KADO - The Right Answer
Episode 9

by Paul Jensen,

How would you rate episode 9 of
KADO - The Right Answer ?

Kado has often moved at a slow and steady pace, but that's certainly not the case in this episode. We start off with Shindo visiting zaShunina to discuss the effects his gifts have had on humanity. As they share a drink, zaShunina reveals a fourth item with the power to control physical parameters like mass and inertia. Meanwhile, Tsukai asks Shinawa to find a way to bypass the cube's impenetrable Fregonics effect and talks to Hanamori about her feelings for Shindo. Back in the cube, zaShunina finally tells Shindo the reason for his visit to this universe. When Shindo's reaction doesn't match zaShunina's expectations, the anisotropic being decides to try a more forceful approach. This doesn't go over well with Tsukai, whose swift intervention reveals even more secrets.

For all the bombshells that this episode eventually drops, its opening is relatively ordinary. Kado has done the technological song and dance enough times that the audience knows what to expect when he presents the Nanomis-hein to Shindo. Where the previous gifts removed the limitations of energy and sleep, this one takes all the difficulty out of moving things from place to place. As Shindo himself points out, this would have huge implications for everything from transporting goods to traveling into space. Just in case that wasn't enough to melt viewers' brains, we also get a more detailed explanation of where zaShunina comes from and how it differs from our universe. It's quite a lot to keep up with, but folks who enjoy the scientific side of Kado's science fiction will have plenty to dig into.

Then the other shoe drops, and zaShunina starts to seem less like a selfless benefactor and more like a powerful outsider pursuing his own goals. Thankfully, the reasoning behind the anisotropic beings' interest in humanity has a grain of logic beneath its layers of metaphysical drama; for a world that can process information in an instant, the chaotic nature of humanity could represent an appealing source of new unpredictable data. By pushing us to advance faster than we ever could on our own, zaShunina is sprinkling fertilizer on his little information farm. There's some plausible logic here on an abstract level that gets delightfully sinister once you start putting it into context. As zaShunina demonstrates through his willingness to duplicate and replace Shindo, humanity is in serious trouble if he decides that he's tired of dealing with our troublesome free will.

That brings us to Tsukai, whose own revelations offer more questions than answers. Her conversation with Hanamori is a bit stiff, suggesting that this show does better with lofty ideas than it does with more personal emotions. Of course, that's all small potatoes compared to the whole “administrator for our universe” thing. This honestly took me by surprise; out of all the characters in this series, I didn't expect the staunchest advocate of human dignity to be someone who isn't human at all. I have so many questions about Tsukai right now, ranging from how an anisotropic being managed to have a regular human childhood to how long zaShunina has known about her real identity. Heck, was Tsukai even fully aware of her true identity until her magic ring broke? Kado The Right Answer suddenly feels more unpredictable than ever.

If you've been waiting for this series to lay its cards on the table, that wait is officially over. Even though it gets off to an ordinary start, we have a genuine “this changes everything” episode on our hands now. With the gauntlet thrown down between Tsukai and zaShunina, I have to wonder if there's even any room left for Shindo to negotiate. Can he achieve his ideal of a mutually beneficial compromise, or is he now merely a bystander in a clash between more powerful forces? The success of this series will likely depend on where it chooses to go from here, and right now I'm very eager to see what happens next.

Rating: A-

KADO - The Right Answer is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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