A detective is called upon to solve a murder in a virtual reality world. But how can he manage a case when its rules can and are constantly being changed?. ID: Invaded is an original anime series produced by NAZ and licensed by Funimation. It was directed by Ei Aoki and written by Ōtarō Maijō. Anime originals don’t have the most consistent track record in terms of success, but here comes a series that defies all such expectations.
The series is set in a futuristic world where the organization Kura uses cognition particles that show the intent to kill, to enter into the ‘ID Well’ a world created out of the unconscious mind of the killer. They use ID wells to figure out information about the killer and use it to catch the culprit. To enter this world, there is a definite prerequisite, you need to be a killer yourself. For this, Kura uses an ex-detective, Akihito Narihisago, to enter the id well. Within the well, he goes by the persona of Sakaido, the brilliant detective.
We aren’t given any information about the world we are about to enter until we enter and experience it for ourselves. Just like the protagonist, we enter this ID well which doesn’t seem to obey any laws. Along with the protagonist, we figure out this world and make sense of it. Much of the time in the ID wells is spent in figuring out the world and using it to find the identity of the killer.
While the inspirations from other Sci-fi works like Inception, Minority Report, and Psycho-Pass are clear as day, but to use that as a criticism is wrong. ID: Invaded is a monster of its own kind. The best part about the show is its consistent writing. Every plot point is carefully crafted to lead to the climactic conclusion. The pieces are presented to you only to be fitted together towards the end. While some cases might take a bit of time to be solved with each case, we are only propelled forward in the story.
The thing that separates ID: Invaded from most mystery thrillers is the cast. From Narihisago to Hondomachi, each character has a definite role to play in this. While most anime tend to forget about the side characters’ ID: Invaded refreshingly does the opposite, they take seemingly one-note characters and make it more important than you think they would be.
My favorite out of the supporting cast is Tamotsu Fukuda. I wish I could tell you more about him, but indulging any further would be entering into major spoiler territory. While talking about the characters, one can’t miss out on talking about the protagonist Narihisago. He has a messed-up backstory. To see him come to terms with the proceedings in the latter half of the series is heartbreaking. While he may come across as cold and manipulative initially, his character arc definitely brings out his former self as well.
The animation in certain places is very lackluster and, in some places, breathtaking. While you might not be able to look away when it’s bad, I would still advise you to stick with it because the soundtrack redeems it. The insert songs and background music increase your immersion tenfold.
Having said all this ID: Invaded might still be hard for some people to stick through till the end. The show demands a lot of attention, and you need to pay notice to a lot of details. When something is revealed, you need to be able to remember even minute details sometimes to follow with the show. The show definitely rewards the attention, so trust me, it will be worth it. Out of the pretty much lackluster winter season ID: Invaded takes the first place. I would even say it’s a contender for anime of the year, so if you want to watch something new and engaging thriller, check it out.
Sound & Studio
The OP’ Mr. Fixer’ by Sou and ED’ Other Side’ by MIYAVI is nothing short of bangers. They definitely are my picks for OP and ED of the year so far. Along with OP and ED, the credit should also go to the insert songs like Butterfly, Samurai 45, and UP by MIYAVI, as they add a lot to the show. ID: Invaded has been made by Studio NAZ. They have previously made anime like Infinite Dendrogram, Hamatora The Animation, and Hajimete no Girl.