「いちりち連絡しあって気持ちを確認しあわないと. だって、友達なんだから!」 (Ichiri chi renraku shi atte kimochi o kakunin shi awanai to. Datte, tomodachina ndakara!)
“We Have To Contact Each Other And Confirm Our Feelings. Because We’re Friends!”
You become more you when it’s not just you.
This week, Kiznaiver reinforces the notion that true friendship is based in sharing completely each other’s pain and emotions—in being wholly unselfish. Last time, Katsuhira was deeply hit with this realization upon witnessing the result of doing the exact opposite. He was reborn as someone capable of empathy. For the first time, he could feel—I mean really feel—the suffering of others, as if it were his own. The question then, was how he was going to use this new heart of his to bring the old gang back together, as friends.
Immediately, Katsu begins to have an effect on the main cast. When he sincerely apologizes to Chidori in a way which takes her feelings into consideration, he sparks within her a outlook on her confrontation with Tenga the day prior. She realizes her reaction to his words was completely egocentric, and entirely neglected Tenga’s own feelings. By showcasing his newfound consideration for others, Katsu begins to spark a greater sense of empathy amongst his own friends.
Another interesting idea this episode throws into the mix is that no individual is fully themselves unless bonded to others in such a way. On the surface this may seem contradictory, how could the realization of one’s internal self rely on other, external entities? Well perhaps it is the fact that our emotional pain and suffering is too much for just us to bear—so much so that it hinders our ability to really be ourselves. When Maki lies in her bed, she wonders what it was like to by smiling. At the same time, Yuta ponders that he thought he was “close to remembering what I was really like,” and Tenga roams the streets alone, wondering all the same. This scene iterates when the gang was all together, sharing with each other their grief and insecurities, they were most able to be themselves—to be happy. They could trust in one another, letting others assist them in carrying their burdens, while at the same time doing so for others. This equal exchange of pain, sadness, and even happiness allowed for each individual to reach their greatest personal potential.
When Katsu confronts everyone towards the end of the episode, he makes this apparent. As he expresses genuine pain for the first time in front of everyone, he draws out a level of direct empathy unlike anything any of them was experienced before. They become connected in a way which draws out the most emotional involvement out of each of their closed-off selves. Now they are fully connected in a way which transcends the experiment.
Though I was indifferent during his introduction, Hisomu has grown on me more and more as a character. This episode finally cemented how much I love the guy, as he provides an unconditional emotional support to a conflicted Katsu. He, I think, was the first step in orienting Katsu towards
That being said, the episode’s conclusion worries me. The series has succeeded so greatly in recent weeks because of its heightened focus on the central cast, and their emotional dynamics. Suddenly upscaling the scope and increasing the stakes seems unnecessary, and would distract from the show’s greatest strengths thus far. Hopefully, though, the series’ concluding events will convince me otherwise. Looking forward to next week.