「紫苑色の真実」 (Shioniro no Shinjitsu)
Symbolism this week! Er, I think. Look, tropical resort vs interrogation room. That probably means something? Moe’s feeling insecure and has lots of questions, while Souhei’s relaxed and—why am I pretending you folks can’t works this stuff out yourselves? Since most of the episode was spent inside the holodeck coffins, everything is suitably abstract. Interpret as you will! Do you think that Magata Shiki just really wanted a jellyfish aquarium when she was a kid but didn’t get one so is now subconsciously lashing out? Sure, why not? No bad ideas here.
Literature majors going into apoplexy aside, this week’s episode was supposed to be the confession episode, in which the culprit spills the beans in front of the detective and we get an understanding of the former’s true depravity and/or desperation. The facts of the case we have here I found straightforward. The Miki = Shiki reveal was no great suprise once it was established that Shiki had a daughter. I was also already used to thinking in hexadecimals, because of RPGs with stat caps of 255. I was up to speed with the ‘how’ of the case, and didn’t need the recap like Moe. But, as I noted last week, I don’t consider the mechanics of the murder to be the main point of Subete ga F ni Naru, but rather the motives. That’s where I’m still a bit perplexed, because I haven’t really been able to process why Shiki killed her parents, killed her daughter, and then killed her lover. Or rather, some reasons are given, but I do not find them satisfactory. This is even before we note that most of the ‘reasoning’ is pure conjecture. As Hyouka taught us, making assumptions about the values of others and treating it as fact is hubris. Shiki’s daughter is no longer around to tell her side of the story. That’s one of the disadvantages to being dead.
Yes, I know Souhei keeps saying that Magata Shiki is a genius whose mind works in ways beyond mortal understanding blah. But is that really how she has been shown? I know that Moe is really good at maths because she does maths fast. Okay, easy, got it. But Shiki? She’s been shown to be a nihilistic psychopath; does that make her a ‘genius’? Perhaps it’s an issue with presentation. Take the Souhei/Moe dichotomy. They’re the Holmes/Watson analogue when it comes to the mystery, which is fine; the detective requires someone to explain his solutions to. What take issue with is their positions regarding Magata Shiki. Obviously, Souhei is pro-Shiki and Moe is anti-Shiki, if one can frame it so simply. But why is Souhei presented as the cool, logical one while Moe plays the heated, emotional one? It makes Moe look irrational, and does a disservice to her larger point—that Shiki has no point. Why does the daugher have to kill her parents? Why are the daughter’s choices only to kill or be killed? What about Shiki’s 15 years of child abuse?
I thought meeting Shiki would finally convince Souhei that he’s dealing with a psycho, but I’m afraid he’s been dragged under by the sociopathic charm as well. Unlimited virtual world is nice and all, but with Shiki? Maybe I’m just no ‘genius’, but that sounds distinctly… unpleasant. Well, we still have an episode left, so maybe there’s still time for a change of heart. Somehow, though, I doubt. Still, I’d like to see some loose ends wrapped up. I wonder if Shiki will manage to wriggle free of her karma again? And if she does, what point will that be making?