RogerBW's Blog

Subete ga F ni Naru 21 August 2016

2015 mystery novel adaptation, 11 episodes: AniDB, vt "Everything Becomes F" or "The Perfect Insider". Shiki Magata killed her parents when she was fourteen, but her mind was clearly disturbed, and she's a brilliant programmer; for the fifteen years since then, she's been confined to a few rooms within a research lab, with extremely restricted communication with the outside world. And yet, someone has managed to murder her.

While this is in theory a story of amateur detection, it's one of those stories where detective and indeed criminal pause every so often for a long philosophical aside. It's pretty slow-moving at the best of times, and several of the "clues" are of the school where the data could easily mean any of dozens of things – and the Great Detective works out which one it is without showing his reasoning.

So as a mystery it's a bit of a washout, for me at least. There is one very fine gimmick that doesn't entirely convince me, but one has to admire its audacity; mostly the viewer will have to stand around theorising, since as soon as there are enough data to draw a conclusion, the characters draw it and talk about it.

There are three important characters through most of the episodes: Saikawa Sōhei, a professor of architecture and the principal detective; Nishinosono Moe, daughter of Sōhei's deceased mentor, and the Watson figure (though unlike many Western mystery stories this show isn't afraid to let the Watson be right sometimes); and Shiki Magata herself, whose history is teased out as the episodes progress. They're all both visually interesting and often well-written, though in the end they don't do a great deal. Everyone else is very much flatter.

It's all rather gimmicky and doesn't hold together in the face of a bit of thought (ubj pbhyq Fuvxv'f nhag pnfhnyyl npprcg gung ure avrpr unq n fvfgre fur'q arire urneq bs, jub whfg unccraf gb ghea hc ng gur evtug zbzrag?); I watched this because it was recommended by people who found Sakurako-san unconvincing, but in the end I'd have to regard that as the superior show. Still, this isn't without enjoyment, and it has some very fine character moments.

See also:
Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru

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