Posted by SuperMario on 2 July 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Id-0, Reviews by SuperMario

Here comes one of the most under-appreciated anime of this Spring season. ID-0 has many hassles that keeps viewers away from watching it: Netflix exclusive, full CG animation and a plot that just plain weird and a bit incomprehensive at first view. I originally took it as nothing more than fun spooky little-seen show until I realized that ID-0 is a well-crafted one. Both in terms of productions, worldbuilding storytelling or characters’ development, they’re all above par. ID-0 also succeeds on introducing their main concepts that not only plausible on the surface, it hints on deeper implications regarding those concepts and the show handles those issues competently. The discovery of the Orichalt – the red crystalline mineral that floating in space – has allowed humanity to travel through space and live outside other planets. In order to look out for more Orichalt, human creates “I-Machines”, the giant robot that is functioned by transferring human consciousness into robot’s operating systems – a robot body with human mind. It’s important to remember those two details since the show explores its theme from there.

The first implication from the show’s concept, which perfectly aligned with the lead Ido’s main character arc – is how much of this I-Machines version independent from its host? Are they the same identity with the host body, or are they their own selves? Normally, it shouldn’t be a problem since human uses I-Machines as a means to perform work in harsh environments. Loose the I-Machines and they will trance their mind back to their original body. No big deal. The Escavate team, a team of Orichalt-pirate, contain many exceptions to that rules. They lost their physical body forms due to different circumstances, thus the I-Machine bodies are their owns now, called Evertrancers. Ido has no recollection of his past, and his ID was erased (hence ID-0). Throughout the series, it’s his personal journey of finding out who he was, and whether or not he’s still Ido the Excavator or the embodiment of his past real self. Another member of the group, Rick – another Evertrancer, adds some more layers regarding this “self-existent” theme as well. His current soul is a copied version of his original consciousness, meaning he has no “real” body and no “real” soul, he’s Rick yet he isn’t Rick. He carries the same personal traits as the original Rick, has the same memory but he’s ultimately his own individual now. Their current I-Machine versions are who they are now, with the consciousness that run totally independent from their former host.

And I just barely touched the ice-tip of ID-0 themes, so let’s dig in further. Now looking back, I really love the concept that Orichalt is already something irreplaceable and invaluable for the humanity from Day 1. Everyone keeps talking about it, all their activities aim to get more of those Orichalt to begin with. It just shows how humanity has taken Orichalt for granted, so that when the Rajeev (the wandering planets) appear, we can sense the high stake of the situation. I also enjoy the philosophy behind this Rajeev. Just like how Joker was inspired to challenge the very concept that Batman has built, for everything that too good to be true for our human race, there will be some sort of drawback, a kryptonite that attack directly to the advancement that we gained. These wandering planets’ main purpose is to consume Orichalt, and they have developed their own intelligence on top of that – a worthy enemy to destroy the human kind. Although the solution come a bit far-fetch as best: teaching them the love of humanity so that they can learn about humanity and leave us alone (Yes, you heard it right), I still firmly believe this is a well thought-out main conflict for this series.

ID-0 also suggests a far darker implication to this Mind-Trance system, albeit a bit under-developed as they don’t have time to progress that angle. It’s the “immortality” theme. A secret organization, using the techniques as a mean to transport their mind to their younger clone to archive living immortally. For me, this actually sounds very intriguing because it’s entirely possible. If there is a second season of ID-0 I would love if the show goes darker and focus on these themes like this. Seriously, there is many interesting variables to the concept that I really want to explore more. All of that jut to highlight how well-crafted the world settings are. Well done, ID-0.

Now, I realize that I have delved too much on its themes without giving you an actual critique, so I will do just that below. ID-0 is a prime example of having a great pacing. The story almost never drags, while still allowing many of space for the characters to breathe and all the developments progress quite naturally. In other words, top-notch. The cast’s overall chemistry is another highlight for me. They have easy chemistry and they bounce off each other extremely well. It helps that each of them has their own voices so when the show putting them altogether, their diverse voices are more than enough to shine through. They’re not the deepest bunch by any mean but nearly all of them have enough development to work with. I’m a bit sad that Maya isn’t given enough spotlight in the end (this is, after all, Ido’s story), she serves more as our lenses to that brand-new world more than a flesh-out or deep character, but I am fine with that. In other spectrum, the main antagonist of the show, Adams, unfortunately is one of the worst character that brings the show down a note. Apart from his obvious inferior-complex to Kane and his eight-grade symptom of the world has to revolve around him, he has no real personality to speak of and he terribly overacts all the time that it’s hard to take him seriously. The sequence where Adams reveals Ido’s past is a kind of convenient and way to-your-face approach that personally turned me off, but other than that obvious misstep ID-0 manages to maintain its beat thoroughly.

The CG animation does feel stiffs at times and it takes some time to familiar with the animation, due to its mecha robots that floating in air- premise, but this is one of the few series that not only the CG animation is done right, it has its purpose; as robots and space, and spaceships are all components that CG can be used the most effective. In addition, the character designs are attractive, characters look their ages and even the I-Machines versions have so much personality for each member of the team. Sanzigen continues to be a studio that has its firm grasp on making convincing CG anime so thumb ups for the studio for this amazing anime. This is a solid anime offering, a firm 8/10 rating for me. Definitely the best show that no one watch this season. Now, I just hope that Netflix knows what to do with this little gem.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Spike says:

    Solid is a good word. The only real complaint I had is that so many of the character models were obviously reused from Bubuki/Buranki, but I got over that pretty quickly. Just an overall enjoyable watch which you don’t get many of most seasons.

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