Updated: Feb 4
*Note: Id literally means “it” in Latin; ID stands for identity document ;)*
ID: Invaded pulled me in just because of its awesome poster work, but I am pretty sure I am not the only one that thought this anime was an apocalypse-alien science fiction story. I was bamboozled early on from a picture like this one circulating around the web, which inspired me to watch the initial trailer. While I was wrong regarding the plot, I was not disappointed.
***Spoiler alert! If you have not watched any of ID: Invaded, and hate spoilers, some events recapped/analyzed will be discussed. Read at your own discretion!***
The show opens up with Narihisago, a police officer that has been traumatized by the deaths of his child, Muku. Murder, to be exact. The Mizuhanome System is what enables humans to enter human minds without them knowing, after being involved with killing people themselves. Narihisago sought revenge for his family’s serial killer, nicknamed the Challenger and since then went to prison, before being granted access to traverse id wells.
However, Narihisago embodies an alter ego named Sakaido, the Brilliant Detective when he enters “ID wells.” These are mindscapes relating to the id, a term coined by Sigmund Freud that explores the human psyche. The id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual desires, according to the ego psychology model. As such, the id wells have appeared as different cyclones of thoughts that Sakaido finds himself in the middle of each criminal.
Sakaido works with a specialized squad of police officers that monitor his journeys into the id wells of people with murderous intent or those of the victims in order to catch culprits that have eluded capture. Besides Sakaido, there is the special police team. To name a few key members, the team is composed of Hunetaro Momoki, the head inspector of the investigation unit, Koharu Hondomachi, a rookie who had a run-in with one of the serial killers, herself after risking her life to accrue the location of that particular serial killer, and Kazuo Wakashika, who makes deductions about crime scenes based on id well information that Sakaido gathers.
With each id well he enters, he is tasked with the mission of finding Kaeru’s murderer. While this seems easy and your typical crime-solving anime, Kaeru is “killed” a different way in each episode, to correspond with the serial killer of interest out in the real world. To make matters worse, Sakaido spawns in each id well disoriented, and without any memories of reality and just recalls Kaeru’s murder needing closure and his role as a Brilliant Detective.
Sakaido has no problem with apprehending serial killers but he goes beyond that. Not afraid to exercise justice with his own hands, Sakaido has been known to coax the serial killers into a gruesome fate, after facing arrest by the authorities. While he is executing this behind the scenes through the Mizuhanome System, other members of the team are onto him and are concerned. Has he spiraled to the point of no return? Should they continue working with him, despite the fact that he is playing God? One thing's for sure, this show has much potential, especially with the pace of the serial killer characters and murders Sakaido has solved.
Ultimately, Sakaido/Narihisago has come and gone from the id wells without much trouble. Just kidding. Head inspector Momoki is the first to express concern for Narihisago's mental health in the real world, as well as when he takes on the alter ego of Sakaido. Mental health is real, everyone and Narihisago's character demonstrates the toll that these trips have taken. Not only has he experienced the physical sensations associated with each time he dies in the id wells, but jumping into id wells of serial killers' minds in efforts to discover their real-world information has ruffled much of the past Narihisago has worked hard to suppress and "unfeel." We all know that the past haunts you until the proper closure is achieved; Narihisago has gotten the revenge he thought he needed for his family's murders but has not taken the proper steps to heal. As a result, he has begun to unravel and it will definitely be interesting to see how that takes place.
The winter season of anime may have started a while ago, but there is still time to catch up with this cerebral show from Funimation. Until next time, folks. Be kind to one another, or you guys run the risk of Sakaido visiting your id wells when he has free time.
All of the photos used in this article were borrowed from the official ID: Invaded site, which has its information in Japanese, but for more visuals, take a look:
What do you think of Narihisago/Sakaido's methods? How about your thoughts on the id well concepts? Let us know in the comments.