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The Collapse of Babylon & Kado: The Right Answer

The Collapse of Babylon & Kado: The Right Answer

Hello & Welcome – To Replay Value The Collapse of Babylon & Kado: The Right
Answer I don’t watch Game of Thrones, so I had
the outside perspective of watching the internet at large meltdown with every new episode in
the final season as it slowly but surely proved that it had no idea how to end in a satisfying
manner. It’s intrinsically disappointing to be let
down when everything pointed to a solid story and it just wasn’t able to stick the landing
in any way shape or form, forgetting plot points, extinguishing character arcs, maybe
even a collapse of structure. It’s tough to be burned, but even while
I avoided the collapse of Game of Thrones, and couldn’t have cared less about the Rise
of Skywalker, despite my better knowledge (and because I hadn’t watched Vinland Saga
yet), I somehow found myself declaring after Episode 7 of Babylon that it was going to
be Anime of the Season. Needless to say, Fate is a cruel mistress: It’s not that Babylon didn’t have it’s
fair share of problems prior to the break it took between Episode 7 and 8, I just thought
the overall arc of the show was going to return to its strong direction and leave behind the
seriously questionable moralizing and philosophy writing. But perhaps if I had done my research, I wouldn’t
have had lofty expectations – because the same thing happened on Mado Nozaki’s last
TV project, Kado: The Right Answer. Literally the same thing, a genre shift and
scale change that happened at the worst possible moment, throwing away what had made the stories
so interesting up until the critical moments. So let’s chat about what made these stories
have the potential they did and what unfortunately went so horribly wrong. Today we look at the Collapse of Babylon & Kado. Kado’s premise is right up my alley, sci-fi
first contact where the resulting interaction asks massive questions about society, technology,
morality – it’s basically an all-in-one socio-political meatball of philosophical
questions. I dig stuff like that because fiction is the
perfect vehicle to explore it in – how would religious organizations respond to a god-like
figure, what is the international response to one country being the only one with access
to an alien, would everyday life continue or would productivity dive due to concerns
of annihilation- these are all fascinating questions that are directly related to the
topics brought up in the show, and on their own could have served as the basis for an
entire storyline. It never goes there but there’s such a bevy
of topics that it was inevitable that a 13-episode tv run would have to pick and choose. And where we start our storyline, it is certainly
no slouch. Kado’s introduction revolves around the
first contact between Japan and zaShunina – an alien being who’s from a higher dimension
of reality called the anisotropic. zaShunina introduces new technologies to mankind
that have massive impacts on the world political structure, individual life, and a whole bunch
more. Shindo our main character is a negotiator
for the japanese government. While he’s definitely too perfect, and episode
0 where he helps to develop a new kind of metal-treatment after researching the subject
for two nights is just the tip of that iceberg, his role as accidental abductee turned representative
for the anisotropic is perfect for the early story. His early relationship with zaShunina presents
tons of quandaries from how to communicate with him, determining his intentions and making
clear humanity’s desires. By the time zaShunina starts to roll out his
plan to help humanity progress with infinite energy in the form of Wam – the wheels are
really grooving with international politics responding to the “threat” that this poses
to energy production, domestic politics of trying to rescue the trapped humans from the
cube called Kado who may or may not be hostages, the military concerns of tech like Kado compared
to their weapons that can’t even touch it – and that’s not even getting into the interpersonal
aspects of whether we can understand zaShunina through a human lens / standard emotional
interpretations and the relationships that he builds with Shindo and that Shindo has
with the rest of the secondary cast. It all feels plausible, which is probably
borne out best by my favorite sequence in the series as they move Kado across a city,
with all of the city council arguing, transport logistics, news media interest and the great
theme that plays in the background. Seriously this is a near perfect sequence
from the cinematography highlighting the absurd scale of the cube, the sound design of it
hitting the ground, the brilliant score. Unfortunately it’s at this point that the
show begins to lose its footing, the next invention introduced has the effect of eliminating
the need for sleep – which doesn’t get the same socio-political interrogation that the
Wam did, which is a shame because there are tons of economic questions about some people
never needing to sleep versus others who do – how that impacts productivity and workforces,
social centers, creating new forms of classes of people – but instead the show briefly touches
on the concerns of the unknown health risks, and uses that time to set-up a date between
