by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 7 of
ID: INVADED ?
First, a mea culpa – I said last week that the cop who died in the soy sauce explosion was Momoki, but this week it turns out that “Momoki” was a different guy. I'm not great with names, but even I'm usually better than that, so I'm very sorry.
And it's really important that Momoki, who we know as a former friend and colleague of Narihisago, is alive, because this week he's arrested on charges that he's John Walker, the supposed serial killer creator. There's pretty decent evidence against him, too: the body of the missing creator of ID Well technology is found buried in his yard, his computer accessed some sensitive information, and the entire John Walker ensemble is in his house. The only problem is, this seems way too easy for a show with six episodes left, and nothing in Momoki's behavior indicates that it's in any way true. He could be a brilliant actor, of course, but when Hondomachi dives into Narihisago's ID Well this week and Momoki gets a glimpse of Narihisago's deceased wife and child, it clearly shakes him up emotionally; ditto for when Hondomachi (as brilliant detective Miyo Hijirido) talks with them. If he's behind the man who murdered little Muku, there's something that feels kind of off about it.
Plus, this is a murder mystery show. Everyone knows that the first guy they accuse is never the actual villain.
Since ID: INVADED does seem to enjoy working with the tropes of mystery fiction and crime/murder mystery series in particular, I think that is worth paying attention to. There's a certain level of commentary on the genre embedded into the series, such as the way the brilliant detective is required to state their name and mission at the start of each dive; it's essentially the same thing that happens in most novel series in the genre and in many of the older television shows. Add in the appearances of the brilliant detectives and you get another layer of commentary – Sakaido looks younger and like the quirky young detectives of many a modern TV show while Hijirido has the definite look of the great Sherlock Holmes in a nod to older mystery fiction. The use of numbers during her dive this week also feels like a reference to Holmes' brand of logic (or perhaps Poirot's little grey cells), as figuring out their significance requires knowing pi to an almost ridiculous degree, something many of the older brainy detectives of mystery fiction would know. That this is within Narihisago's own mind once again points to the other crazy-knowledgeable type of detective, the kind Sakaido's appearance references.
Hijirido, who, as one cop notes, is the only brilliant detective to have a first name, brings up another interesting element of Hondomachi as a character. In her mind, the detective is simply there (in the ID Well) to solve the mystery. Saving lives isn't part of her work, as she tells Narihisago's wife and daughter. She's given them the necessary information to save other people, so if that's what they want to do, they now can; she's going to go keep doing her job. Muku rephrases this as now being able to go make the world a better place, implying that that's not necessarily what the brilliant detective is up to – although it may be what her father, Narihisago, told his daughter his work was. And what we've seen of Narihisago's work as Sakaido would seem to show that he does believe that saving people is part of his job – he's always genuinely upset to see Kaeru dead and, as we saw when he saved the child from the fire, is actively invested in saving others.
That may mark the biggest difference between Narihisago and Hondomachi. Yes, he killed the man who murdered his daughter and drove his wife to suicide, and yes, he's been instrumental in convincing others to commit suicide as well (or “self-murder,” one of the old terms for the act, which I feel like the show is using in a literal sense). But that comes from a personal place and from emotions not otherwise dealt with. Hondomachi doesn't appear to have that sort of emotional wellspring, at least not since she got the hole in her head, and her Hijirido persona seems to work with that. I think that's what so scared her partner, and it absolutely could be the result of her traumatic brain injury. I don't think that she's (become) a bad person as he fears, but she may very well be a different, and more coldly logical one, putting her in the opposite category from Sakaido's hot emotions.
I'm still not certain that this series isn't too ambitious for its own good. But I'm certainly more interested each week as to where it's heading, and now that Hijirido has dived into a Well-within-a-Well, I'm really looking forward to what happens next.
ID: INVADED is currently streaming on FUNimation.
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