Image source: Bandai Visual on YouTube
Space, mechs, and a mystery god-element. What’s not to love? What? You’re not going to explain everything? You’re going to make me learn it all? Even better.
[Note: This article contains minor spoilers for the plot of ID-0.]
ID-0 is the latest original anime from Goro Taniguchi, the mind behind such works as Code Geass, Gun Sword, and my all-time favorite anime series, Infinite Ryvius. ID-0 takes place in a future where space travel is commonplace and miners make a living searching for and digging a strange space mineral that has made this future possible. The story revolves around Maya Mikuri, a student in the Planet Alliance Academy who, through a series of incidents, who becomes a fugitive from the law and finds herself in the care of a unique group of miners.
One interesting thing about ID-0 is that aside from a brief text scroll in the beginning of the first episode to set things up, it does very little to explain things about its world. Characters will throw around jargon and terminology that is only really understood by the viewer through peripheral dialogue or simple context. I really enjoy this sort of hands-off approach by ID-0 because it both engages the viewer while adding reality to its world.
But if you’re not one of those people who enjoy digging through a mystery of proper nouns, here are some of the important concepts and terms:
Orichalt: Basically the ID-0 world’s god particle. A red crystalline mineral, the properties of Orichalt have not been fully explored even in the world of ID-0. But one thing they can do is “resonant teleportation through singular space”—basically, warp technology.
MT System: Aka, Mind Trance System. A system that utilizes the properties of Orichalt to transfer one’s memories and consciousness into a mechanical body.
I Machine: An 18-meter tall mech that people can transfer their consciousness into to control as a surrogate body.
Miguel Jump: The ID-0 world’s term for warping.
Miguel Storm: A destructive storm-like phenomenon caused by orichalt that can make mining it difficult.
Image source: TVアニメ『ID-0』公式 on Twitter
ID-0 is being directed by Goro Taniguchi with a script by Yōsuke Kuroda. These two have collaborated twice before. The last time they worked together they created the action series, Scryde. The time before that they gave the world Infinite Ryvius. There are a lot of similarities between ID-0 and Infinite Ryvius. Particularly in the fact that Infinite Ryvius was another series with characters dishing out tons of technical jargon without any explanation that the viewer had to pick up and learn as the series progresses.
This makes the series highly rewatchable because conversations that flew completely over your head the first time around make sense on a second viewing, giving more context and depth to what’s going on. This is proving the same with ID-0. As of writing this article I’ve watched up to episode three, and already going back and rewatching episode one, technical conversations are much easier to understand. It’s like learning a new language.
ID-0 has only just begun, but already it’s giving off whiffs of a deep and interesting world that is going to be explored. I’m looking forward to seeing more of its universe and I’m hoping it will be a learning experience.
ID-0 is not currently streaming with English subtitles. However, it will be released on Netflix outside of Japan sometime in the future.