Kiznaiver (2016)


Kiznaiver (2016)

Director: Hiroshi Kobayashi
Studio: Trigger
Starring: Yuyki Kaji, Hibiku Yamamura, Yuka Terasaki
Episodes: 12

An emotionless boy unable to feel pain becomes the center of a bizarre experiment to promote world peace by fostering mutual understanding through shared pain.

I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this series, but after watching Space Patrol Luluco, I learned that this was another project of Studio Trigger's running at the same time and so I checked it out. I was hooked right off and walked away quite satisfied. When the premise was first revealed, I thought, "What? Have these people never heard of empathy?" and then I realized that the answer was "Probably not." While I'm not the most socially well-adjusted individual myself, I can "fake the funk" as they say, but what happens with the people who can't even do that much? It's a very interesting exploration of emotion and interpersonal relationships with a mismatched cast that plays off each other very well. I mean, the whole idea of the experiment is to bring together people who'd never have anything to do with each other and see what can be made of it. Though there are obvious fantastical elements, the basic idea reminds me a lot of the highly unethical psychological experiments of the early 20th Century. And while the character dynamics are the main draw for me, it's also a visual treat with appealing character designs and the sort of quality of animation you'd expect from Trigger. I highly recommend it, not just for viewing but for adding to your collection.

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