Kiznaiver had another fairly strong episode this week, one that again demonstrated how this show is often much better at its small emotional and framing details than it is at the big narrative strokes. I frankly don’t care much about Sonozaki’s attempted coup here – it’s an okay place to take her sense of isolation, but it’s only going to get interesting once Katsuhira attempts to talk her down. It’s that communication that always becomes the key, and the way this fantastic director elevates such small moments into high drama. Chidori keeping a brace face on the phone, or Katsuhira admitting he’s not necessarily confident in his answers. Little gems all around.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.
Opening with Sonozaki alone until the other experimental kids arrive. Great shot of her hiding as they appear
This history stuff just isn’t that interesting
“And then she made a trite little wish… that these days would continue forever”
Wow, I really like this. Nico is trying to cheer Katsuhira up by engaging him and having him remember how his friends used to be, while Hisomu advises leaving him alone because he’s tired. Like with Chidori, each person advises helping the other based on how their own personal feelings work – Nico craves company, while Hisomu is comfortable being alone
“We have to share information! Because we’re not connected by the Kizna system anymore!” Fine stuff. Nico wants to take on this emotional labor
Nico is too insistent – she invades other people’s space. But her words prompt Katsuhira to honestly say “sorry, I need to think for a while.” To express what he’s feeling
Yuta: “And I thought I was pretty close to remembering what I was really like.” A great line for him, and a very common struggle
“I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. Could I check my answers with you?
These cuts to Chidori’s unmoving face are brutal
Chidori feels the pain of rejection and suddenly understands Tenga’s feelings. And then we see her crumple, and get a shot of her apartment as this huge, empty space
Hisomu playing “ambient music” for Katsuhira while he tries to think. I love that Hisomu has become the dad of the group
The teachers feel responsible, as they should
The conversation between Katsuhira and Sonozaki mirrors their conversation from the first episode – but this time, Katsuhira is confident in his declaration of both his and her emotions
Checking his answers again. This is a really strong idea. Love the sincerity of this
Katsuhira felt guilty about foisting his pain onto others. And now it seems like the Kizna has returned
“I don’t think that means we should be connected through a system. I want to feel real pain for my friends, too.”
Great conclusion to this scene. Even though he can’t feel pain, he can still think, and thus understand the pain his friends are feeling through acknowledging their own interiority. And he wants to be able to do that
This last scene is super contrived, though