I really enjoyed episode 5 of ID:Invaded. Part of this was because having not caught the real Grave Digger last week the story didn’t need to waste any time this week in establishing its goal of finding the real killer. The other reason I enjoyed this episode was it felt like the team outside of Sakaido really got to contribute and drove the episode. Not that I don’t enjoy Sakaido and want to know more about him, I’d love to know more of his story, however, it was kind of refreshing to see the rest of the team having a more direct contribution than just watching him meandering about inside the well.
This week Hondoumachi very much got to steal the lime light. Still reeling from being unexpectedly kissed at the end of last week she mulls over a few possibilities in the car and then comes to a realisation. I really liked this process. She wasn’t instantly at the solution but she logically put bits and pieces together, made a few logical leaps, and drew a conclusion that made sense, and the whole thing was nicely externalised through dialogue so it let the audience feel like they were a part of the process. It would be nice to see this kind of sequence more often in investigation series but far too often the characters just stare at things and suddenly make a leap inside their head with an ‘I’ve got it’ expression and it isn’t until after the fact that they explain their reasoning in an exposition dump. This was a far more viewer friendly way to connect the dots and let us feel like we were there.
I also like that the short-comings of their technology are exposed here as they realise that intent to kill isn’t necessarily the same for all people – particularly those with brain injuries. Without detecting an intent they can’t make a well and that more or less leaves them with standard police procedures which in this case hadn’t got them very far.
However, I do think the episode pushed it a bit far with the whole ‘trap’ aspect. One of the field agents, whose name I still didn’t catch even though he was also in last week’s episode, was investigating a location and of course it was prepped as a trap. It just makes the whole crime so elaborate and while a very small number of highly meticulous criminals may in fact go about doing such a thing, it just seemed like it pushed this particular case too far. Not to mention, how many actual explosions take place in Japan each year? So far we’ve had a terrorist bomber and now a serial killer blow things up in the space of 5 episodes. That seems like a suspiciously high frequency of stuff going boom.
Still, 5 episodes in and ID:Invaded has essentially sold me on what it is doing. It isn’t perfect but it looks great, the cast are getting fleshed out in bits and pieces, and there’s enough that makes me want to keep coming back to learn more. This is definitely a contender for one of my favourite anime of the season and I guess it depends where it goes from here.
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Images from: ID:Invaded. Dir. Ei Aoki. NAZ. 2020.