Shindo and Saraka who suggests that these leaps of progress take away humanity’s ability
to progress on its own terms and sees that as a bad thing. Which is fine and a really interesting point
that I would have loved for the show to explore. Instead Kado chooses the wrong answer and
goes in the – literal worst possible direction. So after a show that was making its bread
and butter with concepts of how first contact could change human society, and alluding to
some philosophical and moral questions about the “value of progress” – zaShunina reveals
that everything he’s done is so that he can bring humanity to the anisotropic, even
if in the process it will kill most of them. Of course Shindo rejects such an idea, and
zaShunina proceeds to attack him with the intent to kill. One plot twist and the rest of the story is
now about stopping zaShunina from forcing humanity into the anisotropic. Here’s the problem, that’s a massive scale
change in terms of conflict – it went from a philosophical conflict, is it good for humanity
to advance thanks to outside forces, are these changes good for humanity, is progress necessarily
a good thing even, to the most basic “we have to stop the dude that’s going to kill
almost everyone” – leaving the nuance of those earlier points brushed over. The new circumstances are a simple conflict
and also one that doesn’t take much consideration, killing people is wrong, moving people without
their consent is wrong, so there’s not a real argument for what zaShunina is planning,
especially because it’s revealed that he’s doing it for selfish purposes. This isn’t about humanity at all, it’s
about his own desire to consume as much information as possible. This shift in conflict also removes the agency
of Shindo as a negotiator – his whole skill set is about producing outcomes that are satisfying
to everyone involved, that’s what he’s done all along in becoming close with zaShunina
and helping to introduce these anisotropic tools – and now he’s just another dude set
to punch and outsmart the evil guy. There’s no middle-ground here or an alternative
solution that will make all parties happy – there is either humanity entering the anisotropic
or staying in their world, and only one of those plans allows all of humanity to live. And that’s borne out by the conclusion of
the show, the “out-smarting” plan is a total Deus ex Machina in Shindo and Saraka’s
kid who’s a mix of human and anisotropic and who completely wrecks zaShunina to prove,
thematically, that even the anisotropic is still advancing. Yukika explicitly stating a thematic point
that was so much more interesting when it was being shown through zaShunina reading
and becoming more human is too on the nose, and coming out of nowhere to save the day
makes me wonder why Shindo had to die since his trump card was sitting on the bench, though
honestly the whole “battle to save the world” trope was never going to end well. It just got even worse that humanity had to
produce a God to save itself – like humanity’s ingenuity, the very thing that Saraka argued
was why they didn’t need the anisotropic, was still pointless. To me Kado was at its best when it was presenting
situations that asked socio-political questions, and this action finale is not one of those
– in fact it’s literally the opposite. And even its quick philosophical element,
being told that zaShunina is still on his way to somewhere just like all of humanity,
while a thematically consistent belief with the earlier parts of the show, feels somewhat
hollow since it’s just coming from an even higher being, instead of coming full circle
with Shindo telling him what the right answer is. The other problem I have with this finale
is that maintaining these thematic conclusions is doable without a combat ending – just make
it so that no one dies when going to the anisotropic. Then you have a moral question of whether
forcibly relocating people for the sake of humanity’s advancement is appropriate, Shindo
gets to negotiate with zaShunina who is convinced he’s doing the right thing because he wants
to share the world beyond our universe with humanity, we still have the thematic point
of everyone going somewhere and zaShunina continuing to change, and it makes it a mental
argument about communicating ideas – one of the core ideas of the show – instead of I’m
gonna fight you because you are so clearly evil. While the scaling issue is still pretty small
because we’re no longer dealing with world governments or massive media corporations,
that’s easily expandable by starting a global debate about the merits of moving into the
anisotropic which could even include worldwide vote, with zaShunina and Shindo making their
cases as streamed online. That being said, If you read the ending of
Kado as a discussion on Colonialism there is no issue with a combat ending with the
lives of the majority of humanity potentially being lost in the transfer as the stakes,
in fact it’s all too fitting. That reading isn’t a cure-all for the problems
that Kado’s conclusion has – Yukika is still out of left field, it doesn’t suddenly forgive
the scale shift or the discarding of questions about the value of progress to hyperfocus
on the morality of relocation & ending a life, Saraka’s whole backstory doesn’t really
