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!


  1. I just continue to not know what to make of this show. It continues to be just engaging enough to keep me watching, but still feel strangely lacking where I don’t want to fully commit to it.

    That said, if it the loli detective gets kidnapped for a second time in 3 episodes, I’m probably dropping this. This show has been towing that line for me between acceptable and interesting, and uninspired writing, and that would likely tip in the wrong direction.

    1. You don’t have to force yourself. Lol. Personally, I give way too much leeway to subpar shows if they can conjure up an engaging mystery premise or fascinating social commentary. It’s like my kryptonite, so it’s totally fine if ID Invaded isn’t doing the trick for you.

  2. John Walker is probably a reference to “Kafka on the Shore” by Murakami. The story features a serial murderer of cats who’s name is also based on the whisky brand.
    Sounds a bit silly, I know, but if you know the author it makes perfect sense.

    1. I’ve read Kafka on the Shore – but it’s such a surreal book the only thing I can remember is the boy being on the run and having something of a sexual relationship with the older lady. Didn’t quite make the John Walker connection there.

      With the murder aspect and the killer having a few screws loose in Kafka on the Shore, I can totally see it.

      1. It’s the other storyline in which Johnny Walker plays a role. The one with the elderly man (Nakamura?) that can speak with cats and later embarks on a quest for the keystone. Although that’s not his real world name as I recall. But I remember a conversation in which JW explains he just has an urge spill (cat)blood

  3. This show is like what Babalyon should have been mixing magic with cops is interesting. Instead Babylon tried to throw a kitchen sink where it shouldn’t have gone and its just a total mess now. The murder detector is accurate enough to pick up even suicidal people and is sort of like pre-post cog minority report where just a wiff of magic particles is all you need to tap into the inner mind of a murderer. It is also interesting when they say you should not dive into your own well because bad times will happen due to a self feedback loop what happens if you do though I wonder if they will try that at some point.

    1. I haven’t seen Babylon so I can’t comment on that. That said, I get the impression Narihisago is eventually going to dive into his own well to confront his trauma. It would be interesting to see him specifically do it.

  4. Also her bedside talk clearly showed a marked decrease in fear and inhibition in line with having a bit of your brain taken out. Also the willingness to drill your own head and truely intend to commit suicide kinda already puts her at too fearless for her own good pre-drilling so it is within character in my books.

  5. I’m enjoying this one, largely for the reasons laid out in this nice review. I can see the trope-y influences pretty easily which would normally be annoying but the combination and scripting here doesn’t feel stale or rehashed. It feels like this is second level questioning, while it’s predecessors, eg. Psycho Pass, asked first level questions. It’s not bad to be a story mostly with 1st-level thinking but such a story is great to follow-up with something different pushing related ideas deeper.

    I consider two positions on which I oppose the (real world) death penalty: 1) I oppose the murder of an innocent person by a biased, imperfect system and 2) killing a criminal denies the guilty the possibility of coming to terms with one’s actions and the results thereof. For some religious thinkers, it’s akin to denying one the right to reach the enlightenment necessary to ask forgiveness.

    I think this show has just addressed both of those points brilliantly: not only does the system appear to permit absolute confidence in guilt but the mechanism of killing the guilty is to force one to confront one’s actions honestly and make the choice to not live with it.

    I think discussing it in comparison with Light is appropriate but I’ll point out that the decision to die is still fully within the hands of the criminal. They aren’t being brain-washed or otherwise tricked; they simply aren’t being allowed to keep believing in their own lies. There’ll world death penalty and Light both made the decisions; the difference is quite meaningful. (this show has suggested, thus far, that most serial killers are living in some sort of fiction-based denial but have an inner sense of self which can be shamed so badly suicide is the only option when exposed; I’m of the opinion that things wouldn’t work so reliably in our world)

    I find the art style to not be a good match but it’s slick enough that I’m only somewhat mildly irritated at a grown(?) woman rookie looking like a middle-schooler. I can’t square the business suit with the backpack, hair accessory, and short height.
    Oh, and there’s that half of the team monitoring the well appears to be only recently out of high school, in both appearance and professionalism.
    Narihisago does’t have half the age needed to justify his deep, grizzled voice.

    I can totally accept the in-well visuals; I wish the outside didn’t look so much like “in-well.” This may be necessary for story, though.
    Thanks for the write-up!

  6. I’ve been really enjoying this series. Sure there are many parts to this series that we’ve seen in quite a bit of other fare, and yet I still feel as if this is new and different all at the same time.

    The argument about the main character and if what he’s doing is right or not is an interesting one. To be fair, it’s not like “Sakaido” is bullying or forcing these killers into committing suicide. He is manipulating them, he is preying on their weaknesses, but it is a decision that they ultimately make.
    He’s not even the best I’ve seen be able to make killers kill themselves (see anime Monster for that) but you can really see efficient and deadly the main character can be. I really like that in the Id wells, you can get a glimpse of who this man used to be, but outside of it, you can see the grizzled semi-destroyed man he’s become and that that person now has a dark side.
    I have to also ask the question of who exactly keeps making the decision to put these killers in cells right next to a person know to drive serial killers to suicide? That’s the person we should be questioning at this point…

  7. Something I noticed is that the name “Sakaido” is using the characters for “well” to form the “ido” part. “Saka” is the character for “Sake”, as in alcohol. Likewise, when “The Perforator” got the chance to try out a dive, he was called “Anaido” — “ana” as in “hole”. The latter makes sense given that he was the “perforator” and drilled holes in people’s heads including his own..

    I’m not entirely clear, though, what the significance of alcohol is to Narihisago. Although he is portrayed as a fractured person, I haven’t seen the direct indication that heavy drinking was a major part of that — at least not any more than would be expected for any other character whose loved ones were murdered. You’d expect a certain amount of drinking to drown one’s sorrows, but the fact that its his in-well persona is some sort of indication that it’s more significant than that.

    Some connection to “John Walker”, perhaps? More Green Label (which is the best one, IMO) than you might immediately think?


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