While combing through the brutal murders of his wife and daughter, Narihisago is called in again to go through another Id Well, this time a big stone platform surrounded by a waterfall, full of people who are gunned down one by one by an unknown assailant hiding behind the water. This is the well of The Pyrotechnician, another serial killer who is guilty for a recent bombing. Upon entering the well, Narihisago, now Sakaido, sees Kaeru dead again, this time from a gunshot wound. It takes a few times getting killed for him to figure it out, but Sakaido learns that the platform has been moving this whole time, making the seeming random shots actually precise.
He then notices one man crawling around at the exact pace of the platform and riling up the remaining people, who is determined to be the culprit. As for the others, they are revealed to be victims of a bombing four years ago, which apparently inspired the bomber to begin his spree. Now that they know his face, the rest of the team track him down in the real world and apprehend him. In prison, the Pyrotechnician and Narihisago (who is also a prisoner) chat about his methods and how many people died, but he just says that life and death don’t matter in the end. So Narihisago pushes the bomber to kill himself to prove his point, which he does. But Narihisago still dreams of trying to save Kaeru, and even his daughter Muku, in that well.
Meanwhile, Hondomachi recovers from her head wound and wonders if that makes her eligible to go into Id Wells, though Matsuoka shoots her down, being worried for her safety. He explains the finer points about Id Well diving, including why one can’t dive into their own, as well as explaining that Narihisago was his former colleague who he now despises.
With another episode to work with, some of the rather foggy aspects of this series begin to clear up. Narihisago is a prisoner for a murder he committed some time ago, likely motivated by the deaths of his wife and daughter when he was a homicide detective. But this murder, along with his detective skills, make him a prime candidate for playing Sakaido, a role anyone could play but with qualities similar to his. Sakaido enters Id Wells, formed by a person once they become capable of murder and/or commit one, in order to track down serial killers by analyzing their unconscious minds in the well and identifying them within it. They find ways into this by using their signature device, a “Wakumusubi” to collect “cognition particles” which track the targets intent to kill. Once in the well, Sakaido sees the freshly killed body of a girl named Kaeru (who might not exist in the real world) who acts as a focal point for him in this persona as well as providing clues to him and the team directing him. She is often killed in a different way, corresponding with the killer they are chasing at that moment.
After THAT…things get fuzzy. Having visited three wells so far, (Fukuda’s, Hondomachi’s, and now the Pyrotechnician’s), we do get a better sense of how they relate to their respective minds, but the means through which they are obtained and navigated are buried in so much jargon that it becomes a bit of a chore to keep up and piece things together. The discussion between Hondomachi and Matsuoka (who seem to be the only actual characters besides Narihisago at the moment since the rest of the team are practically cardboard cut outs) reads less like a helpful exposition scene and more that South Park parody of Inception but played completely straight. So far, my experience with this show has more often than not amounted to a bunch of people I don’t feel any personal connection to spouting words I can’t understand about situations that become far too strange to fully keep up with.
With ten episodes to go, I feel like this show really has to shape up to keep me from just mentally checking out. At the very least, it is visually dazzling and creative, plus the wells we’ve seen so far point to each one in the future being distinct and interesting in their own ways. But before a potentially interesting world and concept, I need compelling and intriguing characters to follow into that world. Hopefully we can make that happen with the remaining episodes.