work in that reading – but I felt it was worth pointing out because it’s a reasonable interpretation
of the ending, and certainly a facet of the larger discussion on progress. It’s still far from perfectly executed,
but at the very least it speaks to and recontextualizes the opening half – maybe I’ll talk more
about this pet theory of mine another time since it is genuinely an interest lens to
look at the show through. Kado suffers from a rushed final arc that
dismisses any moral ambiguity around the value of progress, a perfect main character with
an all-too avoidable death wish, a laughable deus-ex-machina, and way too much telling
and not enough showing – but at the very least the ending still builds on a thematic question
related to its opening in a meaningful way. That is something that I cannot say for the
ending of Babylon. Cards on the table, I love thrillers. I especially love it when those thrillers
are based around political conspiracies, and through three episodes that’s what Babylon
was to a T. It might be hard to remember that because of the absurd direction the series
takes after its third episode, but the beginning started with Seizaki investigating a pharmaceutical
company who had lied about their new drug’s test results and that slowly becoming linked
to a conspiratorial plot in the Shiniki mayoral election as the bodies started piling up. The slow knot untangling, the death of Fumio
suggesting a dark conspiracy regarding the election, the reveal of the prosecutor’s office
being in on the rigging, the purpose of the city’s existence to be without larger regulations,
Magase a woman who had the power to shapeshift and make people commit suicide who was at
the center of all of these occurances. To me it felt like it had the potential to
go in a Michael Crichton-esque direction, the new suicide law that in combination with
the suicide drug would enable some insane conspiracy cover-ups and it’d be up to Seizaki
and his journalist friend to uncover how the pork barrelling used to elect Itsuki was being
used to fund inhuman drug testing as it would turn out that Magase was one of the results
of this drug testing which developed her powerset. Now I’m not disappointed that it didn’t
turn out that way, so long as the remaining episodes made good on the tons of potential
that kept the conspiracy thriller at the forefront – specifically building out the core conflict
that was Seizaki versus Magase, as was highlighted as our moral and thematic focus in the second
episode. That is…not what happened, and I should
have seen it coming, the warning sign in red lights was when it’s revealed that the “F”
on the piece of paper that launched the whole investigation was for “Female” – referring
to Magase – a revelation so pointless that it feels like it would have been better off
never being clarified. But the cracks in the armor start showing
up almost immediately from that point because at this moment the story starts focusing on
the newly introduced suicide law since in Episode 4 while trying to take down Itsuki
for the suicide of everyone who jumped in Episode 3 it quickly becomes apparent they
don’t have a case – leaving us focused on the law itself. For the rest of the show, the suicide law
becomes the central tennant by which the story is structured – the overaching plot from Episode
4 onwards is based around it, which means that Seizaki and Magase’s conflict is overshadowed
by it, debates about the law become episode long discussions, and it’s a shift from
conspiracy thriller to psuedo-political drama which demands a scale change. But here’s the core problem with that – the
show doesn’t do anything interesting with the suicide law. For starters, it is poorly defined, it’s
clear that it’s a step beyond physician assisted suicide and so I’m under the impression
that it allows for state-sponsored suicide via the drug introduced in Episode 1, but
that’s never made clear by the series and we never see anyone commit suicide by said
drug. I didn’t even remember the name of the drug
until I looked it up for this video – that’s how irrelevant it is. Babylon is not a slow-paced character drama,
no character in the story that we interact with for an extended period of time chooses
to commit suicide as a result of the law passing, no one even considers it, and the one brief
character who does choose to commit suicide that we see not as a result of Magase, only
reinforces the idea for Seizaki that suicide is wrong. In fact the law is completely irrelevant to
Seizaki’s character and his conflict with Magase with the sole exceptions of her power
set also features suicide and the fact that they live in a world with it. The show never explores the impacts of the
suicide law, and it just becomes a vehicle for the show to discuss morality. That becomes clear in Episode 6’s debate
which…man it’s just not good. The anti-law side’s argument is unprepared
and incredibly poorly thought out – which hey is consistent with the story because of
how overconfident they were – but Babylon should also be convincing the audience that
the suicide law is going to bring up some interesting ideas. The idea that an experienced politician wouldn’t
do a background check into his trump card is absurd which makes the plot twist so dumb,
and Itsuki’s arguments for the suicide law basically boil down to “we already can’t
