KADO - The Right Answer
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 4 of
KADO - The Right Answer ?
Now that zaShunina has announced his intentions, it's time for humanity to respond. As scientists begin to study samples of the Wam, the UN demands that Japan turn over all of the energy-producing devices. This doesn't sit well with zaShunina, who intends the Wam to be a gift for all humanity, not just individual countries. With sanctions and military action looming on the horizon, he asks for Japan's help in putting a plan into motion. Meanwhile, the airplane passengers begin to exit the cube, and Hanamori takes on a formal role as an envoy in order to allow Shindo to continue acting as a negotiator for zaShunina.
Given that the Wam apparently act as a kind of battery or electrical generator, it's interesting that KADO The Right Answer ends up comparing them to nuclear weapons. While the only explicitly stated problem with the devices is their potential to bring too much energy into the Earth's ecosystem, there is an implication that they could also be used for more destructive purposes. It's somewhat depressing to think that humanity couldn't handle being given the Wam, but this episode offers a nice variety of perspectives on the subject. Once again, this series goes out of its way to mix some moral dilemmas into the practical challenges that its characters face.
These latest developments also serve to introduce some useful conflict into the story. Even a series about negotiation needs some kind of crisis for the characters to deal with, and past episodes relied mainly on the initial chaos surrounding the cube's arrival. As we start to get comfortable with zaShunina and his big rainbow box, the pressure from the international community offers a new conflict for the show to transition to. The stakes are more obvious here, with Japan facing all kinds of potential problems if a compromise can't be reached between the UN's demands and zaShunina's wishes. It's all still too bureaucratic to offer any genuine thrills, but it keeps the plot moving along without abandoning the show's intellectual tone.
We're also starting to get some small signs of life from the cast. As characters like Tsukai and Hanamori get a little more screen time, their personalities are becoming more distinct. For better or for worse, Shindo is acting as a fixed point for the other characters to orbit around; their interactions with him are the show's primary method of helping us get to know them. I'd like to see KADO rely a little less on Shindo in the future, but at least he's a reasonably well-spoken protagonist. The most interesting character of the bunch may be zaShunina, thanks in large part to the show's efforts at making him seem just strange enough to be a visitor from another universe. Details like the way he materializes a floating pair of hands instead of actually moving his arms are neat, and there's enough logic behind his quirks to keep him from slipping into comic relief territory. We also get the occasional reminder that we don't really know zaShunina's true intentions, and that mystery adds a sense of importance to his choice of words when he describes his plan as “dropping a bomb on this world.” Time will tell whether that's just a metaphor or something more literal.
KADO continues to move forward at its own pace, focusing on its unique strengths even if it has to neglect other areas in the process. This is still a somewhat cold and distant story, and I'd like to see it work toward getting the audience emotionally invested in the outcome instead of relying so much on intellectual curiosity. Even so, it's rare to see a series blend big ideas about communication and human nature into its plot while keeping things grounded and plausible. I may not feel overly attached to Shindo or the people around him, but I'm still very curious to see what they'll do next.
KADO - The Right Answer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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