Friday’s Feature: Mid-Season Thoughts On ‘KADO: The Right Answer’

At episode 6 I had to admit I had fallen completely in love with this anime. There’s someone in the real world who I think will love this show but they won’t watch it until it finishes airing but at the end of each episode I want to talk to them about it and hear their thoughts. They’ve now banned me from mentioning anything that happens because they want to enjoy it for themselves and that’s fair enough but it means I’m wanting to talk about this show so much and really don’t have an outlet for it. (On that note, spoilers if you haven’t watched up to episode 6 will follow).

That’s part of why I would recommend this anime 100% even though it isn’t finished airing (and I rarely recommend unfinished anime because too many take a nose dive in the second half). But even if KADO follows that trend and does deteriorate into nonsense as the season continues, these first 6 episodes give more than enough reason to watch and discuss this show.

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Certainly there are points to be made about the visuals of the show but I’m not really interested in that aspect at this point and time (although, mostly I think it’s been pretty with the possible exception of a few moments where the characters have gone a bit creepy momentarily). What is really grabbing me about this show is thinking through this scenario if it actually happened.

The list below severely simplifies the plot from the first 5 episodes (in the process leaving out a lot of interesting thoughts and concepts raised by the show but we’ll get back to that later):

01. A cube appears and swallows a plane full of passengers.

02. We learn the passengers are fine and will be released but the being from the cube wants to negotiate.

03. As part of that they want to give all of humanity a source of unlimited energy.

04. The UN attempts to control this new energy source and Japan, the nation that received it complies but only because they’ve got a scientist who has already figured out how to make the energy source anyway.

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Even if that were it for a plot and no further curve balls were thrown, that is more than enough to get my personal curiosity fired up. Of course what most people are wondering is what zaShunina is up to in just handing humanity unlimited energy. A popular theory I’ve seen is that it is the usual alien gives double edge sword and sits back and waits for humanity to destroy itself. Certainly that is a possibility and would fit with what is happening in terms of the UN trying to muscle Japan into compliance, mostly urged by the US and Russian representatives (and did anyone else find it odd that the whole UN Security Council other than Japan actually agreed on something).

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I’d like to believe the anime isn’t going there, though events in episode 6 make me a little suspicious of zaShunina. His ‘next’ step concerns me a great deal both in terms of what it means practically and in terms of what he will need to do to accomplish such a goal. Still, if he isn’t out to destroy humanity (or see us destroy ourselves) I have to wonder what his overall goal is. Is he just benevolent and wanting to improve humanity? That seems unlikely although I’ll admit that is probably my own cynicism coming through more than any evidence from the anime.

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Then again, part of me wonders if zaShunina is actually the one in charge of this at all. I remember when we first met him he kind of was constructed by the cube itself.  As they have very carefully avoided actually asking him anything about himself of note (other than where he comes from) it is quite possible that zaShunina’s intentions are irrelevant as he might just be an agent for an as yet unseen factor in the background. That might be needlessly conspiracy theory-ish but it makes a lot of sense when you consider the nature of zaShunina’s appearance and the fact that he seems to have a check list of objectives but doesn’t explain the reason for them outside of general terms that could be misconstrued.

Moving on from zaShuina himself, the reactions of the people and the world in this anime to the events feel very real. Life in Japan, after the initial surprise of the cube arriving, returns to normal outside of a few interruptions to the airport itself and the episode 6 temporary evacuations of certain districts as a precaution. The media are camped outside the cube and reporting regularly, there are photos and the like being sent around on social media, but for most the cube is a curiosity. While some of the more extreme were protesting the Japanese government’s refusal to comply with the UN, the majority of people kind of went about their daily life.

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For some, this might be a problem because we’re used to seeing Hollywood movies where everyone just kind of stops in their tracks or runs crazy at the mention of the arrival of aliens. Remember early scenes in Independence Day when the President makes a speech about the cities where the space ships were headed and how he asked those who felt compelled to leave the cities do so in an orderly manner and then there was just absolute chaos? We’re preconditioned by movies to think that a world changing event will actually be world changing.

Yet, what we see in reality is quite the opposite. Though there have been mass protests and the like to various election outcomes and situations in various countries, for most people they’ve kept going about their daily life. While most people have a vague awareness of situations occurring, they don’t know the details nor do they really care very much unless it directly impacts upon their daily life. You might disagree with that but when we look at the numbers protesting compared to the numbers just going about their business it is clear that the majority would prefer to maintain a status quo life-style even if they take to social media in the evening to pass on a few memes without really troubling themselves to act.

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KADO latches on to this notion, that people prefer their daily routine and the things they understand, and uses it to its advantage in forging what is becoming a very believable storyline, even with a premise that seems incredibly far-fetched at first glance. Of course there are characters directly effected by the events and they are responding. Of course governments are troubled by the offer of unlimited energy. There’s so many ways that could politically and economically go wrong and yet could have an extreme benefit if used appropriately. Of course scientists are fascinated by the chance to go further and research ideas that they couldn’t have before. But for everyone else, other than a possible flight delay and a traffic jam, life is going on. The more socially or politically aware individuals would be watching the news to keep up with developments, but during the day they go to work and things move on (whether for the better or worse is something the show hasn’t commented on in any way at this point).

