Welp, our penultimate episode certainly isn’t boring. But like the entirety of the series, I’m not sure if everything here makes perfect sense.
— Asukai is now free from her Mizuhanome, so she proceeds to, uh, turn the entire building into one Mizuhanome? Yup. That’s exactly what’s happening. The episode never explains why she’s doing what she’s doing, so I just have to assume that Hayaseura somehow has control of the girl.
— The girl has the ability to send people into the world of dreams, but not just any dream, of course. Just the dreams that she has experienced, i.e. all the ID Wells we’ve encountered plus a few extras that we haven’t seen before. For instance, these men find themselves in a world full of vines.
— These researchers get to bathe in a world full of fruit punch. It’s probably blood, but let’s be optimistic for once. Maybe they’ll get to party with the Kool-Aid Man. And these are just the Kool-Aid Man’s pet sharks!
— Unfortunately, not everyone wants to party, and it seems as though Imami is up to no good. Hondomachi stole her man and even taunted her, so I bet she’s out for revenge. Still, is it so bad if you die in the dream world? Well…
— Hayaseura suddenly appears before our brilliant detectives (plus Fukuda) and shoots Narihisago right in the stomach. He then shoots himself three times, because he intends to just run off into the world of dreams. He no longer needs his corporeal body. But before that happens — ’cause the Mizuhanome takes a while to get ready — Hayaseura will give his obligatory villain speech. Okay, first up, three bullets in the goddamn stomach should be enough to knock someone out. Assuming he didn’t hit any vital organs, the pain alone should’ve sent him into shock or something close to it. How is it that he’s speaking so coherently right now? What’s especially funny is that right before he goes into his own ID Well, he shoots himself in the head. If he was just gonna do that, why even bother shooting himself in the stomach?
— Second, if his body dies, how can he continue traipsing around within the world of dreams? I guess I just don’t understand how this all works. The Mizuhanome allows you to consciously experience a someone’s unconscious world, right? But in order for your consciousness to exist within said unconscious world, shouldn’t it be attached to your living body? Don’t you need an anchor for your consciousness to exist? Or does the Mizuhanome somehow remove your consciousness from your body entirely, which is somehow a thing that exist separately from the brain that generates it? Yeah, this just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I feel like we’re veering dangerously close to the idea of human souls.
— Nevertheless, if our heroes want to bring Hayaseura to justice, they’re going to have to chase after him. Even with a bullet in his stomach, Narihisago has no plans to hold back. I have to assume that none of his vital organs are damaged. But even then, he should be leaking either stomach or intestinal fluids into the rest of his body. That’s a slow and painful death if he doesn’t get treatment fast. But time works differently within the Mizuhanome, especially if nobody is observing them. So I guess it’s possible that he can catch Hayaseura before he dies.
— Right before the villain disappears, he talks about his justice. He argues that he’s never killed anyone, which is technically true if, y’know, we don’t count indirect kills. I doubt this would hold up in court, but a serial killer probably doesn’t give a damn about man-made constructs like law and ethics. Hayaseura then claims that he’s doing this for the good of the world. Y’see, turning the Kura building into a Mizuhanome will allow them to catch more killers… or something… Huh? I don’t see how one giant Mizuhanome helps anyone catch serial killers considering how the operation is only successful if you let Momoki and team to observe Narihisago in action, but whatever. Yeah, I think Hayaseura’s just full of shit.
— So inside Hayaseura’s ID Well, he encounters a somewhat dark world full of masks. These are all the personas that have merged into Asukai’s unconsciousness, I suppose. Hayaseura immediately remembers who he is, and he just knows that this is what Asukai intended. She wanted a storm to swallow him up, but because his body is dead in the real world, no storm will occur… yeah… I dunno, man. I dunno about all of this.
— Meanwhile, Togo and her team initially find themselves in a tranquil world, but they are soon chased by boulders. Alright, I guess we’re in an Indiana Jones movie, now. It’s probably random where you end up. In any case, the purpose of this scene is to explain to the viewers that if you die in the dream world, you’ll just fall into a coma. I sound flippant, but I mean, we’re clearly headed in a direction where our two brilliant detectives (plus Momoki) will find a way to save everyone. I don’t expect ID INVADED to have a super downer ending like, say, Babylon (just the first mystery anime series to pop into my head).
— We then jump to Momoki, who has been freed and brought to the Kura building by Matsuoka. I guess he’s lucky that they were interrogating him in a completely separate location. Momoki then tells everybody that the only way to free everyone is to put Asukai back into her Mizuhanome. Kind of a shitty fate, isn’t it? She’ll never be able to live a normal life. She’ll always have to exist in the world of dreams. Maybe one day, she can somehow control her powers, but I don’t know if that’ll ever be explored in what little we have left in this series.
