While I self admittedly should be watching things like Stranger Things Season 2 and The Punisher, I decided to do something else. What was that else you might ask? Watch anime. Seems kind of typical for me, right? Well, I decided to watch two series at the same time. Those series being ID-O and the first part of Fate/Apocrypha. These two series couldn’t be anymore different from each other. From their levels of notoriety and attention to what kind of series these are, ID-O and Fate/ Apocrypha couldn’t even exist on the same plane or universe as each other. EVER.
Oh man how I love this show. Yes, it is stupid, ridiculous, completely pointless, and probably not a good series from a large amount of levels. Still, I just find it a lot of fun. This is the kind of thing you see when you take a fate series insanity to the 1OOth degree, which is part of the premise. Fate/Apocrypha is centered around what is called the Great Holy Grail War. The original holy grail was stolen from Fuyuki City (that poor city finally gets a break) and was taken to Romania. Thus chaos. It’s Red vs Black or The Mage Association against the rebel mage group YggdaMillenia. This means each side has seven mage masters that come with seven servants. If you didn’t know, servants are magical historical figures that come from a large variety of historical and mythological backgrounds. I doubt I can explain the ensuing chaos anymore then that without getting into more spoilers.
Even with it’s different premise from the usual Fate shenanigans, this is still a fate series. That means that the Fate checklist is still in play here. The first episode is all info dumping and characters talking. How else are you going to get any information on what is going in a short amount of time? At least it’s only thirty minutes long instead of the hour-long episodes that both Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: UBW force the audience to go through. Then there is still the large amount of dialogue that is also cut down here. I mean, there are still the random talking between characters during action scenes, but hey. How else are you going to get to know these characters more or have conflicts built up between them? Those two things are just par for the course when it comes to this franchise. The one thing that doesn’t check off that is the fact that it isn’t Ufotable taking the reins of this series, it’s A1 Pictures. This means that it doesn’t look as beautiful as those two other named shows, but that doesn’t matter. The fights are still well animated and the tone and cartoony character designs that A1 pictures fit F/A much better.
Fate/Apocrypha is a series that a lot of people were upset that Netflix took away from other series, and it’s kind of obvious why. For one, it’s a fate show. These things have a lot of hype built around them. The second reason, that I discovered from watching the first half, is that this show is just a lot of fun to watch. While a lot of things going on around it don’t make some sense and the characters aren’t well developed because there are quite a few of them, there is something special here. There is just a lot of charm and energy built into this show that it’s strangely addictive. As of right now, this is probably my second favorite Fate show. It’s still a long way from being a master piece like Fate/Zero, but that doesn’t matter. It’s just enjoyable.
I bet that if I didn’t mention this show at all, not many of you would even know that this show exists. That’s a problem. This show aired in the Spring time and the best chance for this show to get any attention at all would be if Crunchyroll took it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and ID-O was left to its own devices when it appeared on Netflix recently. I have a feeling that not many people have given this show a chance yet. While I do have my biases toward liking mech shows, I think this show is good and unique for a mech series. While some aspects of a standard mech series frame work are used in ID-O, there are enough interesting ideas that I’ve never seen used before that make this show feel fresh.
ID-O’s background story revolves two things, I-Machines and a valuable ore named Orichalt. I-Machines are the brand of the mechs in this series. They don’t have cockpits because they are piloted by transferring the human consciousness into them. Basically, you sit in a pod of some kind, turn it on, and then you are the robot. This system is great, because if the robot dies, then the human consciousness is returned to the body with no damage. Still, the most interesting aspect of this show is what happens when the pod is disconnected from the I-Machine due to body death or some other happenstance. You are the robot now and have the special title of “Ever Trancer”. This is something that is a main theme of this series. Then there is the ore named Orichalt. It’s something that allows humanity to travel faster then light. Of course, these two aspects become in sync with each other at some point and this mysterious ore also comes with a lot of dangers.
The show starts with a girl named Maya Mikuri. She is a star student of Astrogeology and is on a field internship, but ends up being framed for sharing information about an illegal orichalt deposit. This leads to her being stuck in her I-Machine’s body for a while (she gets her normal body back soon) and her forcibly joining a crew of excavators that may have some liberal leanings when it comes to interpretations of the law. It turns out this girl is just a side character in a show full of good side characters. As the title may suggest, the main character is named Ido. An excavator who is an Ever Trancer with amnesia. The story is centered around his discovery of his memories and all of this may sound kind of boring to some people, but the journey is fascinating, and the side characters of this excavator crew are a lot of fun and well characterized as well. A lot of the side characters may seem basic at first, but all of their backstories play a deeper part in this series as time goes along. These people are far from being flat.
ID-O is a cg series, which is fine considering that most of the characters are giant robots. Very unique robots that show the main characters attitude. There are also some cool Spaceships, excavation sites, and so many other scenery and background items that make this series fun too. To balane this out, there are very human models in this show and the few that appear in this show appear in either space suits or one special costume that they wear throughout the show. This means that a small amount of human characters show up and that there a lot of clones wandering around. Somehow, ID-O uses this to its advantage, because clones are apart of this plot and avoiding people in general becomes a major plot idea, considering the main characters alignment with the law. Jeez, did the writers of this show think about their lack of resources during their writing process? Here is an example of how writing can fill in some visual gaps.
While I still think this show is far from perfect, it’s about as good as it can be. This show would have a larger impactful if we knew more about the human space colonies that were attacked then “there are people on them”. I also want to know more about this show’s universe in general. There are many concepts that I feel were left behind in the show’s wake. That being said, ID-O took me completely by surprise. This show’s exploration of it’s universe and plot developments are extremely well developed thought out for a 12-episode series. I hope that there is a spin off or sequel somewhere along the line. I really wish that this show could been on another streaming service, because this show would have made the Spring season even stronger for me. If you see ID-O on Netflix, give it a chance. It might surprise you.