KADO has totally won me over at this point. It is science fiction done very well. No sensationalist fight sequences to entertain the masses, but a tight focus on the human condition in the face of one very clear intrusion into the normal world. The reactions and flow on effects to that intrusion have been handled with care and what is being woven is a fairly compelling story that asks us to really consider the idea of humanity and national borders, yet at the same time doesn’t seem to want to preach its own brand of morality (at least not at this stage). And that isn’t to say that sensationalist fight sequences aren’t entertaining or a part of science fiction, but at its core, a good sci-fi really should get us to re-evaluate ourselves and the world at large, and KADO has succeeded admirably at that.

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If you haven’t given KADO: The Right Answer a go yet, this is the one show from this season I think is unmissable. Certainly there are more sensational shows, and shows that look prettier, or move at a faster pace, but none of the shows this season have made me want to think and talk as much as KADO has.

What do you think so far about KADO or what is your theory about zaShunina?


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12 thoughts on “Friday’s Feature: Mid-Season Thoughts On ‘KADO: The Right Answer’

  1. Just got into this anime myself and the revelation in episode 6 makes me wonder what zaShunina’s is up to. By negating the need for sleep, he is now attempting to change humanity in a more direct manner than he did providing unlimited energy via the Wam. I interested in seeing the ramifications in future episodes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was really wanting to see where this was going to go and what Shindo’s full reaction to this proposal would be and then we got a recap episode meaning we have to wait another week at least.

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  2. As you know by now, I love this show as much as you do, and am looking forward to every new episode each week. This is not your standard sci fi show, and even though the pace is slow, the story is just so interesting that I can’t stop watching it. The real question is still: where is this show going. I am very skeptical about zaShuina’s motive. I just can’t believe he is doing al of this because he is a friend and want’s to see humanity advanced. I think there is a clue to be found in the title for Kado as well: the right answer. What if after all this, humanity has not given the rest answer? Will we all be destroyed? Are we going to be taken off to another dimension? For some reason I don’t think the show will head into that direction though. This is a not a series that is going to feature explosions or stuff like that. I think whatever the ultimate endgame is, it is going to be handled in a very unique way. Like you, I can’t for the ultimate revelation. Great post, and very cool to put this series I to the spotlight 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed. I’m just frustrated this morning because I woke up to find that Kado is giving us a recap episode. I just recapped on my own. I want to know what is next (okay, my inner child needs to be brought under control today).
      zaShunina’s motive is driving me crazy. I feel like if I could figure out his motive then I would understand where this show intended to go. I get there’s probably a reason we’re still being kept in the dark, but it is the key we’re all missing to seeing the bigger picture about what is going on in this show. Like you, I’m pretty suspicious, but I wonder it maybe he actually is just trying to help humanity. Then I feel bad that my basic nature is telling me that isn’t likely.
      I love this show. Really want to see the next episode.

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      1. Awww no, really? A recap episode? I hate those, no matter what series it is. That sounds terribly disappointing. Haha…well I completely understand how you are feeling about this, I feel the same. I’m getting especially frustrated about zaShunina because I simply can’t figure him out. And that is what is so frustrating…but also so very entertaining, about this series 😊😊. Like you, I can’t wait for it to continue either 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I hate recap episodes to. I ended up listening to this one while doing other things just in case there were any new segments and other than the preview for next week and a short voice over that added nothing, no, there was not. Easily skippable.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “KADO has totally won me over at this point. It is science fiction done very well. No sensationalist fight sequences to entertain the masses, but a tight focus on the human condition in the face of one very clear intrusion into the normal ”

    You know, I was put off by Kado’s design and overall approach to storytelling for its first 4 weeks. Since reading your blogs and re-watching the series at that point, I completely agree with the quoted bit above. Kado is really doing a lot right here and hopefully it will continue to be strong in its second half.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also get that people were put off by the design and slow pace. It isn’t really for everyone because it isn’t trying to tick the usual boxes for entertaining. It is however doing a really excellent job of world building and story telling provided you find the premise interesting enough to wait for the reveals.
      Like you, I’m really hoping it manages to pull off the second half. This could take a seirous nose dive if they haven’t thought it through all the way leaving us with a really interesting thought experiment but not a satisfying viewing experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i dont know if it’s fair to compare this series to most hollywood hits (like independence day), because they depict situations in which aliens arent benevolent. in that sense, you could say that kado’s a lot like the movie arrival, where most of the conflict or strife in the series comes from the reactions and suspicions of humans, rather than coming from the aliens. and i dont think either option is totally unfair. you could make the argument that any intelligent civilization would be incapable of attaining technology advanced enough to travel through space to our planet unless they had developed some sense of peace. you could also make the argument that only a colonizing species (like humanity) would even care enough to want to travel to other worlds. that being said, i wouldnt disagree that the standard “alien invasion” style relies more heavily on sensationalism to push its point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the Independence Day comparison came because when people started freaking out the aliens still hadn’t done anything overtly hostile other than show up. Admittedly, they were positioning themselves over major city centres which certainly deserved suspicion, but KADO landed on top of a plane at a major airport on the edge of a major city so equal reason for suspicion.
      I still need to see Arrival. I didn’t get to go anywhere near a cinema while it was out so now I have to wait for a DVD release and to have some travel time so I can go buy it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. as i said, i think either assumption about the hostility of aliens is fair. plus, it’s not like the japanese government could have been overly hostile with kado. it was effectively a hostage situation.

        i really liked arrival. it handled a lot of the concepts of communicating with aliens well.

        Liked by 1 person

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