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Anime Review: Ingress: The Animation (2018)

Updated on December 28, 2021
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Ingress: The Animation promotional artwork.
Ingress: The Animation promotional artwork. | Source

Quick Info

Director: Yūhei Sakuragi
Distributor: Netflix, Sentai Filmworks for home video
Runtime: 275 minutes
Released: March 29th, 2022
Availability: Streaming worldwide on Netflix

Story Summary

Makoto Midorikawa is a special investigator for the police and he has the ability to see the memories of the objects he touches. He’s investigating an explosion and is pulled into the world of individuals with superpowers, known as Exotic Matter, or XM. He discovers a conspiracy that could destroy the entire world.

The Story is Interesting and Integrates the Mobile Game

I have never played the mobile game Ingress, but I do like that they made the game a part of the universe and the plot, the writers made it a mobile game in-universe and that’s a very interesting way to integrate the mobile game into the story without it being too awkward.

Makoto during an investigation.
Makoto during an investigation. | Source

Ingress: The Animation - Out Now

The Animation is Nice

The animation for Ingress: The Animation (2018) is nice to look at. It’s not the most amazing animation you’ll ever see, but it looks decent most of the time. The action scenes are nicely animated, but sometimes the character designs and camera angles do look a little weird. Overall, I think the animation is pretty good, not amazing.

What does stand out about the anime is the XM-powered fight scenes. Those do look cool, but Rule of Cool won’t always make anime great without an amazing story to back it up. This is also the problem that the Netflix exclusive Hero Mask (3018) had. Rule of Cool makes fights flashy but that’s about all you can remember about certain anime, and Ingress: The Animation (2018) is one of those anime.

There is CGI in the animation, and it can be off-putting because it’s just weird, but it wasn’t off-putting enough for me to stop watching, but if you don’t like CGI in your anime then you don’t have to watch it.

Audio and Subtitles

Simplified Chinese
Japanese (original)
Traditional Chinese
Japanese (audio descriptions)

The English Dub is Very Good

Kyle McCarleydid a great job voicing Makoto Midorikawa. I enjoy hearing him in anime and I’m very happy that he was voicing one of the main characters. He gave a great performance.

Michelle Ruff did a great job voicing Sarah Coppola. She’s a fantastic voice actress and I’m always happy when I hear her doing voice work. She did an excellent job in this anime and I enjoyed her vocal performance.

The talented Mr. Crisipin Freeman voices Jack Norman. He’s one of my favorite voice actors and I was very surprised to hear him I this anime because I’ve never heard him doing voice work in any of the Netflix exclusive anime and he did a great job in his role.

Jalen K. Cassell gave a good performance as Christopher Brandt. I’ve heard him in some of the other Netflix exclusive anime and I do like his voice work. He did a good job in this role and I hope to hear him more often.

Mark Whitten did a great job voicing Liu Tien Hua. I haven’t really heard a lot of his voice work and I really enjoyed him in this role. I hope to hear more from him in the future.

Todd Haberkorn, one of my favorite voice actors has a small role in the anime as Zion Kunikida. His role was very small, but I enjoyed hearing him in this anime.

What really surprised me is that Laura Bailey voiced Artificial Intelligence ADA because she hasn't voiced many characters in anime since she mainly works on videogames. I enjoyed hearing her in an anime that wasn't Fruit's Basket (2018) and it's nice to know that wasn't her only recent role in anime lately.

Overall, it’s not the most amazing English dub ever, but it’s definitely a solid dub. You’ll enjoy it if you like watching English dubs and you like the voice actors. It’s a decent listen and it wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t terrible. It was good and it was all it needed to be for this anime.

Ingress The Animation | Full Opening

The Music is Nice

For some reason I don’t know Netflix decided not to use the original music by Hidehiro Kawa. Instead, they chose to have Jacob Yoffee compose the music and I like the music, I did notice there were a lot of insert songs by the band Alt-J. This band has been around for several years and I was surprised to hear their music in the anime soundtrack.

The opening is "Tessellate" by Alt-J. I liked this song as the opening theme. However, I will warn anime fans if you watch the official music video, prepare for weirdness because the official music video is straight up weird.

"In Cold Blood" by Alt-J. I did like the ending song but I didn’t get to hear it much because Netflix skipped it.

The soundtrack was good and I liked it, but what stood out were all the songs by Alt-J. It’s an interesting soundtrack, but not the best thing ever.

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The story was Predicable if you know a lot of Tropes

I feel that some of the plot points in this anime were very predictable and I could see the plot twists coming and that was kind of disappointing because Ingress is a unique concept but where the writers decided to go with the plot was very typical of the science fiction genre.

Being a unique idea with a generic story makes the unique ideas Ingress: The Animation (2018) has stand out a lot less because viewers don’t watch anime for just a neat concept, many viewers like great stories and unfortunately, this is a great idea with a generic story.

This is one of those times you can tell this is CGI, and it's not the greatest either.
This is one of those times you can tell this is CGI, and it's not the greatest either. | Source

It’s worth streaming if you think you’ll Like It

Ingress is a decent anime, it’s not the best Netflix exclusive but I enjoyed watching it. It’s not one that I’ll be buying for my collection because it was too generic for me to feel I have to own it. It is one of the better Netflix exclusives but there are other anime exclusive to Netflix that I would recommend over Ingress (2018).

It’s fun if you’re just looking for some anime to watch, but it’s not amazing, it’s still better than Hero Mask (2018) but not much better. At least it wasn’t boring.

Quick Sumamry

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Interesting story ideas, good charcteres, dedent world-building
Too many predictable cliches if you know your tropes
Decent animation with cool fight scenes
The ending wasn't nearly as interesting as the beginning
A very good English dub
Jack during a fight.
Jack during a fight.

My Grade B-

Ingress: The Animation (2018) is an interesting concept but because of the use of many generic storytelling tropes. It does implement the mobile game in an interesting way, but the story is the most important part of the anime for me and it’s just okay.

It’s an anime that I can recommend watching on Netflix if you have an account, but it’s not one that I would recommend getting a subscription for, there are other anime on the service that are much better than Ingress: The Animation. It’s still a decent anime, but it lacks a story that makes it stand out among science fiction stories.

I will not be picking this up for my personal collection, but it was fun to watch, it just wasn’t amazing. It’s worth your time but not necessarily your money unless you really love the anime. I enjoyed watching it but it’s probably not one that I’ll rewatch on a regular basis. It’s a good Netflix exclusive but not the best of their anime selection.

You can give it a try if you want, but don’t expect it to be amazing. The reason it doesn’t really get talked about in the anime community is that it doesn’t really stand out among anime that came out last year.

I didn’t waste my time but if you’re not feeling it within one or two episodes don‘t feel bad about dropping it.

Sentai Filmworks licensed it for home video, but I don't know if they will have a different English voice cast or not, I will update this review when I learn more about whether or not Sentai Filmworks will keep the original dub or redub it in English with their own voice cast.

My Rating

4 stars for Anime Review: Ingress: The Animation (2018)

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