Ingress the Animation – Mini Review

A Good Mobile Game Adaptation

Image result for ingress the animationI’m back with my latest Netflix adventure, this time with Ingress the Animation, a supernatural drama based on a mobile game by Niantic. You may know them for Pokemon GO, and like that game, this is an AR game meant to get people out and about but this one came first. Is there enough here to make for a good show? Does this sit somewhere closer to B:  The Beginning or is this another Hero Mask?

When I sat down to watch this one I had no clue it was a mobile game adaptation, I only learned all that part way through when I was doing some digging. I also expected the show to be another supernatural cop procedural, but this one was more action oriented. Still, Ingress managed to peak my interest.

What got me interested in everything was the introduction of Makoto, a psychic detective who is asked to investigate a strange incident. With the ability to see memories contained in objects, he soon learns something he shouldn’t and gets wrapped up in a global conspiracy. You know, just another Monday.

Image result for ingress the animation
It was good character introduction

It’s a bit cliche, but what I liked most about this was how the anime showed you how his power works. Actually, things were done this way more often than not. There were still info dumps, but they weren’t too often and were done when only necessary.

As the story unfolds, Makoto gets involved with a girl named Sarah. She tells Makoto that there exists a hidden substance that has influenced humanity for some time called, Exotic Matter, or XM for short. This explains his ability. It’s an example where the show tells you things, but the whole while it does a lot of showing at the same time.

Mostly, this is to teach you about the mobile game. Surprisingly, it did a really good job because I was talking to my brother about it (he’s played it) and he was shocked how well I knew the game for never playing. Even more shocking, this never felt intrusive. It felt totally organic within the story, which is something that really sets this one apart for me.

In the end, the story isn’t revolutionary but one that I enjoyed more than expected. Going back to my earlier question, it had quality closer to B than Hero Mask, which is a good thing for sure. I’d watch more of this if it ever got more.

The characters for the series are done in CG and that can be a bit distracting, sometimes resulting in odd action choreography, but if you can look past that, the show looks pretty good most of the time. I’d say it generally looked worse in the early episodes but improved as it went, I also got a lot more used to it though, so there’s that.

Finally, the music was great! The OP and ED were both done by an idie band, alt-J. I joked on Twitter about how random geometry was used in the OP, and then the song had the lyrics, “Triangles are my favorite shape.” Which, at first, I found humorous, but as the show went on it made good thematic sense. It was a solid choice. Not to mention the animation sequence here is strong from a directional standpoint.

The ED, “In Cold Blood” was clearly picked for the binary lyrics because the rest of the song doesn’t really fit the show. However, that part is thematic and the AR sequence of real life places colliding with the game is neat. It was another way to show off the game without being too in your face.


In short, I’d recommend Ingress the Animation if you are already curious about the game especially. Fans of supernatural action/mystery shows should also enjoy this one. As I said, it isn’t revolutionary, but you’ll at least have a decent time.

Have you ever played Ingress? Did you watch the show? Share your thoughts on either in the comments. If you want to support my work, you can do so via the Ko-fi button below. Thanks, as always, for reading and hope to see you back here again soon!


10 thoughts on “Ingress the Animation – Mini Review

  1. I do play Ingress… (less now than I used to) But nothing in your review convinces me there’s any value to the anime. (Especially since the whole “super ability” thing has nothing to do with gameplay… sounds more like it’s based on the game’s lore, which I’ve never been into.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job on the review. I wasn’t aware that this anime was based on a game, but it’s cool how they don’t let that fact intrude upon everything. Alt-J did the themes, too? It’s been a while since I’ve listened to that band. The song you referred to is Tessellate from their first album. They also did the song Breezeblocks which was even a minor hit in America. I guess they have an interesting connection with Japan since on their 2nd album, they have a song called Nara which shares the name of a city that’s in the Kansai region (Osaka/Kobe/Kyoto/etc.).

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    1. Thanks man, mostly did this one so we’d have some content this week XD I’ve been crazy busy.

      Normally for game adaptations they either explain too much or too little, but this felt largely organic. The game is a cannon thing in the show, meant to trick people into helping secret organizations accomplish tasks and mask the movements of actual members. It isn’t the most unique thing, but I was impressed enough with it.

      Yeah, I have been enjoying alt-J since I found them. They have their stuff on Spotify too. Cool facts about ’em, I didn’t know those.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gotcha. I know that feeling since I’ve been busy with work and putting the final touches on the next 4 books I’m about to launch.

        That’s true about so many game adaptations. Sounds good on the anime’s part.

        Nice. I haven’t listened to their newer albums, but I liked their first two when I heard them.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you very much, Jon! I just have to copyright them and promote them.

            No problem. It was good checking out those couple of reviews on your blog from you and Jacob even if mainstream movies aren’t my thing when it came to the latter review.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Thanks! Those 4 books are a part of one of my current series and are shorter reads.

                No problem. That’s good to know. I know I feel the same way when people check out my things, so the feeling’s mutual. You’re welcome. 🙂

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