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Koujiro Shindo. A highly skilled and sought after negotiator for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Scarily good at what he does, he prepares to depart by plane for his next assignment.
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But he and the other passengers aren't going anywhere, as their plane is suddenly enveloped by an impossibly huge cube. A pulsing object of obviously inhuman origin and design.

While those on the outside scramble to try and make sense of what they're witnessing, Shindo and the plane are alive and well inside this cube. But they're not alone.

This is the KADO. And its mysterious occupant, Yaha-kui zaShunina. Yaha-kui zaShunina wishes to speak with humanity, and he needs a negotiator. Shindo and the world at large can only guess what this enigmatic visitor from beyond has in store for humanity.

Kado: The Right Answer (or Seikaisuru Kado) is a 2017 CGI anime produced by Toei Animation and written by novelist Nozaki Mado, and can be legally viewed subbed on Crunchyroll here, and dubbed on FUNimation here. The Simuldub premiered on April 25th, 2017 for the Spring 2017 Anime season.

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The series received a manga adaptation as well as a spinoff manga, detailing how the civilians are dealing with zaShunina's arrival on Earth and the gifts he gives to humanity and set from the perspective of two high school students. An alternative take on the tale written by Mado, Seikaisuru Mado, was published shortly after the anime finished up.

A movie retelling the events of the anime, Kado: Beyond Information, premiered at Anifilm in 2018. The movie advertises itself with a different ending than the anime's version, which it delivers on. The movie was available for free with subtitles here until 2019.


