KADO - The Right Answer
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 11 of
KADO - The Right Answer ?
Shindo has decided that he needs a way to stop zaShunina by force, which means it's time to assemble a team, come up with a plan, and make a fancy suit of armor. While zaShunina continues to push his plan forward with help from the Shindo clone, Tsukai and the real Shindo recruit Hanamori, Shinawa, and the guys from Osakabe Plating. They manage to put together a set of equipment that will let Shindo break through zaShunina's protective fregonics and seal him away in an isolation device. It's a risky plan, but they may not have time to come up with anything better; with humanity advancing faster than ever, zaShunina begins to expand the Kado cube to engulf the world.
This is a classic example of a setup episode. The characters lay out their plans for a big confrontation, the show brings its key storylines to the fore, and the stakes are raised as high as possible. In practice, this means a lot of preparation and not a lot of forward progress in the plot. As much as the characters run around and get things done, they're really just laying the groundwork for the next episode. It's important to go through this process, especially in a complicated series like this one, but it's still slow going for the audience. To draw a comparison to the world of professional sports, this is the obligatory half hour of pre-game coverage. No matter how interesting it may be, it's probably going to be the least compelling part of the experience.
Still, Kado The Right Answer tries its best to give the audience something worth watching while it puts the pieces into place. There's a bit of humor to be found in the way Shindo and Tsukai recruit their allies, especially when Shindo shows up at the factory while the workers are watching his clone on live TV. There's also some emotional substance to chew on as Shindo's relationships with Tsukai and Hanamori are brought into the spotlight. There's now a clearly defined romance between Shindo and Tsukai, with their kiss confirming feelings that had already been strongly implied last week. Hanamori continues to play an interesting role as Shindo's most trusted friend; even though he's a goofball, he remains competent enough to justify his place in the group. It may also be worth keeping an eye on Shinawa as the final confrontation plays out, since she seems to be harboring some doubts about the necessity of stopping zaShunina.
As much as this feels like the usual pattern of heroes gearing up to battle the big baddie, the writing still goes out of its way to lean on the theme of negotiation. Shindo's perspective on the upcoming confrontation echoes his words from the beginning of the series: the best solutions are the ones that give both parties what they want. From this, we can infer that he's hoping the unpredictable nature of this showdown will give zaShunina the surprise he's searching for without the need to pluck humanity out of the universe. Given how much this series has focused on exchanging ideas instead of resorting to violence, I'm curious to see how it will handle a battle between its main characters.
Apart from the cube's expansion in the final minutes, this episode is light on dramatic tension considering how far we are into the season. It's far from the most interesting or exciting thing we've seen from the series so far, but its value may ultimately be determined by how things play out next week. A strong ending would go a long way toward justifying all this meticulous setup, while a weak conclusion would make the waiting seem worse in hindsight. For now, all we can do is wait and hope for the best.
KADO - The Right Answer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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