by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 10 of
ID: INVADED ?
What's worse – to have a hole in your head or a hole in your heart? Metaphorically speaking, of course, since both are terrible in the medical sense, but in terms of symbolism, that seems to be question that ID: INVADED is gearing up to ask. For Anaido, the hole in his head in the real world allows him to be fully aware of his reality even when in an ID well, arguably a strength in the denouement of this week's episode, at least for him. Narihisago, and by the same token Sakaido, however, has a hole in his heart caused by the deaths of his wife and daughter, and that leaves him emotionally vulnerable, allowing him to fall into the trap of Momoki's supposed ID well and convince himself that his real life has been a dream.
Was that the trap, though? Momoki's outburst last week seems to imply it, but the dreamworld may not be the full trap in and of itself. The real danger may actually be when Narihisago is forced to wake up, and comes to inside the outer ID well fully aware and discovers that he's actually in his own ID well, which is apparently a big old no-no. It's the conscious and the subconscious meeting that's so dangerous, although how that plays in with the idea of lucid dreaming, I'm not sure. I feel like that's an important question to ask since essentially that's what was going on inside the well-within-a-well to the point where Narihisago questioned which was reality and which was the dream. This begs the question of parallel worlds rather than interior worlds, or maybe suggests that interior worlds are simply parallel worlds that didn't come to fruition – the ultimate “if only” scenarios, born not of hope, but of missed opportunities. The fact that two years have passed for Narihisago in only ten minutes feels significant in this sense. The time, as Hamlet famously said, is out of joint, and that suggests that each person in an ID well controls their own reality rather than being driven by the well's owner's sense of what's real. Of course, this is assuming that Kiki Asukai is a real person and that Narihisago and Hondomachi aren't just in the creation of Narihisago's mind that he made in order to better cope with the deaths of his family; seeing as Kaeru/Kiki always appears as a dead young woman, it seems possible that she's both a coping mechanism and a nightmare for the man who lost two women of his own.
Whatever the reason, this arc has absolutely been the saddest of the series thus far. Not that it's a happy-go-lucky kind of show, but this episode makes it very personal for Narihisago, essentially teasing him with might-have-beens and then throwing him out of his beautiful dream back into a harsh reality. Presumably the entire point of the series is not to torment a man who lost his wife and daughter, but we do have to question how much of what we've “learned” during this arc is the truth and how much is Narihisago's own wish-fulfillment…or that trap that Momoki mentioned. The fact that the ID well isn't his does effectively clear him of the charges at his door, but it also should serve to make us question Narihisago a bit more and to wonder how much he actually did and is involved in everything – and how much he's aware of. It could simply be an elaborate trap, of course, meant to implicate Narihisago in actual crimes (rather than “self-murder” ones or framing self defense as murder), but then the question becomes “why?” Was he getting too close to something someone didn't want him to see, which spurred the murder of his daughter? Or is this all an induced dream and he's really lying in a hospital bed somewhere in a coma? These may be crackpot theories, but with three episodes left, I feel like now's the time to start whipping them out, because there's clearly something else going on that we, or at least I, haven't entirely picked up on, meaning it's time to start turning the puzzle pieces on the table until they fit together.
One of those pieces is the ending theme. The fact that it's all images of people's heads overlaid with other images feels like it ought to be significant, and Momoki, whose ID well we were not in, has a grayed-out head. Does that relate to the false identity of the ID well? What about everyone else's faces and images – mountains, cities, etcetera? Is this just grasping at straws? What do you think?
ID: INVADED is currently streaming on FUNimation.
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