First Impressions – Kiznaiver

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Kiznaiver has impressive style~

winter15-foshBesides being really hyped for things like Macross Delta and Boku no hero Academia I was super curious about Kiznaiver because it’s from Trigger and I tend to love whatever they work on! Then again I wasn’t a big fan of Ninja Slayer, but ah well I’m willing to see what they can do with Kiznaiver!


winter15-skylionKiznaiver is one of the Spring ‘16 shows that I’ve really been looking forward to. So let’s see how it stacked up to expectations.


Pain is Crazy Yo!

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Trigger loves crazy teachers.

Fosh// Whenever I hear Trigger is doing any new anime series I immediately get curious and excited because they really haven’t had a huge hit series that put them on the map yet unlike the popular studios like Kyoto Animation, PA Works or Shaft who all have at least one or two series in their backlog that stands out as being OMG AMAZING! So yeah personally I consider Trigger to be an underdog studio because they are still figuring out what works for them; however with Kizniver I think they might have something interesting on their hands with the subject matter being somewhat serious instead of the usual Trigger series that rely on over the top wacky comedy, but I still love when they do the silly stuff which were also getting with Space Patrol Luluco.

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I love crazy disco hospital.

Pain is a interesting subject to build an anime around and pain is something we can all relate too because feeling pain is what makes us human and I think that is what Kiznaiver is going for especially with Agata who claims that he is unable to feel any pain? Whenever we see characters like Agata their stories usually end up being the same as in they don’t feel like they are human anymore and sometimes they crave that feeling again unless you’re Ajax from the recent Deadpool movie who turned it into a superpower? Which is what I originally assumed Kiznaiver was going to do with him, but after spending most of the first episode following him and learning about his screwy past he just doesn’t come off as the “kick ass fighter” type and I don’t think Kiznaiver is about super-powered teens fighting off other super-powered teens or is it? At this point we don’t really know what the main team is up against quite yet. Whatever they are up against I’m sure it isn’t good, but hopefully the Kizu system is going to help Agata return to feeling somewhat human again and it’s also in place to change the others characters as well? Because Noriko called the others the new seven deadly sins? Yeah that part was a bit out there;however I think Noriko’s intentions are to help them change I just can’t shake the feeling that she isn’t exactly a nice person either and she is obviously hiding something major from the others!

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I love the visual effects with the Kizu system.

Then again maybe i’m completely wrong about Kiznaiver and Agata’s ability to not feel any pain? I know the other theme of Kiznaiver is about being connected or the desire to be connected with others which is something everyone wants in life, but aside from Agata i’m in the same camp as Skylion because I really liked the the bits with the crazy fairy hunter girl Niko Niiyama, who most will quickly write off as the hyper Mako type from Kill la Kill which is fine with me! I don’t mind the extreme hyper Mako types in anime even thou she is more of a mixture of hyper and suffering from chunnibyou, but with so many characters I’m sure everyone has their personal favorites; however I feel the rest of the cast is a bit copy/paste from Anohana and with Mari Okada being tied to writing the scripts for Kiznaiver and Anohana I guess the character types are bound to be somewhat similar? Now to find out which character in Kiznaiver likes to cross dress! Probably Tsuguhito Yuta? Who knows…


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Ecchi elements? Good on ya Trigger.

Skylion// This is from the part of TRIGGER that I’ve come to enjoy the best. They don’t let the character design or animation get to far out, the idea is solid without having to bludgeon you over the head with it, and it’s 100% awesome simply because it’s not Ninja Slayer. Good times, all around then. But seriously, that “cool” sort of style is the one thing that really got me about the first episode. I thought it would over-reach with too zany animation styles with little substance in an effort to get my attention. I’m happy to be wrong.

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Will this Yuki Kaji character lose an arm? Maybe!

