Jul 3, 2017
12 of 12 episodes seen
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Note: This review contains spoilers. Also, don't pay too much attention to the rating I gave here.
Negotiation. Getting what's in your interest is the goal of negotiations. But defeating your opponent and temporarily gaining what you want will always come back to bite you in the long term. What's best for you is giving both parties something in their interest. That sounds easy, but it's extremely difficult in fact.
There isn't just one answer, for one thing. We aren't God. We'll never know what was right and what was the right answer for our whole life. But, even if we don't know, we just have to
Seikaisuru Kado features Kojirou Shindo, a Japanese negotiator working for its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, encountering Yaha-kui zaShunina, a godlike existence presented as an anisotropic being coming from outside the universe. Thematically speaking, this series is about the meeting of two existences (Humans and Anisotropic being), two different levels of technology, from how will try to interact with each other up to how one existence will influence the other.
On the one hand, there is Humanity being confronted to an upper being, overwhelmed by the technology of the anisotropic they get their hand on with zaShunina's offerings on multiple levels. On the other hand, there is zaShunina, representing the anisotropic beings, is interested in Humans and all the information they represent, being their mean of communicating, how they react due to his appearance, and try to act as a human to understand them (4th episode when he's reading for example). It's revealed he's trying to give humans a sense of the anisotropic also for his own good.
The premise of Seikaisuru Kado is attractive due to its attempt to confront both parts on an ideological debate rather than a threatening approach. At first, the story depicts how Shindo acts as a negotiator between zaShunina and humanity since he agrees with zaShunina's goal of making the mankind advance. He ends up becoming the representative of the anisotropic being to present and rephrase zaShunina's idea for the rest of the world so that a mutual understanding can be set up.
The first part of the show (~8 episodes) resolves around mankind confronted to the discovery of new and unknown technologies. But getting your hand on a new technology ain't that simple, and especially with an unknown one. It makes you raise questions as the legitimacy of using it (Tools ain't good or evil, only their users are. Should we change the society to rely on something we don't understand yet?), its impact on the world, be it at an economical level (with the Wam), or at a societal and psychological level (with the Sansa).
Confronting to those questions, three points of view are depicted between zaShunina, Shindo and Saraka. zaShunina believes that accepting those technologies and spreading them as soon as possible is the right answer. Tsukai Saraka is totally opposed to zaShunina's ideology as she believes humans should progress "naturally", by themselves, and not by forcing it. Humanity have to be ready to accept such an evolution. Between the two of them lies Shindo. He's not opposed to a sudden evolution of the world. As a negotiator, he seeks what should benefit humans. He weights up the pros and cons and act on what he thinks to be the best solution. In episode 0, he proves himself [to us] to be able to solve a problem by suggesting an idea leading to a better outcome, and that he doesn't fear the concept of evolution.
Media is also a strong element in this first part as it's present as the tool to bypass governments decisions (be it with the Japanese conference or Setten) by letting the people made their own choice. It's a tool praised by zaShunina himself as he believed that everyone should think for themselves as what's supposed to be good or evil. Media happened to have a greater influence than politicians since it's the way they used to "force" the knowledge to spread regardless of the governments' will. (As an aside, the first episode of Black Mirror gave an interesting idea of the impact of media.)
The second part of the show (eps 9-12) is about zaShunina being influenced by humans and how his interested got redirected from mankind to Shindo. zaShunina being more and more human is not something unusual since it already started some episodes ago. In addition to act as one, zaShunina displayed emotions since the end of the 6th episodes, be it with its facial expressions who changed from its original stern one and the use of obscure concepts such as like and dislike (episode 7). The last episode completely confirms this change with zaShunina being sad, angry and surprised (and even the two last ones at the same time), etc. I wouldn't go so far as to say zaShunina got corrupted by human's nature, but the fact its personality changed in contact to Shindo and him looking disinterested from humanity gaining a sense of the anisotropic is what made this second part interesting.
While the first part of the show was about mankind interacting with an anisotropic being, the second is focused on Shindo confronting zaShunina as individuals. zaShunina beaks off the talks with Shindo when he refuses to come with him to the anisotropic. Shindo is no longer a negotiator between the humans and the anisotropic being, but the one zaShunina was showing affection and the one he wanted to bring outside the universe. As for Shindo, zaShunina ain't simply an anisotropic being, but a friend for him. A friend he will put his life on the line to try to correct him or else, he will stay in the wrong. Their confrontation represents both their disagreement as individuals/friends (or more for zaShunina) and as an anisotropic being and a human negotiator.
In episode 10, it is mentioned the problem lied in zaShunina wanting to reach the one right answer with humanity by bringing them to the anisotropic so they won't die (as a species) billion years latter while the humans won't accept to perform such a sacrifice because it's also a part of a human life to live the best they can in the time they are given. Similarly to episode 0, Shindo ends up satisfying the two parts by proving the two existences could evolve in a way zaShunina didn't even consider.
In the end, with the disappearance of zaShunina along with Kado, the anisotropic technology stop working. It's also a warning about the backlash of wanting to rely on something you don't master or develop yourself as the question was raised earlier. To complete the conclusion of this story, the series ends up explaining what matters the most is to know you can still advance farther and to set a goal to lead your way.
Seikaisuru Kado got its pros and cons. You may not like how the story turned out, especially for the second part and the twist they choose to do. Still, this series was worth being watched for all the thematics it grasped even if a lot of idea could have been more developed.
Seikaisuru Kado doesn't provide the right answer, it makes yourself pondering at what the right answer should be for all the problem it raises. After all, to constantly think is the only right answer in the world.