Kiznaiver is an original anime series created by studio Trigger, who is responsible for anime such as Kill la Kill and this season’s Space Patrol Luluco. As a huge fan of Trigger‘s works, the announcement of this series itself was enough to make me want to watch it, despite it being good or bad. But, did Kiznaiver‘s first episode deliver a strong enough impact to make me come back for more? Let’s get into it to find out!
Story & Characters
I will be blunt with you all, the first episode did leave me wanting for more at the end. Kiznaiver starts off in a very ominous way, where tragedy has taken place at some point. This makes for some foreshadowing of what the tone of this series will be. The first episode easily establishes the central characters by introducing them and focusing in on their actions. After some research, I discovered that Mari Okada is writing the story for Kiznaiver. If you are familiar with some of her work, then you know we could be in for a treat since her stories tend to be heavy on characters, their development, and drama.
Concerning the story, it has yet to go into detail about what it is trying to do. Based on the Kiznaiver PV’s released by Crunchyroll, it is a story about how pain will bond the characters together. The concepts of Sugomori City, Kiznaivers, saving the world, and how they all relate to the characters are interesting but questionable at the same time. The first episode introduces the characters in a manner where they seem to have some sort of conflict with society.
Due to the Kizuna system, they are able to share each others’ pain, thus making them Kiznaivers. The issues with this are that we are not entirely sure what problem each character has with society, at least not yet. The goal to save the world by uniting these characters through pain doesn’t make that much sense either. What exactly does the world need saving from? Society itself? The end goal is not stated, which leaves me confused on the matter. With Kiznaiver being focused on the characters, I am worried how it will progress the plot. Although it has issues, the first episode does leave a good impression. It has an idea of where it wants to go with the concepts, but it will be interesting to see how it will carry them out.
The characters themselves are intriguing at first glance and leave an impression of what their personalities are like. You have the protagonist, Agata “The Imbecile” Katsuhira, Chidori “Goody-Two-Shoes” Takashiro, Hajime “Musclehead Thug” Tenga and more. Looking at the designs, they are definitely Trigger‘s work, since the characters look similar to Kill la Kill‘s characters. They also have this appearance that makes it look like they belong in a seinen sci-fi manga, by having their body structure and eyes look different from that of the shounen art style. Other main characters introduced in this episode also look unique compared to the background characters, and it will be a pleasure to get to know them better as the series goes on.
Art & Animation
When it comes to the art, everything has that seinen-esque style of drawing, making the surroundings, buildings, and characters look more realistic than usual. The eyes and body language of the characters showcases the realistic art style. There is also a sci-fi aesthetic to the atmosphere of the art. The color palette showing the activation of the Kizuna system best displays this, which adds a sense of realism to the sci-fi genre Kiznaiver possesses. As for animation, while there wasn’t much, being that this is only the first episode, it does have moments of fluidity. This is shown best when characters are interacting with each other or doing some sort of action. A fine example is when the episode displays Agata’s pain tolerance. The animation can be a little silly at times when they are trying to show off eccentric movements of some characters. An example is Hajime’s movements when he is involved with Agata and his situation, which bears similarities to Mako’s silly animations during Kill la Kill. Despite the lack of impressive animation, the art looks great and I am sure there will be moments later on where the animation will come into play.
Overall, I am excited for Kiznaiver. Sure it has some issues with its theme, but the use of sci-fi is spot on and characters are interesting enough to invest time in them. I only hope it does not crash and burn like last season’s Dimension W did, but seeing as this is studio Trigger and all, my hopes are high. Just like My Hero Academia, I will be keeping up with Kiznaiver and reviewing it at the end of the season, so be on the lookout and share your thoughts with me anytime!