charge people who commit suicide, might as well talk about it in the open forum” which
is basically just saying “we want to talk about what’s right and wrong – just not
at this moment, that’s for later”. There’s no real discussion about what the
suicide law would change or the larger societal impacts, it’s all just as ephmeral as what
the law actually says. This effectively means that anything that
would ask the question of what is good and evil would have sufficed as the core tenant
of the plot, but presumably this was chosen because the audience is supposed to be horrified
by the mere idea of the law, without realizing that Seizaki and Magase’s conflict is also
a discussion of what is good and evil – the interrogation in Episode 2 was set-up for
that very concept. Which conveniently brings us to Episode 7,
which to me is proof that this show still could have gotten on the right track because
this is a return to the thriller aspect of the show. The team slowly disappearing, Kujiin struggling
to convey the threat of Magase to Seizaki, the ending sequence where Seizaki breaks down
– it’s all a bit on the nose regarding the visual direction (white blood splatter, wonder
what that could be) but damn the sound design is great and it’s the focus that the show
is best at, Magase versus Seizaki and his drive to take her down as the epitome of evil,
opposite of his own eponymous justice. This is what the show should have been and
despite the previous episodes’ detour, we could have come back to a gritty Seizaki on
his own trying to find Magase in a city where her actions would have even more legal protection
than ever before as he forgoes his position and is now working outside the law. We don’t need the political debates because
Magase states in plain terms that she is evil and he is good while dismembering Sekuro in
Episode 7 – that’s your set-up for an exploration of ethics right there. Instead that conflict is completely backburnered
and the show goes full-frieght on the suicide law, introducing the President of the United
States as a Deuteragonist who’s whole existence within the plot is to weigh whether the suicide
law is good or bad. Seizaki and Magase never interact again until
the very end of the series, despite the suicide law going global there’s still no discussion
about how this effects society – part of the story even takes place in Hartford Conneticut
the Insurance Capital of the World where Health and Life Insurance Multinational Companies
would probably be VERY interested in the economic outcomes of such a law. We never discuss that but the President threatens
to send the national guard there in lieu of a legal challenge via the Justice Department
or just leaving it to the Governor to tackle. The show hems and haws for 4 episodes about
basic ethics, occasionally cutting to Seizaki working with the FBI and getting a gun, but
really it’s just treading water until the G7 summit which…yeah just like Episode 6’s
debate it’s not an interesting philosophical discussion. But it was never going to be, we as a species
have been arguing good and evil for millenia, characters explicitly discussing it in broad
terms wasn’t going to get any closer to the truth because there’s so much minutiae
to consider. It’s heavy brow beating over really basic
ethics discussions which is like the opposite of a story like No Country for Old Men which
does a much better job of showing varying levels of morality in the actions and decisions
of the characters – it allows the audience to intuit the themes of the work as opposed
to watch characters talk about the trolley problem. For Babylon to conclude, after an episode
and a half of debate, that the answer to “good” was “continuing” was never going to be
the satisfying answer, but it’s especially regrettable here since the suicide law and
this discussion at large was the cornerstone of the work after it left the thriller behind. The expansion in scope from a one to one conflict
in the backdrop of an election to a global phenomenon with world leaders debating basic
ethics is not inherently a bad thing, the problem is, again, that the suicide law only
serves as a vehicle for the moralizing and that moralizing is so boring. Which I guess brings me to the final moments,
Magase, and the post-credit scene. I’m not going to nitpick the logical inconsistencies
in the finale though they are numerous and Magase gets really lucky or is omniscient. I’m also going to say that I don’t think
I’d have made this video without the post-credit scene, I think with an inconclusive ending
I’d have likely just said “bummer that it didn’t end well” and moved on with
my life. The final moments are the return to the thriller,
Seizaki having to kill the President in order to prevent the world from watching him commit
suicide is one of the benefits of scale change, and then facing off against Magase is surprisingly
intense. If the show ended with Magase pulling a Spike
and the gunshot over black, you could draw your thematic interpretations from the conclusion
of what is good and what is evil, make the case that Seizaki shot her or he killed himself,
and that’d kind of match the thematic question of whether good and justice would actually
win out in the end, or if killing her would even be a real win for good (aka paradox of
