In an alternate reality Japan, the discovery of “cognition particles” – psychic traces of an offender’s criminal intent – leads to the development of “id wells”: three-dimensional AR constructs that enable investigators to delve directly into a criminal’s mind and uncover both their motive and their identity. This is done by an operative known as a “pilot” using advanced AR technology to “dive” into the “id well”, where they assume the identity of an AR character known as the “Brilliant Detective” in order to unravel the mystery of the offender’s mind. This technology proves especially useful in capturing the most dangerous and enigmatic of all criminals: serial killers. However, there’s a catch: only those “pilots” whose own psychology aligns closely with that of the offenders can successfully become a “Brilliant Detective”. Akihito Narihisago is one such man: a former police officer whose daughter was murdered by a serial killer known as The Challenger, and whose wife committed suicide as a result, Narihisago in turn killed The Challenger and talked several other serial killers into committing suicide while they were in custody. Arrested and imprisoned for life, he agrees to become a “pilot”. One day, while diving into an “id well” during an investigation, Narihisago dives into a well within the well – and finds himself back in the past, back when his family was still alive and before his future was blighted by tragedy.
Produced by Japanese publishing giant Kodakawa and written by novelist Otaro Maijo, “ID:Invaded” riffs off the theme “set a thief to catch a thief” to present a homage to the FBI Behavioural Science Unit and the genre of serial killer fiction which its work has inspired. But, being set in an alternate universe, “ID:Invaded” also asks deeply philosophical questions about the nature of reality, justice, time and memory, whether ends serve as justifications for means, and if there is any possibility of redemption for those who have committed heinous crimes. Presented in an animation style that combines realistic environmental depictions with stark, angular character portraits, “ID:Invaded” is at once a complex and engaging murder mystery, as well as a subtle morality play whose conclusions go far beyond simplistic dichotomies of good and evil.
© Text Copyright Brendan E Byrne 2020. All rights reserved.