I’m noticing a trend with Subete ga F ni Naru, one that’s recurrent enough to suggest that it goes beyond coincidence. The second half of almost every recent episode has been considerably more compelling than the first, and this week was no exception. That’s how you’d prefer it to be be if you had to pick one half or the other to stand out of course, and the common thread in recent eps is that Shiki-sensei’s past has taken center stage in the B-Part – and it’s been a strange and dark ride.
If I had to pick a term to describe the A-Part this week, it’d probably be “whimsical”. If that sounds like a strange tone for a series to take given what’s happened and is about to happen, it is – but Perfect Insider seems to have more or less mastered strangeness for its own sake. It was fairly amusing watching Shimada and Moe go head-to-head, and I found the exchange where she complimented Saikawa-sensei’s fingers especially hilarious – “No one’s ever complimented them. Or criticized them, really,”
As socially awkward as Souhei is, I think at least some of that is put on. He understands more than he wants people to think he does, and he seems to be well aware of the enormous and multifacted impact he has on Moe. The path he’s agreed to does indeed make both of them criminals, and I was glad to see him acknowledge that as a practical reality. It’s one thing for him to accept that condition, but quite another for Moe – who under Japanese law is still a minor – to do it. Her apology over what happened on the night her parents died is a reflection of just how deep-seated the connection between them is, even if they seem to view it in very different terms.
Saikawa’s suggestion that there may in fact be two killers at work here is a seductive one, but it smacks of misdirection. It would explain a lot, especially if one sees the murder of Shindou as an opportunistic one executed (perhaps by his wife) spontaneously to take advantage of the opportunity the first murder provided. It would be convenient, but perhaps too much so. The body of evidence is growing to suggest that Shiki-sensei herself is the killer, possibly having switchs places with Miki-san – but that’s taking on such an air of inevitability that I’m starting to believe there’s a very significant twist attached to it, at the very least.
What – and who – Moe saw while inside that VR tank is certainly critical. So too may be the idea that what took down Red Magic was a trojan, and the fact that Shiki was wearing gloves when Moe saw her. Souhei certainly in inching closer to the truth, and the scene that takes place before, during and just after the power outage during the system restart is fantastically done – from the pure visual flair of Souhei’s cigarette dancing in the dark to the strange visions he saw when the lights were out (assuming that’s what they were).
As to just what those visions say about the overall picture, well – this is still a mystery series, after all. A pregnant woman, those gloved hands, the numbers seven and fifteen – and strangest of all, ostriches. Ostriches? I confess I didn’t see that coming, and I’m at a bit of a loss to guess what their presence says about the mystery here. If they have any symbolic significance in Japanese culture (they’re certainly not native) I’m quite unaware of it. Being stumped is kind of fun, though, and it’ll be interesting to see viewers try and figure that one out over the next week…