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Kiznaiver – 10

「好きな気持ちがむくわれないかもなんて重々承知の上だろ?」 (Suki na Kimochi ga Mukuwarenai kamo Nante Juujuu Shouchi no Ue daro?)
“You Knew Very Well That Your Romantic Feelings Might Be Unrequited, Right?”

Rebirth.

Kiznaiver continues to impress with its latter half. The past couple of episodes have provided easily the series’ strongest emotional content. The titular mechanic has finally been put to good use, most clearly exampled in last week’s episode, which shook the foundation of the entire social dynamic. Physical pain was bad enough, but the openness and vulnerability that came with the exposure of deep, personal feelings proved too much to handle. Everyone seemed to give up on trying to make the best of the experiment—on being friends.

Now, at the end of summer, there seems to be no hope in repairing these fractures. The Kiznaiver program is over, and with it, any chance of being friends again. Each member of the cast is left emotionally eviscerated—especially those directly involved in the revealed feelings. The burden of forging true, transparent bonds is too frightening a prospect for these youngsters.

However, Katsuhira seemed less eager than everyone else. The devastating events which tore his friends apart was arguably catalyzed by himself. He needed to find a way to mend these broken bonds—to save his friends. It was up to him to fix things, even if he seemed the least qualified.

The answer seemed to lie in his past—the details of which remained hazy to him, but could prove instrumental on his mission. This involved investigating his only link to it—Sonozaki.

When Katsu discovers the secrets of his relation to Sonozaki and the experiments conducted unto the two as children, we learn of Sonozaki’s pivotal role in his life. She is his inverse, the way each of them interacts with the pain of the experiment is completely unlike the other. Sonozaki takes on others’ pain to an amplified degree, and thus must null her senses and emotions. Katsu, however, starts off in the way of the latter, and is trying his hardest to anulldequately carry the emotions of others—to understand and empathize on a fundamental level.

All this is learned in tandem with another crucial event—Tenga and Chidori’s meeting. As the latter is confronted by the former, she makes clear the kind of fear that all of the main cast is suffering from—the fear of transparency. Of vulnerability—of taking on the feelings of what is not yours. Really being friends involves offering up not only your own bare self, but also receiving a modicum of dark and twisted emotions—or taking on another’s pain. But why should we be burdened with what isn’t ours? Why should I share a little bit of your pain, especially when my own is bad enough? This is the kind of egocentrism which perhaps inevitable when becoming friends. However, they must all realize that it is a necessary and ultimately emotionally fulfilling exchange.

In the episode’s closing scene, Katsu witnesses the kind of life which this selfishness can produce. The other children of the experiment did not partake in sharing any of the pain—in keeping to themselves (not intentionally, I know, but within the confines of the experiment’s errors). This lines up directly with the decisions of the main cast—to keep to themselves and opt not to share each other’s feelings. With the kids, though, their isolation still entailed a mass amount of suffering for another individual involved. This shows that no matter what, it’s impossible to cut off ties cleanly. People still retain and hold onto their emotions. Merely cutting off those involved won’t do any good—in fact, it can often make things even more painful for those involved. Plus, those who choose to live in emotional isolation become hollow shells—represented in the soulless individuals who use to be Katsu’s friends. Without engaging in emotionally fulfilling bonds—without friends—we are left empty and silent. In realizing the importance of this emotional, two-way relationship, Katsu is overcome with emotion—the first time in the show’s history. He has finally taken his first leap in understanding friendship and empathy. His final cries are uncannily similar to the wailings of a newborn child—he has been reborn with the raw messiness and stupor of emotion. Now he’ll have to utilize these newfound faculties in repairing his friendships

 

Preview

June 12, 2016 at 8:52 pm
12 comments »
  • June 12, 2016 at 9:21 pmDualash

    http://randomc.net/image/Kiznaiver/Kiznaiver%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2037.jpg
    It was expected that the kizna project somehow damaged Sonozaki but it felt so depressing to learn how she became the backlash of an experiment gone awry, especially when she has to cut off her emotions/get treatment in order to survive the kizna feedback (That smile…). I’m impressed how this show has developed emotionally for characters like Katsuhira; I didn’t know what to expect at the beginning since the Kizna project already sounded inhumane (even with the good intentions they supposedly make), but this episode truly showed how consequential the project was towards its subjects.

    • June 13, 2016 at 5:05 amgoukaryuu

      That is a smile worth protecting.

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:39 amGYUZ

    The last scene with Katsuhira was really powerful. That cry gave me goosebumps. Great performance.

    • June 13, 2016 at 1:08 pmKhalid

      I love Kaji Yuki’s acting most when he’s not doing some shonen hothead. Characters like Katsuhira bring out other facets of his acting abilities. Now that I think about it, it still amazes me that this guy is doing the voice for Kacchon, Koichi, Naruhodo-kun and the overweight dud in Kabaneri; so many roles in this season.

      • June 13, 2016 at 3:04 pmAniBEE

        I feel that they pick Kaji Yuki because they know his emotional range and having this character being relatively emotionally silent and contemplative give Katsuhira more emotion punch when he starts to reclaim himself.

        Also for all the people still watching this show thank you. It was meandering for sure but you needed to know these characters first to get to the core of this series now.

  • June 13, 2016 at 12:38 pmKabble

    I can’t help but find myself annoyed with Chidori.
    I can fully understand that love makes us irrational and she can’t help the way she feels about Katsu…
    But then I just know she’s more interested in Katsu becoming his former, emotional, self so that he’ll love her rather than him becoming emotional again for the sake of saving himself. And that makes me kinda cranky cause I wish she could just get past this…but it isn’t that simple.
    Le sigh.
    This episode was a powerful follow-up to last week’s.
    Great episode.

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:09 pmAniBEE

      Chidori I still feels like she wants to help Katsuhira first and foremost as a friend in the beginning but her growing attachment to him has made him more of a project for herself as well. She’s becoming more selfish in that regard than being just a goody two shoes she seamed to be.

  • June 13, 2016 at 5:32 pmAzsurance

    This episode hit the feels a lot more harder and effective than last week’s direct pain and anguish. Also, I liked that they brought together the most unlikely trio together, in fact, the three of which (Katsuhira, Nico, Hisomu) where things are the least awkward with one another due to zero romantic implications and relatively give or take personalities.

    It’s unfortunate that the other four remain trapped by feelings.

    While I’m okay with hearing the flashback and the explanations, it still never addresses one thing – how the heck does the kiznaiver research attempts to “promote peace”? It seems more like a military-esque kind of project, dividing pain so people don’t die from usually fatal situations. Also, how does the scar gets applied and removed?

  • June 13, 2016 at 7:14 pmmr.anderson

    i think the development fund for kiznaiver project mostly used to take care the other failed 19 kids

  • June 14, 2016 at 7:45 pmricz

    This episode is really great!!
    We finally got to learn the past of Katsuhira and Sonozaki and I’m relieved that the title is not about them but rather about the others who pretty much like them

    And also the pairing of Katsuhira, Nico and Yoshiharu is really good
    The trio should always be together LOL

  • June 14, 2016 at 8:09 pmsealouse

    All I care about right now with this show is when some bloody heads will roll. There’s been no mention of punishment for whoever was involved as far as I can tell. What happened to those kids is worse than murder. If no punishment gets doled out I will be seriously disappointed.

    Another thing is where are the parents? I know they were involved with the project, but you’d think there would be some really pissed off parents out there.

    • June 15, 2016 at 1:36 amAtsu

      The scientists were the children’s parents themselves and they willingly allowed to make their own kids the guinea pigs of the kizna experiment. This was mentioned in the earlier episodes too.