anime, Reviews

[REVIEW] Kiznaiver – How does it feel to break another’s heart?

We’ve all used the expression ‘feeling the feels’ or something along a similar vein. But have you ever considered how someone else is feeling? Or even, FEELING how they’re feeling? Introducing the main concept of Kiznaiver; what do you get if you allow 7 teenagers to feel the emotions of one another? Answer: A hell of a lot of laughs and tears, and somehow the audience can feel it, too.

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“Katsuhira Agata is a quiet and reserved teenage boy whose sense of pain has all but vanished. His friend, Chidori Takashiro, can only faintly remember the days before Katsuhira had undergone this profound change. Now, his muffled and complacent demeanor make Katsuhira a constant target for bullies, who exploit him for egregious sums of money. But their fists only just manage to make him blink, as even emotions are far from his grasp.

However, one day Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and forced to join the Kizuna System as official “Kiznaivers.” Those taking part are connected through pain: if one member is injured, the others will feel an equal amount of agony. These individuals must become the lab rats and scapegoats of an incomplete system designed with world peace in mind. With their fates literally intertwined, the Kiznaivers must expose their true selves to each other, or risk failing much more than just the Kizuna System.” (Taken from MyAnimeList)

This show is tagged as ‘Sci-Fi’ pretty much everywhere, but as a warning, if you’re expecting a Sci-Fi show, look elsewhere. There are definitely elements of sci-fi with the Kizuna system, as there is with any media that focuses on the perils of technology. However, at the heart (ha) of it, Kiznaiver is a drama revolving around the emotions of high-schoolers. So why bother to check it out? How many high school centric anime can we possibly have? How much different can they possibly be?

Whilst I emphasise that this is not a sci-fi show, the setting does indeed make it stand out from the rest. If you think back to your high school days, and how awkward everything was already – and now you have some godawful technology implanted into your wrist that makes it impossible for you to conceal your feelings, ever. Whilst the Kizuna system initially led us to believe that the only thing they’d be sharing is physical pain (which is why painless MC-Kun is a key subject), as they soon find out, sometimes emotional pain can hit much, much harder. 7 attractive 17 year olds together? Come on…

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This isn’t even the most painful, who would’ve thought?

I liked Kiznaiver for…a lot more reasons than I ever expected to. For a start, a shoutout to the opening, which is what finally convinced me to watch it in the first place. Very unique and memorable (and pretty! Trigger always hits it out of the park with colours).

On the topic of Trigger, I was apprehensive to watch just for their name attached. I have seen 2 Trigger shows: one being my second favourite show ever, the other I have rated as a 3 on MyAnimeList. Both of the shows are highly regarded as masterpieces, but it left me wondering which camp Kiznaiver would fall into. I won’t draw too many comparisons with past shows, as Kiznaiver should stand as great in its own right but…there’s some characters that should definitely believe in the them that believes in themselves. Ahem.

Oh, goodness. The characters. Straight off, I love that the show was self aware, and played the characters down to tropes by comparing them to the 7 Deadly Sins, albeit with slightly different terminology, which I’m sure you’ll be able to work out for yourself if you watch it.

wt42damI’ll let you work out who’s sin is who’s.

But not only were the characters great in the unique take on the 7 Deadly Sins, but as I mentioned before; we’re given high school drama, but the key difference is that it’s relatable. We’re seeing real trauma, and real worries about their lives, their self doubts, and their relationships. There’s no chickening out of confessions – like the Kizuna would allow for that to happen. Whilst there’s definitely the element of ‘it’ll get better with friendship’ (as expected in a show about connections), it reminds you that pain never quite goes away. If anything, I’ve learnt from Kiznaiver that you are nothing WITHOUT pain.

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I hurt when best boy hurt.

For a show I went into with reasonably low expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by Kiznaiver. I cried for possibly the entire duration of the final 4 episodes, but most importantly, I was kept hooked, entertained, and attached to each one of the characters.

Everybody wants to connect with someone else”.

My rating: 8-9/10

Have any of you seen Kiznaiver? What were your thoughts? That shipping chart, huh?

Until next time!

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5 thoughts on “[REVIEW] Kiznaiver – How does it feel to break another’s heart?”

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