A Battle Touching Upon the Identity…
This show has become the anime I look forward to on the weekends. Sometimes there is a balancing act in some anime, and other media for that matter, where they try and jiggle so many different emotions in an episode, and sometimes certain parts just don’t work in the story. With Kiznaiver, especially lately, there hasn’t been an episode that I wasn’t all the way into, and this recent episode gave us enough drama to go along with the good feelings it evokes towards the end.
We are left with the fallout over the events of the last episode. To bring us up to speed; until recently we never knew what Honoka’s secret really entailed. At the end of the second episode, she told the group that she killed someone only to digress and call it a joke. She walked away from it, which led the audience to believe that it was the truth since Noriko said nothing more about it. It turns out that she wasn’t lying, at least in her way of thinking.
After the bombardment of her past catching up with her in terms of the manga she created with her friend Ruru, whom has since passed, we were left in the dark about what actually happened. Thankfully, this episode tied up the loose ends that mainly consisted of flashbacks the majority of the episode. To call this episode emotional may be a bit of an understatement as we learn about Honoka’s past, and the loss of partnership, love, and regrets that she is feeling.
What may have been more impressive is that the other members of Kiznaiver also had something to do along with what Honoka was dealing with. We all know at this point that they can feel each other’s physical pain, but as of recently we now know that emotional pain is part of each of them as well. This isn’t lost on all the others as they also have to deal with her emotional pain, in a sense. When we feel pain we usually know why, but for them to feel pain and not know the exact reason has to be frustrating, which is why the group went to search for answers.
The ending to this episode helped bring back from being so grim. The writers didn’t bring Honoka’s character around to be a super nice person, as that would have been a cop out. Instead, we are given a glimmer of hope with the character. I am glad for this, because I think there are so many more interesting backgrounds to take on if they choose to.
The one part of this episode that bothered me, after I thought about it for a while, was the fact that all the group could feel Honoka’s emotional pain, but a lost opportunity was when Niko was hurt, and crying over realizing that Honoka may really not want to be her friend. We didn’t see Honoka clutch her chest across town when this was happening. This makes me think that this was an oversight, and if it was then it’s a shame, because that could have been a moment that made Honoka’s character seem less of cold person.
Overall, Kiznaiver still manages to be my favorite show this season. While this episode was not perfect, it was enough to allow us to actually care about Honoka more than we did before. She probably won’t be a fan favorite, but her character is enough to keep the show balanced as we need the quiet, cold shouldered type. Hopefully in the next episode we get to see a Tenga story arc…oh wait, there is.
Final Score: 4/5
Original Air Date: May 21st, 2016; Studio: Trigger; Genres: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller; Duration: 24 min. per episode