21 December 2016



This is an eleven-episode anime television series that originally aired on Japanese TV between October and December 2015. It's enjoying a new lease of life at the moment thanks to the good people at ANIMATSU, who have released it in a spiffing DVD/Blu-Ray combo just in time for Christmas.

Just because it's animated, though, doesn't mean that it's one for the kids, necessarily. This series is more for the older teenagers or for the adults who enjoy anime, on account of all the rather sophisticated philosophical musings and suchlike contained therein. I didn't entirely understand all of it myself and, on a scale of five to nineteen, I'm generally considered pretty smrt. I mean smart, of course...!

Based on the book by Hiroshi Mori, THE PERFECT INSIDER has actually been a manga or graphic novel, a game and a television drama as well as an anime television series, so it's obvious that the Japanese have a real liking for it.

In Japanese with English subtitles, superb animation and an excellent opening and closing graphics-and-music combo, it's really a murder mystery with a bit of romance thrown in. Intrigued much? Then read on, dear readers and anime-lovers everywhere, read on...

There are three main characters in the series. Sohei Saikawa is the leading male. He's a handsome young professor of architecture. He's much given to moping about thinking deep thoughts (should've been a philosophy major, maybe?) and flicking his floppy black hair out of the way of his specs while drinking copious amounts of coffee and smoking enough cigarettes to give lung cancer to a family of five passive smokers and their dog.

The constant lighting-up does make him look super-cool but I'm pretty sure that that's not a good enough reason for blackening the f*** out of his one and only set of lungs. You're only issued one pair, people! It's up to you to keep 'em in working order. Capiche?

I can imagine female anime viewers falling hopelessly in love with Saikawa and his hard-to-get, cerebrally superior posturing and hair-flicking and his professed lack of interest in committing himself to any female, however beautiful they may be. I suppose you've noticed that guys like these are always fatally attractive to women, which I'm guessing is exactly what they wanted all along? Those big jerks...

Anyway, Saikawa has more than his share of female admirers. Head of the queue is the dinky little Moe Nishinosono, whom for the purposes of this review we'll just call Moe, haha. She's one of Saikawa's architecture students, which means of course that she dotes on him, hangs on his every word and thinks the sun shines out of his no doubt tightly-clenched backside.

She was bound to fall in love with her professor. What do you think the song 'DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME' by Sting and The Police was all about? It's an occupational hazard when you're the male teacher of young women, or vice versa. I myself fell in love with all my male teachers at school.

I even joined the cross-country club just to huff and puff for miles around the school grounds behind the P.E. teacher with the cute butt, and I never run. In fact, to quote that funny Facebook post, if you ever see me running then you better run too, 'cause it means that something pretty f***ing big is coming after me, haha. You'd better believe it. Momma don't run.

Anyway, Moe, the clever, well-off daughter of Saikawa's mentor, is head-over-heels in love with Professor Jerk. She's orphaned now, by the way, and looked after by a devoted butler, which might
put you off her a bit. Pretty Little Rich Girl, with her cute short hair and quirky little outfits. Huh! Thinks she's so f***ing great just because she has a butler. Well, I suppose that is actually pretty great. Wish I had a butler. I might actually get some writing done if I didn't have to run round like a blue-arsed fly paying bills, waiting in for the plumber and taking out the rubbish...!

Saikawa is playing hard-to-get, anyway, which maybe he should be as he's Moe's teacher, but after all she's nearly twenty and I think they have a slightly different view of these things in Japan. The pair have the opportunity to spend lots of time together when Saikawa takes a group of students on a camping trip to the remote island of Himakajima.

He didn't make the choice of venue randomly, but instead was carefully guided by Moe. The island is home to the Magata Research Institute, and at the heart of the Institute is the woman whom Saikawa would give his eye teeth (does anyone even know what those are...?) to meet and talk to, the woman with whom Moe handily enough has an 'in.'

Shiki Magata is a beautiful young genius of a computer programmer with a murky past. She's been incarcerated on the island since being accused of an horrific crime when she was just fourteen years old. Cleared of the crime on account of her psychological condition, she's been on the island ever since.

The island is owned by her uncle Seiji Shindo, and here she lives out her solitary existence behind locked doors and surrounded by computers. Shunning human contact (or being denied it), she lives a sterile, isolated and unhealthy life that surely no young woman should be forced to live, however reclusively-inclined she might be. Even if she volunteered for the seclusion in the first place!

Things all change, however, when Saikawa, Moe and the other students arrive. Something happens in the research lab that is so gruesome and shocking that our two leads, Professor Jerk and his infatuated student, are shaken to the core of their beings. When they pick themselves up and dust themselves down, they find themselves faced with a mystery that will take some solving. Are they up to the task?

Magata's is a story of murder, possible paedophilia, dolls, multiple personalities and unplanned pregnancy and the unfolding of it through flashbacks and snappy dialogue will keep you enthralled for all eleven episodes.

The series itself, out now as I said on DVD and Blu-Ray from ANIMATSU, would be the perfect Christmas present for the anime-lover in your life. It won't break the bank and, if you're both adults(!), you may get some thank-you sex as a reward. Yeah, you're welcome...!


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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