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  • Ass Pull: The practical embodiment of it is named Yukika. She quite literally drives in off-screen, fixes all the problems, and then up and vanishes with no fanfare.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The OP, "Tabiuta" is hauntingly sung by Mao Ichimichi and sets the tone for the series.
      • The instrumental version of the theme song played over the scene of the KADO rolling across Japan.
    • The ED, "Eien no Kotae" by HARUCA is more calming than mysterious.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • Saraka has been attracting some negative attention, due to her seeming immaturity as a negotiator compared to her peers, her Tsundere traits, and her opposition to ZaShunina. By the halfway point in the series, she acquired a large group of detractors, but after her reveal as an anisotropic being like ZaShunina, some viewers justified her stance and found her a more interesting character. The romance she eventually finds herself in with Shindo and how it was written is also a point of contraction with detractors.
    • Shindo comes off as this in the last third of the show, given that he's willing to do some underhanded manipulations of even his closest allies in order to move forward. His moral ambiguity is even called into question by some fans.
  • Broken Base: The reveal that Tsukai is an anisotropic being, and her stance being accepted as the right one while Zashunina was clearly framed as an antagonist has been a point of contention. Either it's an interesting twist that gave Tsukai some much needed depth or it was a poorly foreshadowed Shocking Swerve that completely derailed the show.
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  • Creator's Pet: Despite interviews stating otherwise (which may or may not make it better), some disgruntled views find this to be the case for Saraka. All of her development as a character is seen as rushed, her viewpoint and opposition isn't explored very well even if it does make sense to later revelations, her reveal as an ansiotropic being is rushed as well, but the audience is expected to take her side, she hooks up with Shindo despite a lack of romantic tension between them, and she gets much of what she wanted out of the whole ordeal.
  • Creepy Cute: zaShunina may have been designed with Uncanny Valley in mind, but his innocence, curiosity, Bishōnen features, and developing emotions, including feelings for Shindo led fangirls to find him adorable in equal measure. See Moe.
  • Cultural Posturing: Not in a glaringly offensive way, but the premise of the show comes down to the local god-like being deciding that Japan is rational, level-headed, and kind enough of all nations to handle all of its humanity-altering tech and distribute it fairly to the rest of mankind. The claims started popping up as early as the scenes with the UN.
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  • Designated Hero: By the end, Shindo and Saraka are this. While she did have a point about messing with the natural order of the world, it came earlier in the series before her Heel–Face Turn, and they don't really make any sort of case why zaShunina's attempt to forcefully take humanity into the anisotropic is wrong while their decision to stop him and deny any human from being able to go into the anisotropic is right.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: zaShunina was meant to be morally ambiguous throughout the series, but the below-mentioned Estrogen Brigade likes to exaggerate his cute features and depict him as a Well-Intentioned Extremist at best and Shindo's naive Uke at worst. By the time the series ended, more of these fans found him more sympathetic the supposed good guys.
  • Epileptic Trees: Yaha-kui zaShunina and his motives are a gold mine for this.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Shindou dies, zaShunina is killed/banished, Hanamori has aged 16 years raising Shindou and Tsukai's daughter who later disappears, technology completely resets itself and all of this is portrayed as the best outcome that could have happened. On the other hand most viewers might feel that the ending is closer to a "Shaggy Dog" Story instead.
  • Estrogen Brigade: The series was aimed at the Seinen demographic, but also attracted a fujoshi fanbase with its cast of cute and handsome men and their close relationships (not to imply that said fans aren't interested in the science fiction as well).
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: zaShunina x Shindou seems to be this. A Newtype magazine description confirms that their relationship between them can be seen as romantic or based on trust, give or take a few complications.
    • Cemented as such after the ending. Virtually every one of the few fanfics the series has on Archive of Our Own is this pairing, with the exception of a small amount of Shindo/Hanamori.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With DEVILMAN crybaby and DRAMAtical Murder, at least on Tumblr.
  • Funny Moments:
  • Genius Bonus: Upon closer inspection on the books zaShunina reads, it's all literature on humanism and speculative fiction on humanity ascending with divine/otherworldly intervention. Episode 8's book, for example, was Murasaki Shikibu's "Three Cheers for Mankind", which concerned a lazy god creating humanity and abandoning them, and a second god telling the first about how a human reached their true potential.
  • He Really Can Act: Takuma Terashima is better known for using a cutesy voice in fluffy Bishōnen series like Uta No Prince Sama and Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, but his performance as zaShunina successfully depicts how inhuman he is until he isn't, pulling off Creepy Monotone, Love Confession, Yandere, and finally Tear Jerker equally well and gradually.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Fortnite of all things had a giant cube appear out of the sky over a lake in 2018.
  • Ho Yay: Plenty of subtext.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you Koujiro Shindou. So far he has been shipped with Yaha-Kui zaShunina, Hanamori, Saraka and Asano.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Coming up with names based on combining other similar science fiction titles is partially a pastime. Of articular note is Childhood's End in the Azure: The Trailblazing Arrival of Space Odyssey.
    • zaShunina patting a piece of bread on his tray has become the subject of attention for some viewers.
    • The ultimate plan for humanity as interpreted in Episode 6 has been referred to by a lot of viewers as an age of salarymen.
    • Anytime the uses of Yaha-kui zaShunina's presents are discussed, chances are people will list incredibly mundane and/or petty ways to use them. This includes watching (more) anime, playing and completing incredibly long video games in one go, etc.
