I like to see this anime as a false golden idol, where upon seeing it you believe it is something you have been looking for a long time. But when you take a look at it, you notice a crack in the statue and with that crack you find that it isn’t really gold but a wooden idol painted in gold resin. If you have been reading my reviews you likely can see the point when I began to notice what Subete truly was. It began with huge promise of a murder mystery with heavy dialogue focus and out of the ordinary characters. However the mystery it had to show proved to be too little for an 11 episode series as the show plays it’s main cards at the beginning and spends the remaining episodes padding out the runtime till it comes to the point to reveal it’s hand. In that regard it’s impressive that it managed to fool me for so long but sadly a facade can only hold up so long before it breaks.
Our story involves a teacher and his student going to visit an enigmatic female doctor who was charged with murder and confined to a facility on an island for fourteen years. They in turn get involved in a locked room murder and now are determined to discover just how the murder was performed. While this does sound like an intriguing setup it plays out in a slow paced fashion and instead of focusing on developing the mystery, it instead spends the majority of it’s runtime on three main characters. In doing so it renders the rest of the cast too underdeveloped and the identity of the murderer completely obvious. Any attempts at speculation are undermined by a lack of crucial information such as facility layout and machines that reach a supernatural level in terms of function. The final result requires some hefty leaps in logic and motives which make no logical sense. By the shows end our characters are very much in the same positions as they were in the beginning, leaving the question of just what was the point of all this in the first place. The shows last attempts at philosophical enlightenment are juvenile and lacking any empathic connection to reality. Mainly the meaningless meanderings of those who attempt to simplify the multi faceted nature of existence.
The three main characters have different problems in regards to the plot. Moe is a decent character that has an infatuation with Souhei which is detrimental which reaches no real affirmation by series end. This in turn is used to pad out the plot as she steals screen time to deal with her emotional baggage, both with past and present matters. Which is rather odd when considering the dire matters of the situation at hand, which happens to to include a murderer running around unchecked. Souhei spends the majority of the time pondering and making philosophical musings which add nothing. And finally Miss Magata remains an enigmatic entity from beginning to end which makes her too alien to identify with. The show suffers from being visually drab as a majority of it’s story demands it focus on people talking in a room and not much else. At surreal points when it can express itself visually it still tends to present itself in a boring manner with little in the way of money shots. Music is equally lacking impact though it does feature a good opening theme. Ultimately it’s a show that promises much, wastes your time and then delivers an unsatisfactory conclusion.