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Tropes

  • Adaptation Distillation: Beyond Information excludes the Yukika plotline in its version of events.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The humanoid guise zaShunina produces to better socialize with humanity.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Averted. After his initial telepathic communication attempt fails, it's clear that zaShunina has no idea how to actually communicate with humans.
  • Alien Geometries: KADO, both on the outside and inside.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The backgrounds/still images are drawn but the characters and animation is handled by computers.
  • All There in the Manual: Bonus materials included with the DVDs contain additional information about the characters.
  • Ambiguous Gender: zaShunina's Earth avatar is a figure averaged from all of the people that were on Shindo's plane. Though he's referred to with male pronouns, he was designed with an androgynous, genderless feel, emphasized by the casting for Yaha-kui being genderblind.
  • And Show It to You: In the last episode, Yaha-kui rips out Shindo's heart right before the climax.
  • Animal Motifs: Turtles. Shindo has a few origami turtles in his household, zaShunina catches a turtle at the local festival, and Tsukai is shown with a turtle in her childhood. The significance of such is still a mystery.
    • zaShunina wears a fox mask during the festival in episode 7...
  • Another Dimension: zaShunina hails from a realm in between our dimension and another.
  • Arc Symbol: Origami is ever present throughout the show.
    • Shindo folds paper animals whenever he's idling, and he gives zaShunina a paper-seahorse bookmark, which becomes a symbol of their bond.
    • Kanata discovers how to create a source of limitless energy with origami, using nothing but ordinary paper.note 
    • If you think about it, the anisotropic is used to fold the space-time continuum, which takes the symbolism to a cosmic scale. Even KADO itself looks like higher-dimension origami with its dynamic fractal patterns.
    • The series ends on a shot of three conspicuously color-coded paper cranes, kept inside a glass display box. Inside of which no force should be able to act upon them; yet somehow the blue one gracefully tips sideways, gently resting its wing over the smaller purple one.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: In the end, Shindo and Shinawa end up going into the anisotropic, with Shindo doing it after his death in the finale. Yaha-kui goes back to where he came from as well.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: zaShunina's purpose, as revealed in episode 3, seems to be to "advance humanity". Step one: Providing perpetual, never ending energy. Step two: start improving the human condition and do away with their limitations.
  • Big Bad Slippage: zaShunina becomes the closest thing the series has to a main antagonist (aside from the world superpowers that have by that point been inexplicably shafted from the main plot) after episode 9.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: zaShunina operates on a bizarre moral level that confounds many. In order to solve humanity's problems, he is ultimately willing to introduce an amount of change that many might perceive uncomfortable.
    • Then there's also the fact that he wants to bring the whole mankind to the anisotropic with him, even if that means that most of people on Earth will perish in the process. In his mind, he is doing a good thing.
  • Brown Note: When zaShunina initially tries telepathic communication with Shindo, the latter is left in head-splitting agony.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Shindou, in spite of his otherwise eccentric personality off-duty, is still considered one of, if not the best negotiator in all of Japan.
    • Despite his relatively meek personality, Hanamori seems fairly reliable when it matters.
    • Kanata Shinawa is stated by her teacher/mentor/guru (a Nobel Prize winner) to have so much talent that she will earn 10 Nobel Prizes. This, despite being a massive Womanchild (which is another description her teacher gave about her immediately afterwards).
      • This is exactly why she is one of the very few people in the whole world who can actually make Wam.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Or rather, has many attractive young adult men, such as Shindou, Agata, Hanamori and Asano. Rather than the standard Bishounen variant of this trope, they are more Biseinen. The closest the series could get to a traditional Bishounen might be zaShunina.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Plating company. They come back in the finale, helping develop the anti-Fregonics armor.
    • Time manipulatio Yaha-kui uses on Shindo. The protagonists reverse-engineer it and use to raise Yukika till the age of sixteen in much shorter time.
  • Conlang: The language of Yaha-kui's people, often seen in both the Kado and Mado stories with its own meanings.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Subverted. Humans aren't considered insignificant by the far more powerful anisotropic beings at all. As such, the show cannot be properly categorized as such given that the most important aspect of a CHS is humans being seen as hopelessly inferior and/or flat out ignored most of the time because of such difference in terms of power. This is not really the case in this series, even though every other element of this trope is present.
    • played straight from episode 9 onwards. ZaShunina wants to bring humanity to the anisotropic with him, even if that means most people on Earth will perish.
  • Deus ex Machina: The anime ends with Shindou and Tsukai's daughter abruptly appearing from the futurenote  and defeating zaShunina and resolving the whole conflict before disappearing.
  • Elephant in the Living Room / Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Even by episode 8, zaShunina is largely ignored by the international community. Or rather, zaShunina is pretty much ignored by any and every government, other than Japan's. That being said, what can be described as a low key Resource War over the Wam that zaShunina bestowed and was intended to be distributed among all of humanity almost occurs when the UN (read: the Security Council) demands all of the Wam to be handed over to them.
    • Ironically, the media succeeds in making solid contact with zaShunina on a semi-regular basis and even interview him.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: This pretty much sums up the reaction of Saraka's family when she brings Shindou to her father's workshop in episode 8.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The zeroth episode has two, in the span of a few minutes: first, when the true meaning of the transaction is revealed and it becomes clear which end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism the show is on; then, when Kado appears and it's shown to be a sci-fi story.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Hanamori and zaShunina are among Shindo's many admirers.
  • Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: zaShunina exploits them quite commonly.
  • Festival Episode: Episode 7 has the group attend one.
