KADO - The Right Answer
Episode 5

by Paul Jensen,

How would you rate episode 5 of
KADO - The Right Answer ?

Ever since the Wam were introduced, zaShunina has been adamant that the unlimited energy sources are a gift for all of humanity. Kado The Right Answer focuses on turning that goal into a reality in this episode. Shinawa is given a chance to study the Wam on her own, while zaShunina has a couple of important conversations. Tsukai shares her view that zaShunina should never have offered humanity the Wam in the first place, while Prime Minister Inuzuka expresses a different opinion on the subject. With the UN deadline approaching, Japan agrees to turn over the existing Wam. At the same time, Shinawa demonstrates how anyone can make new Wam out of ordinary materials.

That demonstration is easily the most important moment in the episode, as it drastically changes the dynamic of zaShunina's negotiations with humanity. Now that anyone can make more of these things, humans are no longer dependent on zaShunina to create and distribute them. The otherworldly visitor has willingly given up his monopoly on the Wam, and that decision carries a lot of implications about his motivations. Assuming there's no catch here, it's looking increasingly likely that zaShunina really is here to help humanity take a massive leap forward. The question now is why he has that goal in the first place. Whatever zaShunina's endgame turns out to be, his methods remain intriguing.

Shinawa's discovery is also significant in how it affects the show's plot. The press conference essentially nullifies the UN's demands, wrapping up the show's first big conflict in the process. It feels like an appropriate way to resolve the crisis, since it plays into the central theme of negotiation. Japan is able to give the UN exactly what it wants (at least on paper) while simultaneously honoring zaShunina's wishes for all people to have access to the Wam. It's a clever loophole, and yet it doesn't feel like a cheap cop-out because sharing that information with the public is bound to have consequences. After all, the characters have just created a DIY video on how to build an unlimited energy source and shared it with the whole world.

The series also continues to show off its philosophical side, although I'm not quite as impressed by this episode's musings as I have been in previous weeks. I like some of the points that are raised during zaShunina's chat with Inuzuka, but it definitely feels like Tsukai gets the short end of the stick here. This show has typically been pretty good about leaving room for debate, but it basically slams the door on Tsukai's belief that humanity isn't ready for the Wam. Sure, you can argue that she's a pessimist, but her position has more merit than this episode gives her credit for. There's nothing wrong with a series taking a definite position, but I hope it'll allow some characters to disagree without immediately shooting their arguments down.

Outside of its last-minute bombshell, this is really more of a “housekeeping” episode. It keeps the plot moving forward, but most of its screen time is dedicated to providing the audience with information that will be important later in the season. We get a better view of the big picture as far as zaShunina and the Wam are concerned, and there's a bit of character development for Shinawa and Inuzuka as they both get some more screen time. Of course, most of that isn't exactly edge-of-your-seat stuff, and it's relatively slow-moving even by this show's methodical standards. The good news is that KADO now has the opportunity to explore a new side of its first-contact scenario by making advanced technology available to the masses. We've seen how professional negotiators and world leaders react to the prospect of free energy; now it's time to find out what happens when the rest of us get our hands on it.

Rating: B

KADO - The Right Answer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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