Kiznaiver, a new show from Studio Trigger, the studio behind Kill La Kill, looks for a hint to lead its battle-ridden world towards peace. Based on a manga of the same name, it follows the story of Katsuhira Agata, a high schooler who feels no pain. One day he is approached by one of his classmates Noriko Sonozaki and told that he is to become, along with five of his classmates, a Kiznaiver. Bound through the Kizna network, Kiznaivers have the ability to share all pain and wounds equally. This is proven when Katsuhira is summarily pushed… I mean as Katsuhira falls down the stairs and doesn’t die.
Katsuhira’s classmates are as colourful and varied as he himself is apathetic. The show makes a point of stressing that the only thing they have in common is that they are in the same class. However, one is actually Katsuhira’s childhood friend, Chidori Takashiro. Among the others include strong delinquent Hajime Tenga, fairy-loving Nico Niyama, lady’s man Tsuguhito Yuta and abrasive four-eyes Honoka Maki. Together they are Kiznaivers and they are tasked to ultimately bring world peace through human connection.
The team of Kiznaivers represent slightly changed versions of the seven deadly sins. Though it is not expressly stated which is which, some obviously relate. Pride becoming High-and-mighty (Honoka) and sloth becoming The Imbecile (Katsuhira) are clear while others like Goody-two-shoes (Chidori) and Eccentric Headcase (Nico) are considerably harder to place. If you can do math, then you may have noticed that only six Kiznaivers have been mentioned when there are seven deadly sins. From this we can safely assume that either Sonozaki is going to join them or that there is another character to be introduced.
This leads me to my main issue with Kiznaiver, I had so many questions after the episode ended. Firstly, I was confused about where the story would go, what trials will they face together that warrants the genre being action? They are clearly not super heroes, how are they going to save the world? What would happen if one of them fell into a giant meat grinder? What is with the weird mascots that seem to be the secret police? The list goes on. However, this is also not an entirely bad thing, now I need to watch more to get the answers.
Beyond that I enjoyed everything else. The artwork is suitably cartoony and vibrant while also dark and ominous when appropriate. The opening is enjoyable and there is a good sense of humour throughout the show. The characters are colourful, each unique from each other and I look forward to them being forced together in dangerous situations.
Altogether a solid start for Kiznaivers, but only time will tell if it will truly connect to me and make me feel its pain.