Now that introductions and plot cementing are out of the way, we can finally launch into the bulk of the conflict. The pacing is not bad, but I’m starting to wonder if they might end up rushing the last few episodes. Kiznaiver continues to be enjoyable, though, and delves deeper into the characters’ personalities.
The episode opens with the group arriving at their destination, which is a really nice cabin, naturally. We wouldn’t want our heroes to be sleeping in tents like normal people, would we?
Although the place is quite nice, there’s no one taking care of it, so they divide themselves into teams for chores. Chidori formes a cooking team, but leaves Katsuhira out of it, despite Tenga’s prompting. Tenga scolds her for missing her chance, and Chidori retorts that he put her in an uncomfortable situation. Yuta notes that Chidori is too “heavy,” or serious, drawing attention to his great cunning and perceptive abilities.
I admit I’m already a little tired of the Chidori-loves-Katsuhira subplot, perhaps because it’s been so greatly focused on, especially as a part of Chidori’s character. I liked Yuta’s contribution to the conversation, though. He might be callous, but he’s pretty smart. Last episode I wasn’t liking Yuta very much, but this episode really made me appreciate his subtle nuances, and I hope that he’ll get more depth in the future.
There’s a brief scene where Hisomu tried to make sure someone is “accidentally” injured while he’s chopping firewood, which is the only contribution he makes to this episode, to my disappointment. Perhaps it was better that his character was taken out of the spotlight so it can be explored in other episodes.
Meanwhile, Sonozaki is on the phone with Urushibara. The Kizuna Committee has decided on something she was unaware of, and although she insists that it’s fine, she’s unsettled. I’m glad the plot is finally going in a direction that hopefully leads to the split of Sonozaki from the Kizuna Committee, although she’ll have to bond more with the Kiznaivers, and I’m sure the Committee will have to make many more extreme decisions before she’s convinced.
Urushibara is with the bullies, Yoshizawa and Kamaishi, who ask about the gomorins, and she explains that they’re part-timers, but unlike the bullies, they are not bound by their wounds. The Kizuna Committe obviously isn’t dedicated enough to world peace to experiment on their own members, just outsiders. She promises to set them free from their bound state if they successfully scare or kill any of the Kiznaivers.
The team eats dinner, and Tenga uselessly brags about Chidori’s cooking to a nonchalant, already-aware Katsuhira. Nico seems to be unsettles, perhaps because she has feelings for Tenga, perhaps because she feels ignored. Chidori is highly embarrassed. I appreciate that Tenga is trying really hard, but I’m seriously questioning his wing-man skills.
Yuta is revealed to be unable to eat chicken and vegetables, which is pretty much all that was made, and Chidori laments that he hadn’t spoken up sooner. It’s unclear as to why he can’t eat these in particular—he can eat ground meat and eggs. Chidori and Tenga think he’s being very picky, but I suspect there’s a serious reason behind this, such as him having really bad anorexia that damaged his digestive system, especially as the next thing he does is pull out a packet of pills. Nico seems to be the only one with an inkling that there’s something deeper going on.
All the girls take a bath except Honoka. She gets a phone call from someone, and then begins to hallucinate, hearing a girl call her family name, telling her to break. It’s intriguing and chilling.
That night, Katsuhira runs into Sonozaki, and asks her again why she came with them, and if it’s because he was right about her wanting to connect with people. Sonozaki swats a mosquito on his cheek, and Chidori sees them at just the wrong angle and thinks they’re kissing. They feel a Kiznaiver pain, implied not to be from the mosquito swat, and she runs away.
Yuta is hungry after not eating much. Honoka makes him some eggs, and Yuta mentions that he had a very unhealthy diet growing up because of a lack of parental supervision. This progresses into a very awkward scene where Honoka points out that Yuta has made comments about her large chest, despite having never seen it, and so in the same way he decides what she’s like before ever having gotten to know her. Things get especially uncomfortable when she offers to show Yuta her chest, and becomes very pushy and aggressive when he declines. It gave me assault-like vibes. The scene is interrupted by Yamada, their teacher, before anything happens.
The bullies are now dressed as gomorins, and the taller one, Yoshizawa, declares that he’s going after Tenga, while the other one sees Chidori and follows her.
Sonozaki re-introduces Yamada and Urushibara, with the nicknames Yaamada and Urushii respectively. After they realize Chidori is missing, they announce that they’re launching their newest mission, which is a test of bravery that will end when they find Chidori. A gomorin with a chainsaw breaks into the room.
