OP: 「旅詩」 (Tabiji) by 徭沙羅花 starring M・A・O (Tsukai Saraka starring Ichimichi Mao)
As expected, episode 02 of Seikai Suru Kado takes us back in time (28 hours, as words on the screen helpfully remind us) to show us exactly what happened between the a giant alien cube swallowing an aeroplane and that cube spitting out only two chumps. What horrible fate befell the 251 poor souls on that flight? Now we know! In practice, though, the only person we seem to need to know anything about is Shindou Koujirou, alleged master negotiator, ubermensch, and heroic pioneer. At this moment he’s basically the only guy who’s doing anything worth paying attention to; sure, he has a counterpart, but I don’t even remember her name, and neither do you. Next episode I guess she’ll actually do something and earn status as a 3D model instead of a 2D background character.
To be fair, Shindou-san doesn’t really do all that much outside of teaching aliens that humans wear pants. The main object of fascination is certainly Yaha-kui zaShunina (Za to his friends), who manages to assimilate basic human functions quite easily (what does Shindou keep on his phone?), he still makes a point of definitely being an alien. He(?) may wear our guise and speak our tongue, but does he think like us? He was birthed from nothing. He has access to mind-boggling technology that could solve any number of earthly problems. What does he want?
Za, as far as aliens go, is unto a god. And as far as gods go, science-fiction (and perhaps fiction in general) has two approaches. They are either supreme, magnificent beings, like Tolkien elves in space, far above filthy earth apes like you and I, and will shame us with their moral superiority and enlightened philosophy. Or, they are are Lovecraftian horrors from beyond time and space, beyond the ability of mortal minds to comprehend, and even the briefest contact with these unworldly terrors drive men gibbering and mad. Of which school Za belongs to remains to be seen (I don’t feel insane, at least), but it’s hard to make a character of an aloof god. He still needs to have something that drives him, that motivates his actions. Something that he wants, especially something he wants of Japan in particular, since he chose to land there, of all places. At least I think he chose to land there. The alien cube works in mysterious ways.
Of course, it could be that Za is completely benevolent, here only to bestow his graces upon humanity out of the goodness of his own heart. But with all the talk about negotiation philosophy and negotiation techniques and negotiator protagonists, one would be inclined to think that there would actually be some kind of negotiation taking place. Probably. That is, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect Za to be seeking some sort of quid pro quo, and indeed he actively warns the humans to be continuously skeptical of his intentions.
Even if his intentions were some kind of alien uplift, perhaps we should be wary of that too? Has Za not watched Star Trek? Does he not know of the Prime Directive? These things never end well.