I won’t balk at the happy ending, but I can’t help but feel a bit letdown by this finale. Anyways…
— The episode kicks off with a short montage of people suffering through some rather terrible nightmares. I wonder if these were serial killer concepts that were left on the cutting room floor.
— Meanwhile, Hayaseura does what a typical mastermind is wont to do in fiction: stand in place and monologue to no one particular. That’s when Narihisago shows up outta nowhere to try and melee him to death. Hondomachi follows that up with a freaking shark. Are we really gonna have a fight to the death between three detectives? Well, not exactly. I think. But I’ll get to that in a second.
— Hayaseura instantly heals from his wounds. Why does he have this power? According to the mastermind, the Mizuhanome will regenerate his data because he can no longer return to the real world. Normally, when you die in the dreamworld — as Narihisago has done many, many times — you wake up back in the real world. But if your body is unconscious in the real world — like the people currently trapped in the Kura building — I guess you are stuck in some sort of liminal space between the real world and the dreamworld? Finally, we have Hayaseura, who no longer even has a body to return to. As a result, his consciousness goes nowhere. This somehow results in his data within the Mizuhanome to repair itself. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like a satisfying explanation.
— Oh no, he’s one of those moral relativists. Boo. Get off the stage. Go take philosophy 101, you jerk.
— We take a break to see how Togo and her team are doing. I feel like this scene could’ve been left out, because it’s not only pointless but stupid. They figure out that the boulders chasing them respond to sound, so she covers up one of the guys’ mouth. How does he respond? By blushing because he is conscious of her breasts pressing up against him. C’mon, anime… why do you gotta be like this? Look, I get it when some horny teenager jacked full of hormones can’t help but think about boobs all the time. But in an anime full of professional adults? Give me a fucking break. Oh man, I almost died to boulders! Time to dream of some titty!
— Alright, back to the main characters… Narihisago and Hondomachi swipe Hayaseura’s hat and run off with it. The old man even realizes that they’re provoking him, but he plays along anyway. This makes me wonder if all the physical fighting from earlier in the episode was just a ruse. Were they trying to lull Hayaseura into the belief that they were gonna try and beat him up? When the episode started, I did facepalm a bit, because I couldn’t believe that three detectives would do battle as though we were in some sort of shounen anime. If you’re watching a show about brilliant detectives, you expect to see a battle of wits, right? But that’s what we’re kinda seeing right now. Narihisago and Hondomachi are going to use their smarts to lure Hayaseura into a trap. That’s why I wonder if Narihisago coming in screaming at the start of the episode was meant to lower Hayaseura’s guard. Hmm…
— They eventually end up in Fukuda’s ID Well, and Hayaseura proceeds to sit himself down on what appears to us like a throne. After all, he’s got a God complex. By the way, what kind of God are you if you believe in moral relativism! But I digress…
— The detectives buy some more time by unnerving Hayaseura. First, Hondomachi claims that Narihisago isn’t a serial killer. Rather, he incites serial killers to kill themselves. That’s what I’ve been saying!
— Nevertheless, she goes on to explain how Hayaseura had subconsciously created someone like Narihisago, so that our hero would eventually dispose of him… seems a little farfetched to me. But if they just want to unnerve him so that he doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings, then I guess anything is fair game. It’s just amusing that a mastermind like Hayaseura would be so easily thrown off his game. Maybe there is something to Hondomachi’s explanation after all.
— All of a sudden, a hand flies out of the sky and pins Hayaseura down so that he can’t get out of the chair. Hondomachi then reveals that he’s actually sitting in a Mizuhanome cockpit. It looks like a simple chair to us, but thanks to her ability to see things with all their missing pieces — an ability that was only just introduced to us in last week’s episode — she knew that there was a cockpit here. I wonder what happened between last week’s episode and this week’s episode. It’s one thing to see the chair, but how did she know it was here? Did she scope out Fukuda’s ID Well? Did she know that Fukuda would eventually bring a cockpit to his ID Well because he has memories of being a brilliant detective? Or did I simply miss something in last week’s episode? Maybe Fukuda just straight up told her that his ID Well would have one. Oh well.
— In any case, we all know where you go if you strap yourself into a Mizuhanome cockpit when you’re already in a dream: Kiki’s ID Well. And we last saw it, we were told that it was falling apart. Not only that, when Hayaseura regains consciousness, he’s being pinned down by that world’s Narihisago. So then what happens next? Unfortunately, we never find out. When Narihisago was here, Kiki told him all about how she would disappear and become a part of the world. When Narihisago finally met up with Hondomachi, there was a shimmer on the horizon because the world was (again) falling apart. I just wish the show would have elaborated on this point. What did all of that stuff mean?
— Still, with Narihisago smashing the panel for the cockpit, it seems as though Hayaseura is trapped for good. It’s still weird to me that someone’s consciousness can exist as simply data within a Mizuhanome, but the Mizuhanome itself is pretty out there as a concept.
— Back in the real world, Momoki still has his mission to reach Kiki. Midway through the experience, he falls unconscious because the girl’s powers have become too strong. Luckily, his suit can not only do chest compressions, it also has a built-in defibrillator. Man, that’s convenient.
— All the chest compressions end up breaking Momoki’s ribs, but that’s not even the worst part. He ends up throwing up inside his suit. Pain is one thing. After a while, your brain dulls it. I’m not sure how I would handle being stuck with my own vomit.