They flee the house, and stumble upon a graveyard with their family names engraved on the stones. A gomorin breaks out of the ground and attacks them. Meanwhile, Chidori runs away from a gomorin and into a cabin. Nico strikes down one of the gomorin, and they realize that the gomorin are unarmed and actually quite easy to defeat. Tenga sends Katsuhira ahead to find Chidori. One of the gomorins, actually Yoshizawa, attacks Tenga, and Tenga hits him, causing the gomorin who was about to attack Chidori, actually Kamaishi, to fall down.
I don’t think it needs much discussion, but although Nico’s character hasn’t been explored in-depth, I’m really enjoying her bravery and cleverness, as well as her expressiveness and lighthearted attitude, although the latter is probably fake to some extent.
Sonozaki, Yamada, and Urushibara are watching them all through a screen. Sonozaki expresses concern that the Kiznaivers are being physically harmed. She thought this mission was only to build their trust, as their wounds were already confirmed to be bonded in their first mission. Urushibara explains that they require further testing. I must say, I’m a little surprised that Sonozaki is surprised. That’s exactly the problem with letting an organization run such dangerous experiments—If they’re willing to harm people once, they’ll be willing to do it again, and as they’re part of the government, there’s nothing to stop them. I’m glad Sonozaki is finally pushing back a little, and maybe she’ll eventually realize how messed up this all is.
Kamaiki’s gomorin head falls off, and Chidori recognizes him. It turns out that, according to him, he’s not actually very keen on bullying people, and it’s mostly the result of his toxic friendship with Yoshizawa. Chidori tries to comfort him, but he lashes out, saying that he has it worse than her because he’s bound to someone who has a very self-destructive personality. He doesn’t know Hisomu is a masochist, of course, and I find his complaints rather whiny.
Chidori is having none of it, of course, and demands that he return Katsuhira’s money. As she yells at him, Katsuhira, who’s gotten lost, suddenly feels a pain in his chest. Urushibara explains to Sonozaki that they’re not just connected by physical pain—they’re connected by emotional pain too. As Chidori talks about how painful it was to watch Katsuhira give away his money and know it was hurting him, the other Kiznaivers all begin to feel her sadness.
I admit, I was not particularly fond of Chidori’s speech. It lined right up with one of her greatest faults: being very self-righteous. She was also very presumptive about how Katsuhira feels, and made something that was more about Katsuhira more about her. She’s angry at Sonozaki, though that feeling I can more sympathize with, as she’s had to undergo many difficulties because of Sonozaki, as far as she can tell.
At this point, Katsuhira and the others finally show up. Moved by her speech, Katsuhira asks Kamaishi to give him back his money, because he had never before realized how much it hurt Chidori that he gave his money away.
I really like this, as it loops around back to one of the opening scenes in which Chidori expressed her distaste over Katsuhira giving his money away, and he basically ignored her. It’s a nice step for his character. The sun begins to rise, and as they walk home, Katsuhira gives Chidori a piggy-back ride, as she hurt her ankle. She apologizes for being heavy, and Katsuhira says it’s fine, as being “heavy” (meant to refer to her serious personality, rather than her actual weight) is just the way she is. It’s a pretty adorable scene, especially because I feel like part of the reason Chidori is so hard on everyone else is because she doesn’t really accept herself, either.
Sonozaki, Urushibara, and Yamada seem fairly pleased with how their latest test went. Sonozaki seems to have forgotten her previous misgivings about the change of plans. I don’t think it’ll stay that way for long, though. My hope for her is that she’ll eventually realize that not only was she wrong to trust the Kizuna Committee, her own actions actually weren’t that great either.
I was happy that we had a chance to dig deeper into character conflicts, though I’m kind of disappointed that Chidori’s only character conflict seems to revolve entirely around Katsuhira. That subplot may have come to some sort of conclusion, but whether she’ll get any further character development remains yet to be seen. Probably not a lot more, unfortunately, as we’re almost at the halfway point.
There were a lot of speculations at the start as to whether the Kiznaivers could feel emotional pain, and I’m glad it’s finally been revealed. I do think, though, that there’s still many questions that need to be answered, and I fear that there may be too many plot holes for the anime to fill in only twelve episodes. I have no doubt that it’ll be very interesting, but will it make any sense? Another weakness I see is that the characters don’t really have any core motivations of their own: rather than making plans, they’re just grudgingly doing as they’re told. That being said, the character interaction remains interesting, and I look forward to seeing where the story is going.