Subete ga F ni Naru – 10

I don’t suppose this is the sort of story where you get an “And they lived happily ever after”…

Author’s Note: Images coming tomorrow, hopefully.  Blogger seems to have disabled Windows Live Writer Again…

There are certain rules of mysteries, with varying degrees of “officialness”,  And I think, ultimately, Subete ga F ni Naru obeyed the ones that really matter.  Nowhere, for example, is it required that a mystery be believable per se – not, that is, as long as it’s honest with the audience.  If the puzzle and solution is entertaining and all the pieces are there for the audience to put it together if they’re exceptionally smart, I think far-fetched is forgivable.  And that’s about where I place Subete ga F ni Naru (with one episode to go, anyways).

In addition to that, Subete was always more about the players than it was about the play, as many good mysteries are.  Rather than the characters shed light on the mystery, it’s the mystery that sheds light on the characters – the strange and terrible events at Magata Labs are the crucible by which the major cast’s true natures are exposed.  It’s not always a pretty thing to see, but it was pretty much always an interesting thing to see.

If you’re into math, the whole business with the hexadecimals was probably more interesting to you than it was to me (the programming stuff from last week was more in my comfort zone).  It gets the point across anyway, and the gist of it is that everything does indeed become F, and F is indeed fifteen – although, it seems, Magata Shiki was taking that a bit more literally than one might have imagined.  Of course the fifteenth year is indeed when a girl kills her parents – who wouldn’t think that way?

As I surmised last week there was indeed a switcheroo at some point, and the Shiki daughter (Michiru, perhaps?) did indeed step in for her mother on camera.  Spare a thought for this poor girl, who must have had a short life harrowing beyond imagination.  Kept a secret, raised in a locked room by a psychopath, trained to kill her parents as if it were the most natural thing in the world.  But of course it’s not, no matter what Dr. Crazy says. and since it seems the daughter wasn’t insane, and rebelled at the notion of killing her mother.  And thus the best-laid plans of a madwoman gang aft agley, and Shiki’s improvized plan is to kill her daughter and uncle instead of being killed by her.

It’s rather elegant in its grisly way, if indeed not all that believable, and as far as I can tell there are no major cheats by Mori Hiroshi or Kanbe-sensei here – it could indeed have been deduced (at least in theory) based on what we were told.  Miki never having existed certainly explains a lot – and her escape from the island is quite plausible under the circumstances.

The real highlight of the episode is Souhei and Moe’s trip inside the VR tanks to meet Shiki once more.  Moe is angry and defensive, and to her this is an interrogation room.  To Souhei it’s freedom – a beautiful expanse of tropical ocean on which he and Shiki float.  It’s beautifully staged – the ever-changing drink color is especially mesmerizing and beautiful – and symbolically rather powerful.  And Shiki?  Inside this world everything does indeed become F – she’s not the doll that is her 29 year-old body, but still the 14 year-old girl one suspects she remains in her mind.  By killing her daughter Shiki becomes her, steals her identity – which is quite the opposite of the “natural” cycle of patricide she so casually describes to Moe.  It’s a dark and disturbing vision of reality, virtual or not.

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6 comments

  1. m

    I think the implication is the daughter committed suicide. Especially after Moe asked her the triggering question, "Who are you?" In order to be "free," instead of killing her parents, she chose to kill herself.

    I honestly feel terrible for her. Saikawa-sensei implied she was a "normal girl" and there are creepy hints that she used to try to lock her mother out (but her mother promptly invented a robot to unlock doors). Harrowing life, indeed.

  2. K

    Yes, it's heavily implied that Shiki's daughter choose "freedom" over killing her mother. Freedom here being a thinly veiled stand in for "suicide."

    Man, I love how twisted Shiki's mind is. She's bye far my favorite characters this year.

  3. G

    She is so diabolical and scary. Now the question will be can our heroes catch her and do they want to?

  4. g

    There are two things don't click for me, there are rather small things… but still. There was for sure a scene (I don't remember, which episode), where so called sister (and we know it was Magata Shiki) grabbed a bag and got off from helicopter, I'm sure of it. Does it mean she has been there twice or what? And why did she kill the uncle near helicopter and drag his body inside of it?

    The second thing is nobody has known there was some sister. It was a very famous case at the time, yet nobody was suspicious about the sister. It's ok about the uncle, he could be on the whole thing from the start or he quickly put two and two together and started to cover her immediately. I can even believe the people from the lab (I think the afro guy said it wasn't much time ago, when they had learnt about the sister and they had been shocked too) or from outside could buy it BUT what about the fucking auntie?! How didn't she know? Or if she knew why didn't she tell anything? I mean where is she now anyway?! Huh?!

  5. w

    The auntie was probably fooled into thinking Shiki has a sister from the start, and with the uncle and Shiki the only ones to say for certain, she has not much to go on to. Unless she's an investigative person, she would be able to know from the family registry records that Shiki is the only child or the only living one. It's either she doesn't know or she does know but is pretending to not know (and even helping Shiki involuntarily in her plan) because she's scared or doesn't care much for Dr. Shindo anyway (after all, why don't they seem to have any children?? Is she barren? Or another reason). Anyway, she didn't look so aggrieved last time she was interviewed about "Shiki" or Dr. Shindo's(?) death.

    As to being a famous case…Is it really? Or could it be just among the scientific field? I can't remember much. It's a stretch, but if Shiki could assume different identities, she could be her own twin sister if she wanted from the start. Besides that, she could have really had a sister who died at birth or something, but that wasn't known because Shiki might have been impersonating her too and many were convinced.

    Besides that, one can argue that the image sequence of "Miki" killing Dr. Shindo outside the helicopter is just how Saikawa-sensei sees it. It's not a perfect image, because as Shiki had said, he was sentimental. I don't remember there being blood on the floor though before the helicopter, so we shall see the explanation next week.

  6. m

    I would argue that it is a bit absurd to categorize this show as a "fair play mystery" or even as solvable. That being said, I wholeheartedly agree that that fact mean nothing when judging how good a mystery is. I enjoyed Subete for the most part, and learning about the characters as the mystery unfolded was very entertaining. My gripes would be the fact that no one knew she didn't have a sister, the overall absurdity that is a Uncle/13 year old niece w/multiple personalities having a relationship (that ends for 15 years and he magically knows she is there to kill him?), and the lack of logic in "you kill ur parents at 14" from a character who is supposed to nothing but logical.
    Still I've been entertained up to this point, and I'm sure the final ep will fit in with the rest of the show perfectly.

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