— Eventually, he finds Kiki and she thinks he’s going to save her. That’s when Momoki raises his gun. I’m sorry, but this part is really, really stupid. Momoki lowers his gun, because he doesn’t actually wanna kill her. Okay, sure. He’s not a murderer. Even though is friends’ lives are at stake, he would never be able to pull the trigger. I buy that. Kiki then grabs the gun, because she no longer wants to endure this painful life. She just wants to be put out of her misery. Considering how she’s probably been killed and tortured over and over by Hayaseura’s serial killers, I can understand why she wants to give up on life. But here’s the dumb part: when she pulls the trigger on the gun to try and kill herself, nothing happens. The gun was empty all along. Momoki never had a plan B. He never even considered killing her as an option… so why did he even raise the gun in the first place? Why even bring it all the way here? Just to scare her? Surprise, you’ve been punked! Relax, it was just a prank! I wasn’t gonna shoot ya! But seriously, if he didn’t know how to say no to Matsuoka, then why not just toss the gun as soon as he was out of old man’s sight! Ugh, good lord…
— So what’s the ending for Kiki? Nothing great. Plan A was to put her back to sleep in the Mizuhanome, and that’s exactly what she’s going to do. Doesn’t that kinda suck? This girl has been through so much. Sadly, because of the mystery element, the story had to wait a long time to introduce her. As such, we don’t even spend all that much time developing her character. And in the end, her resolution is to just wait. To keep dreaming and wait until someone figures out a way to let her safely wake up from her dream. Just a short while ago, she tells us how her powers have grown to the point where she’s even experiencing nightmares from people on other continents. The show makes it seem like if Kiki goes back to sleep this time, it might be a peaceful one. After all, look at Narihisago chatting it up with Kiki in this pleasant looking dreamworld of nothing. But is that really going to be the case? I doubt it. I hate to say it, but I truly feel as though putting the girl out of her misery would have made more sense than having her cling onto hope.
— Nevertheless, Kiki goes back to sleep, so everyone wakes up from their collective nightmare. Narihisago still has a bullet in his stomach, but I guess he’ll be just fine.
— Hondomachi goes to check Fukuda’s body, but there’s no sign of consciousness. They said last week that people who want to be dead will remain in their coma. I guess that’s the end of the line for him. I’m still not quite sure of Hondomachi’s feelings for the guy. Certainly, it couldn’t have been deep enough to be called romantic love. They barely knew each other.
— The show doesn’t bother to tell us anything about Imami. I guess she too didn’t want to come back to life? As for the rest of the building, we’re told that most people recovered. A few are still in their coma. Hm.
— Narihisago tells us that he’ll return to his normal life, but it won’t be right away. Um, okay. He’s still a guy with a criminal record, right? They’re not going to wipe his slate clean, right? Well, we don’t really know. Still, we know that he continues to work for Kura for whatever reason. After all that nonsense — losing his family, confronting all those serial killers, etc. — I personally would walk away. I know there are still serial killers to catch, but a man’s gotta take a break, y’know? Wouldn’t this be a nice opportunity to pass the baton to Hondomachi, who represents the “next generation” of dream detectives? But instead, we see those two working together on a new case.
— Speaking of Hondomachi, her former partner made a big deal about how she thinks and acts like a potential killer. This is why he recommended her for this job in the first place. So how does the show wrap up that loose end? By having Matsuoka smile and say that the girl is finally where she belongs. Uh, that was lame…
— One guy randomly becomes acting chief. I’m not sure why he gets the nod over Momoki or Togo…
— And that’s about it for ID INVADED. How do I feel about the show? Eh… it certainly wasn’t boring if you just want a cheap thriller about serial killers and their fucked up dreams. I think the show could’ve pushed the envelope a little more with the dream stuff, though. It started off pretty decently with Fukuda’s ID Well. All the spatial stuff were out of whack, so his dreamworld did feel somewhat surreal. But after that, it felt like the show ran out of imagination. ID INVADED never really ramped up the weirdness of the unconscious mind. Instead, we got a bunch of dreamworlds that felt incredibly video gamey. For instance, Narihisago’s ID Well was literally a goddamn puzzle. As for the science behind the Mizuhanome, I’ve complained enough about it. Even if you ask me to suspend my disbelief, I can’t help but think it’s all pretty silly. Finally, the characters aren’t that compelling. On the surface, they’re decently likable. I didn’t have problems rooting for either Narihisago or Hondomachi. I just don’t think they’re particularly deep and interesting, and that’s why ID INVADED comes across as just a cheap thriller. It certainly isn’t an in-depth character study like Hannibal (the TV series and not the movie) by any means. All in all, a slightly above average show, but not one that I would ever find myself rewatching. There’s nothing to be gained from doing so.
I very much enjoyed the show. I read it was meant to be the prequel for a manga, not sure how true that is, but if so maybe there is hope that too can be adapted and the concepts explored more.
I’d say it’s a fun show to sit through but the lac of details and short run time really hamper it from being something great. I think besides fukuda’s well, the sniper at the waterfall tower along with the endless train ride were interesting wells too. The soundtrack for the show id pretty good as well. I enjoyed this enough that i’m looking forward to more content, and enjoyed your write-ups as well
Yeah, the train one was okay. I didn’t like that so many of them involved surviving. Avoiding death became a game rather than just dissecting a killer’s psyche. I think AI The Somnium Files is one example of what you could do with this sort of dream diving idea. I don’t want ID INVADED to copy another work completely, but like I said, it just felt so video gamey.
Oh yes, i can definitely agree there with survival aspect. Never heard of somnium files before so I’ll check it out.