Wam vs. Sansa, or how I learned to stop worrying and just watch cartoons

Seikaisuru Kado has been a little underwhelming lately. Of course, I went in expecting a sci-fi drama not unlike Arrival, and the first arc mostly met those expectations. The alien Yaha-kui zaShunina offers humanity a source of infinite energy, Wam, and much like with the Heptapods in Arrival, their mysterious gifts coupled with unclear motives threaten to throw the world into chaos, and our main characters must learn to communicate with zaShunina to resolve this conflict.

Once the issue of the Wam is resolved, however, zaShunina then puts forth the Sansa, a device that makes sleeping unnecessary for humanity. It is at this point that Seikaisuru Kado transitions from a drama about human communication and understanding, set against the backdrop of politics and close encounters of the third kind, to your more typical sci-fi thought experiment. “What is it that makes us human?” it asks, rather bluntly. And once the strengths of the initial premise are discarded, it becomes easier to notice how flat the characters are overall, like how Shindo is basically your overpowered web novel main character but as a diplomat, and how stereotypically moe Tsukai is.

With episode 9 finally explaining what zaShunina desires from humanity, I would’ve thought that Seikaisuru Kado would return to its initial themes based on negotiation, but just as with the resolution of the Wam, it opts for plot twists instead. Although, if I really think about it, that didn’t start with the resolution of the Wam, but with the introduction of it. None of that talk of negotiation being about understanding others ever really played a big part in the direction this series was going. And for the most part, I’ve enjoyed it and all of its stupid tropes anyways, so heck.

also hi im alive


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