So it turns out the internet at this hotel is damn good and the co-workers and myself didn’t paint the town too dark a shade of red, so I thought I’d check in with a very brief (anything you get from me this week is likely to be brief) post on Subete ga F ni Naru. As you probably know I liked the premiere very much indeed. And as you may or may not know, the rampant anti-intellectualism that pervades anime fandom these days asserted itself almost immediately in the largely negative reaction to it.
I don’t need to rehash that here, nor do I have time to. I’ll just say I liked the second episode almost as much as the first, and I suspect the reaction to it may be slightly more positive due to the fact that the structure was somewhat more conventional. This is still a weird, esoteric show, but what we saw this week had something of the sense of a traditional narrative structure to it.
I liked a lot of this – Moe’s butler showing up in a separate car with the luggage, and then his conversation with Saikawa-sensei. The tech (quite realistic, in fact) at the Magata Lab. Magata-san’s comment that in the future, a face to face meeting will be considered a luxury (many scientists share that opinion). Saikawa-sensei’s theory that expressing a love of nature actually expresses an unclean lifestyle – which I loved all the more because I know how much it will piss off the pretentious NishiOisin fans who dismiss this series as juvenile navel-gazing. The deadpan assistant lab director Yamane-san (Suzuki Tatsuhisa – Haru and Asako reunited!).
I was also a fan of the scene at the end, with the opening of Dr. Magata’s door – really creepy and well-played. And best of all, maybe, the very Murakami-like flashback of “Uncle” driving the 13 year-old Shiki home after what was presumably a sexual liaison (and the irony of his saying she was too young to drink in those circumstances). This show really has something interesting going on, and it’s beautifully directed by Kanbe Mamoru. The cast is superb, too. It’s also interesting to see Oono Toshiya take on something so different from his earlier anime work – but in fact, much closer to his work in live television. Based on two episodes, I’m a fan – and while it’s a deadlock cinch this series won’t sell for beans, I really don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks about it.