Kiznaiver – Episode 7

Kiznaiver had its strongest episode of the season this week… in fact, Kiznaiver aside, I think this was just the strongest episode of anything I’ve watched this season. The show has often been a little clumsy in its emotional beats, but you wouldn’t have guessed that from this episode – this one was understated and beautiful and full of smart visual metaphors and purely tone-focused segments. Maki’s story turned out to be a lot more relatable than I’d expected; her fears and resultant feelings of guilt were totally understandable, and the episode did a great job of visually conveying the world she occupied. I was legit tearing up a bit by the end of this one – this kind of beautifully realized melancholy and slight emotional catharsis is exactly the kind of thing I love. Even if the rest of the show stays a little sketchy, I’m happy we got this.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!


Nico is sad

The show’s over-the-top storytelling. This giant photo of Ruru behind them. It not taking itself entirely seriously is very important

Maki apparently abandoned her

Nico wondering about the obligations of a friend

“Who cares if it’s overused. It’s true.” A very Okada belief

“If we work together, we can compensate for each other’s weaknesses.” So Ruru was Maki’s first Kiznaiver

Their feelings directly mirroring the manga, which expresses what they can’t put into words. This sequence is really well done

“I think these things might be better because they’re left to our imaginations”

Maki couldn’t bear the weight of carrying it through to the end. The emotional burden was too heavy

Fantastic use of color and shadow in these flashbacks

“She could rely on us a little more”

“We’ve never actually asked her what she wants”

Tenga suggests they just become friends with Maki

“Why do you try to carry it all alone?” More excellent use of shadows

This is a wonderfully subdued episode of Kiznaiver. Some purely textural sequences, just conveying mood changes. Even the music is great

Yuta’s waiting outside for her in the rain

“I’m trying to understand you.” “I can’t figure it out myself”

“If I had responded to Ruru’s feelings, it would have hurt even more when I lost her”

“Maybe it’s not possible to become friends by lighting fireworks”

Wonderful finale scene here

And it’s surprisingly subtle, too. Just a reconsidering of the past

And she finally lets down the umbrella and embraces the rain

4 thoughts on “Kiznaiver – Episode 7

  1. Like I said on the forum, I think you misunderstood the point made in Ruru’s house. I don’t think at all it’s humor but on the contrary a very sad thing. Like other said Ruru’s parents can’t seem to get over her death, seeing how the dad is constantly praying to her altar surrounded by numerous photos of her, or the mother having a constant tired look like she never stopped crying until now. It totally made me uncomfortable and I was quite surprised when you interpreted that for humor.
    It’s not like in Bleach with the Masaki Forever poster with Ichigo’s father using it for humor or FMA Hugues with his daughter giant photo during the duel, I think it passed the message that Ruru was smothered by her parent affection and made me feel that the manga was also a way for her escape this “heavyness”.

    • I didn’t get the feeling that she was necessarily smothered in life, but certainly that the parents didn’t have a healthy attitude towards their loss. The mother of course seemed the most broken one. But yeah, I really didn’t get anything humorous out of it – the only slightly chuckleworthy moments for me were the onslaught of Nico Faces (TM) and Yuta’s goofy sakuga run towards the sea at the end.

      • It’s not exactly hilarious, but there’s a certain juxtapositional absurdity to that scene. It’s funny almost more in the sense of a curiosity. “Who has that big of a picture of their kid? That’s silly.” The tone definitely turns creepy and depressing within moments, but even through the rest of the scene the bright decor and pictures of Ruru smiling surrounding and looming over the room gives it an atmosphere similar to a really creepy circus funhouse.

        The general ideas of that scene could have been conveyed decently enough with a more realistic setup (the typical shrine with portraits, flowers and incense, small pictures scattered all over the walls), but leaning into a comically exaggerated setup like that and showing that giant, ridiculous portrait up front actually helps make the scene that much painful and uncomfortable in the long run. It’s a very Trigger/Kiznaiver decision to make.

        • Yeah, agreed. I think Kiznaiver is getting better and better at adding touches of absurdity where they’ll actually enhance the drama.

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