Kentarou ItouShinya TakahashinoitaminAGo Shinomiya
The Perfect Insider
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2015: P-Q
Also known as: Subete ga F ni Naru
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Writer: Toshiya Ono
Original creator: Hiroshi Mori
Actor: Atsumi Tanezaki, Atsushi Imaruoka, Bin Sasaki, Go Shinomiya, Hiroshi Shimozaki, Houko Kuwashima, Ibuki Kido, Katsumi Chou, Kazuhiro Yamaji, Kentarou Itou, Masayuki Katou, Megumi Toda, Mie Sonozaki, Miyuki Satou, Ryuichi Kijima, Sayaka Kobayashi, Shinya Takahashi, Shunsuke Sakuya, Taishi Murata, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Tsutomu Isobe, Yasuyuki Kase, Yoko Hikasa, Yui Horie, Yuko Kaida
Keywords: anime, noitaminA
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 11 episodes
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 13 February 2017
subete ga f ni naru
It's a bit dull, but I respect its integrity. It's anime for adults and making absolutely no concessions to the moe-loving otaku audience.
Subete ga F ni Naru (literally "Everything Becomes F") is a 1996 murder mystery novel by Hiroshi Mori that's been adapted into a manga, an anime, a computer game and a live-action TV series. This is the anime, obviously.
The story involves an artificial intelligence researcher (Shiki Magata) who's been living in isolation for fifteen years. She killed her parents. She stabbed them to death when she was fourteen years old. Coming to visit her are Professor Souhei Saikawa (who thinks she's a genius) and one of his first-year students, Moe Nishinosono. All these people are superintelligent. Nishinosono's the least brilliant among them and even she's as smart as a whip and capable of calculating two to the power of sixteen in her head in less time than it takes you to ask the question. She's also the daughter of Saikawa's first professor, now deceased.
Nishinosono is in love with Saikawa and not subtle about it, but he's a dry, rather detached stick with little interest in the world. Nice guy, but she's having to be his mother half the time. He also smokes like a chimney, to a degree that if I were Nishinosono would be enough to put me off. Well, it takes all sorts.
Anyway, everyone goes to Magata's island. Then people start dying.
This show doesn't have the cliched anime elements. There are no schoolgirls. (Well, I suppose Magata technically counts in the flashback scenes from when she was fourteen, but there's a whole world of disturbing in there.) The cast isn't young and pretty. (On the contrary, the character designer's gone out of his way to make almost everyone ugly. Pretty much everyone's a geeky brainbox with a face to make you feel sorry for them.) The storyline is realistic. The cast are drab. The pacing is slow and deliberate, with the show's entire 11-episode run being devoted entirely to just a single mystery. (The 2014 live-action TV series did five mysteries in ten episodes.)
One pleasant surprise was that the show uses artificial intelligence and virtual reality, but then doesn't cyberpunk it up. The killer isn't disembodied or anything. Everything here could happen in the real world. Admittedly there's a rather stilted scene in Engrish in ep.7, but I can take it because they're meant to sound like that. They're Japanese characters speaking English, so the voice actors' delivery is realistic given the situation.
There's not that much to discuss here, really. It's good. It's just not actually that entertaining. They're sensible characters behaving sensibly. They have their share of psychological issues and (in the flashbacks) extreme behaviour, but no one's being wacky or eccentric. Everyone's a grown-up and the tone is sober. That said, though, it's intelligent, both in its plotting and in its dialogue. (Sometimes in fiction it's obvious that writers might be less clever than their characters, but that's not a problem here.) I can't see myself ever wanting to rewatch this show and I don't know if I'd recommend it, but I approve of the fact that it exists. It's anime for grown-ups. The industry can always use more of that.