In The Perfect Insider a programming genius is murdered in a locked room in her research base. Visiting architecture professor, Souhei Saikawa takes it upon himself to solve the case, and learn what it has to do with the death of the victim's own parents, which occurred fifteen years prior.
The Perfect Insider is a rather sombre affair. It is a detective story, and much like a detective it handles its subject in a slow, and methodical manner. There is some humour but the focus is mostly on reflection, and a tense atmosphere that highlights the danger that the main characters are in. Unlike many mystery shows there is only one mystery across the eleven episodes. This gives the characters space to breathe and allows for more contemplative moments that might not have happened had the show been in a rush to wrap up the mystery. Professor Saikawa's assistant, Moe Nishinosono is an example of this.
In murder mysteries in which the crime is solved by a duo, the junior partner has often by made to appear dim, or ineffectual to make the genius of the main hero all the more apparent. This was a fate that briefly befell Sherlock Holmes character John Watson before it was reversed by more recent adaptations. Luckily for Nishinosono this is a fate that she avoids. The character is clearly junior to the professor but she is a maths genius and has her own skills. The fact that the murder is solved by her professor is shown as being down to his advantages in experience rather than any ineptitude on her part.
The character of Shiki Magata is already dead for most of the show, so most of what the audience learns about her is relayed through flashbacks. This includes the death of her own parents. Shiki Magata was suspected of killing them and it is through these flashbacks we see if that was true, and why they died. These flashbacks are integrated well with the main plot and give the viewers an understanding they wouldn't have had without them.
The Perfect Insider is a tense murder mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the intrigue going over the eleven episodes. The motivations of the killer and their victim could have been dwelled on a bit more for some extra clarity but this feels like an anime that wants to contemplate the actions of the characters rather than merely explain them to you. For the most part the show uses its time well. This is an anime for someone looking for a slow, reflective show that takes its time in explaining its message.
Special Features: Clean opening and closing animations
THE PERFECT INSIDER - COMPLETE SEASON COLLECTION / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MAMORU KANBE / SCREENPLAY: OONO TOSHIYA / STARRING: ATSUMI TANEZAK, IBUKI KIDO, YASUYUKI KASE/ RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW