「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

Katsu’s changing hair color I think is a clever, if on the nose, visual way to convey his shifting emotional patterns, as he becomes more and more in touch with his pre-Kiznaiver self.

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.

 

Preview

10 Comments

  1. There we go, Nori-Chan. The all too familiar ‘cry for help via the most melodramatic means’ is now underway.
    Of course the girl who was broken by the unfortunate circumstance of having to shoulder more trauma than anyone else on her own rationalizes that happiness is knowing you’re not alone.
    Extra points? This is a logical deduction rather than some selfish emotional cry…even though it technically is an emotional cry.
    She rationalizes, through the results of the Kizna system, that loneliness is the greatest pain (cause it augments pain) and therefore must be resolved by connecting EVERYONE.
    At the same time, her locked away heart could also be compelling her to make this assertion due to her own reality of shouldering immeasurable pain alone.
    So much philosophy.
    These final episodes have been nothing but superb. Kiznaiver is definitely cementing itself as one of my favorite anime of the year so far.

    Kabble
  2. … Okay I probably need to rewatch this anime. …not really because it’s so good, but because I may have been blanking out at several important points. In NO WAY did I EVER realize the experiment ended when they went back to school! If I can’t get that, there’s either some problem in the way I’m watching it, or they’re not presenting the story very well.

    starss
    1. I found myself caring more about the relationships/challenges these characters went through more than the Kiznaiver system details. I only really remember the experiment being just for the Summer or something.

      Lyfe
  3. Yeah, Hisomu had definitely grown on me, too. I actually didn’t like him at first (I think it was how he was introduced, it kinda threw me off), but now I have a deep appreciation of him. He’s a good friend.

    Aki-Chan
    1. To be fair, is intro episode was the most slapsticky one and had little memorable substance compared to the others. Then he kind of faded into the background for the middle of the story and didn’t contribute anything noteworthy until now.

      I’d honestly love him as a roommate.

      starss
  4. I don’t think the “upscaling of scope/stakes” was sudden at all; it’s been hinted at throughout the entire series. Losing funding for the experiment would mean there would be no way for the researchers to continue treating Sonozaki for her pain (i.e. money for the medicine, that, if gained through normal means, would reveal the nature of the experiment to the public), so they’re all getting very worried. Sonozaki is clearly shown to still be bonded with all the others; Katsuhira and the other mystery girl included, which means she’s still feeling all that pain, and has been for many years.

    Meanwhile it’s also shown that the nature of Sonozaki and Katsuhira’s bond is changing; Katsuhira got a glimpse of Sonozaki’s pain through the bond, and Sonozaki felt some of Katsuhira’s pain, maybe meaning that she is unable to take in all of the pain that’s being fed to her anymore, and that perhaps the medicine is losing its effectiveness. It’s painfully obvious why she keeps trying to jump off high places; the medicine helps rationalise her thoughts into something useful for the experiment (this is generally how antipsychotic drugs work, btw), but she simply just wants the pain to end. Attempting suicide, basically.

    I think she feels a sense of responsibility for all the pain that she’s taken on. Wanting to take on their pain for fear of losing her bonds, but at the same time being unable to take on all of their pain. There’s a weird allegory going on here with Jesus, in that instead of sins she’s taking on everyone’s pain and dying for it. It’s getting increasingly obvious that it’s only her death that will be able to release her bond and return the pain to all of the original children. I think we’ll be able to see her true emotions show next week. I think this development is a perfect climax to deal with this show’s central themes. Through her own fear of being alone she’s forcing herself to connect to everyone, even if it means taking on all their pain. I think this “melodramatic emotional cry for help” isn’t contrived at all, and in fact necessary. Her rationalisations and her emotions are fighting each other, and she needs help from the one person who’s finally learned to rationalise his own emotions.

    Nitro
    1. Like, I actually can’t stop thinking about this. She’s willingly offering herself up as a sacrifice. In her deep fear of being alone she’s willing to take on the pain of everyone in the world, but at the same time somewhere deep inside she knows she can’t take all that pain. Once again she stands atop somewhere high, almost ready to jump again. After seeing aftermath/”failure” of the experiment in our 7, her only solution to achieving peace is the Kizuna system, by taking away everyone’s pain, unaware that the 7 are already moving towards true peace & happiness without the system.

      That’s the difference between Sonozaki and Katsuhira. Sonozaki doesn’t want to feel pain. Katsuhira wants to feel pain.

      Nitro
  5. As an aside I really agree about Hisomu. I started thinking about midway through the series that he’s exactly what this show needed, a character that’s only just far enough removed from everyone else’s perception of pain or bonds that he’s actually able to provide a sort of emotional and rational anchor for the rest of the cast. Because he doesn’t view pain the same as everyone else and isn’t directly emotionally involved (i.e. in the messy love… polygon), he has both an “outsider’s” perspective and as one who’s been able to feel the same physical and emotional pain as the rest, and actually becomes an excellent emotional support.

    Nitro
  6. Just when I thought the show was coming together finally they throw in that ending. It would be good if the rest of the world found out about the experiment then they would do something about it. I stand by my words that I won’t be satisfied unless someone literally or figuratively gets hanged for what happened to those kids.

    sealouse
  7. I’m really loving the character of hisomu, nico and katsuhira
    Hisomu is really the matured on this group
    Nico is probably the same… I didn’t see them being childish when it comes to serious issue
    and katsuhira for his effort that he keeps on thinking to compensate on the lack of his emotion..but its obviously not enough

    ricz

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