Bound by Wounds: Kiznaiver Anime Review

Sometimes you just expect something great from specific anime studios. When you find out they’re doing a new anime, you’re quick to judge. Attempting to feel the void that Erased (the last full anime I completed) left me, I was happy to hear that Trigger had a new anime out. Trigger Inc was founded by two former Gainax employees who worked on one of my dearest anime series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and they also created the hit Kill La Kill. Both of those anime are highly enjoyable so I jumped at the opportunity to watch one of their 2016 anime: Kiznaiver. 

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Also produced by Aniplex and Crunchyroll, Kiznaiver follows a group of teenagers who have been connected to each other by their emotional and physical pain due to an experiment called the Kizna System. The concept is very interesting as it has several themes that dealt with connecting with other people and friendship. But, personally, that was also where the anime lacked. With only 12 episodes, it would have been beneficial for more detail during several parts of this anime. The pacing was all over the place which was quite unfortunate.

With eight teenagers (two of which could be deemed the “main characters”), Kiznaiver fails to deliever when it comes to character development of them all. It is quite unbalanced. For instance, the history of three of these characters is played out very well, but two out of three are the main characters therefore the driving force of the story. The third one gets an entire episode dedicated to her backstory which is wonderful.

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The others, however, get about a few lines of dialogue to expose a “secret” that no one knows about them…and that is about the gist of their character development. Which IS AWFUL because I ADORE THESE CHARACTERS. I really love them. Their personalities, character designs, and mannerisms are brilliantly done. If there was one thing this show got absolutely right it would be giving each of these characters interesting quirks. However, I wish I knew more about them. I find myself wondering how they came to be the quirky teenagers that we know.

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The finale is very rushed, wrapping up in one episode, while the beginning is very slow. Now, I am biased. I feel these are problems that most 12 episode story arcs have. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible to have a well paced story through so few episodes and I wish Kiznaiver was one that could have done that. Even if the anime was just 1-2 episodes longer it could have possibly changed my mind about how this story unfolded.

Another good thing about this anime is certainly the dialogue and art. Kill La Kill was obviously intense whereas this is a bit slower in terms of story, but shots are framed so well. For example, in the first episode a character is pushed off the stairs. The entire scene is beautiful. The dialogue. The way the character arches slowly over the stairwell. It’s just very well done.

キズナイーバー 第1話「一目あったその日から、絆の花咲くこともある」

Kiznaiver gets a 6.5/7 outta 10 from me. I really wanted to love it. Through research, I see Trigger had another anime come out this year called Space Patrol Luluco so I am going to check that out!

Have you seen Kiznaiver or even Kill La Kill? What anime are you currently watching?

Kiznaiver

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