evil). But the post-credit scene throws all of that
in the audience’s face – because Magase wins in the end. Magase had the potential of being a good villain,
sure I wanted to know about her powerset but I’m willing to accept that she’s just
the incarnation of evil. She’s like a force of nature, trying to
awaken good people to what “evil” is, but if evil is really ending life – then what
is the case of Seizaki’s death really mean? He’s not “good” by the metric of the
show because he killed the President, but he’s not “evil” either because he wouldn’t
end her. His thematic arc just…ends with no answer. No one learned anything, Magase continues
on completely unchanged from the beginning of the show and her motivation still simply
being “do evil”…for no reason that the audience can hope to understand. But the nail in the coffin is despite the
President dying to try and preserve as much life as possible – so no one would interpret
his suicide as a conclusion that he had deemed suicide “good” – evil wins in the end. Because good does not desire to cut short
life, and evil will always do so – evil will win. That’s the thematic conclusion at the end
of Babylon. It’s a damning indictment of humanity…except
that Magase isn’t human. Nothing about her seems to be human, she has
super powers that are never properly explained, her backstory is shrouded in mystery, she
is – for all intents and purposes – a mythical character straight from the bible. And yet, humanity is doomed? I personally reject this, if you can accept
that a character who was treated like an unknowable whirlwind of evil suddenly comes to represent
the worst of humanity, then good on yah, I’m just not on board. It’s not even that the show concludes morality
is a complex web or that amoral behavior is the normal, it’s that humanity will inherently
trend towards evil because evil people will kill all the good ones. But without a rational explanation or a reason
to do so – some people are just born evil and evil is simply evil because it has always
been evil. It’s circular logic. Magase has no background to her motivation,
because she’s not really a “character” so much as an antagonistic force. If she lost, or even if there was an inconclusive
ending – I think this is passable because then it’s not a clear cut “evil wins because
it is evil and that’s all” This post-credit scene is thematically bankrupt because it
never put in the effort to make a Magase win have any meaning beyond its face & the pure
shock-value. The show also comes down pretty hard on the
suicide is evil in any circumstance point because of it’s conclusion about good being
continuing which seems like a pretty limited viewpoint given the subject material but since
Babylon never talked about physician assisted suicide and the moral arguments on both sides
even once I can’t say I’m shocked. All in all Babylon’s problems are far more
numerous than just the ones I spoke to here, going from a fictional city state to real
global politics was always going to be a messy transition, acting like it’s rewriting ethics
textbooks with it’s visuals in Episode 11 was another one, and again – just ditching
the thriller for a political drama. I’d imagine most people who finished Babylon
with a positive impression really appreciated the well executed aspects of the thriller
– how tense it was, how exciting the conclusion was – all the while ignoring the discussion
of the suicide law – but for me I can’t forgive the show for the bait and switch especially
when the initial serving was so good and the latter was just so…not – especially how
much came afterwards. Funnily enough Babylon and Kado suffered from
opposite problems, Kado would have benefited from keeping it’s discussion global and
not downsizing the core conflict, whereas Babylon was at its best when the conflict
was between the two emissaries instead of a philosophical discussion of good and evil
more generally. But I think the root that these decisions
come from is in a good place – an accessible work that tells the audience what the takeaways
should be explicitly. I personally believe that to be a misplaced
desire, themes of a work are much more powerful when the audience is able to intuit them,
like experiencing them through the characters changing – zaShunina becoming more human while
reading fiction being a great example of that show’s theme that we’re all progressing
together. Or the theoretically inconclusive ending where
the audience has to grapple with questions like the paradox of evil and whether good
really means that you can never end an “evil” life. To be clear, I can’t speak to the adaptation
process in Babylon – I have no idea what’s in the original, nor do I want to claim that
this is all Mado Nozaki’s fault and that he doesn’t know how to write. I’m merely speaking to the anime works as
we received them, and frankly I’d be more inclined to question his editors than the
man himself. In my opinion both of these stories start
off strong, they are engaging concepts and premises that I think had so much potential. I’m just disappointed that, for me, they
went down the less interesting paths. Also, I know I didn’t do a whole “here’s
how I’d fix Babylon” section but that’d be a whole video in and of itself which…well
maybe somewhere down the line. Thanks for watching.

