Should You Watch 'KADO: The Right Answer'? Episode 1 Spring Anime 2017 Review

kado the right answer
KADO: The Right Answer. (c) Toei Animation

KADO: The Right Answer is yet another dual-part premiere in 2017’s spring anime season, though this one has a huge twist: at the end of 24 minutes of uplifting salaryman drama about a star negotiator who brokers a heartwarming conclusion to an otherwise standard factory takeover, Koujiro Shindo’s plane is absorbed by a gigantic alien cube.

This makes all the uplifting, bog-standard salaryman drama that preceded the episode feel quite unnecessary. All “Episode 0” of KADO: The Right Answer tells us is that Shindo is an attentive, detail-oriented negotiator who always does a great job. This is the kind of thing anime often establishes simply by having other characters coo over the superstar du jour’s latest accomplishments for a few seconds. An entire prequel episode in a totally different style and genre from the actual show feels totally unnecessary, especially when it’s not that interesting or fun to watch.

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Once Shindo and his colleague, as well as over 200 other folks, are subsumed by the alien cube, the government undertakes to penetrate the cube with a variety of military armaments. This occurs under the guidance of one of my least favorite tropes: the professional woman whose credentials are undermined by her extreme, unbelievable childishness. Ostensibly a genius theoretical physicist, she bounces and babbles in a way dissonant not only to the situation at hand (200 innocent hostages possibly dead or dying?!) but to the tone of the show itself.

The way episode 1 plays out reminds me of the recent Godzilla movie, with government officials’ names and titles splattered across the screen in succession as their attempts to respond to the situation evolve. But the government makes all the right moves you would want them to make – it’s boring to watch as they patiently trod through all of the correct steps, even as you’re left wondering: what has happened to everyone in the plane? Are the aliens malevolent? What will our star negotiator be negotiating?

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Finally (fiiiiinally), at the very end of episode 1, a beautiful alien emerges, accompanied by Shindo. This is the exact moment anyone who has been watching has been waiting for, and it’s exactly when the episode ends. Maybe episode 2 will finally pursue all these points of interest about who the alien is, what it wants and how Shindo will be involved, but the show’s pacing is so strange I really wonder how we’re going to get there.

There is also a great deal of CG animation, not only for the alien cube (which feels like an appropriate use of CG) but also for the characters as they speak and move. It’s not consistent and it’s usually fairly light, but once you notice it it’s hard to go back.

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All in all, KADO: The Right Answer has a sci-fi premise that doesn’t seem to be a transparent excuse for some tired feeble fanservice shtick, so for that reason alone it’s worth watching. I have hope that the pacing will improve as the alien’s dynamic presence in the plot forces it to push forward. Shindo himself still remains mysterious as a main character (and his colleague is honestly kind of annoying with all the screeching, however understandable), but I’m interested in the answers to the many mysteries KADO has put forth. I’d just like them to be presented in a more interesting way.

Will you be watching KADO: The Right Answer ? You can check it out on Crunchyroll here.

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