When I heard of the premise for the original anime ID: Invaded, I was immediately intrigued.
A world where detectives can find fragments of a serial killer’s drive to kill at their crime scenes and use this to create an ID Well, a simulated world where “brilliant detectives” dive in to literally explore the criminal mind, all in order to catch them?
It sounded right up my alley and, boy, was it.
Directed by Ei Aoki and written by Ōtarō Maijō, the story follows Akihito Narihisago (Kenjiro Tsuda), an investigator traumatised by a disturbing family tragedy, which gave him his own drive to kill.
This drive allows him to become the brilliant detective Sakaido, when he dives into the ID Wells of serial killers, as he always finds himself investigating the death of the mysterious Kaeru, with the mystery behind her death always leading to the identity of the real life murderer the force are hunting.
Once this killer’s identity is discovered, it is up to the team in the real world to catch them, with one new detective, Koharu Hondomachi (M.A.O), having a particular interest in using the ID Well.
ID: Invaded does a great job with its exploration of the ID Wells and the investigation that is taking place in the real world at the same time.
It creates interesting episodes, with each one initially focusing on a single killer as the story progresses, before it branches out to focus solely on the one behind the scenes pulling the strings: John Walker.
These episodes do a good job of getting you into the heads of the killers, although, it should be noted that quite a few of these serial killers are comically over the top.
The anime also makes you feel for the victims as well.
One particular episode has such a masterful bait and switch that it hit me like a train when the rug was pulled out from under us.
The show even managed to surprise me by making one of my favourite characters one of the killers, the Perforator (Yoshimasa Hosoya, and I won’t give his character’s actual name, so not to spoil the first few episodes), as I quite liked the progression of his bond with Honomachi.
It’s not all great, though, because I did find the story’s big twist to be entirely predictable, since I pretty much called it right from episode one.
That said, the events surrounding this predictable twist are pretty mind boggling, in a good way.
ID: Invaded honestly reminded me of Inception here with its weird ID Well inside ID Well settings.
The explanation to how all of this was even possible and how it ties in with who Kaeru is was also quite creative and an explanation I really enjoyed.
Pairing this with the great character growth of Narihisago, Hondomachi and the Perforator, and we have an enagaging show that I would definitley recommend.
Sure, it’s big twist is predictable and it does get a bit formulaic at times, before the last stretch of episodes, but ID: Invaded is still a good time with some very creative story choices in the final half.