In a world where space travel has become possible after the discovery of Orichalt and the rise of I-Machines, student Maya Mikuri, a talented astrogeologist, finds herself stranded in space. Now a wanted criminal and forced to join the Excavate Company on their ship the Stulti, Maya is now mining the most dangerous and lucrative mineral, Orichalt.
ID-0 aired back in April but was only recently put on Netflix (with a billion dubs). At first I didn’t think anything when the series started popping up on my Netflix account. However when planning for 12 Days of Anime I was thinking about anime from this year to watch and realized that ID-0 was a perfect candidate to watch.
I’m actually really glad I decided to give this show a chance. ID-0 shows a possible future where space travel and work has become stable due to a new mineral and also from the invention of I-Machines, robots that have human consciousness implanted in them while the body remains on the ships in stasis. This allowed mining work and other activities to be done safely and reduce the number of work place causalities. A future like this is fascinating especially when you consider what happens if a person in an I-Machine loses their body. Known as an evertrancer, certain individuals end up permanently stuck in I-Machines. Considered immoral and also illegal, it is no surprise when the questionable crew of the Stulti is made up mostly of evertrancers.
Grayman is both the captain and president of Excavate Company. He operates a green I-Machine and is a rather mysterious character who would rather keep his past ancient history. The only non-evertrancer on board is Clair Hojo, Grayman’s daughter and operator of the Stulti. Clair is a kind girl but gets very little time and ends up rather bland despite her cute character. Rick Ayer was once a professional asteroid racer before a crash ended his career. Now Rick (in his custom red I-Machine) uses his racing abilities to help the mining crew speed through asteroids in their way. Acting as the information broker for the group, Karla Milla-Foden spends her days in a purple and white I-Machine. When Karla had a body, that of a lovely blond woman, she worked a fund manager and she uses these skills to the benefit of the team. Up next if Fa-Loser (yes you read that right) which is actually an animal in a pink animal shaped I-Machine after it was used in an experiment. There isn’t much to say about Fa-Loser. It fights with Rick most of the time and generally acts as a guard dog for the crew. Lastly is who I would call the main character, Ido. Maya might serve as the catalyst for the plot but all the interesting aspects of the show revolve around Ido. Ido is an evertrancer who uses a blue I-Machine and has no memory of his life before waking up in his I-Machine. With no background, Ido finds himself drawn to mining Orichalt and joins the Excavate Company in order to fulfill the only purpose he can find.
When you combine Ido’s need to mine Orichalt and Maya’s astrogeology knowledge, it leads the crew to attempt an extremely dangerous mining operation. The Stulti’s crew ends up flabbergasted however when a child appears form their new cache of Orichalt. Nicknamed Ora but later identified as Alice, how she survived in space is unknown to the crew. What does become apparent however is that Alice is being targeted by a space jumping mass of Orichalt.
What ultimately becomes of Alice and the rest of the Stulti’s crew is up to you to find out. I’m just here to tell you if that journey is worth it or not. Honestly, I’d say there are quite a few people who’d enjoy ID-0, if they gave it a chance. ID-0 does use CGI for the entire series but I actually liked it. I didn’t tend to notice the CGI when applied with the robots and since most of the time is spent with robots over humans, you’ll spend very little time with the awkward human models. Even calling the human models awkward is a tad unfair. It may be CGI but I felt it was really well done. The only real complaint I had with the characters was their mouths. It seems CGI just has a hard time really shading the mouth right and it ends up being the most awkward part of the characters, which is impressive. I was actually a big fan of how the hair ended it up. I thought it looked nice and enjoyed seeing the individual strands.
Sound wise, I don’t remember much about it. The opening is actually really good. It’s got a jazzy feel with really good vocals. Definitely a great surprise and a favorite of mine this year. The ending is a lot more bizarre. It’s a really slow song featuring English lyrics sung by a Japanese man. It’s not bad but I certainly won’t call it good. I will say, you listen to it for 12 episodes straight and you can get rather attached to it. I’ll admit to singing along even if I would never pay to own the song. I do like that the lyrics are meaningful to the series and does act as a good foil to the more musically upbeat opening.
The story isn’t perfect but I will say that it is infinitely interesting. This is the type of show that can really start a conversation about the effects of science and the ethics associated with it. The idea that one can put their consciousness into a robot and reduce the number of on the job casualties is nice but when you realize that this can leave people’s minds stranded in said robot things become more complicated.
My biggest problem with the story is actually the mineral Orichalt. I don’t have a problem with the idea that this mineral exists and has an energy impact that allows for space travel. My problem is that the series discusses how humans weren’t meant to find Orichalt but never gives a clear reason why. If you watch the show you’ll find one obvious reason but if that reason was removed, is there really a problem with using the Orichalt? Beyond how hard it is to mine? Because I don’t think the series gives us another solid reason to give up on the ever important Orichalt.
That problem aside, I found myself really enjoying ID-0. Todd Haberkorn plays Ido, the most interesting character of the bunch, and it’s a different roll than he’s normally in and has him using a deeper pitch for the entire role. I’m a huge fan of this. Cherami Leigh, Keith Silverstein, Christine Marie Cabanos, Chrisitna Vee, and more round out the cast in what ends up being a really good dub. The story kept me involved and overall had a really satisfying ending.
Rating Scale: Worth Watching, I know there are people who won’t like this but I do enjoy the way the show can make you think and do believe most people should at least give ID-0 a shot.
Did anyone else end up giving ID-0 a shot this year? Or were you skeptical of it like I was at first? Really I didn’t remember hearing about it until is suddenly popped up on Netflix and even then I haven’t heard anyone talk about it.