umineko isn’t a mystery though, it is just nonsense)

    • Sometimes I go into a mystery just expecting to be entertained. Other times I put serious effort into solving it. After everything Umineko put me through, I’ve recently tended toward the latter.

  3. I’ve never really excluded the staff (but did so with Moe and Saikawa) and, to my dismay, they were very tertiarily involved. Pretty much every single staff member served a purpose of handling exposition (through either expansion of already-existing stuff or introducing new things such as VR) apart from maybe nerd girl who kept teasing Moe about Saikawa and the guy with the bush hair. I was also rather disappointed by how the last episode completely ignored the island and its staff members. A minute or two on the aftermaths instead of an endless grind through dialogues among the key trio wouldn’t have hurt. Bonus points for not explaining the importance of the marriage dress, let alone how the limbs were disposed off!

    I haven’t really given the series much thought and also didn’t arrive at much of a conclusion, although I did have a theory by episode 8 or so that Shiki had not actually been killed and looked vastly different from what we had seen of her. I did not consider pregnancy a thing and suspected nerd girl instead though. Ah, well.

    That said, I still think it’s a pretty good show. It’s not so much a mystery first rather than a hybrid between mystery and drama and even then, the latter felt more important to the story. Much of the mystery was used as a tool to develop Saikawa and Moe. It’s in similar vein to Mouryou no Hako (albeit worse) and you should definitely check that out if you haven’t seen that yet. Also gotta laud F for its good OST and Kanbe’s approach to directing was rather pleasant. His sober, nuanced direction really elevated the character interactions.

    Speaking of which, I very much liked the confession time segment when both Saikawa and Moe were stuck in VR and their environments were created based on their wishes. We had Moe being angry with Shiki and accusing her, with both of them stuck in an interrogation room whereas Saikawa only intended to figure out the mystery and to talk to Shiki rather than doing judging, both of them being at a beach and doing things beyond the possible. The disconnect there was great.
    What improved things moreover was Saikawa correcting Moe. Now, this was done from Moe’s perspective, so the place changed to a lecture hall. That’s a great detail as it very much implicated Moe’s wishes of Saikawa remaining her professor as she enjoyed their teacher-student relationship more than Saikawa being obsessed with Shiki, slowly drifting away from her. Even his t-shirt had a Moe face imprinted!

    On another note, how did you like Rokka? You should def. check out Bantorra (same author, even better). Good stuff.

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