Now as far as other expectations are concerned, I had quite a few. I mean, no one casts Kaji Yuki as a main character unless it’s going to be EPIC! By contrast Attack on Trains has him in the cast as well, but only as a supporting character, so it’s probably going to suck, right? LOL, I’m horsing around on that count actually. But speaking of Mr. Loses an Arm, his character in this one is super-subdued compared to virtually every other action role he’s ever been part of. I had to check MAL a dozen times to make sure it was him. So far, Agata is a neat character. He’s got a weird Feel No Pain ability before the Kizu system starts up, and he kinda acts like a blank that the rest of the characters can impress themselves on. Of all of them, the fairy chasing Niko is going to be a favorite.

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Now the next big thing is the OKADA-Factor. We all know we she likes to make her characters go through all the emotions, and she loves for the audience to come along for the ride. She’s got one hell of a reputation for it. But this is so meta it hurts! The plot literally makes these character hurt each other in creative ways and they share the pain. Brilliant!!! For her next trick,hentai that does all the work! No. But honesty, this is a pretty interesting evolution of her existing storytelling style, and it will be fantastic to see where it goes. She’s started off with some very basic character types, even going so far as to blatantly give them silly names; like she cannot help but telegraph the feint. She’s playful in what she gives away, so now I’m curious about what her script has to hide.

Extra Kiznaiver

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End Thoughts


Wowwww this was great! Visually amazing stuff from Trigger as always they do impressive background artwork and they have some unique character designs, but did anyone else like the crazy Shaft like school design? Anyway artwork and style aside the first episode of Kiznaiver was very interesting and it left me wanting more after the credits rolled, but I can’t wait to see what else the Kizu system can do besides making everyone share pain? Now that they are using it what are the going to DO with it? Fight evil or are they just test dummies? Besides that does anyone trust Noriko? I know I sure don’t, but that might be the point until she reveals her true intentions? So what did you like about this? Personally I want to learn more about the rest of the characters besides Agata and Niko.


So, did it meet your expectations? Is this a freaky city or what? That’s a really hard pill to swallow in the narrative, that this sort of thing was forced on kids; when you stop and think about it, it’s actually quite vile and horrendous. But luckily, narrative fiction is a great lens to observe these sorts of things at a safe remove, as it really isn’t happening and nobody in the story is real. But that only just takes the chill off. With this as it’s basis I can see this going in so many directions, from the sublime to the terrifying. “People bullied you cause they couldn’t see themselves in you” is a chilling subject, and I’m looking forward to seeing it explored and I hope Niko finds her fairy friends…


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27 Responses to “First Impressions – Kiznaiver”

  1. IreneSharda says:

    I guess, I really didn’t have a lot of expectations going into this. I haven’t seen a lot of Trigger’s stuff, so for me, they’re really just another studio.

    As for the premiere itself, I think I understand what this show is trying to aim for, but it just feels a little bit pretentious, at least for the goals of this whole operation and the girl in charge.

    It will be interesting seeing all these different character tropes have to interact with each other. I’ve decided to call in the anime version of the Breakfast Club. 😀

    However, the Kizuna system is all kind of messed up, and so is the holier-than-thou girl running it. Not only is her “world peace” theory completely full of holes, they say they want to try to do this on a worldwide scale? If you are dividing the pain equally among all the people linked to the system, the more people you link to the system, won’t that dilute the pain to the point in which no one will feel it anyway, thus negating the reason for the system? And even with the system it won’t get rid of human conflict.

    But I’ll be interested in how they show will face these issues. I like most of the characters so far. In fact, I found nothing wrong with any of the six so far (we haven’t met the 7th, but from the looks of him, he’s the “emo outsider”). I’d like to see how they come together now that they are joined like this.

    • skylion says:

      I think the show is really following the hallmark of “externalize all the feelings” that both the artistic techniques and storytelling of Japanese animation deals in to it’s greatest degree. So yeah, the plot factors have a huge amount of encumbrance. So did Kill la Kill, also by Trigger. This is one of those instances where the least amount of literal interpretation probably serves best…

  2. zztop says:

    On premieres, will anyone be doing posts on Kuromukuro, Hundred, Joker Game and Bungou Stray Dogs? I think those are the main titles that haven’t been covered yet.

