I get to take care of this series for a week since Iskendaris is busy. So let me explain why I’m enjoying the heck out of ID Invaded.
First off, as Guardian Enzo pointed out to me, John Walker is 100% ripped off from the logo of the Scotch Whisky brand Johnnie Walker – specifically its modern logo. Would you look at that? That’s a hilariously awesome basis for creating a villain, and with the popularity of whisky in Japan, I wouldn’t be surprised if the original creator of ID Invaded came up with this idea during a drunken stupor.
Secondly, I liked how this episode didn’t have a happy ending. The schoolgirl had already died way before they could carry out the rescue, with the YouTube stream being a prerecorded video instead of a livestream. You could tell that Narihisago desperately wanted to save her, because she reminded him of his deceased daughter. Reality hit him hard with a depressing twist, and you had to really feel for him – and you could pick up on his murderous intent when he summarily requests if he could have permission to murder her killer.
Which brings us to the core substance of what I wanted to discuss. This series tries to impose a fascinating moral quandary upon us. Because he can explore their innermost psyche, Narihisago can confront captured serial killers with the darkest and most shameful facets embedded within their subconscious. Some might try to excuse their killings as justified, in revealing the true darkness of society. However, Narihisago can strip down these miserable excuses, exposing how sick and twisted they really are for deriving pleasure from particular kinds of suffering, compelling these killers to commit suicide.
Evaluating the action itself, the ethics of goading someone into committing suicide are questionable. However, the context here is abnormal – that the victims in questions have carried out crimes beyond the pail. It evokes shades of Death Note – was Light Yagami justified in killing off criminals? Back in the day, as far as I was aware, the majority of people took L’s side in disagreeing with Light’s approach. When discussing with friends who were L fans, they felt that while Light tried to justify his actions as imparting judgement on evildoers, they reckoned he was actually getting a kick out of playing God with people’s lives. In short, his real motive was to kill for killing’s sake, because he enjoyed the sensation of having that degree of control over people’s lives – which reminds me of the urge to kill that Narihisago described in this episode, as well as the Pyrotechnician’s excuse from the previous episode.
Conversely, many folks support Light’s actions – because they are aware of how broken, corrupt and ineffective the justice system can be. It’s difficult to accept the possibility of a criminal getting away with something horrible they’ve done, be it total escape from the failure of law enforcement to apprehend them, or an extremely lenient sentence that doesn’t match the severity of the crime. Yet that can often be the case. When the killer was captured, you could see how angry and emotional one of the SWAT soldiers was getting as the killer way lying on the ground heartily laughing without an ounce of remorse. And it’s easy to relate with the SWAT soldier’s frustration. Sometimes, it just isn’t fair.
The primary argument against the death penalty would be the potential for innocent people to become wrongly accused, then wrongly executed. However, the existence of verifiable killing intent within this established universe, via the cognition particles, create a completely different context which should be judged differently from the standards of our modern society. With that level of accuracy far beyond what our conventional society is used to, it would be far more unlikely for an innocent person to be accused of murder. To surmise, I think Narihisago’s serial killing of serial killers is more justified than Light’s killing of murderers. Not to mention he has a level of awareness that a corrupting urge exists inside of him, indicating he hasn’t been entirely subsumed by a God complex.
However, the brilliant detective Sakaido is an unreliable narrator. He has even admitted that his recollection of events are different to how they actually were, and that’s another thing I really like about ID Invaded. While we want to give Narihisago the benefit of the doubt, and though many will sympathise with his plight, there’s a creeping doubt that lingers there. Can we trust absolutely everything he says at face value? I would feel inclined to say no – even if he exhibits flashes of relatable and humane traits. So while I really want to give Narihisago a pass, I’ll continue to be skeptical towards him until more of his story comes to light. Anyway, other than why the Perferator’s missing victim suddenly snogged Hondomachi out of nowhere, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and hope to catch you all some other time!