What’s the first thing you do in a new world?
Well. You wake up. You look around. You are in a room floating amongst a word
divided into pieces / On top of a Tower with people being shot
/ in a building surrounded by flames. You find the body of a young girl.
You know who she is but not why you know, or how she died.
You also instinctively know only about yourself that you are a great detective,
and you must solve this murder. Welcome to the world of ID: Invaded. ID INVADED is an original animated series
produced by Studio NAZ it is a combination Sci-Fi Mystery and police
procedural anime. Directed by the same man that brought us both
Fate/Zero and Aldnoah.Zero, Id Invaded showcases a rather unique method to showcasing
a mystery story. Traditionally, a mystery likes to put a bunch
of figurative puzzle pieces on the board and have the characters solve it alongside
the audience. ID doesn’t necessarily do that, at least
at the start, but at the same time that’s exactly what
it’s doing. It’s just the way it does things is a bit
backwards. and therefore a little confusing at the start. How ID begins its narrative is by giving
you information about the world peace meal, and the real mystery for the audience is figuring
out how the world works, rather than how any murder was committed.
The story begins with a man waking up in a world that does not follow the laws of physics,
or really any law for that matter. Our main character doesn’t know who he is,
or why in this world he has been cut into a variety of pieces but he is conscious
and can move, so that’s a start. Over the course of the first episode, as he
pieces himself and the world around him together, so do we, as we come to a greater understanding
of what’s actually going on. or at least we attempt to. This man is the great detective Sakaido, the
world he exists in is an “ID Well”, a somewhat digital world created from the
unconscious mind of an unknown killer. Within the ID Well, Sakaido must discover all
the clues to not only determine the killer’s identity, but also location in the real world.
This information, and Sakaido’s progress is monitored by a
Governmental organization called Kura whose job it is to use the ID Wells, alongside
traditional boots on the ground detectives to solve difficult cases and apprehend
killers who are otherwise illusive from the law.
The concept is like this weird crossover between Persona 5 and Minority Report.
So far the show divides itself into a bunch of standalone cases to further flesh out
the world and the characters. New murderers with their own unique ID Well,
new victims killed in different ways, and a new world for us to all figure out.
There are many things about the world that are left ambiguous for example: How the tech that allows Kura to track and
enter ID Wells is only loosely explained, as is how what happens in an ID Wellaffects the Real World and vice versa. The character of Sakaido, and the young placeholder
girl Kaeru are also mysteries in and of themselves. The great detective is just a persona taken
on by whoever enters the well. They are given no additional memories of who they are when they jump in losing all sense of self and otherwise have no specific memories to work with. They
only have what is in front of them, which makes their job all the more difficult
as without memory you lose your progress each time you die in the well, which happens
quite often. The girl Kaeru is an enigma as well, for the
time being she’s simply a placeholder, put there as a stand in for someone who
was or will soon be murdered. How she died is always a key component to
solving the arc’s mystery, but the greater mystery
of her appearance in the first place is one the show is being rather koy with.
The individual mystery arcs are thankfully great on their own power,
they are mostly self contained barring all the world building that you kind of need
to know to understand what’s going on. But there is a bit of an overarching narrative.
There’s another mysterious figure in some of the ID Wells, referred too as “John Walker”.
We never see his face, but he makes an impression with his top hat and cane.
All the cast mentions when he appears is that he is a known entity, referred to by his name and title: “The Serial Killer Creator”. Apparently meaning that some of the killers our characters encounter, only become killers after meeting this
mad hatter like being. Beyond that is the prevalence of one of the detectives, Koharu.
At first taking a role of rookie detective just along for the ride,
she soon becomes pretty much the main character outside of the ID Wells,
one who begins to develop spot on detective reasoning and deductions
when even her more seasoned partner would have moved on to other clues.
There are certain things about Koharu’s character I’m not necessarily sold on,
mostly how quickly she is able to logically leap to correct deductions
despite only being a rookie on the job. She’s originally shown to be lacking in
experience but only a few episodes later is coming up with the identities of killers
with very little to go on. Thankfully her overachieving and polite personality
makes up for a lot and she’s an entertaining POV character,
even if she solves things a bit quicker than I would have expected shes a delight to watch.
