Upon reading reactions to this episode I have come to the conclusion that my consensus on this episode is likely not a popular one. After all this episode was aiming for the “feels” and those who don’t get the “feels” don’t quite hold the same opinion as those who do. As I have said before, this kind of drama is hit or miss. If it hits then it hits hard and lets you forgive any missteps it took to achieve the emotional payout. But if it misses then you are left to question the threads that lead to this conclusion which to me doesn’t bode well. I equate it to a poorly written but well executed twist. Upon seeing it you might be applauding it but then you sit down and think about it only to find in retrospect that it doesn’t really make any sense. This episode didn’t blow me away but it certainly did make me question the quality of writing. For when Space Patrol Luluco provides a better emotional gut punch than the series actively aiming for one, I really need to reassess its quality. I admit that I am enjoying Space Patrol Luluco a lot more than Kiznaiver right now. Maybe perhaps because it still knows how to have fun when Kiznaiver is weeding out all the fun it has in favor of love pentagram and drama. What makes it most amusing is that Luluco is dealing with almost the exact same problem the Kiznaiver group is dealing with, namely a broken heart, yet she has broken out of her stupor when most of the Kiznaiver group continues to wallow in it. A fourteen year old girl is more emotionally mature than a bunch of teenagers. I suppose when you think about it this isn’t really that much of a surprise. But let us push Luluco to the side for a moment and let me try to articulate just why this episode’s emotional drama didn’t resonate with me.
Sadly, just as predicted, the entire Kiznaiver group basically angst the summer away. The first offender of this episode is the teacher who starts the episode by being pointlessly antagonistic. I don’t even get his reason for doing this, the group isn’t Kiznaivers anymore so he has nothing to gain by riling them up like this. But the big part that really annoyed me is how he tripped Tenga, giving him a bloody nose. Ladies and gentlemen, do you have any idea what this would mean for a teacher? They would be fired within a week. These days a teacher can’t so much as cough in a student’s direction without being blamed for abusing his position. Sure the school seems to be connected to the Kiznaiver project but I certainly think they would have a hard time quieting down the angry parents. Even disregarding this, just why is he doing this? Simple, because the show wants you to hate this character, so they will have them act as ignorant as possible to achieve that. The second offender is when Nico, Agata and Hayato make a trip to the secret lab under the school and are found by Mutsumi. Who proceeds to sit them down and outright spout exposition at them. This is lazy exposition of the highest caliber not only is it lazy but the majority of it is information which has already been confirmed. There was an experiment involving children that went wrong, Noriko and Agata were part of it, it’s the reason why Agata lost his emotions and all of this is information we already know. The only thing we learn is what went wrong with the experiment and that is because Noriko was accidently linked up with the pain of all fourteen children which caused her immense agony. She was then drugged in order to dull her senses to give her relief which lead to her detached and kuudere personality. As Agata wails over the pain and suffering Noriko had to experience I was busy thinking to myself. Just how goddamn incompetent did these scientists have to be to cock up this badly. Truly I am flabbergasted at just how they managed to accomplish a failure of this magnitude.
Despite Mutsumi sitting our characters down and throwing exposition at them, she keeps fairly vague about the actual process of making Kiznaivers. However based on what we seen so far we can assume that making Kiznavers involves embedding some kind of device in the subjects. After all it can project holograms and seems to require some minor surgery. So i ask this, isn’t there so method to disable it? It’s clearly wireless and they can use it to monitor a subject’s emotional wavelength. Why is it that drugs were the only method of preventing Noriko from suffering? Why couldn’t they just perform surgery and undo the process? Are you telling me that these idiots performed surgery on ninteen children, after countless animal and human tests, and had no backout plan? Look if you are just going to sit down and shove exposition down our throats then address all questions. Why are you describing transferring pain like it’s cutting up an orange and handing people parts? Pain is a signal and if you can transfer and split that signal then you bet your ass you can disable or even redirect that signal. Why the hell are you hooking up fourteen kids to “Lessen” the pain? The pain should be the same for all of them regardless of how many you hook up. Nor can you somehow drain emotions from people either and turn them catatonic. If you can intercept the signal then you can negate it. You say that a kid presses her foot on the ground and that impact is multiplied by fourteen and transferred to Noriko? How does that even happen? Is the signal passed through the kids one by one and hits Noriko last? But by the diagram you make it that the signals hit Noriko all at once so there’s no point were the pain would multiply per say. She should be feeling individual impacts from each child. Not one impact times 14. This makes no sense. You can say they could be good reasons for all this, but those good reasons were not presented here. When it comes to something like this you either put in the work to explain it or you just don’t draw attention to it. You don’t half ass it for the sake of throwing out a cheap emotional climax. At this point Kiznaivers have no scientific grounds whatsoever so it’s essentially magic. You should have taken the route of Erased, which simply didn’t bother to draw attention to it’s time travel aspect and simply used it as a plot device.
My last problem deals with just how they people are dealing with the fallout from last episode. Surprisingly Nico and Tenga are going about things in the right way by trying to bury the hatchet and move past the fight to become friends again. I appreciate this. I just wish that Maki and Chidori wouldn’t be such selfish killjoys because apparently no one can understand their pain so they won’t even try to move past this. Chidori is the primary offender in this case as when Tenga went up to her asking for her to reject him so that he could push himself past this and move on. But Chidori couldn’t even give him that much. Instead she made it all about herself, asking how this would make her feel better. Sure you could write this as her being used by Tenga for Tenga to feel better about himself but honestly that’s just a selfish perspective. Chidori, you asked what would make you feel better, well Tenga is showing you how. Confront the person you love and make them give you a clear answer. But you won’t do that, because you can’t take being rejected and want to just stand there complaining about how you can’t understand people’s feelings. Get over yourself. A large amount of the aspects I originally liked this series for the character chemistry and comedy it had in the beginning but as of now those aspects are barely present. Their a mild bit of comedy as Agata tries to find Noriko by peeking at girls panties under the staircase, as he knows she wears polka dots.The character chemistry was only present here with Hayato, Nico and Agata which was a nice reminder of what this series used to have. I have heard that this series was originally intended to be a school battle anime and I wonder just how that would have turned out. Sure it may not have been original but I think it would be fun and that is Triggers real strength. Anime school life dramas are a dime a dozen, a insane fun Trigger anime is a much higher rarity.