— So how do we stop Asukai when she’s stuck in the middle of a giant Mizuhanome? Momoki says, “The last time this happened, someone was able to get in and take her.” Yeah, you just put on a protective suit along with a prototype Mizuhanome, enter the affected area, and coax the girl into a Mizuhanome… wait, what? Am I mistaken or is this the first time that we’re hearing about this? I don’t remember them saying anything about how the hospital had turned into a Mizuhanome and that they had to extract Asukai. I thought they said she just mysteriously disappeared.
— Ugh, let’s just move on. Narihisago and Hondomachi continue to chase after Hayaseura, but he leads them right into the girl’s ID Well. He then reminds her of her actual identity, thereby causing a storm to whip up and potentially swallow her up. But then outta nowhere, Fukuda saves Hondomachi. How? By catching her before she slams into the ground. I assume the fall damage would kill her… but then why is it even possible for Fukuda to catch her without either of them incurring any damage? Again, there’s just no time to explain it, I guess.
— I also can’t help but wonder how these people are jumping from one ID Well to the next. We see Hayaseura pick up a mask, and this allows him to enter a specific ID Well. But then how do you leave one? Like I said, there’s just no time to get into the finer details.
— Narihisago also encounters his own ID Well, remembers who he is, sees his family, then leaves… even though a storm is raging in his unconscious world. Earlier in the series, they went on and on about how a storm would trap you, it’s so terrible, etc. Even Hayaseura is like, “Nuh-uh, Kiki, you can’t trap me! I’m already dead!” But then look at Narihisago and Hondomachi! They’re just waltzing out of their own storms like it’s nothing!
— I don’t know what to make of the insert song midway through the episode. It’s very alt poppy. I don’t think it fits the mood. We see all these innocent people dying left and right, but it’s not really all that devastating since they’ll just be placed in a coma for the time being. And afterwards, assuming that our heroes stop Hayaseura, they should all be saved.
— Back in Hayaseura’s ID Well, Hondomachi and Fukuda talk about his thoughts on the number seven. No, really. This buys us time until Imami shows up. The former Gravedigger then tries to shoot Hondomachi, but Fukuda saves the one again. What’s amusing to me is that she then stays back to avoid interfering. After all, she has to let Hondomachi and Fukuda have their last chat. Isn’t that polite of her?
— Hondomachi confesses to the dying serial killer that she stopped seeing the hole in his head a while ago. She tends to see people as complete or something? And I guess this helped her catch Imami? I dunno, that case was so far back in the series, so I don’t even remember most of the details anymore.
— In any case, once Fukuda stops talking, Imami then takes her turn. Very, very polite. She simply confirms what I had suspected at the start of the episode: she wanted her revenge on Hondomachi. It’s not much of a revenge, though. If she intended to shoot Hondomachi in the first place, why not do it again now? Is she outta bullets? Did she actually intend to kill Fukuda in the first place, and only shot at Hondomachi ’cause she just knew that he would jump in the way? Meh. Plus, it’s not like Hondomachi was in love with Fukuda… I don’t think. Still, this episode has been pulling rabbits out of its own ass, so who knows… maybe she is in love with him.
— Either way, Imami proceeds to pick up a mask with a hole in it and puts it on. It takes her directly to her former lover’s ID Well, so she proceeds to die to the monster in it, i.e. John Walker. But like I said earlier, there’s still a chance — a very good chance — to save these folks, so meh. I don’t care one way or another about Imami, but in general, criminals should be kept alive in order to due to their time. Naturally, I’m not a fan of the death penalty.
— When we return to Hondomachi, Narihisago is back besides her. The two of them simply resolve to stop Hayaseura once and for all. They speculate that if they do so, some of the dead people will come back to life. Only some, though. Those who want to stay dead will do so, and this hints that perhaps Fukuda might not come back. But if they honestly pursue this stupid romance angle between him and Hondomachi, all bets are off. She certainly sounds as thoughs he thinks he should be revived. Man, I hope they don’t go there.
— After the credits, we see Momoki getting ready to enter the giant Mizuhanome. Matsuoka hands him a gun should he need it, but hopefully not. Asukai is probably the most unfortunate character in this entire series. You could argue that killing her would put the girl out of her misery, but c’mon, we gotta try harder than that. I’m all for tragic endings if they make thematic sense, but what exactly is ID INVADED‘s theme? It just seems like a fun, little thought experiment, i.e. what if we could explore a serial killer’s dream. As such, I don’t think a downer ending that includes Asukai’s death is necessary at all.