You wake up in a strange world, not remembering how you got there or who you are, and you discover the body of a beautiful girl who has been murdered. Despite everything you don’t know, for some reason, you know her name, Kaeru. Once her name leaves your lips, you recall your identity, as well as your mission: Solve the mystery of Kaeru’s death.
Such is the life of former police officer Akihito Narihisago.
Id: Invaded had a uniquely Ghost in the Shell quality to it. This series was incredibly fascinating and fun to watch, but please don’t ask me for all the details. This show had my full attention the entire time, and yet, it would be a lie to say I followed everything that went on within it.
To Id: Invaded’s credit, it did well at avoiding exposition-speak. Although there was some of that to be sure, considering how complicated the story got, it was quite impressive how much interpretation this show allowed. Nowhere was this seen better than in the many different Wells created by the serial killers.
For a quick rundown: Wells were manifested interpretations of the subconscious. In the world of Id:Invaded, we only got to see the Wells of bloodthirsty murderers. Therefore, being the personification of a killer’s inner thoughts, they were often deranged and dangerous places. Plus, they were pretty damn cool to look at.
I loved how simple the Wells were. They all followed a central theme that allowed each of them to be distinct. That combination of simplicity and variety made them oddly unnerving. The Wells themselves weren’t much of a threat since death didn’t exist within them. Like when you realize you’re in the middle of a dream, you know nothing can hurt you, and thus, you feel more at liberty to take risks. Despite that, there was one distinct difference between dreams and Wells.
Wells had rules; things that happened did so for a reason.
Due to that, Id: Invaded was a compelling mystery series. There were answers, and even better, many of those answers were solvable with a little deduction from the audience’s part. Although there was a bunch of fantastical – borderline supernatural – sci-fi stuff going on in this show, point A led to B that, in turn, led to C. This grounded the story and permitted it to not rely on massive leaps of faiths. While leaps of faith weren’t eliminated, they weren’t the norm either.
Along with being a solid mystery narrative, Id: Invaded’s characters were well-crafted. Well, some of them were, at least, and the best of this bunch was protagonist Akihito Narihisago.
If there was one thing this show made clear, it was that Akihito was a broken man. He was cold, blunt, and often ruthless. You could see that once upon a time ago, Akihito was a good guy who had a lot of love inside him. Then for reasons (I’ll let this series explain what those reasons are), he took a hard 90° turn.
To add on top of that, when Akihito entered a Well and became Sakaido, a more kindhearted nature came to the surface. After all, Sakaido didn’t carry the baggage his real-world counterpart did.
Now, what made Akihito so fascinating was why he fit the criteria to enter a Well. To do that, a person either needed to be a serial killer themselves or harbored the urge to kill like one. How Akihito met this requirement illustrated just how far he had fallen into darkness, and the scene where he first demonstrated this was easily one of the best of the show.
Plus, a huge shout out to Akihito’s voice actor, Mr. Kenjirou Tsuda. It was wonderful to hear him in a starring role for once, and his performance added a ton of power to an already phenomenal character.
To make a long story short, Id: Invaded succeeded because it ensured its two core pillars were strong. The first was establishing a basic understanding of how Wells worked, including how to enter them and their creation. The second was giving us characters who were interesting to follow. As a guideline, if someone could enter a Well based on how the rules were described, they were usually the more memorable characters of the show.
Oh, one more thing because I don’t want to glance over this point. This series had outstanding animation and a killer soundtrack. If the characters and the story weren’t enough to prove it, it was evident that a lot of effort and talent when into the making of Id:Invaded.
Branching off from something I was saying earlier, most of the characters who could enter the Wells normally were the most interesting. However, all the characters who couldn’t, weren’t. The team that supervised Akihito when he was inside a Well were forgettable background noise.
Conversely, the one underwhelming character who could enter Wells the usual way was Id:Invaded’s primary villain, John Walker. He was fine when there was a mystery surrounding his identity. Unfortunately, when this story got around to taking him down, John Walker proved to be nothing worth remembering. It wasn’t that this series overhyped him. On the contrary, he mostly served as an afterthought throughout most of the narrative.
And while we’re talking about it, John Walker’s reveal wasn’t anything special since it wasn’t particularly shocking.
And with that, we come to the most significant problem surrounding this show – its ending. Here was when things started to go off the rails, and the simplicity that served this series well began to increase in complexity quite rapidly. Id:Invaded crossed over to a more supernatural-based mystery rather than a science fiction-based one.
I don’t want to give too much away because, again, the vast majority of this show was good. Still, superpowers – or curses, depending on how you look at it – weren’t much of a factor (because the notion of them simply didn’t exist) until the finale. Seeing this become a thing undercut much of what the series had established. As a consequence, Id:Invaded walked off the stage with a whimper instead of with a grand send-off.
The story was fun, and the characters were interesting. The animation and soundtrack were exciting. The mysteries allowed for a lot of deduction opportunities.
As such, Id:Invaded has earned itself a recommendation.
Id:Invaded Series Review: Diving Through The Mind Of A Killer
Writing - 8/108/10
Plot - 8/108/10
Character Development - 8/108/10
Production - 9/109/10
Music - 9/109/10
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