I don’t know what it is about murder-mysteries that keep me so riveted; it might be the mental stimulation, or maybe it’s just that they agitate the near cringe worthy sense of justice that growing up with too much anime has imbued in me. Regardless; The Perfect Insider can be a pretty enthralling watch if you’re in the right mindset, so let’s take a look and see what makes this anime tick. If you’re anything like me, you’re in for a wild ride.
The Story At Hand
University professor Souhei Saikawa goes on a camping trip to a desolate island with his Protégé Moe Nishinosono with the intent of getting an audience with the hermitic Doctor Shiki Magata, genius programmer and personal idol to Souhei. However, when Moe and Souhei sneak their way into the facility in which Doctor Magata works, they find themselves ensnared in a deadly game after two murders occur on the premises of the laboratory and it’s up to our heroes to crack the case.
The road will not be easy, as the murderer had to have been able to infiltrate a perfectly secure facility and escape completely. Whoever could have done this must have truly been the perfect insider.
Souhei Saikawa is a university professor and mentor to Moe Nishinosono, having been her close friend for many years. Although young, he has earned many accolades and is hailed as the future of teaching. He is a somewhat emotional man and quite stoic, rarely showing how he truly feels on the outside. He is enthralled by Doctor Magata and absolutely everything there is to do with her, as her mind is one of the few that can outpace his own.
Moe is an emotional and energetic young woman who has taken a liking to Professor Saikawa, hanging around him whenever she gets the chance. A genius in her own right, she does whatever she can to get the attention of her mentor, though she can never find the nerve to admit her romantic feelings towards him. It is Moe who proposed they go to see Doctor Magata at her facility in a bid to gain favor with Souhei.
Doctor Shiki Magata is a genius of terrifying proportions. Only 29 years old, Doctor Magata has been happily secluded in her research facility for 15 years, ever since she was acquitted of her parent’s murder. Her personality is frighteningly direct and existential, almost to the point of being a sociopath. Doctor Magata has little to no contact with other people, save for some media outlets at times and occasionally the staff members of her lab. It’s as they say: the most gifted individuals are often the most eccentric.
Simply put, The Perfect Insider’s style is excellent. The art is fitting to the tone of the anime, and the sound is strong on all fronts. If I had any qualms with the choices made in this department, is that both the OP “Talking” and ED “Nana Hitsuji” along with their accompanying sequences are really upbeat and high energy for how dark the plot is. In all, A-1 Pictures did a good job on this one.
Thoughts And A Word Of Advice
Originally, The Perfect Insider was a novel by the same name and it’s important to remember that when looking at the series. The anime is full of intrigue and mystery, but all of it is delivered at the pace of a well-written mystery novel. This means that The Perfect Insider progresses at a slow, calculated rate which can make the series feel a bit sluggish at times, making each installment feel like less of an “episode” and more like a bite-sized chunk of a five-hour film (which is fair enough, because some aspects of the case at hand take mind-aching amounts of thought to straighten out).
With that said, at risk of spoiling the ending in some regard, the series does not come to a satisfying conclusion by anime standards. However, given the context that this was based off of a psychological murder mystery novel, it handles itself quite well; even if it falls prey to a number of cliches of the genre.
In all, if you approach the anime with a more cinematic sensibility, you will get more out of it.
Everything becomes F
Though The Perfect Insider can be a bit heavyhanded and slow, it offers an intruiging and genuinely puzzling and shocking mystery that manages to throw the audience enough of a bone that they can catch on, but are still in need of the genius protagonists to fill in the blanks.
If you enjoy a slower-paced mystery with a focus on characters and their relationships; and especially if you enjoy mysteries in the vein as And Then There Were None or Shutter Island, The Perfect Insider is a solid pick.
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