In the past I used to be pretty strict on myself for reviewing anime in that I never wanted to review a series I had not seen the complete series of from start to finish. Now, this was fine when I was focusing my site to be geared more towards anime alone but since I am (1) posting far more content than I used to and (2) expanded my website to include not just anime, but television and movies as well, I have needed to amend or change certain rules to help me stay a bit more consistent. For example, I posted in a recent article that I am doing a more schedule-based website now where I post different types of content during the week on certain days and post nothing at all on weekends. This is version one only of this schedule and may be subject to change in the future should the need for it to do so arise. The schedule looks a bit like this: I will post Movie or anime Reviews, Tuesday a news article, Wednesday an anime or TV review, Thursday another news article and Friday a movie, anime or TV review. Granted, I struggled with this schedule simply because I think it adds a bit of rigidity to my postings– I can no longer just post when I feel like it… but it does add consistency for me as well as my views also.
Another change I have made, one that you may have noticed but that I have not addressed, is that I will no longer be reviewing anime only after seeing the entire series and or season. Instead my reviews will take on a more “first impressions”- approach with the option of adding a new post later should my opinion on a particular show change. For instance, my first impressions of Evangelion differ wildly now that I have seen both the ending of the show and two or three more films for the show. It was, in all honestly, silly of me to think that I could post a fair number of anime posts with the rules I had set up for myself previously. There are tons and tons of anime and manga out there and if I do not pick up the pace how will I ever review them all!?
Anyways, in the spirit of these new changes I have picked up a few new shows in this fall season and have seen the first couple of episodes. The first one I posted a couple of days ago and it was a spectacular little show that is taking the world by storm called One-Punch Man. The show I am going to be looking at today, however, is a show that seems to have a bit less fan fare surrounding it and I can understand why. It is a show called The Perfect Insider which is based on a novel (NOT LIGHT-NOVEL) published in 1996 that shares the same name. The description on Crunchyroll leaves a lot to be desired as do the first two episodes when it comes down to sheer lack of information given about the overarching plot of the story. But that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, part of what attracted me to this show was the lack of information given in the first place, I felt compelled to watch if for no other reason than to find out what it was about and I will, now, continue watching for that very same reason.
When Sohei Saikawa, a member of the Saikawa research club, and Moe Nishinosono, the daughter of Sohei’s mentor go on a club-trip/camp outing to the nearby island where a genius scientist is hiding out years after she had murdered her two parents (and was declared not guilty). Sohei, being a scientist, is somewhat obsessed with the would-be murderer as she was a child prodigy and held a PhD by the age of eleven. When they attempt to visit the woman, in a house surrounded by high-tech security and guards, they find out that there has been zero contact with her since earlier that day and that no one is allowed to open her room door without the permission of her uncle.
However, after a few minutes of arguing as to whether or not they should open the door to verify her safety (as her uncle had left the island to pick up her little sisters and is not in contact with them), the decision is made for them. Her doors swing open, the lights in the facility flicker ominously, and out rolls an evil-looking life-size doll rolling out on a robotic cart. However, Moe realizes at the last second that the doll is not really a doll, it was, in fact, the young genius-scientist.
Okay, before anyone yells at me, my synopsis is more of an update on what has happened in the show so far but if you read the actual description of the show on Wikipedia or Crunchyroll, you will find that Moe and Sohei actually discover a corpse, who I am assuming is the genius scientist-girl, and they set out to solve the mystery of what actually turns into a serial murder-case. But again, my synopsis is more of a brief layout of the story so far rather than a full plot-summary– so do not crucify me?
Thus far, the first two episodes have been a bit slow overall– but I get that it is all set up and I suspect that the show will really take full shape around episode three after finding the dead body. What you really get in the first couple of episodes is character development and introductions. You mean Sohei Saikawa, who seems to be portrayed as the smart scientist and analytical type that is sort of over all the monotony in the world, He will probably turn out to be the centerfold of the investigation squad, he will be the guy that is able to come up with the answers more or less. We also meet his sort of Kouhei in Moe Nishinosono who also proves to be very analytical despite being a super spoiled rich girl who wants Sohei all to herself… literally her expression the first two episodes of usually one of jealousy.
One thing of note, and it may be because this show was based on of a novel rather than a manga, but the whole show feels very ominous, intentional or not. You get the feeling like you need to pay attention to every detail like you might miss something important. You also feel a general air of tension that you don’t really get from most anime. And it feels like it is just beneath the surface. You feel like something is amiss or askew but you cannot quite place your finger on it. It’s sort of like reading a murder-mystery novel which is what the anime is based on so that makes sense…. I just hope that the feeling stays and it increases the shows watch-ability tenfold.
In terms of visuals, the animation is actually pretty stunning and might just be the highlight of the show. The animation is clean and colorful and will definitely catch your eye. With the notable and odd exceptions, however, of the eyes. This is possibly the animator’s own style coming through but everyone’s eyes seem dull– as if every character it bored with whatever talk they are doing. Honestly, it is a bit distracting at first but it has an interesting, intentional or not, payoff in that certain characters do not have the dull eyes and it tends to highlight those characters more (like Moe and the genius scientist-girl).
Overall, the first two episodes were slow but very interesting and it sort of draws you in. I really look forward to seeing more from this series and am excited/scared to see the where things go.