「ひゃっほい, 合宿だぁ! 鹿のフン踏んで枕投げしてゴーゴー!」 (Hyahhoi, Gasshuku Daa! Shika no Fun Funde Makuranage Shite Go Go!)
“Wahoo! It’s a Training Camp! Let’s Step in Deer Poop and Have Pillow Fights! Go! Go!”

A lot of things going on this week—I’m just hoping it’ll all come to pay off.

This week, Kiznaiver finally decided to dial up the melodrama and deliver some more ambitious storytelling. At the core of the narrative lay the confounded romantic feelings of Chidori’s. As established at the end of last week’s episode, the girl has now teamed with Tenga in the pursuit of Katsuhira’s affections. This made for some fun comedy here and there, but eventually culminated into a surprisingly powerful finale. What was especially intriguing was the new aspect of the Kiznaiver mechanic that weaved itself into the narrative: the transfer of emotional agony.

This provides a whole bevy of storytelling potential for down the line. It was used wonderfully in this episode, though, to develop Chidori and Katsuhira’s relationship. As Chidori’s concluding speech made clear, the transfer of pain allowed her to understand and empathize with the suffering of her friend. It was the only way in which Chidori could directly empathize with Katsu. With the emotional empathy the Kiznaiver system now allows Katsu to break his callous exterior and truly understand the emotional care and hurt which Chidori expresses towards him. It was a surprisingly clever way to weave the show’s titular—and thus far underutilized—mechanic into the narrative. I can’t say I’m entirely pleased with catalyzing event being a simple, dumb misunderstanding, but nonetheless a strong and emotionally resonant development for these two characters.

If anything, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more interplay between Chidori and Tenga—their partnership is one that could shed a lot about both characters. I hope their little joint venture will continue for the coming weeks.

However, amidst the strength of the core storyline came a difficult-to-interpret flood of new information and developments. For example, what is the significance of the high school staff’s involvement in the story? They just sort of showed up, but no one was shocked or taken aback. Then the teacher started getting chippy with Tenga? What was the point of that, especially when we know literally nothing about his character? I realize that the show is revealing a little more behind-the-scenes with their inclusion—and that’s really interesting—but their introduction felt somewhat rushed and sloppily handled. Hopefully more will be made clear in coming episodes.

Furthermore, I understand that the writers are slowly building towards Maki’s big reveal—whatever it may be—but her erratic shift in disposition this week just felt really contrived and awkward. I think it’s especially disappointing because it throws a wrench in the really genuine friendship and connection that was starting to form between her and Yuta. I hope the writer still at least try to steer this development back on course.

Also, the rising action towards the series latter half definitely felt phoned in. I understand the need to raise stakes and excitement, but did the scene really serve any functional purpose? What exactly was the point of that test, especially because it really didn’t serve any actual physical threat? Was it all just to scare Chidori into an emotional confession? Did the teachers really plan for the confrontation between her and General School Bully #2 (who received a surprising bit of development this episode)? The plot just seems to nonsensically fall into place, with little to no explanation, rhyme, or reason.

Honestly a pretty cluttered episode. At its center sat a genuine, engaging narrative, but it was surrounded by so much noise—so much activity. I hope most of it pays off as the series continues, but for now, I’m hoping the narrative continues more focused and coherent. Hopefully other characters will get more attention.

 

Preview

11 Comments

  1. Yeah, this episode felt like a downgrade in comparison to the previous episodes. Too much nonsensical things happened, especially how the students were almost killed by those costumed guys with freaking chainsaws. Even if they didn’t plan on killing them, was all that really necessary for whatever the crap this Kizuna system is trying to accomplish? I can see that Trigger also loves their emotional outbursts/confession scenes, Chidori blowing her top against the bully reminded me of Trigger’s previous work Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, where one of the female characters completely broke down and went on a minute rant because of her feelings for the main character and how she could never understand him (she was also a childhood friend, coincidence?) Although the presentation was much stronger in that show than what they tried here.

    As for the good, I appreciate that Trigger is being very ambitious, and the overall story is still pretty interesting, although cluttered and messy. I actually like how Yuta is opening up more and seems to be a genuinely good person despite his ego. Also nico is still best girl, and tenga is best guy. Them and the masochist guy are probably the most entertaining characters for me because of their dialogue and antics. As for Maki, I seriously don’t care for her at all, so I hope her big reveal is actually something viewers can empathize with.

