OP: 「ミスターフィクサー」(Mister Fixer) by SOU
「JIGSAWED II」(episode 2)
ID:INVADED reminds people of a lot of things. It’s a bit like Inception with the surreal backgrounds. It’s a bit like Psycho-Pass with the dominator-like gun that reads people’s murder intent, and the whole crime mystery. It’s also a bit like Minority Report with someone walking through a scene/dream-world to gather clues and solve a crime. Basically it feels like director Aoki Ei took every speculative fantasy and science fiction that came out in the last decade, and smashed it into anime guacamole.
Is that a bad thing? Honestly, I don’t know. Is it possible to suffer from too many trope references? At which point does too much familiarity lead to disquiet? Is there an adequate word to describe Inception borrowing from Paprika, and then getting re-imported back into Japan as ID:INVADED???
Maybe it works on that level, I keep expecting one thing and sometimes I’m right (the switcheroo was too predictable); sometimes I’m wrong (did NOT expect the ID particles to be physically detectable). The nice thing about a crime procedural is that you can really do whatever you like, as long as the mystery is good.
On it’s own merits, it’s a remarkably stylish show. Both the OP and ED are bangers with SOU and MIYAVI covering each respectively. It’s one of the reasons I volunteered to intro the series actually, when I saw SOU was doing the OP. It’s not Yuki Kaijura or Yoko Kanno, but the soundtrack is notably good especially when the adrenaline kicks in.
Design-wise, I’m a huge fan of how they’re blending realistic photography with anime in the ED, and the minimalist clean style works well with the futuristic elements. Especially love the windows screens in the OP!! Who doesn’t love being overwhelmed with opened screens/tabs???
That swooshing 360 camera angle and smooth motion makes it look so good, so cool. The ultimate cool-ness when the world comes together to reveal a clue. So cool! As I’ve said before, I’m not sure about the plot but damnit it sure is stylish.
Putting all the Freudian jargon and mythology references aside, the setup is straightforward. Society has developed instruments that allows ex-criminals to dive into the primal unconscious, known as ID Wells. Detective Sakaido (Tsuda Kenjirou), a former killer; works together as a ‘tool’ for a special police department to solve mysteries and help them catch serial killers.
OK, so the premise sounds quite bland right? Or at least, reminds the audience of something they’ve already watched or heard before.
EXCEPT! The details are great. I think you really have to watch ep1 and 2 together and treat it as a super-long intro episode. What fascinates me is this character of Detective Sakaido — is he a recurring persona just like Kaede is? A facade to make diving easier? Maybe he’s a trope necessary for the mind; a closed room, a crime, a detective.
There are hints to this; first is that Sakaido isn’t his name or person… …. it’s Narihisago but everyone on team refers to him primarily as “The Brilliant Detective Sakaido”, a role he refers to himself over and over again.
Then there’s Hondocmachi, the rookie field agent. On one hand, she’s definitely playing the role of audience viewpoint and giving us the exposition to piece this worldbuilding together. On the other hand, you have to admire her willingness to stick a drill in her head for justice. The camera angle when viewing her through his head-hole was both cool and a bit gruesome.
And then there’s John Walker. Almost Hannibal-esque, if you want to reference yet another show.
I watched both episodes twice, and I’m still not sure what to think. There’s a lot of good potential here, and it might be one of those series that takes a while to get really going. Or it could turn out to be a complete mess. The only real takeaway I got from ID:INVADED is that it’s got a great vibe. Surreal. Stylish. Cool.
OP: 「Other Side」by MIYAVI