  • Foreshadowing: In episode 6, Shindou notices that he has been able to work much longer than before...
  • Four Is Death: The fourth device zaShunina introduces, Nanomis-hein is easily the most terrifying of all the devices he used.
  • Gravity Master: This is a very simplified (and incomplete) way to describe the usage of Nanomis-hein. And that's just to tip of the iceberg.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: In the final episode, Shindo and Tsukai had a daughter together named Yukika, who was born from a human and an anisotropic being.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: As zaShunina spends more time on Earth, and as he spends it alongsode Shindo, he starts to show more human traits and physically express himself more. As Episodes 8 and 9 show, this is not portrayed as a necessarily good thing, especially for the man he eventually falls in love with.
  • Humans Are Special: Deconstructed. It is more like humans exist solely to be special.
  • Hunk: Sergeant Atsuhiko Agata.
  • If I Can't Have You...: zaShunina asks Shindo to come with him to the anisotropic. When Shindo refuses, zaShunina decides to make him disappear and replace him with a several-hours-younger copy so he can try again.
  • Instant Expert: It takes zaShunina roughly a minute to become fully fluent in verbal Japanese, having taken the language from Shindo's cell phone.
    • It's takes scientist Kanata Shinawa a few hours at most to crack how the Wam works, giving her the ability to make them.
  • Killed Off for Real: Shindo and zaShunina in the final episode.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Shindo and Saraka's daughter Yukika, who has access to her mother's powers and helps take down Yaha-kui, only properly appears in the last episode.
  • Last Request: In the penultimate episode, Shindo asks Hanamori to do something for him before he headed into the Kado to confront Yaha-kui. We learn in the last episode that he asked Hanamori to raise his child.
  • Lies to Children: zaShunina's explanations usually have to be boiled down to this. His problem is that much of what he's talking about lacks even a concept in this universe's laws of physics, and then has to be conveyed using human language.
  • Love Confession: zaShunina delivers one to Shindo by asking him to come with him to the anisotropic.
  • Love Confessor: Hanamori, while asking Tsukai if she's in love with Shindo, tells her that he loves him too.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Thankfully, instead of the massive Cosmic Horror Story potential he is implied to have, zaShunina only seems to be interested in advancing humanity. So far.
  • Love Triangle: Late in the series, one between Shindo, Tsukai, and ZaShunina.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The UN flips its collective shit when Kanata reveals how to make Wam to a global audience. Effectively making the 196 they forced Japan to hand over worthless.
  • The Multiverse: The Sansa exploits a version of this. Essentially making an alternate reality version of a person sleep, and giving the other all the benefits of a full nights rest.
  • More Than Infinite: Yukika
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Relocating the KADO in episode 6. Moving a cube - even that big - shouldn't be that spectacular, but lo and behold. It really is. Not in the small part because of how well-organized the handling of this immense logistical challenge is on the human part. Japan is truly prepared for anything.
  • Naked on Arrival: zaShunina, who doesn't bother to create clothing for his new human form until Shindo asks him to.
  • Non-Answer: Whenever anyone directly asks zaShunina exactly what his motives are, he either dodges the question or talks about his plans as they are now. Episode 8 makes this unsettling, since the pauses in thought before giving any answer was unusually human of him.
  • Not So Different: According to bonus materials, zaShunina is highly unusual among his kind for taking a proactive approach, much like how Shindo is not an ordinary human.
  • Parental Substitute: Hanamori serves as this to Yukika, since he ends up raising her until her teen years while Saraka and Shindo are busy in the Kado.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Hanamori and Kanata.
  • Official Couple: Shindo and Saraka, complete with a child by the very last episode.
  • Reality Ensues: The main plot is a surprisingly mature and realistic presentation of the First Contact.
  • Reality Warper: Nanomis-hein, the fourth invention of zaShunina, enables this.
  • Recap Episode: Episode 6.5 serves as one for the series until that point.
  • Realpolitik: Inevitably.
  • Reincarnation: Tsukai, as an anisotropic being, was able to reincarnate into mortal forms throughout history. Currently she's living as a human woman, and her human family is biological.
  • Reset Button: Yaha-kui's departure causes all the anisotropic gifts to stop working and the life on Earth goes back to usual.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the novel, Yaha-kui thinks somewhat lowly on authors:
    The living beings known as fiction writers are all mentally ill, to some degree.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Episodes 1 and 2 both chronicle the same 30 hour period after the KADO cube appears, but from different perspectives. Episode 1 focuses on those outside the cube, while episode 2 focuses on those inside it.
  • Straight Gay: Aside from being quite clingy with Shindo, Hanamori displays no typical gay mannerisms and reveals rather casually that he's in love with the other man.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: zaShunina's technology is so beyond human level it may as well be divine miracles. One of the major plot points of the series is how humanity deals with all the advanced ideas and technology he is imparting on them.
  • Time Abyss: ZaShunina is very old. He is older than universe itself. At one point he even belittles humanity for having a life expectancy of "less than a billion years". The same is also valid for Saraka Tsukai.
  • Time Master: zaShunina speeds up time during his Love Confession, making Shindo end up spending 70 hours in the Kado without food and water, in almost complete isolation.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Yukika was raised by Hanamori as the right solution for the conflict between the mankind and anisotropics.
  • Walking Spoiler: Saraka.
  • Wham Line: In episode 6, zaShunina delivers the first one so far.
    Yaha-kui zaShunina: Now humanity can take the next step. Shindo. How long has it been since you slept?note 
  • Wham Episode: Episode 9 reveals that there's more of zaShunina's kind on Earth...and Tsukai is one of them.
  • Wham Shot: Episode 0 has the arrival of KADO.
  • The World Is Not Ready: When asked what she thinks of the Wam, Tsukai answers with this, believing humans have just been given a power they are in no way ready for.
    • It's not just that— her viewpoint reaches toward a conservative view, saying that the gifts zaShunina is giving us are a huge, all too suspiciously quick step for the world after billions of years of natural evolution.
  • Workout Fanservice: Sergeant Agata is a post-workout version of this in episode 5.
  • Yandere: zaShunina slowly becomes this toward Shindou.
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