Kiznaiver was hyped like crazy by Crunchyroll a while before it began airing, and after watching some of the previews they shared on facebook, I decided to stick the show in my queue and watch it when it finally aired. I’ve actually watched 4 episodes now (all the currently aired episodes), and i’m absolutely loving this show. The show comes from Studio Trigger, the people behind Kill La Kill, and if you have seen any of their other works, you will probably recognize the art style pretty quickly. I will say here that this is a show I will recommend, and I will avoid spoilers at all costs in the main part of this post.
MY RATING: 9/10
“Kiznaiver” follows 7 high school students, who have been connected through a device that shares any pain felt by one equally between all of them. The goal of the inventors of this device, is apparently to see if people can be made to get along by having them share pain – and of course none of our main characters move in the same circles, and aren’t people who would normally get along with each other to begin with. Who better to test this on.
I’ve been loving the characters myself – both art-design wise, and personality wise. Going with the “these people would never get along” ideal, the characters all have very different personalities; you have the punkish Tenga Hajime, weird and attention starved (but still sort-of cute and loveable) Niiyama Niko, the stuck up (read: bitch) character Maki Honoka, obligatory self-absorbed “ladies man” Yuta Tsuguhito, the jealous childhood friend Takashiro Chidori, the ridiculously sketchy guy who gets off on pain (literally) Hisomu Yoshiharu, and our seemingly emotionless MC Agata Katsuhira. The strange part about the MC, is that he can apparently not feel pain. Which leads to a scene early on of him getting the shit kicked out of him, and he just lays there and takes it with an uninterested look on his face. Basically, he feels that it’s less effort to just let it happen.
The interactions between the group are fun to watch, and some of the ways they handle different situations by kinda-sorta-almost working as a team have been amusing. The first task they are given through the “Kizuna System” that bonds them together, is to get to know each other better. Sounds simple, right? Not quite; a more accurate title for the task would be “reveal your darkest secret”, and they aren’t exactly eager to comply. Some of the revealed secrets were fairly obvious, but a couple of them actually gave me a much better image of the true personality of the character, with Niko and Tsuguhito’s making me chuckle a little.
As the story continues to progress throughout the episodes, little slivers of information are given that are slowly piecing everything together. Some things are being explained in tiny bits, but not enough yet for you to actually understand the purpose of that piece of the puzzle. This doesn’t mean the pacing is just slogging along though; so far I feel the pace of the story has been just right for the setting, although some people might not like the focus on dialogue without many action scenes. When I first heard about the show and watched the trailers, I thought it would be a more intense/action oriented show, but it turned out to be rather light-hearted and with some light comedic elements as well, which is just as welcome for my tastes.
The art and animation are very trigger-esque, and I absolutely love it. After watching Kill La Kill a number of months ago, the art in this show makes it feel friendly and familiar for me. All the characters are beautifully designed with looks that match their personalities really well.
The last thing I want to mention is the music; both the opening and ending songs for this show are just fantastic. The opening theme “Lay Your Hands On Me” by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES is one of my favorite songs I’ve heard in an anime, and the ending theme “Hajimari no Sokudo” by Sangatsu no Phantasia isn’t far behind.
Overall, I highly recommend this show; it has great characters, an interesting story, eye-catching art, and a music track that fits the show perfectly. The only reason I didn’t give it a 10/10 is because Hisomu creeps the hell out of me.