Then of course there is Akihito, the man who becomes Sakaido with every dive into an ID
Well. He’s a former homicide detective, who was
arrested and surrendered to Kura after he took revenge on the murderer of his
wife and daughter. The reasoning for his current predicament is that since he has been both a detective and a killer, his mind would work as a superb basis for
Sakaido who doesn’t have the benefit of memories.
Because apparently muscle memory and secondary knowledge is still available to Saikado based on the
user. Sending time in the minds of other killers
seems to be slowly taking a toll on him. Not only that, but he has been making a habit
of calmly convincing all the murderers they capture to kill themselves after entering
Kura’s custody. So even if he doesn’t use the knife or tie
the rope, he’s still killing. Even while jailed.
The most disappointing thing so far with the series, is that with the episodes released so
far there isn’t a constant level of quality
between all the cuts of animation. Some things just look right weird, but there
are some better cuts that try to make up for it. On the whole though, most of the show is pretty basic, to below average.
But having not watched many other works by NAZ this might just be on par with what they
normally produce. In summary, ID Invaded is a series that is
tackling many different topics and themes that many others don’t.
It showcases the mind of killers, the ID and EGO,
and how cases might be solved with futuristic technology without relying on said technology
to be a catch all. At least not yet. If their tech starts to become a catch all, I’m going to be quite disappointed. There are rules to the universe that confine
what can and cannot happen; it’s just up to us the audience to figure
out what those rules actually are. It actually runs counter to most of my expectations
of Mystery narratives. What I want out of a mystery is to be able
to have the chance to solve the mystery on my own before the show reveals it to us.
Most of the time though ID doesn’t do that, by design,
all because instead of trying to solve the mysteries we are solving the rules of the
world. Which I actually think is a fair alternative. I’d like to hope that eventually we’ll
get a handle on the world and how most of the systems within it work,
allowing us to focus more on the mysteries themselves near the end.
I think one of the reasons why I’ve been really into the series is because for most
of this past year, outside of anime I have been playing a lot
of mystery related video games, and watching mystery related media.
On the video game front specifically there are several things that I find very similar
to how ID: INVADED is proceeding. Piecing things about the universe together
with a world that somewhat resets everytime you die,
is very much like my experiences in Outer Wilds.
While a much larger part of the setting, is very familiar to the world of Ai: The Somnium
Files. Though in that case you have a main character
who has amnesia throughout the entirety of the thing,
and not just in specific segments. Though the act of going into the mind of killers
is very much the same, and using that to solve the mysteries of the
narrative is also a thing between the two. Thankfully as of yet none of the solutions
to that game are making their way into the narrative here.
So while the setting and some of the themes may be nearly identical, as long as they are
telling a very different story, that’s really all that matters to me.
Because it’s the kind of story I like. It’s the kind of story that I can easily get invested
in. and the similarities between all of this to
me is much more of a boon then it is a negative. If only the animation wasn’t as somewhat
slipshod in many many places. Really I think most of the notoriety
that the series has at all is because of it’s director.
If it wasn’t for the name recognition surrounding him the series probably wouldn’t have pinged
on my radar at all. Though I would also question just how different
this show would be without his direction. There are many things about ID:Invaded that
are average. In some cases below that. But for me there is enough here to keep my
attention, and to keep me interested and invested in the world.
Which makes up for a lot. But we’ll have to see how that plays out,
this is after all only my first reaction to the series.
It’s quite possible that the show will turn out, quite a bit different from what I am
expecting. But in either case, thank you very much for
joining me in this quick discussion. There will be streaming links in the description
should you require them. Though I very much do apologise for sending
you through the horror that is the Funimation website at current.
Hopefully they fix…everything in the coming weeks.
Let me know down in the comments what you have been following this season.
Hopefully I’ll talk about it in a future video.
A big thank you to my patrons, who make these videos possible.
Specifically though, as I like to do, I want to give particular shout-outs to patrons
Hector Montemayor, Richard Emil Bradley, Rune Jakobsen, Ryeban Boneapart, Siri Yamiko, and
Calhoonboy for being especially awesome. You guys are great! And until next time – ladies,
gentlemen, and others – watch more anime…and stay frosty.