Subete ga F n Naru – 09

Subete ga F - 09 -7 Subete ga F - 09 -19 Subete ga F - 09 -21

I never thought I’d see No.6 and Fractale back on NoitaminA…

Ultimately, I suppose, any mystery series is going to come down to the mystery for better or for worse – and this episode was definitely all about the mystery.  Fortunately this…  Well – what was it?  Not a denouement, certainly, with two episodes to go…  A pre-denouement?  Whatever it was, it was very well done, and – refreshingly, as anime goes – it seems headed towards a resolution that kind of makes sense and doesn’t insult the intelligence of the audience.

I think the elements that make Subete ga F ni Naru a successful undertaking have been very consistently on display through the life of the series.  The very clever direction, the fascinating interplay between the characters, and a genuinely interesting mystery – they’ve been there pretty much all along, and they certainly were this week.  At the heart of the character interplay, of course, is Moe and Saikawa-sensei’s relationship – one which alternates between funny and quite sad.

More than ever before, it struck me this week how parental Souhei’s treatment of Moe is, and how her behavior really boils down to a little girl with a crush on the teacher (or an uncle, which has interesting connotations within this story).  Even the way Souhei refuses to tell Moe what he knows, but rather pushes her to figure out the mystery herself is very much reminiscent of a father egging on their child.  And in fact, there is something of a father-daughter relationship here given how Souhei clearly stepped in to help fill the void in Moe’s life after her parents’ death.

Moe’s childishness was always been there, but it was brought into focus with the arrival of Setsuko on the island (which also allows some rather blatant advertising for NoitaminA, since Setsuko pals up with Shimada-san who reveals herself to be an otaku).  Just what happens on those nights when Saikawa-sensei “treats her apartment like a hotel?”  I’m not certain but I don’t think it even really matters – it’s simply the fact that Saikawa has his own life that doesn’t involve her that most enrages Moe.  Ironically she’d probably have had a better chance at the kind of relationship she wants with Saikawa if they’d never met before she became his student – he’s too close to Moe now to ever see her the way she wants him to (since he’s clearly not the deviant that Shiki’s uncle was).

Ah yes, Shiki.  We seem to have a good deal of the mystery revealed unless Souhei is completely off-base – and I don’t think he is.  Why were there two people in that room?  Because Shiki was pregnant when she walked into it fifteen years earlier.  And how did the killer manage to slip out without being seen?  Because they set the clocks back one minute, causing one minute of surveillance footage to be overwritten.  I don’t know how feasible this trick is (wouldn’t Red Magic name the new file “12:00 (copy)” or something?) but it’s a quite elegant and rather fun gambit.

As to the other half of that reveal, I still have some questions.  It seems as if the implication is that Shiki Magata killed her daughter – which would certainly explain why she seemed to have aged so little.  But even assuming she was able to safely give birth on her own 15 years earlier, how did she keep the presence of that child hidden for 15 years?  At some point was there a “switch” where the daughter began to stand in for the mother in front of the cameras?  I still need some convincing that all this holds water, but the notion of a pregnancy being the solution to a locked-room mystery is pretty damn clever even if I say no myself – and it has me mighty curious to see what final surprises Subete ga F ni Naru – and Shiki Magata – have up their sleeves.

Subete ga F - 09 -8 Subete ga F - 09 -9 Subete ga F - 09 -10
Subete ga F - 09 -11 Subete ga F - 09 -12 Subete ga F - 09 -13
Subete ga F - 09 -14 Subete ga F - 09 -15 Subete ga F - 09 -16
Subete ga F - 09 -17 Subete ga F - 09 -18 Subete ga F - 09 -20
Subete ga F - 09 -22 Subete ga F - 09 -23 Subete ga F - 09 -24
Subete ga F - 09 -25 Subete ga F - 09 -26 Subete ga F - 09 -27
Subete ga F - 09 -28 Subete ga F - 09 -29 Subete ga F - 09 -30
Subete ga F - 09 -31 Subete ga F - 09 -32 Subete ga F - 09 -33
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7 comments

  1. s

    i've not been following this as it seems i have to be in the mood for a serious anime should i be watching this? or cna i wait until i have a spare lazy sunday

  2. G

    There's no cameras in Magata Shiki's quarters. It seems to me like the "switch" happened when Magata Shiki started accepting video interviews like the one with Moe, which only happened over the past three years.

  3. S

    "Because they set the clocks back one minute, causing one minute of surveillance footage to be overwritten. I don't know how feasible this trick is (wouldn't Red Magic name the new file "12:00 (copy)" or something?) but it's a quite elegant and rather fun gambit"

    It's a very feasible explanation. The software I use at work which is a real time acquisition software behaves exactly like this. This file system behavior is set by the application.

    Now the interesting thing is that even though the file has been "overwritten", If you have a computer forensic scientist around then they should be able to recover most of the overwritten file as generally what gets overwritten is only the pointer to the file. The data should actually still be there.

  4. G

    I said right from the get go that I thought Shiki was still alive. She is too delicious a character to die right in the 1st episode. I'm reminded of Silence of the Lambs where the villian (Lecter) wears another mans skin mask and pretends to be him to escape.

  5. m

    The pregnancy has been my working theory since around ep. 4 or 5. There were enough hints to make it fairly obvious. However, I have a difficult time believing that Shiki murdered her own daughter. Based on the flashback scene when she killed her parents, her father's last words were, "I won't let you do this!" I assume that meant go through with the pregnancy. So it seems that part of her motive for killing her parents was to protect her child at that point.

    I think there is a still a major twist coming. Some possible clues:

    The Director [narrating]: "It could be that creating your descendants is akin to imagining your own death. That's what she thought. What she needed now was to lose something she owned."

    Shiki [to her sister]: "The human body is nothing but a simple container."

    Saikawa: "I've figured out a little bit of the truth….It wasn't Dr. Magata that you saw." [referring to her meeting Michiru in the isolation tank, and possibly both meetings].

    Shiki: "It's OK, Uncle. I'm sure we'll be killed someday. Until that happens, let us live righteously, believing in human pride." [After Shiki kills her parents and he asks her to kill him.]

  6. w

    I agree there's obviously a twist. I'm liking how it's all developing right now. I wonder though…wasn't Miki-san reading Director Shindo's diary? Where he wrote his thoughts about Shiki?? I just think that from the start, DIrector Shindo was writing and confessing things on his diary or something, and I think that fact is actually important to the case. If not, why would they show it? Why would they keep him narrating what he wrote?? Because his thoughts are definitely important to unlock something about Shiki's mind too…and possibly her daughter as well.

  7. m

    I don't remember Miki reading the diary. She was reminiscing during her conversation with Saikawa. But I do think the diary is important and definitely foreshadowing of Shiki's motive. It reads like a confession.

    It begins: "Summer, 2015. I offer this diary to you. To tell you what she was thinking, and what her fate was. She was always thinking…about who she was, where she'd come from, and where she was going. Everyone convinces themselves that life is an enjoyable thing. She, however, was always thinking about how much of a burden it was. And about how much of our freedom was lost to the conviction that we had to stay alive."

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