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44 thoughts on “The Collapse of Babylon & Kado: The Right Answer

  1. That's…… that's how Kado end? I used to watch it halfway through once, but… urgh.

    Please tell me there's a source material that has better ending here

  2. Babylon and Kado have the same scriptwriter? That explains so much. Dude needs to take notes from the ID:Invaded writer.

  3. Kado is 9-10 episodes of interesting questions and answers and 2-3 episodes of Dragonball energy beam fighting.
    Babylon was way better, as it didn't go of the rails to that degree, but it was still stupid in the sense that it never tied up the lose ends it produced. (Magase was the key and they never managed her well, but that is only one thing they would have to change to make it infinitely better.)
    So, they are making progress ….

  4. Babylon was a show I really liked until the president showed up and became the biggest disappointment of the year

  5. Babylon is one of the biggest trainwrecks in recent memory as someone who has kept up with seasonals since Winter 2019. It had so much potential to be great but instead just became awful. I could go on a long tangent on how bad it is but in short: it trivializes any sense of ambiguity or greyness regarding suicide, Magase is an awful villain who acts like a comic book villain, Seizaki is an awful protagonist who never grows out of his black and white morality style thinking, the shift in setting ultimately broke the natural pacing of the story and scale. So instead watch Psycho-Pass something that does what Babylon does but does it so much better in every conceivable way.

  6. Id like to point out that Kado really shit the bed for all the reasons you mentioned and i take no issue with your distaste for the ending because i too was very disappointed. With that being said, i still prefer Babylon. i didnt know there was a post credit scene until this video and i gotta say, im not happy. I was really on board with show until then. I think the big brain talk about what is good and evil is just really set up to fail but i like the idea of "good continues, evil ends." I think that's actually a pretty sound basis for morality because i believe in a sort of ethical naturalism where prevailing theories of ethics arise from powerful or successful groups whose systems led them to success and continued existence. I really dont like that the show doesnt end ambigupusly anymore and i really dont like that magase wins for the reasons you brought up. But i think that we can reasonably ignore a post credit scene in babylon as opposed to the entire final arc in Kado. That might be dishonest of me but if we consider the point of the show to ask what is evil and is it good to live then the show was pretty successful for me personally. I think the bill could have been a little more well defined and that the shift between small to large scales was a bit jarring and that sure, there could have been a few more people who considered suicide willingly, but i think magase is a lot more symbolic than you are giving her credit for so i think shes supposed to embody reasons that people would have for killing themselves. Suicide is a huge problem in japan (well, any amount of suicide is a problem but i think you get my point) and this is really trying to question if it's actually a problem and why. If you got this far, thanks for reading.

  7. not gonna lie, when the show started implying it was magase's own fault that her grown-ass uncle wanted to rape her when she was a teenage girl i immediately hopped on Team Ai so as far as i'm concerned this was a perfect ending. good for her.

    (obviously i'm being facetious but fucking w o o f was this show a stinker)

  8. i'm kinda conflicted. i love Babylon, maybe i don't really pay attention about the crucial thing as said in this video, but i do agree that after episode 7, the series kinda loss the flow (i guess). the thriller aspect is what i think what Babylon good at.

    it's a different type of anime from any other these days.

  9. I love critical breakdowns of shows like this, really summarizes why the endings were such disappointments in a clear and understandable way.

    Hope you talk about ID:Invaded soon, I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

  10. I can see why kado became a disappointment to most, but not Babylon. I enjoyed every bit of it. Still a bit confused on how I feel about Babylon's ending though

  11. 😪 I really do feel like shows and anime that start great and end up disappointing are some of the worst experiences you can have, GOT was fantastic only to have the last season be ruined and ruin the show this breaking the hearts of everyone who was attached to the property

  12. Glad then that I didn't continue with Babylon, I loved the first multi chapter release but for timing issues I never got around finishing and now probably never will (I was in the Kado train)

  13. That mid season high, or rather low of everyone was so great. The small leftover pieces all come together for an intense scene, I struggled to watch it espesically after that reveal knowing how the rest was gonna plan out.