    • Highway says:

      I might do one for Rip-Off-Of-A-Hundred-Other-Shows.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Joker Game and Bungou Stray Dogs should be coming along pretty soon. 🙂

    • Foshizzel says:

      Kuromukuro for some reason just keeps hiding! There are so many rumors flying around about it popping up on netflix to be streamed world wide? I dunno when were actually going to get it…soon probably? They did say April 11th for official broadcast…

      • skylion says:

        The show has regular terrestrial broadcasting in Japan with most of the usual suspects (Tokyo MX, AT-X, BS11, some flavor of Anime+), so I really scratch my head over offering a “new series from Spring” then say it will come out three months later? But Roger is a Jolly fellow, so they say…

  3. Highway says:

    I thought this one was ok. Trigger toned down their animation style a bit (and as skylion said, put the Ninja Slayer folks on something else, probably Luluco). The story is, of course, preposterous and has a component of force that I really dislike, but that’s part of the show.

    • skylion says:

      I kinda get where you’re coming from, the forced component. But if you think the premise is preposterous, why get hung up on that part? I have to admit, I would have found a better way to express the metaphor…but it works inside fiction…

      • Highway says:

        The morality of the forced experimentation is, to my mind, a different issue from the morality of the experiment at all. I think they are separate issues for discussion, perhaps at a later date when the experiment runs into those issues in implementation. But at the very start, I would have to say (and probably everyone would agree) that the whole thing is unethical since there was no consent given by the participants.

        The other technical issues will arise, and I’ve learned that it’s not worth raising those issues that the show will presumably raise before it gets to them.

        • IreneSharda says:

          I have to agree with Highway, even more so than the ludicrous nature of the system itself and the reason for it’s existence, is the fact that these 7 have no say in it and they were just picked because some pretentious girl decided that her classmates should be guinea pigs. She doesn’t know any of them and their supposed to participate in an experiment they didn’t even know existed.

        • Foshizzel says:

          Well let’s think about it for a moment if something like the Kizu system existed IRL and worked would you actually agree to have the operation? Highly unlikely so I can see why these kids were “picked” by Noriko because nobody would ever agree to take part in such a dumb experiment and realistically no government in the world would be like SURE THIS SOUNDS GREAT!

          I can sorta see this the whole forced experiment going down because I imagine no government in the Kiznaiver world would ever agree to such a dumb experiment so I bet Noriko took it upon herself to go ahead and just do it! Yeah i’ll agree that it’s screwed up that these 7 kids were forced into it, but without that then why make the anime? Hell even Ryouko was forced into her situation in Kill la Kill because of an experiment gone wrong too…

    • skylion says:

      My only defense is that I must be a Terrible Person- even more terrible than Highway and IreneSharda agreeing on something. I’m really keen on seeing how all of this works out. I agree the experimentation is very unethical, but as a metaphor, or possible metaphor, it’s tooooo juicy to let go. There’s just this interesting texture to it that I can’t quite let go of yet.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Interesting first run although a bit odd. But hey, it’s definitely a sign that this is Trigger’s handiwork.

    Aside from the knowledge that an immoral experiment is going on, the girl, Sonozaki, is just as insane for supporting it. That also leaves to wonder who came up with idea and who’s financing. For Sonozaki to tell to their face they were taken and had surgery done to them, it’s a strong possibility they have well placed people in government and law enforcement to maintain low profiles.

    I haven’t yet gotten a feel for the characters so that matter will take some time. However, Katsuhira’s a bit too soulless. It’s like watching a hollowed out shell.

    • skylion says:

      My guess is that Sugumori City is entirely corporate run. It could have little government oversight, so long as they don’t screw things up too much, or step outside some bounds. I’m thinking it’s corporate culture run amok with a government approach coming close to laissez faire towards it, provided it reaches it’s goal? It would be a terrifying metaphor to explore. Just by living on the island, your kids could be experimented on. Now that’s the OKADA factor of despair!

      • BlackBriar says:

        I’m thinking it’s corporate culture run amok with a government approach coming close to laissez faire towards it, provided it reaches it’s goal?

