Because It’s Cool
In science fiction the idea of going inside someone’s subconscious isn’t a new thing. Even going inside the mind of a killer to solve a crime has been done. That said, there’s plenty of variations on the theme and the core question isn’t whether this has been done before but whether ID:Invaded has anything new to say on the matter or whether it has built an interesting story around that point. The first two episodes giving us a look at a full case where the ‘brilliant’ detective finds clues that the rest of the team analyse and act on in the real world is certainly stylish and interesting which makes it worth continuing the series but it hasn’t as yet given any indication that it intends to try to break free from its predecessors.
The first episode brings us visual spectacle creating a world built from the apparent killing intent of a murderer where our detective finds himself without any real memory and having to piece things together. His movements and interactions within this world are bizarre and fascinating and stylistically it leaves quite the impact. Along the way we get a high energy sequence with music where he uses his floating and disconnected hand to grapple parts of the world together and it looks absolutely stunning. It feels a little out of place with the sombre tone of the rest of the two episodes but it was hard to argue against including it given just how cool it looks.
Outside of the ‘ID Well’ the rest of the team analyse the various images the detective inside encounters. Again, looking at the set-up it seems more thought was given to cool than practical. The well in the centre of the room is suitably eye-catching and various analysts stare at floating screens pulling up data and other information rapidly and calling it out across an overly large room. The fact that they all have their backs to each other and the layout of the room seems excessively oversized visually works but doesn’t seem practical , though clearly ID:Invaded wants you to just go with it and it is entertaining enough that you can.
I found the weakest part of these double episodes came from the veteran and rookie field agents who head off to arrest the killer based on the analysts determined location. The veteran leaves the rookie alone while he goes in and then, when things inevitably go wrong, he spends a good length of time ranting at his superior about the length of time it has taken to get authorised to use guns and so on. Not to mention, he’s told in advance that it is against regulations to enter when he did and yet no one calls him on it after the fact. Amazingly enough I’ll swallow the sci-fi jargon and ‘futuristic’ office set-ups a lot more easily than this sequence because it just felt fundamentally wrong.
Of course, I’m nitpicking at this anime for the simple reason that I really, really enjoyed watching these episodes and I’m very hopeful that this anime might actually end up being great. I’m stepping back and looking at the early flaws so that if the show ends up derailing I won’t be so disappointed. In the meantime, if you like science fiction stories ID:Invaded is a show you should be checking out these first two episodes of because there’s a lot of potential here and even if it doesn’t live up to it, the anime at least looks really cool.