    • "Kado is a visual novel" and variations thereof, due to Episode 9 showing that the Shindo zaShunina's been interacting with isn't necessarily the same Shindo that started the series, and likening it to a visual novel player Save Scumming in order to get the best possible ending.
    • The Wrong Answernote 
    • "I can't believe Kado only has eight episodes."note 
  • Mind Game Ship: Seems to be the appeal of zaShunina x Shindou for some. Even In-Universe, people are baffled by their rather close cooperation, despite the many, many differences between them, including their species.
  • Moe: Hanamori Shun, understandably.
  • Narm: The name of Yaha-kui zaShunina was meant to invoke a Lovecraftian Starfish Language, but sounds more silly than scary.
    • "Because I am... THIS PLANET'S... BIGGEST FAN!" was supposed to be a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner, but did not help the image Saraka's detractors had of her as immature with nothing more than a schoolgirl crush.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Plenty of scary stuff.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Shindou/zaShunina has been dubbed zaShuShin in homage to KawoShin.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After Episode 6's reveal that zaShunina has been slowly tampering with Shindo's mind, previous episodes before the revelation become much more interesting to look at. The same goes for Saraka after episode 9.
  • Ron the Death Eater: While Tsukai was always somewhat suspicious of zaShunina and his plans, and while she does admit that his gifts for humanity are helpful and she doesn't find fault with ZaShunina himself, episodes 7 and 8 made her stance on the matter very clear—that she prioritizes and appreciates the Earth's natural evolutionary process, something that will be lost after zaShunina's gifts are fully bestowed on humanity— a stance that Shindo even somewhat agrees with. After seeing some of these gifts and their initial benefits in action, how seemingly amiable zaShunina is, and an already present frustration with her, Tsukai's stance and character was twisted into one that seems to not want progress for humanity and deliberately wants to hold it back from greatness. Episode 9 has, on the other hand, resulted in a good number of viewers giving her a break, especially due to the revelations the episode has brought.
  • The Scrappy: Kanata Shinawa earned a divisive reputation quite quickly, with most detractors not liking how a Big Bang Theory-type Hollywood Nerd is part of a serious First Contact series. Over time, however, opinion on her lightened up a lot, to the point where animosity towards her was reasonable, but not overwhelming. Most even liked that she was the only one of the humans to go into the ansiotropic, since it made sense for her character.
    • For a character with 3 minutes of screen-time total, Yukika is hated by a pretty large portion of the fanbase of the show.
  • Ship Mates: Some people ship Agata with Kanata.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Apart from a small hint that Saraka has a crush on Shindo, there's not a lot more to their relationship than co-workers. Until she's revealed as an anisotropic being and their hooking up is necessary to save the world, but seeing their relationship go from a seemingly one-sided crush to a family is jarring to say the least.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Tsukai has every reason to be suspect of ZaShunina despite his gifts to humanity, such as his unwillingness to tell humankind his real plans and this sudden burst of human evolution where it previously was a slow process. But she's not able to make a clear argument for why, and her actions seem to represent the halt of progress going by the symbolism in the opening.
    • After the sudden Face/Heel Double-Turn, zaShuina becomes this; he gave gifts of endless power to humanity because he was interested in accelerating their evolution to the next dimension, but gradually came to love humans only to have them throw his gifts back in his face.
  • Tear Jerker: Everything that happens to zaShunina in episode 12. He cries and doesn’t understand what’s happening to him, and gently touches foreheads with the person he loves before killing that person in a fit of rage and being killed himself.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: General consensus was that the story's potential wasn't fully realized, and it shows. The second half of the series has a more noticeable shift in tone, The Reveal concerning Tsukai wasn't properly foreshadowed, the consequences and benefits of humanity's gifts aren't explored adequately, and the negotiators don't really negotiate that much.
  • Uncanny Valley: zaShunina dips more and more into it as the series goes on, as his developing human emotions in direct contrast to his actions and motives make a startling contrast.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Downplayed. See Cultural Posturing above.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One thing that can be generally agreed on is the exceptional CG art and animation. Lots of praise went around for the expressiveness of the 3D models.
  • What an Idiot!: The entire country of Japan gets this. When a near-godlike alien appears offering gifts of seemingly endless energy and technological progress, did anyone seemingly have a clue there might be a catch?
  • The Woobie:
    • By the end of the series, most people felt very bad for Hanamori. He's a generally innocent guy who, while clumsy, tries his hardest. He ends up manipulated by his best friend, is crying his eyes out when he's told to complete what may be his last request, and the ninth episode reveals that he's in love with Shindo, making all of his reactions towards him worse. Then we learn in the last episode that he raised Shindo and Saraka's child for 16 years, she calls him by his first name despite this, never treats him like a father figure and leaves him after her purpose is served, and that his friend essentially dies. Someone just give the poor man a break and a hug.
    • Yaha-kui can be seen as this, though he seems to lean more towards Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds at the end. All he wanted to do was contact humanity and uplift them to a point where they would improve themselves and he could have a steady stream of information to observe. He somehow gains human emotions along the way, which affects his psyche in ways that aren't particularly healthy, and in the end he ends up killing the man he loves and dies to a testament of the love he shared with another person- one of his own kind, even. That's not to say that his morally ambiguous attitude throughout the series was sympathetic however, and he does go off the deep end in the last third of the show.
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