The Perfect Insider

The Perfect Insider

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Based on the award-winning novel Subete ga F ni Naru by Hiroshi Mori, this story revolves around Souhei Saikawa, a member of the Saikawa Research Lab. On a holiday held for the lab, he meets Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of his mentor, who joins the group on their vacation despite not being a part of the lab. After meeting each other, the two end up finding a corpse. They work together to solve the mysteries of what becomes a serial murder case.

We first see Souhei Saikawa at his desk, musing about life and a certain mysterious woman, lost in a reverie. He’s interrupted byMoe Nishinosono, a young student of his who has a rather big crush on her sensei, but would rather not admit it publicly.

The two of them have recently have the opportunity to meet the reclusive and deadly Dr.Shiki Magata. Being on of the few people on earth that Saikawa believes to be a genius, he is a big admirer of her level of intellect, having known her when they were children. However, Dr. Magata has been voluntarily incarcerated for the last 15 years after being accused and murdering her parents. Since childhood, Magata displayed a piercing intelligence and an ability to think about big ideas that most people can’t be bothered to consider. If being able to think is the ultimate freedom then Magata might embody the biggest representation of escapism.

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The Perfect Insider took a couple of episodes to truly define itself. Instead of initially setting the scene, it jumps in the deep end with all of its heavy thematic ideas. It’s quite a heady anime and there’s an awful lot to take in right off the bat. The first episode is almost just a giant information dump. This is one to really concentrate on else you might get left behind.

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There is a deep connection between the three main players in this anime: Saikawa-sensei, Nishinosono-san, and Dr. Magata. Their personalities seem to represent different types of intellect. Nishinosono keeps her feet firmly in reality and never forgets the everyday concerns of life – she is motivated largely by her own feelings and a little dismissive of some of her teacher’s abstract thought processes. Saikawa aspires to genius and considers himself more intelligent than most; the mundane bores him and he secludes himself away to be alone with his own thoughts. And then there is the enigma of Dr. Magata – the mythical genius of id, ego and super-ego theory that most of us could never hope to understand. Since the revelations of the second episode, we wonder what her true role in this anime is.

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There is also the repeated motif of three questions that appear in different forms during the first few episodes – Who am I?, Where did I come from? and Where am I going? Questions that are both simple in how they’re asked, but incredibly complex and individualised depending on who is being questioned.

This isn’t the most colourful series visual-wise, opting for a more constrained type of animation, which works very well and helps to build up the setting and atmosphere. Everything starts off in Saikawa-sensei’s office dark and dusty with a haze of cigarette smoke – monochrome shades. Then, in Magata’s secure prison, we have those stark, sharp whites as contrast.

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The opening animation is drawn sketch-like and somewhat reminds me of an interpretive dance – outlines of people flickering across graph paper that almost tells its own story.

The first couple of episodes are scene-setters, but things rapidly pick up at the end of the second episode. It seizes your imagination and then runs with it, adding in a dash of humour, mystery and something vaguely Agatha Christie-ish. It’s set some interesting foundations, so I hope this one continues to deliver the depth and intrigue that it has created at this early stage. With so much more episodes to go, I can’t begin to predict where this one will end up.