A.I.C.O.: Incarnation

A.I.C.O.: Incarnation

A.I.C.O.: Incarnation anime cover art featuring main characters
A.I.C.O.: Incarnation Cover Art


A.I.C.O.: Incarnation is one of the newer Netflix original anime which came out in 2018 and is made by studio Bones. It’s a sci-fi anime about a girl named Aiko who is the key to saving Japan, and the rest of the world, from a giant glob of flesh called the Matter.

The Matter is essentially a giant, sentient, malignant tumor that suddenly enveloped a large portion of Japan. The initial expansion of the Matter is known as “the burst.” Luckily, the Matter used a river to move throughout the country and so the military was able to stop its advance by using a series of dams.

In this future, there are certain people known as “divers” who go into the infected zone and retrieve items that were lost in the burst for their clients. A group of these divers is hired to safely bring Aiko to “Primary Point” where the burst began.

While I thought that the anime was alright, there were a few issues I had with it. The first is the color-coding of the outfits the divers wear. They look like some sort of Power Ranger squad and there doesn’t appear to be any real reason for their armor to be different colors. I think they would have looked better if they were either all wearing the white or orange armors instead of each having a different color.

While that complaint is probably trivial, it did make it so I couldn’t take the series as seriously as I would have otherwise. My second complaint with the series is more of an issue with the storyline. I’m just not a fan of the Matter as the “enemy” in the series.

Aliens, robots, or other humans are enemies I can get behind in sci-fi, but a giant glob of cancerous cells that usually just looks like pillars of flesh isn’t that interesting. When the heroes of the series are shooting at the Matter, it just feels like they’re shooting at a fleshy wall rather than some dangerous enemy.


Aiko Tachibana is the protagonist of the series. She’s the daughter of a scientist who was working on creating artificial life forms before he was killed in a car accident which left Aiko in critical condition. She’s a pretty generic main character-chan.

A fun fact about Aiko is that she’s a member of the paper airplane club at school.

Yuya Kanzaki is the mysterious transfer student of the series whose arrival starts the whole series of events that we’ll be watching. He’s the one who hires the divers to safely bring Aiko and himself to Primary Point.

Divers work in two-person teams, and there are three of these teams who accompany Aiko and Yuya. The first team is made up of two veteran divers, Daisuke Shinoyama and Maho Shiraishi. These two are the ones who help convince the other two teams to help as well.

The second team is Yoshihiko Sagami and Kazuki Minase. Yoshihiko is the most experienced diver in the group besides the two veterans of the first team. Kazuki is a relatively new diver who has a prosthetic arm.

The third team is Haruka Seri and Kaede Misawa. Haruka is similar to Yoshihiko in that she appears to be the more experienced member of her team. Kaede, while still more experienced than Kazuki, tends to show off which causes her to get into trouble she otherwise would have avoided.

Kaede is the high-energy tsundere so obviously, she’s the best of the supporting characters.

Aiko Tachibana and Yuya Kanzaki from the anime A.I.C.O.: Incarnation
Aiko Tachibana and Yuya Kanzaki


I ended up giving A.I.C.O.: Incarnation a 5/10 mostly due to my lack of interest in the Matter as an enemy. The anime looked nice and all, but the story just didn’t make me care that much.

While a hardcore sci-fi fan might enjoy this series a lot, I think there are other anime in the same genre that are better, such as Parasyte for example.

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