If I was going to describe ID: Invaded to someone in an elevator, it would be Inception crossed with Criminal Minds. It’s probably the closest I’ve come to a more standard procedural in a genre anime for quite some time, in a very imaginative way.
The show follows a special branch of the Japanese police department asked with tracking down serial killers. They do so by collecting “cognition particles” from where the killers either dumped their victims or kidnapped them. Those in turn can be used to generate an “Id Well” – a dreamscape derived from the killer’s subconscious. By diving in they can get clues to the killer’s mindset and background that will allow the police to catch them, along with leading them to other victims, both past and future.
This makes for a very well done cat & mouse game between detective and killer, with the hook being that the chase is entirely inside the killer’s subconscious, and without the killer’s knowledge. All of this is helped by some tremendously imaginative visuals for the various Id Wells. Between this show and Eizouken, this has been the season for some tremendously visually imaginative anime.
Additionally, while some of the killers are disturbing in their methods, they show manages to avoid the grungy Se7en or Silence of the Lambs level of horror that you’d expect considering the series premise. It’s psychological, but not psycho-sexual.
All of this said, if you’re not a fan of procedurals, or having cops be protagonists in a show is a turnoff, this show isn’t anything that will change your mind. Indeed, there are some unfortunate implications of the show’s premise that are never really challenged, and certainly not fully explored. There are some openings for a second season, if they choose to do so – but enough is wrapped up here for them to stop if they want to.
Currently, ID: Invaded is available for streaming through Funimation – and as it is an anime original series there is currently no manga to read with it at this time.
If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to help to support the site, please consider backing my Patreon. Patreon backers get to access my reviews and Let’s Plays up to a week in advance.
If you want to support the site, but can’t afford to pledge monthly, please consider tossing a few bucks into my Ko-Fi instead.