Episode 12

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 12 of

“What if Kiki Asukai won't go back into the machine?”

Honestly, of all of the questions this episode presented us with, that seems like the least pressing. Of course, it's also one of the only ones the guys outside the Kura know to ask, but given what we viewers know of her, it seems like there's only one reason why she wouldn't want to, and if that were the case, she'd be more than willing to die to escape the terrible ways in which her subconscious has been used. She's led a miserable existence, and if being in the machine didn't do much to prevent it, then she presumably doesn't want to exist anymore.

On the other hand, we still don't have answers as far as what dying in the well (or within the sphere of its influence) means for people. Our old buddy John Walker essentially timed his death to coincide with when he dove into the well so that he'd live on there forever, but technically speaking he died outside of it – even with Kiki wreaking havoc on the entire Kura building, the room he was in hadn't yet succumbed, so it was still basically “outside.” Meanwhile Fukuda (The Perforator) just died “inside,” and according to one theory, that means that he has a 69% chance of not being physically dead “outside,” a theory which is complicated by the statement that “anyone who wants to live will.”

Although maybe that isn't all that complicated if we cut out the show's jargon. In simple language, “inside” is a dream, so it's a question of what the dreamer wants to, and does, believe. If the divers are fully cognizant of the fact that it's all a dream, they may be more inclined to be physically fine. If they don't know it's a dream, or they deliberately ignore that fact, it may follow that they're more likely to die in the outside (waking world) as well. With someone like Fukuda, that's largely up to his own desires – he's clearly got a thing for Hondomachi (whether it's reciprocated or not is more up in the air), and if he decides that he'd like to keep living so that he can see her, and that outweighs the discomfort of his arithromania that he was initially trying to escape with the hole in his head, it might mean something.

This situation is almost reversed in Narihisago, who was shot in the gut by Walker before diving. Gut wounds are notoriously difficult to recover from, especially if no medical care is immediately forthcoming, so there's a very real chance that he'll die in the real world, much like Walker. The question for him is whether he'd rather live in a dream with the ghosts of his wife and daughter or make an attempt to survive, assuming he's given one. With all he's gone through, it's a real toss-up, although I'm kind of leaning on the side of survival for exactly no reason – possibly to ensure that justice really is done this time…although an argument could be made for him working across the divide with Momoki.

On that front, Walker makes an interesting comment before he shoots himself (also in the gut): that he's sorry for everything that happened to Narihisago. This seems to imply that he was collateral damage, and that perhaps things go much more out of hand than Walker anticipated. Certainly the theory of him taking out his own best detectives so that he can continue with his plans still stands, but like all narcissists (megalomania is part of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD), he likely never thought that anyone would figure out that there was something weird going on with the serial killer cases. Hell, he doesn't even seem to have considered that he could be creating killers – he had his One True Idea and just kept running with it, although the ends he sought seem a little vague at this point, possibly even to him.

If ID: Invaded has had a persistent problem, it's been indulging in too much psychobabble to justify its use of crime show tropes. I can forgive that if next week's finale pulls everything together along with a rabbit out of a hat. It may even happen. The “how” is our most pressing question right now, whether or not Kiki Asukai returns to the machine. Maybe it would be better if she broke it.


ID: INVADED is currently streaming on FUNimation.

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