「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 Like many others, I didn’t buy for a second when she quickly rescinded her confession at the end of episode two.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.