Can't Connect With 'Kiznaiver'? I Agree

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Studio: Trigger
Producer: AniplexMovicUltra Super PicturesSammyAsahi Broadcasting CorporationBS11Crunchyroll
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Episodes: 12
Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

Katsuhira Agata is a quiet and reserved teenage boy whose sense of pain has all but vanished. His friend, Chidori Takashiro, can only faintly remember the days before Katsuhira had undergone this profound change. Now, his muffled and complacent demeanor make Katsuhira a constant target for bullies, who exploit him for egregious sums of money. But their fists only just manage to make him blink, as even emotions are far from his grasp.

However, one day Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and forced to join the Kizuna System as official "Kiznaivers." Those taking part are connected through pain: if one member is injured, the others will feel an equal amount of agony. These individuals must become the lab rats and scapegoats of an incomplete system designed with world peace in mind. With their fates literally intertwined, the Kiznaivers must expose their true selves to each other, or risk failing much more than just the Kizuna System.


This anime was truly unique. It had an interesting idea with teenagers sharing their pain in the pursuit of peace (Say that ten times fast). I should have loved this anime more than I did. But a few key things were missing. 

But let's start with the good things first.

There were nine characters in this anime, but I only truly like two of them: Nico and Hisomu. These two were quirky, and they stood out among the crowd.

First, Nico.

Nico is this manic pixie dream girl. She's crazy and has this colorful hair. She's short and loud. I love her character. (Even if I typically had the manic pixie dream girl stereotype.) What makes her stand out is her innocent and stance towards friendship. 
Nico acts like a child. But we all need to be a little childish sometimes. 
She was really the only person who pushed their friendship. I loved that. She wanted friends. She wanted to be close to people. Doesn't everyone want that?

And Hisomu. A lot of people might write him off as a comedic character, but I see something else in him. He's pretty smart. He advises Katsuhira in matters of the heart a lot. Sure, he's a masochist, but he knows a lot about pain. This makes me wonder about his history. Why does he love pain? What happened to him? Why didn't he trust the Kiznaivers at first? A lot of questions come to mind. He's a very interesting character. 

The relationships in this anime are complex. The romantic ones especially. Does anyone remember the confessions from episode 9? Yeah, that.

Everyone and their extended family has a crush on someone. And you know how much I hate love triangles. Anime is really pushing it. I guess, though, I have to accept it. Or focus on a few couples I like.

But let me focus on their friendship. These guys aren't close at first. Actually, they don't even know each other. They are strangers. (Except for Chidori and Katsuhira and Tenga. Because Tenga DOES save Katsuhira. Everyone forgets that.) But this anime is about their bond. To me, it's interesting to see them come together and learn about each other. (Especially in Maki's case. I just want to see more about her. Really.) 
I wanted them to become close friends. Wouldn't that be amazing?

And the OP is gorgeousness. 

By the way, don't Google for "Lay Your Hands on Me" because you'll get rick rolled. A lot. Trust me...I did it.

It's beautiful. It's really simple. It's just 'lay your hands on me', but it's filled with a lot of emotion. You understand the lyrics a lot better as you continue to watch the anime. It's about taking someone's pain and helping them through the pain. It's awesome and works really well with the anime. The animation is simple. It just shows the characters in stills with vividly, colorful backgrounds. The characters aren't really moving. Which is okay. But I adore the song the most.

And, now, onto the crucial thing this anime is missing: the plot.

The anime originally focuses on the missions given by Sonozaki. Most of these are boring. Finding the eighth member. Getting to know each other. Blegh, I was bored of that in seconds. The only interesting mission was saving Maki. That gave a lot of insight into her life and her personality. I wanted more of that but maybe for all the characters? I know it's a short anime, but you could still dedicate time to branching out Yuta and Hisomu and Nico and the other characters, not just Katsuhira and Sonozaki.

After the missions, we were taken on this 'Sonozaki and Katsuhira have a past together' arc. Which was almost as boring. We got some background on Katsuhira, but that didn't make me feel for him. 
The ending felt rushed. The plot tried to force tension, but it really didn't work. I was bored. I wanted more. More action, more backstories. The characters felt a little 2-D. If they had dedicated time to missions for saving all of them...maybe I could be more engaged. But they didn't. 

Overall, I was highly disappointed in this anime. I wanted so much from it, but the plot just didn't work for me. At all. 

Definitely not the best. But not too bad. I just couldn't connect with this anime. HAHAHA.

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