‘ID:INVADED’ season 1 review

ID: INVADED is the newest sci-fi anime original from Ei Aoki (Fate/Zero), Otaro Maijo and NAZ, the animation studio behind DRAMAtical Murder and Infinite Dendrogram. The show follows renowned incarcerated detective Akihito Narihisego, or Sakaido when he is acting as a “brilliant detective,” as he is tasked by the Japanese government to solve serial murder cases. He does this by diving into the id well of the serial killer responsible.

The id wells are what make ID:INVADED unique. An id well is an artificial world that allows the investigator inhabiting it, usually Narihisego, to access the killer’s subconscious and view parts of their psyche. Id wells can only be entered by victims or other killers. If a person dies while inside an id well, they may not die in real life, but they do lose all memory of what happened to them while inside it. Because unconscious thoughts are typically unorganized, id wells appear fractured and disjointed.

Sakaido inside Tamotsu Fukuda’s id well in episode 1 “Jigsawed”

ID:INVADED feels like Inception but anime due to the id wells’ warped senses of reality. NAZ’s animation allows each id well to feel infinite in scale and claustrophobic at the same time. It amazes me how unique each id well feels, as if the psyche of the serial killer was given form. With that said, there are a few moments, particularly in the early episodes, where the animation is a bit lacking. Luckily this mostly occurs in the scenes taking place in the outside world.

One of the best things ID:INVADED gets right is its mystery elements. The audience always knows just as much as the brilliant detective, allowing for easy engagement within each case. This only adds to the excitement when the serial killer is eventually caught.

Fukuda as he appears in episode 2 “Jigsawed II”

Narihisego is a sympathetic protagonist, a prestigious detective who turned his back on the world after he lost everyone he cared about. However, he is just one of the many amazing characters with the show. Tamotsu Fukuda, a prolific serial killer known as “The Perforator” because he murders his victims by drilling holes into their heads, makes for an intriguing secondary protagonist. The contrast between his and Narihisego’s personalities allows for some fantastic scenes. The cast is rounded out by Koharu Hondomachi, a rookie field analyst who is scouted as a potential brilliant detective after aiding in Fukuda’s arrest. The three play off of each other perfectly.

Sakaido and Hondomachi inside Fukuda’s id well in episode 2 “Jigsawed II”

Funimation’s English dub, with Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) directed by Jeremy Inman (One Piece, ReLife) with script writer Aaron Dismuke (Fairy Tail Zero, Overlord), was great overall. The main characters were cast perfectly, with Josh Grelle voicing Narihisego, Monica Rial as Hondomachi and Justin Cook as Fukuda. Most of the secondary cast was terrific as well, especially Kyle Phillips as Wakashika, Kimberly Grace as Togo and Christopher Wehkamp as Momoki.

ID:INVADED is a mind-bending thriller with beautiful visuals and a unique premise that is executed wonderfully. So far it is my favorite new anime of 2020. I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you are a fan of Psycho Pass. I cannot wait for the second season!

Rating: 9/10

Published by John Wintroub

Aside from being an aspiring mathematician, I also enjoy writing about all things pop-culture related, especially film, music, anime, and comic books. Killer Queen has already touched this bio and King Crimson has obliterated the rest.

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