KADO - The Right Answer
by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 7 of
KADO - The Right Answer ?
Whenever an alien shows up and starts giving away advanced technology, it's only a matter of time before someone tries to make money off the situation. Enter Adam Ward, CEO of the SETTEN corporation. Ward recruits Gonno and his camera crew away from their television station and sends them in to get an interview with zaShunina. To their surprise, zaShunina actually lets them inside the Kado cube and shows them his next planned gift for humanity: a device that lets them comprehend the anisotropic world and eliminates the need for sleep. After the interview, zaShunina and the negotiators take an evening off to visit a local festival. Tsukai has more important things on her mind, however, and she asks Shindo to help her send zaShunina back to where he came from.
The Sansa, as zaShunina calls it, seems less sinister now that we have a better idea of what it does. Rather than causing some kind of major physical change, it allows humans to discover and make use of the versions of themselves that exist in higher dimensions. Since all these alternate versions are part of the same person, the immediate benefit is having one of the “other” selves take care of sleeping while that person remains awake in our universe. Even if the Sansa isn't dangerous on its own, the series rightly asks if the potential for increased productivity will actually make people any happier. Even as zaShunina tries to help humanity advance, the other characters are starting to question if all this rapid progress is a good thing. That increased doubt is most clearly expressed by Tsukai, who once again steps up to serve as a foil for zaShunina and Shindo. Let's hope the series gives her more of a chance to make her case this time around.
As the latest revelations play out, this episode also sneaks a little character development into the mix. Ward is really more of a plot device than a person at this point, but his offer gives us a chance to see things from Gonno's point of view. We get to watch as he weighs his ambitions against his loyalty to the NNK station, and his interactions with his crew suggest that he's not just in this for his own gain. That balance between personal ambition and professional ethics makes Gonno a more interesting guy, helping to elevate him beyond the role of the obligatory reporter. It's also worth noting that zaShunina's contact with human culture seems to be having an effect on him. He seems more sociable than usual when the reporters arrive, and the festival outing suggests that he's becoming more curious about humanity. I'll be curious to see if his exposure to human culture changes his goals at all.
One thing that continues to baffle me is the show's habit of throwing traditionally animated scenes in alongside the more prevalent CG animation. The jump from one to another is getting less surprising as the series does it more often, but I'm still struggling to understand why it's mixing them in the first place. While the CG stuff looks quite good compared to similar shows, doing a few scenes the old-fashioned way only serves to show how far the new technology still needs to go. I can't help but think that Kado would be better off sticking to its guns and using the CG approach for every scene. If nothing else, it'd be more consistent and less distracting.
Aesthetic complaints aside, this feels very much like a mid-season transition episode. The series is in the process of setting up its next big clash of ideas, so it's attempting to humanize the cast by giving them some time to relax. Even if that makes for slow going at the moment, I'm encouraged by the questions the characters are starting to ask about zaShunina's gifts. They show that there's still plenty of thought going into Kado: The Right Answer, and the series has plenty of potential as long as it can find a compelling way to answer those questions.
KADO - The Right Answer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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