「あんた達とし)るとほんつとにろくなことがない」 (Anta-tachi to shiruto hon tsutoni rokuna koto ga nai)
“Nothing Good Comes From Being Around All of You”

If someone is forced to be your friend, can they truly ever be your friend?

This week’s Kiznaiver brought just the right amount of intrigue and novelty the series needed to preserve my interest. It developed many of its previously established narrative threads, while continuing to introduce new and compelling plot points.

The big takeaway, of course, is all that we learn about Maki. Like many others, I didn’t buy for a second when she quickly rescinded her confession at the end of episode two. I believe the truth isn’t as clear and direct as what was said, but I think—at the very least—Maki holds herself fully accountable for her friend’s death. We find out that the victim in question was not only her friend, but also her co-author for a very successful manga series—most popular with young, middle school girls. This unexpected development lets us in to a different Maki—one as reserved in personality, but far less cynical and a little more (dare I say) happy. It makes us wonder what happened to create the cold, embittered Maki we see today.

Though not the entirety of the situation was revealed this episode, I’m glad the episode is going down this path. Had this arc started any later, it would’ve honestly been far too late and a little drawn out. I think it’s reasonable to presume the story arc of their cooperative work bears at least some similarities to what went down between the two friends.

I’m also really enjoying the dynamic developing between Maki and Yuta. I’m glad to see that last week’s occurrence didn’t deter this building relationship—the two continue to share some genuine, awesome moments. Yuta seems like the only person to really understand the girl—more than anyone else amongst the group.

Niko also shines this episode—if but briefly. Her continued interactions with Maki bring up many questions not only about their relationship, but about the authenticity of friendship in general—in context to its origins. While the two literally share their physical and even emotional grievances, can this be considered genuine friendship? Does one define friendship merely by this crossroads of conflictions, even if the individuals involved don’t share some actual connection or bond? Can such a situation be considered this kind of connection? It’s all a really fascinating kind of situation to be in—one is left questioning the nature of friendships and bonds themselves in pursuit of answers.

The episode’s concluding events exemplify this sort of dynamic. The gang shows up to “save” Maki from a crowd of intrusive film crew. One would imagine that this sort of action would demand to be called friendship. However, the task was merely an assigned mission—does this negate the authenticity of the friendship involved? Isn’t it genuine regardless because of the heartfelt way in which the crew did get involved, even if the whole thing was catalyzed by a general assignment? Well it seems Maki would answer negatively to the latter question, as she becomes hurt by the contrived nature of her peers’ actions. Goes to show the main question this show is currently addressing: can a friendship obligated in origin ever become true friendship? My own personal answer is yes, and I think the show will answer the same by its end. I’m just excited for the twist and turns on the way.




  1. Thank Heaven’s Katsu told Sonozaki off.
    I appreciate evil and coercive methods, but damn that was just foul of her to do Maki like that.
    We all know she set that girl up for failure.

    1. I have a feeling that she’s pressured and anxious by the situasion of her higher ups, earlier they revealed that the project’s backers are withdrawing one by one and the project will be terminated if they don’t act faster. Last episode it seems she was also surprised that the schedule was forced to be done faster than her own plan. I’m not saying she’s not faulty, it’s just there’s a reason she acts that way.

  2. The filming crew filled out the paper work and starting shooting on school grounds without telling the actual mangaka artist who goes to that school!? That’s not professional!

  3. This show has such a “sitting in the dark watching it on adult swim as an excited kid” feel to it. Maybe that’s too vague but damn the excitement of not knowing what’s to come really bring me back to when I wasn’t a jaded anime adult. I love this show and its characters and they were all showing their best sides in this episode.

    1. I have that same feeling you do that just can’t be put into words. The show is really solid and refreshing- hitting all the right notes that the big cross-ocean hits did in the early Adult Swim days.

  4. “If someone is forced to be your friend, can they truly ever be your friend?”

    A friend is first and foremost someone who is there for you at the time of need. From that perspective, Yuta filled that role just right as Maki was suffering on her own even before the group got assigned the mission to save her. That right there is amazing of Yuta, to go out of his way to help someone who doesn’t particularly care for him. Was it all forced because of the Kiznaiver project? Perhaps, but it honestly didn’t feel that way for me. Yuta has pleasantly surprised me with his character.

    More Nico will be appreciated as this episode set her character on the right path. More development for Katsu is always appreciated, with the way he told off Sonozaki and how he felt emotional pain for the first time.

    Maki. Besides Katsu, now I feel like she is another person that is so fit for the Kiznaiver project. Her odd character actually makes quite sense with everything that’s happened to her and Ruru. The show did a good job of making me invest in her personally.

    With the emotional pain sharing mechanic introduced thanks to Chidori last episode, this episode proved to be even better than the last.

    1. I’m gonna argue that Yuta obviously had an interest in Maki prior to the Kiznaiver incident and would probably have helped her out(perhaps with other motives behind it) if he would have come upon the same incident.

      I don’t think people becoming friends is something you can force. It’s something that will happen naturally if people are compatible enough and spend time together. The only thing KizPro is doing is forcing them to stick to each other.

      Anyhow, another enjoyable episode. I went into this series expecting it to have failed by now yet it’s now at probably the second or third spot in my Spring rankings.

      1. Yuta has an overly huge ego, but he sticks up for those that he really considers a friend and is very chivalrous, something that you don’t see in most guys these days.

  5. The Kiznaiver system would be utterly useless in a fight for your life combat situation. Could you imagine desperately trying to survive, only for one of your team mates to get seriously injured, thus giving you that momentary lapse in concentration from the pain that would surely get you killed?

    Though I like the use of the system for feelings and stuff like that. It’s a unique twist.

  6. Yuta continues to impress me; he’s kind of flawed in several ways but the calm, business-like way he handled the obnoxious film crew was awesome. He’s clearly interested in Maki, but I guess that interest can be seen as a way to develop a genuine friendship if you invest time and effort and don’t force things. Look forward to seeing the old Maki again.

    I like how they didn’t show Sonozaki’s face when Katsuhira said he was disappointed in her; that flinch told me more than what her expression could have. Disappointment can leave a much more bitter aftertaste than anger, definitely.


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