        In other words, it could be a place that defines itself with the concept of “The ends justify the means”. Such a thing ran rampant in Academy City from Index/Railgun.

        • skylion says:

          …oh my yes…

          • Alexandre says:

            My problem is that the characters are unidimensional. That just kills the story for me. I hope they get better but I much prefer stories like Evangelion, Haibane and Shirobako (to quote 3 in widely different genres) whose main focus and the interest of the story lies in how well-fleshed-out the characters are. As I see it, people who complain that they don’t “get” EVA just don’t see that the story is about the human relations of the characters, and not at all about the Angels and stuff. Sonozaki (the same name as the Yakuza family in Higurashi? Would have to check the kanji to see if it’s not just a coincidence) just defines the 7 as having one personality trait. That just makes for boring characters for me. The moment the goody-two-shoes girl showed herself more concerned about Sonozaki calling Kacchon by his first name than the situation they are in, I decided to stop watching Kiznaiver, I’ll just get endlessly annoyed at the characters.
            And Sonozaki herself is also totally unidimensional and the reason she gives for the project is childish. There’s conflict in the world because we’re mostly irrational animals competing for limited resources. If we approached human relations and the world from a totally rational standpoint, there would be no need for conflict.
            As for the rest, the psychedelic environment of the facility and the whole insanity of the story is just what I might expect from Trigger. My only hope is that this turns out into some crazy commedy, like the coment about barium and pork soup in the next episode preview. Alas, there’s little hope of that…

            • Foshizzel says:

              I can see you’re point on the characters for now we don’t really get much depth behind them other than Sonozaki claiming they are the new seven deadly sins? Seems kinda crazy that she’s allowed to judge the others and not herself.

              As for stopping IDK I found Kiznaiver to be quite interesting and I know sooner or later were gonna learn every characters backstory and we will learn if they really ARE the new sins or not! I still don’t trust Sonozaki’s experiment, but we shall see.

              Well Trigger is gonna do what Trigger wants with this, but I can’t see it going full comedy mode because they have Space Patrol Luluco for that if they wanna get silly; however I don’t expect kiznaiver to be 1000% serious all the time they have room to be a little silly or do will they? We gotta remember Mari Okada wrote the script for this and her series always lack comical things…

            • skylion says:

              We are we picking apart character depth just after the first episode and before the second episode??? I mean, I’m a huuuuuuuge stickler for decent characterization and all that, but I’m look at this original comment going, “Dude, chill. Let the wine breathe…”

            • BlackBriar says:

              + 1000 points awarded to the LOLi Defender!

  5. AllenAndArth says:

    this show i gorgeous

  6. Emirk says:

    I do not understand how these students can accept such atrocities being committed to them, or how a writer expects anyone to believe that they shouldn’t. Literally every time any morality issue is brought up is immediately interrupted and then they just carry on as if it never happened.

    Show ▼

    They talked about their kidnapping as if its a common thing. “Darn you kidnapped, that’s a real inconvenience!”

    And they even refuse to comment on the way they were forced to spill out their personal information.Show ▼

    Later on we learn that they tried this on Show ▼

    and boom what ya know interrupted. Wow what was that, a complete 2 seconds of the writer not drinking the kool-aid of his own work, were entering new grounds here boys. Cause its painfully obvious that the writer wants to shoe horn this philosophical bs down our throats with as little thought process of the consequences and repercussions as possible.

    This philosophical message is 100% foolproof, i wonder why the nations around the world haven’t found a way to make this possible already.

    • Emirk says:

      I would had gave this a chance if:

      1. The characters weren’t so accepting of their fate
      2. The Antagonist acted like an antagonist
      3. The main character wasn’t so unrelatable.
      4. The characters acknowledge their predicaments and comment on as normal human beings would, act in resistant of such acts and push the corrupt government plot.
      5. Overall what i want most from this anime is that the Kiznaiver system be revealed as evil/the thing that must be stopped. I dont want another Jormungand. Show ▼

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