「蒼色の邂逅」 (Ao Shoku no Kaikō)
That… got weird fast.
Compared to the pilot, this second episode has much more exposition, but it’s still well camouflaged enough that most of the episode does not really feel much of different in tone. That is, it’s still very heavy in dialogue, but it’s a very naturalistic sort of dialogue that not only brews a rich stew of information for contemplation, but also gives insight into the personalities and relationships of the characters. The latter is just as important as the former, because it seems that Subete ga F ni Naru is not simply a mystery, but also human drama. In particular, there’s the juxtaposition between Moe seeking Sohei’s attention, perhaps in vain, and a young Dr Magata (is that her?) seeking her uncle’s, perhaps all too successfully. At least I think that’s what those sudden cuts to the flashbacks were trying to do. Maybe all they wanted to do was establish that Magata Shiki was creepy even as a kid, in which case, mission accomplished.
I wonder if I would have approached Subete ga F ni Naru if it wasn’t a mystery. I think I pay more attention to the details because of it; knowing that it’s a mystery makes my brain paranoid that every little thing is a clue. And, so far, Subete ga F ni Naru has been nothing but meticulous in laying out those potential clues. Everything from access (both physical and digital) to the island, to the security system of the facility, to the notable departure of the director, to AI-controlled robots have all been established in advance. Essentially, Subete ga F ni Naru is laying out all the rules of the game first, so that none can accuse it of cheating somewhere down the line.
So, armed with all this information and the false that Subete ga F ni Naru was, some eccentric personalities aside, a down to earth show, I thought myself prepared for whatever gruesome murder or standard mystery twist that it would throw at me. Nope, I wasn’t. Don’t think a thirteen-year-old girl making moves on her married uncle was enough squick? Fear not, there’s more. It goes to show how horror and mystery play well together; the disorientation of flashing lights and grotesque phenomena serve both genres well. Now we need to wait and see whether the entire cast start dying off one by one starting from next episode.
Looking ahead – I still have no idea
I’m calling it now: Subete ga F ni Naru is a morality, warning that no matter how advanced your electronics system, you want a large and obvious off-switch. You never want to be reduced to shouting at your computer—it’s why I’ll never buy the Xbox Kinect.
Alternatively: evil twin sister. Her sister is a twin and one of them is evil. Just because.
The astute among you will hav figured out that I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about. Yeah, you got me. It’s the same deal as last week, and arguably it’s even worse; the actual ‘mystery’ of Subete ga F ni Naru has just been unveiled and the proper reaction is ‘wah’. This is truly where the story begins. In fact, I think that the first and second episodes could have been combined into a single, double-length pilot and that would have made for a more complete experience. Indeed, this second episode is but an extension of the first; they would piece together end to end quite seemlessly.
Well, last week left me curious, but this week has me completely hooked, if only because my mind demands explanations. A good mystery will be able to feed this feeling for the entirety of the story. I’m looking forward to see if they manage to do so next week.