Anime

Anime at a Glance: Kiznaiver

Agata Katsuhira doesn’t feel pain. He also doesn’t really seem to care about anything that happens either, which makes his friend Chidori Takashiro really angry. He doesn’t go to the faculty of the school and doesn’t really care that some bullies are extorting him for money. After finding this out, she storms out and bullies appear to take all of Katsuhira’s money. Luckily he doesn’t have money anymore, so they can’t take any of it, but they continue to punch and beat him anyway. During his beating, a bag flies in from nowhere and nails one of the bullies in the side of the head. After looking around, the second bully comes face first into contact with Hajime Tenga’s butt. He had overheard everything that had happened and wants the bullies to return all the money they’ve ever taken from him, and drives them away. Katsuhira explains that he doesn’t really feel pain so he doesn’t care if they hit him and Tenga can’t help but poke and prod him to test it, thinking that Katsuhira is just acting tough. He ends up doing a choke hold on Katsuhira and rendering him unconscious. That’s when a woman appears with some large mascot characters and abducts the two of them.

 

When Katsuhira w akes up, he’s alone with the woman who introduces herself as Sonozaki Noriko. She begins checking to see if he’s okay, but starts to explain that the reason for his being bullied is probably because of how he feels no pain, and people cannot identify with him if he feels nothing. They have trouble seeing part of themselves inside of him, and that leads to anger and frustration for some. As she explains this she starts pushing closer and closer to him, as he backs away, until she’s face to face with him and he’s got his back to a stairway. She asks him to raise his hands and as he does she simply says that he’s very obedient.

Then she pushes him backwards.

As he drifts in and out, waking up on a gurney being carted around in a hospital, recalling an old memory of running up some stairs and watching a young girl with blue hair fall to her death, he wakes up on a table and Sonozaki is there. Spotlights light up and show 5 other students, Chidori, Hajime, and 3 others named Niiyama Niko, Yuta Tsuguhito, and Maki Honoka. Sonozaki explains that Katsuhira has survived his fall thanks to the Kizna System, which takes one person’s pain and distributes it to the other people linked together. In this instance, the 6 of them in the room are linked together. She’s part of the staff involved in the process of implementing this system in them, and they’ve been selected to test to make sure it works. This city is to be used as a test for the system, because if everyone can share in each other’s pain it would lead to deeper connections with the people around them. Deeper connections to everyone would, in turn, bring everyone together and potentially achieve world peace. As 5 of them storm out, they begin to question whether this is just some large scam somehow. When Tenga makes an off comment to Niko, she get surprised and slaps him, giving them all a jolt of pain. Can the system actually be real? A couple quick pinches and jabs to herself, Chidori gives everyone a small dose of pain to confirm that they’re all somehow feeling the same thing. A brand cuts itself into their arms, displaying some odd blue light and they hear Sonozaki speaking to them through it:

“You are all now Kiznaivers.”

It’s been a few years since Studio Trigger put out a big show, but I’ve enjoyed all of their other shows that I’ve seen. Maybe their most familiar recent work will be recognized as Kill La Kill. I remember going to Anime Expo that year and Kill La Kill was everywhere. You couldn’t go 10 seconds without seeing a Ryuko Matoi or a Scissor blade it felt like. They also had done a show following that called “When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace” which was pretty entertaining as well. Somehow the goofy plots that Trigger makes can just keep you entertained within their worlds and before you know it yourself watching the closing credits. They do a lot of fast paced action scenes and everything becomes really over-dramatic, but Kiznaiver feels a little less over-the-top. It’s still pretty out-of-bounds for what would happen in any normal version of the plot, but not as far fetched as previous shows. I’m also just intrigued to see what they’ll do with the series for having people sharing pain. You’d think that sharing pain wouldn’t lead to world peace, but would definitely act as a deterrent for crime and murder. After all, why would anyone want to murder someone else if they’re going to feel that pain as well? Of course, it’d be difficult to expect that people would volunteer to be put in that sort of situation, which is probably why Sonozaki had to kidnap the 7 of them (third episode spoiler, oh no!) and perform the procedure while they’re unconscious.

I am looking forward to seeing what Trigger will do to finish up this series though. Out of the many shows I’m keeping up with this season, this is definitely in my Top 5, and was in my previous List of 10 for the season.

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