    And then after a week we lost it all and it only took 2 or 3 episodes for me to dropped it. Feels bad man

  14. I actually liked babylon idk man
    The only time i disliked it was when it had the supernatural element at ep 3 where people kill themselves cus of the drug
    Even tho it was hard i accepted it after seeing most people comment "this is interesting"

  15. Found you recently and think you make good insightful videos. Have a new sub c:

    Edit: On another note I was so infuriated in Kados twist that I dropped it. We need more first contact stories like Arrival. So much potential story that isnt being taped.

  16. Now I REALLY wanna watch Babylon!
    I wanna see if I will agree with it's themes – as you say they are, or drop it as soon as I notice they're shit at delivery…

  17. I think Babylon is an interesting case for whether an ending ruins a show. I loved the first seven episodes SO much that I still couldn't bring myself to give it less than 8/10 (though this video convinced me to knock it down to a 7). For me it was all about Magase and the questions she brought up about morality too, though I immediately took her as a hyperbolic character and didn't expect an explanation for her powers so I guess that helped. I just can't understand why they crafted such a great character then barely used her in the latter half of the show. I have never seen SO much unused potential in anything. A great deal of ideas and debates were set up perfectly then just forgotten about. It is baffling and such a shame. I didn't hate the last few episodes (though you make a good case for the lack of thematic continuity), but the writing took a huge hit and they felt far less intellectually stimulating and morally complex. Anyway, great video, wish you had never had to make it.

  18. I've been saying this about Babylon when I talk about it with friends: "Some shows jump the shark, but Babylon quantum-leaped into at least four planes of existence."

    Babylon was quite the trainwreck, even from its strong start. I had an uneasy feeling when the show posed suicide as a focal point, but gave the story a chance to pay off and create an experience I could be invested in. Things took on a left turn with the spicy ep 7, which saw the show implode in spectacular fashion. The atmosphere was amazing and saved the episode, but I knew that there was simply no coming back from Magase inexplicably killing off 2/3rds of the cast and any tension to be had moving forward. Add to that an embarrassing delay between that initial clownfest and a follow-up episode which spent half its runtime setting up the POTUS as an RPG God, and I was left facepalming my way throughout the rest of the series.

    I don't find it in me to hate Babylon, if anything I enjoyed the experience, albeit for all the wrong reasons. There was potential here though, and I'm glad you've put together this video reminding me of the strong start Babylon had and could have maintained. Major props for giving the show credit where credit is due, especially with your point on praising Babylon and Kado's idea of directly pointing the audience to the main takeaway of the story. Keep up the great work, and I'm hyped for more Operation Yggdrasil >3

  19. I agree with almost all of the problems you pointed out, but I also still really enjoyed watching both of these anime. shrug
    Babylon I watched after seeing your video pointing out the good directing, and kado I watched because I enjoyed the writing style in babylon.

    I really liked the visual aesthetic and pacing in both of them. I thought all the characters were cute. And I thought they were sufficiently interesting explorations of themes:
    -information is pointless without meaning (kado).
    -the tension between the hope of expanded future possibility space and the immediate satisfaction of just ending it all (babylon).

  20. It seems like a large part of your dislike of the kado ending is stemming from a mischaracterization of its "twist". Bringing humanity into the anisotropic is just another form of progress for humans that comes with a very high price (which as you pointed out is already what a large conceit of the show was, that being the political and sociological results of drastic changes from the previous additions to humanity). I would actually say it's a bit incorrect to even call this a twist. It’s taking those same questions and escalating them to an extreme conclusion in what I believe is an attempt at showing what Saraka’s point was just before this development. It’s showing why progressing on someone else’s terms other than humanity can not just be a bad thing but a terrible thing (if you approach from our morals that a decision that results in the loss of life is usually not worth it).

    Now none of this means you have to like it obviously, it escalating things to a drastic conclusion is taking it away from its more grounded beginnings but I think the exchange of giving an example of its message trumps that sacrifice of its grounded nature.

  21. As always, It was a great video and I do say this even if I am completely disagreeing with the main point of the video.

    I fully enjoyed Babylon from the first episode to the last.
    I do think that the show is coherent and said everything he had say.

    If I reformulate the main point of your criticism, It is that the latter part of the show and specifically the post-credit scene destroyed the thematic purpose of the show.
    If I misunderstood your point, I encourage you to correct me.

