「赤い魔法」 (Akai Mahō)
Souhei doesn’t like expository dialogue. Leave the fourth wall alone, mate.
Subete ga F ni Naru cleaves closer to form this week, as what we have is a good ol’ locked-room murder, the perennial favourite of the mystery genre. There is only one entrance to and from Dr Magata’s room, it and the elevator to the level are constantly monitored, and the goods hatch is too small to fit a human, and also seems to be locked. A murder seems impossible, a suicide just as much. The extra twist, and what updates Subete ga F ni Naru for the modern age, is the possibility of electronic assess, especially since the body of Magata Shiki (is it?) rode out on a robot. But the titular Red Magic OS is, we have been told, completely isolated from the outside and unlikely to have an error. I’m expecting foul play from it all the same; I mean, this is your logo for Red Magic? I’m expecting Deborah to sing Daisy Bell before the season is over.
In that vein, the clues continue to pile up, though at this point in the tale we’re probably not supposed to really know what they mean yet (suddenly, a marimba? That has got to be for something). In fact, it’s fairly expected that the answers will mostly be obfuscated. Our ad hoc detective Souhei went into Deep Blue mode and seems to have figured something out (don’t ask me what the, er, dawn of man has to do with it though) but he’s cut off before we can hear most of his conclusions. I suppose we won’t have much of a mystery unless we’re all… mysterious about it. Thankfully, the facts of the case are still relatively easy to follow—again, locked-room murders should bear a certain degree of familiarity. I’m worried that the other, seemingly-unrelated-for-now details will slip through the mental cracks, though. The philosophising, and quibbles about vocabulary, the snippets of code are without the context for now, which just prompts my brain to forget about them. In particular, snippets of Moe’s past conversation with Dr Magata (I suspect they both have photographic memories, by the way) are always cryptic, in that they sound important but I can’t figure out how yet, so I just mentally pass over them. It’s probably easier in the novel, which one can marathon, but keeping track of everything on a weekly-anime basis is too difficult for me. Good thing I’m taking notes, for this blog’s sake. I suspect Subete ga F ni Naru is one of those shows that require a second watching, just to pick up on all the themes and hints that one will miss.
So, it’s not fully clear where this mystery is going (which is a good thing, I guess?), but at least it seems to be a steady ship. The other Magata sister has shown up earlier than I expected, and although she’s, disappointingly, not exactly a twin (compare), I’m still not ruling out the possibility of evil. Of course, the bigger news is that now the director is dead, without even a single line of dialogue (all he managed was to show he had a thumb). A good twist, but not necessarily a surprising kind; one death in a murder mystery would be awfully tame. Nothing spices things up like a bodycount. And it certainly won’t do for our characters to start feeling safe. We thought the killer was locked away! But someone outside is dead! How scary.
Scarier for me, though, or at least creepier, is still the continuing saga of young Magata Shiki‘s seduction of her uncle. She does get creepier by the episode, and it could just be my ingrained societal sensibilities making me queezy, but I’ll give more credit to the wailing strings in the music; beautiful, but unnerving. There is a certain relationship between horror and eroticism that has been played with since fiction was young—consider the entire mythology of vampires, probably even before Stoker immortalised the ladykilling Dracula. Terror with a hint of titillation, and vice versa. It’ll explain a lot of weird autoerotic accidents in police reports.
So it is with Subete ga F ni Naru, having the power to both repulse and intrigue. Am I looking forward to seeing what it does next week? Definitely yes, but also on some small level, no.