There may be have been something in our past that we thought we could not change, and we just let it go because it was easier then dealing with the actual problem. Katsuhira Agata is having a similar issue in the first episode of Kiznaiver, a new show from Trigger and Aniplex from director Hiroshi Kobayashi, who had recently worked as an episode director on Kill La Kill.
The main protagonist, Katsuhira, has had it a little rough to say the least. He is consistently bullied by other classmates due to the fact that he doesn’t fight back, and just takes the beating all because it is easier for him to take it due to his oddly high threshold for pain; something that appears to taken from him. The beatings that this kid takes is brutal and may be a little off putting as we are introduced to a world that is violent and not even the beautiful scenery can change it, which may be a some kind of allegory in of itself.
He is shortly recruited by a young woman named Noriko Sonozak, a person that doesn’t appear to have an empathetic bone in her body, to be part of a team that shares each other’s pain in the belief that this will be the beginning of peace among the city of Sugomori City. While I get the motive, at this point it’s hard to see how six people will keep violence down if they only feel each other’s pain.
The team is also made up of five other students. Chidori Takashiro, who is Katsuhira’s good friend; Hajime Tenga, the physically fit if not annoying character; Nico Niyama, the more childish character that believes in fairies (or at least it seems); Tsuguhito Yuta, the intellectual honor roll student; Honoka Maki, a girl that appears stuck up and hostile. Each voice behind the characters are very well suited for their demeanor, and the dialogue between the characters thus far seems fine so far as there weren’t any weak areas in the writing.
Visually speaking, it is the most striking that I have seen this Spring season so far, but to be fair I am still in the process of watching the new shows. Regardless, Kiznaiver catches the eye and it is worth going along for the ride so far. It is not as fun as another show I have recently reviewed, but that’s not the tone for this show. It has a couple of humorous moments, but I have a feeling those are going to few and far between as we follow this mysterious, yet intriguing series.
What is even more of a mystery is the city of Sugomori; an area that was once a landfill that has been taken back and built back up to a big metropolis. The mystery of the city comes into play by something that Noriko says towards the end of the episode, but surely they will get more into that aspect later in the series.
Kiznaiver, if anything so far, is a visually striking show that has a unique premise going for it so far; a team a high school students share each other’s pain. While I am not sure where they are going with this plot, I am hoping that it actually goes into questions about morality, but not so much that it becomes obnoxious. The characters are mysterious and interesting enough to make us wonder how they will fit in the overall story. If anything, the animation will keep you around for a second episode at least.