    My take is that the show wasn't about the political thriller, the suicide law, the question of morality.
    The focus of the show was to tell a biblical story in our contemporary world.
    Magase is not a character, she is the great whore of Babylon. A being that lure humanity into destruction.
    The biblical story is about a fight between Justice and Evil, Seizaki and Magase.
    Everything else is windowdressing for this core tenet which is bound to infuiriate whose who didn't like this kind of story.

    You argue that the post-credit scene indicates that evil has triumphed and Seizaki lost to Magase.
    I think the ending isn't as dry cut as you think.
    It only shows that Magase is alive, it doesn't mean that she has triumphed over Seizaki.
    It could be that she now lives in a world where the suicide law hasn't passed and she didn't achieved the purpose of her conspiration with Itsuki.

    The ending doesn't state who has won in the end.

    I do hope that my point is clear enough.
    If you have any questions or need more clarification, feel free to respond.

  22. i started and finished watching this anime today.
    curious with the ending, i found that someone said the anime while adapted from a novel, has its own original ending. I remember that this also has manga, so i end up searching for manga instead of the novel.

    I want to read it from the beginning, but i only find the untranslated one. I jump straight to the final chapter which is chapter 18 (yeah quite short i guess). what i say might be a spoiler although all i said will be my conclusion by guessing (because it's japanese and i only saw the final chapter)
    also, it seems that the manga has different design on some characters that i'm not able to recognize
    some of them, so i end up (again) guessing who are they.

    the chapter began as Seizaki tried to chase Magase but being halted by lot of men (possibly his team members that has fallen under Magase's power)
    but a man with big posture (probably the director)
    pushed himself so he made a way for Seizaki to chase after Magase. the man end up killing himself with pistol to the head.

    Losing the track of Magase, Seizaki encounter Itsuki. Itsuki has a gun, Seizaki didn't, so he can't give any resistance. then, suddenly Itsuki shot by a man, saving Seizaki. I don't recognize him until i saw that his leg is wounded, Seizaki try to stop the bleeding, and end up suicide too. It's clear that he's Kuujin.
    Seizaki continued to move to parking lot
    only to find that his car already gone but luckily he meet his journalist friend driving a car. then they together go to a certainly place where Seizaki encounter Magase kidnapping (probably) Sekuro (she was tied) the.
    then, comes the talk between Seizaki and Magase.

    in the end, Seizaki shot Magase to dead. Magase fall to the ground, she still had some talk with Seizaki and last word was told right in front of his ear before completely passed away.

    While holding Magase's hand, Seizaki had some talk with Sekuro which had been untied and given his jacket to. It's finally end when Seizaki kissed Magase's hand.

    Atleast two things that made the manga has different ending with the anime :
    1. Magase died
    2. Sekuro still alive

    Sorry for my bad storytelling (and guessing too)

  23. I think the point about the "child god" is that they do need the Anisotropic. At least for the foreseeable future in that world. To me it wasn't disappointing. It made sense because there was just no explanation for zaShunina's visit that made sense up until the end. Why does a being with ultimate power help humanity? Humanity doesn't even do that for non-human species except for when it benefits us. So it made much more sense that it was selfishness, and that he had to be stopped with a greater power which was partially a product of the creation he coveted. Sure the speculative nature of the show could have been expanded on, but then the production probably would have gotten lost in the woods about the explanation for the whole thing. Especially since zaShunina couldn't understand humanity because he was alien. Why would zaShunina have humanity's interest in mind when he's eternal, and all powerful?

  24. these two shows are part of the reason i was skeptical going into id:invaded this season, but i was pleasantly surprised by that show, although there were still a few concepts brought up in the show that i didnt quite understand

  25. For me the first jarring and weak session is how easy the anti law could rebuke the law cause if u don't fix the orginal source of suicide aka japan overworking and high pressure work culture, bullying in school, depression, loneliness and hikomori there just gonna be more and more continues sucide sure it might go down now after the initial spiked but it will just pick up and have a steady sucide rate then the pro sucide never rebuke it or address any counter against it like oh b4 sucide we try to consult them with psychologists etc or something iam like wtf here i could make a better argument than a senior politician in that series really give me sign that something is off sigh well the only redeeming thing is how magase ai really feel unnerving and trying to screw something off my brain will being aroused too like wtf man goose bump every where when she show up and the overall animation and character design qualities and dam sekuro didn't deserve this

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