Katsuhira Agata is a quiet and reserved teenage boy whose sense of pain has all but vanished. His friend, Chidori Takashiro, can only faintly remember the days before Katsuhira had undergone this profound change. Now, his muffled and complacent demeanor make Katsuhira a constant target for bullies, who exploit him for egregious sums of money. But their fists only just manage to make him blink, as even emotions are far from his grasp.
However, one day Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and forced to join the Kizuna System as official “Kiznaivers.” Those taking part are connected through pain: if one member is injured, the others will feel an equal amount of agony. These individuals must become the lab rats and scapegoats of an incomplete system designed with world peace in mind. With their fates literally intertwined, the Kiznaivers must expose their true selves to each other, or risk failing much more than just the Kizuna System. – My Anime List
Based on 20 review scores:
Trigger demonstrates that they’re more than just good looks and comedy in this well-written and incredibly beautiful original series. Kiznaiver utilizes a realistic, intimate cast in order to lure the viewer into a fall sense of security that may just wind up tearing them apart from the inside out. With themes and lessons that parallel real-world friendships and what it’s like to be miserable, it’s quite hard to not take something away from this series. Don’t watch this with a friend, as you will be compelled to awkwardly hug one another after it’s over. Kiznaiver is a fantastic anime that shows us the true meaning of friendship while still having time to remind us of what it means to be alive.
Dr Animaniac Unscripted
Overall, I really enjoyed this show and it had a satisfying conclusion as well, where all the ships for the most part sailed and so I was happy. No second season needed, though maybe an OVA would be nice to see how everyone turned out. So I definitely recommend this not just to Trigger fans but really anyone who doesn’t mind some drama, angst and feels.
Anime News Network
In the end, Kiznaiver was definitely a messy show, but I think its strengths easily outweighed its faults. It really helped that the show’s major weakness, its underlying plot assumptions, were something the show didn’t actually care about – the Kizna system may have been lame, but this show was never about the Kizna system. This was a show about people coming to terms with both their own feelings and the inscrutable feelings of those around them, and so it was only fitting that the show’s best moments were all the incidental little conversations they shared. I had a fine time with Kiznaiver, and am eager to see what’s next for its very talented director.
It reminded me a lot of Ano Hana. It’s a similar idea with a group of people becoming / re-becoming friends through some strange gimmick, whether it’s sharing pain or magical loli ghosts. My memory is a bit foggy, but I feel like Ano Hana was the stronger show. The only things Kiznaiver has going for it are the setting, the comedic bits, and an ending that wasn’t a complete embarrassment.
Many of the reviews I’ve seen so far have complained about characters being generic archetypes, and I’d just like to mention that, that’s the point. They clearly state that the reason these characters were “selected” was because they are completely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to personalities, and since they are all completely different extremes that wouldn’t have gotten along otherwise, evolve from their interactions. Of course there’s always the strong possibility that they don’t at on this opportunity to make the characters more interesting, but there is still hope for salvation. Aside from all that, the animation and art direction is beautiful, and the music is wonderful to say the least. If it isn’t for you, that’s totally fine, but don’t write it off as bad right off the bat.
Anime News Network
In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Kiznaiver, from the emotional character scenes, to the revelation of the plot, and the futuristic atmosphere; even Chidori, as much as I hated her character, it wouldn’t be a good anime unless there was something you didn’t like. Definitely check it out.
Kiznaiver certainly was an ambitious show with a lot to give and with plenty of variety. The ending, however, was it’s biggest pitfall. Although it was not terrible, it seemed rather tame and cliche when compared to the rest of the show. In reality, the journey is what matters most. And in Kiznaiver’s case, the journey was good.
My Shiny Toy Robots
Kiznaiver is a show worthy of recommendation, but not for a reason that any plot summary will have you believe. It acts as visual proof that you can base a show on a weak premise but still have it come out a success as long as the cast is enough to make up for this. While perhaps not doing anything especially groundbreaking, the trials and tribulations of the Kiznaivers keep things engaging as they embrace the highs and lows of love and friendship head on. And even when the show is at its very weakness, the sublime visuals never falter. Though perhaps not the usual kind of production Trigger have become known for over their first five years, that same sense of quality and craftsmanship is certainly there.
My Anime List
At the same time, not everyone is looking for the next greatest thing. Having charm and style alone can please most people, and merely being a standout title within its respective season is enough to warrant a viewing. And, you know, that’s perfectly fine. I wouldn’t hesitate to give Kiznaiver a recommendation if all the person wants is a few hours of fun and something a little bit different. Because, make no mistake, Kiznaiver is not a bad anime.
It’s just an immensely disappointing one.
Overall, Kiznaiver is a really good series and did have some really special moments. However, the writing is definitely the main fault behind the majority of the problems to be found with this series, whether it’d be the disjointed story, the iron-pressed finale, or the character development. Along with some iffy animation during a couple of the scenes, the series still has a beautiful score, an interesting premise, and some great character focus on Honoka, so I do think it’s worth a watch if it’s been on your eye for a while.
While the show has good visuals and animation it cannot carry the show above its mediocre plotline and shallow character, a shame really because there was so much potential here but that`s the case with most animes isn`t it? wasted potential
The Sushi Times
That’s a nice try for Trigger. They showed they are talented enough to build an emotional story with a psychological value and without excess of cliché, even if there is a little of that.
The show tries to act as a character study and tries to get across a deeper insinuation about the nature of feelings and connecting with other people but when examined it comes across as shallow and simplistic. Mainly resorting to a traumatic past as the cause of someone having communication issues instead of taking into account that maybe their are those of us who simply can’t connect with others. Or simply don’t want to. Two character get more focus in regards to this and one has their development more or less negated within two episodes of coming out of her shell. The other remains rather enigmatic and when it comes down to it, all that we truly learn of her is that she has a contrived tragic past. If it doesn’t affect you then sadly she has nothing else, besides acting as a love interest. Despite this it has moments; in both the forced drama and zany antics there were points when it comes across as genuine and heartfelt. Though this does make me lament just what this series could have been if had better planning. This is Trigger trying something different and as an experiment it is interesting. I would like to see Trigger tackle something like this again but if they do I hope they hire a better writer.
At its peak Kiznaiver is an impeccably well-directed show, but Trigger’s zany outlook and a unique core concept doesn’t paper over a series that doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Monkeys Fighting Robots
Kiznaiver doesn’t really fit that emotional spot since Mari Okada herself has written better drama’s with better characters and everything. If not for the art I would say that you should give this show a hard pass. But part of me still thinks that it’s a show worth recommending, at least with a big asterisk. This show regrettably doesn’t fulfill what it sets out to try to do, but it still has enough things to where someone could learn a thing or two about anime as a whole from watching it. It’s a show to watch only if you’re in dire need of whatever Kiznaiver has to offer, because honestly it isn’t very much.
Kiznaiver shines every once in a while but for the most part watching it was frustrating. It had moments where it seemed like it could be great but in the end it disappointed me beyond belief. The stupid drama, nonsensical romance, and underdeveloped characters took away any semblance of enjoyment that was present. For the most part, it’s still worth a watch simply because the parts that shine happen to shine very brightly. The comedy is enjoyable and the characters spasms are always fun to watch, but once it gets to the drama it’s usually unbearable. Kiznaiver would have worked better as a goofy slice of life rather than the melodramatic train wreck it became. Either that, or the writers at least trying to fix their mistakes especially since this show had an insane amount of potential.