    ChromeNova
  2. so either nico is starting to develop and thing for tenga (noted by the stares, her comments in this ep, and the fact that she seemed pleased that her breast were bigger than chidori’s and nearing sonozaki’s bust size) or she has a serious attention seeking problem and she loses it whenever the attention is not on her…which would make sense considering what we’ve got from her so far. Overall tho, this is quite the clunky series

    sonicsenryaku
  3. This series seems to be confused as to how it should use its “secret social experiment” element. They mention that it could help find a solution world peace, but so far all we’ve seen are experiments played out in routine slice-of-life antics.

    starss
  4. Yes, I agree the episode was messy until the end. But IMO, the end made up for it with Chidori ushering this new emotional agony mechanic in the Kiznaiver system, something I’ve been waiting for to happen because now it carries more significance for the system. Like her or not, she is important for the story and for Katsuhira’s development. He sees himself in her, and he values her feelings. Somehow it’s proving to be enough for me so far that it feels like the entire Kiznaiver system was built solely for the sake of Katsuhira, and with the payoff I’m getting so far, I’m honestly satisfied, so I like the 2 of them. But that’s just me and I’m in no way implying it will be enough for the story overall. The other characters do deserve their spotlight as well, especially Maki.

    Besides that, the Kiznaiver committee feels shady to me. I don’t know if I can trust their agenda for the Kiznaivers. I’m also intrigued by what Sonozaki said in the end, that they can still make it. Are they behind schedule or perhaps still lacking something? What happens at the end of summer? What does the committee think of them? And when push comes to shove, will Sonozaki stand up for them? We still haven’t discovered the connection between her and Katsuhira.

    So awkward execution sure, but there is potential. Just give the other characters a chance to change while also slowly revealing the grand design for the system.

  5. I’m enjoying this show so much. I sort of love not knowing what the hell is going on, and this show has succeeded in getting me to actually CARE about these characters, which I can’t say is the case for a lot of anime I’ve watched recently. Whatever happens from here on out, I want this group to make it to the finish line, I yearn for them to bond and get to know each other better, and the thought of it all has me really excited. Good on ya, Kiznaivers!

    kagehina13
    1. I think id enjoy this show more if it wasnt so set on beating you over the head with it’s message. it’s vapid and feels the need to explain everything about the characters and how their feeling. It is very colorful tho and some of the hijinks keep me a bit entertain so its an ok watch

      sonicsenryaku
  6. I’m really enjoying, but damn the pacing is killing me. How many episodes does this show have? I really hope it’s not 12 or 13. That would be too low to develope all the characters and the plot.

    dean
  7. It’s already been 5 episodes and I still have no idea what the kiznaiver project attempts to accomplish, is there even an antagonist in this series?

    Everyone has been vague and secretive, hopefully for good reasons. A new development, joy, so now it’s progress that emotional pain can be shared among the kiznaivers. It’s mentioned that the kiznaiver scars are seemingly removable, wondering where this is going to lead to.

    Azsurance
  8. Five episodes in, and I still don’t like Chidori, Katsuhira, and Sonozaki; the rest of the main cast, though, are interesting and appealing enough for me to continue watching…especially Yuta and Maki. Somehow I can see Maki and Yuta having the most genuine and candid relationship out of all the characters we’ve seen thus far. Her outburst was pretty weird though; I didn’t like the way the dialogue was written, and definitely agree that it was contrived and pretty awkward.

    Nico is still best girl for me; for all her antics she’s actually quite perceptive.

    Kiko
  9. The recipe that I used to enjoy this is to never take anything technical in this series seriously from the first place. It has Okada Mari and her tendency to suddenly went off track spectacularly (e.g Maki-Yuta this eps) despite of her ability to pull an actually emotional/genuine drama. With Trigger behind it, it become an over the top drama where the technical details are best to be kept at the backyard.

    zeroyuki92
  10. If Maki did in fact kill her sister in a context that lends itself to her being the way she is, it’ll make her behavior in this episode make sense. Maki comes off as cold for a reason and if she has been beating herself up inside over that death this whole time, this also lends itself to her whole ‘I wanna do something that’ll make me feel -alive-‘ behavior.

    This is all speculation though, but I’m hopeful for this show, especially considering the fact that my prediction of mental pain also being shared came up in this show. I think it’s fair to say with this revelation now that there’s mental pains they’ve probably been feeling since the Kizuna system was activated and they’ve just been silent about it. Again, speculation that is speculation until we have an outright confirmation, as the pain associated with mental pain seems to only be brought up if the intensity of it is high.

    BirdGang

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