My gosh, I’ve forgotten how messed up the situation was for all these poor kids. Not only were they forced into an experiment they were essentially sold off to, but all of their private information about their lives were known and forced to be shared whether they wanted to or not with the threat of their lives. Not to mention even the freaking mayor is aware of the plan and is completely fine with making these kids suffer??? Also wow, I also forgot how much of a dick their green haired teacher was. At this point, I feel like he could hardly be described as a teacher considering that he isn’t even doing anything to help his students and just constantly has them do self-study.
The first mission for the Kiznaivers are self introductions but with a twist. Initially all of them just gives each other extremely surface level understanding of them but what Sonozaki really wants them to do is tell each other the thing they are trying so hard to keep secret. It’s definitely a cruel exercise to tell people you’ve never associated with a secret you are trying so hard to hide. Yes, this would undoubtedly bring you closer to someone, but it doesn’t make sense for them to be opening up something so personal so early on in the relationship. As Tenga said, they’re skipping like several steps to get to that stage. However, it does allow us to get to know these characters fairly early on in a short period of time so we can watch them grow from this point on. Since despite these secrets, we’re still only scratching the surface to them as people. The worst part about it is that she would inflict pain onto Katsuhira (which would hurt everyone) if they don’t say a secret within a time limit. BRUH.
Through out the episode, you can definitely pick up on some subtle characterizations for a lot of the characters behind the very in your face secret reveals. Tenga’s fear of dogs is pretty severe as he went through all the trouble to figure out which houses have dogs and when they would go out for walks. That’s… a LOT of trouble just to avoid them. When he revealed that, my immediate thought is that maybe the scar on his head might have been from a bad run in with dogs that triggered his phobia.
Another example was while Yuta was going off how he feels bad for Katsuhira despite it being quite obvious he’s just putting on a “show,” Nico seems to catch onto what he’s doing immediately and is surprised when Chidori doesn’t realize Yuta isn’t being genuine. It hints how she’s a bit more perceptive than how she lets on. Even going as far as to tell Chidori a roundabout way of trying to get out of the situation without having to spill their secrets (despite it ultimately failing). She even tries to calm down everyone’s panic attack as the countdown was nearing the time limit while keeping a calm front. And it all eventually leads up to the fact that Nico in fact doesn’t believe in fairies. Her reasoning is… a tad odd. As she makes it sound like she’s trying to avoid being picked on for being “too perfect” since she comes from a wealthy family, is actually fairly intelligent and is cute. And while it sounds completely outlandish, I do think it wouldn’t be too far off to say that she is kind of right in a sense. It’s not unheard of people acting out of jealousy against people of Nico’s stature and I feel like if she were to be alienated anyways, it may as well be on her own terms.
Yuta’s secret over having used to be fat back in middle school was probably the one that had the least amount of subtle characterization that I could pick out. Though it did raise some questions as to what made him decide to become such a playboy and a narcissistic jerk after losing weight. Also why the heck does he run like that lol. Though he does show a shred of care when Nico was crying and awkwardly suggested for Tenga to try and cheer her up. Why didn’t he try to cheer her up himself? Probably because he knows Nico doesn’t have the best opinion of him. But not to worry, I’ll definitely be talking about him A LOT later on. And I did have a good laugh watching him just writhe on the floor in embarrassment.
Chidori’s situation came off a bit weird to me. For some reason, the entire episode when she wasn’t panicking or in fear, she came off as incredibly fake to me for some reason. Like when she was trying to cheer Tenga, Nico and Yuta up during their respective reveals, she didn’t come across as genuine to me. Not to mention a lot of her comments felt like there was an underlying insult. It almost feels as if she’s trying to censor herself to try and be nice and encouraging. And it’s only when she’s panicking that her true feelings come out. Not to mention when she was saying she doesn’t know what to say about what she wants to hide the most, it certainly LOOKED as if she knew exactly what it was, but was trying really hard to keep it down. And while Sonozaki passed it off as if she really didn’t know what the thing was, I didn’t really buy it.
However, her secret ends up coinciding with Katsuhira, who reveals his apathy towards everyone around him and himself, saying that he didn’t care what other people thought. Thus is unable to form connections or bonds with anyone. Which is actually incredibly sad since it feels like this goes beyond just losing his emotions. The guy could also be incredibly depressed in result of whatever happened to lose his emotions. Chidori’s response to his introduction was probably the most sincere I’ve seen her so far. Saying that he didn’t care what other people think must have felt like such a stab to the heart to Chidori. The two are childhood friends and when he lost his emotions, she probably didn’t know what to do and cared for him as best she could despite not knowing what else to do. While I’m sure he didn’t mean it, but that must have hurt her so much to find out he never understood how much he meant to Chidori despite her caring for him all this time. In which culminated to her confessing that she loved him back when they were kids.
To watch someone you really care about fall into such a deep depression must have been absolutely painful. Especially when you can’t really do anything for them except staying by their side. And while it may be a bit selfish of Chidori to want him to go back to the way he was, it’s also an understandable reaction when you desperately want the person you care about to be happy again. Though I do admit her slapping him afterwards was a bit much. And I got to say, the symbolism of the sun peering out and shining onto Katsuhira’s face at the realization of how much Chidori cares for him was 10/10. It was as if he finally realized that he meant something to someone else. And it was touching when he acknowledges the fact that someone deeply caring about him actually made him happy. That was probably the first time that Katsuhira actually felt happy since losing his emotions… and that hurts. But I’m also happy for him finding a semblance of joy finally peaking out behind the clouds of his emotional issue.
However, I do wish we actually got to see some flashbacks to them as kids interacting to see just how deep their bond was. Since we only get to hear them talk about how things used to be, the information felt a little detached. Not to mention I feel like the moment would have hit a lot harder if we got to see bits and pieces of how Katsuhira used to be before the hair color/personality change as well.
These poor kids… were kidnapped, put in life threatening situations multiple times and were forced to stay up the entire night. It was certainly a lot and I do not blame Chidori for breaking down and crying. Especially to top it all off that she and Katsuhira finally had a little bit of a breakthrough. Emotions are running high so please let these poor kids sleep. But not before we get our final confession from Honoka… who claims she has killed someone. Which is like UMMMMM. Earlier in the episode, we were given some clues about what kind of secret she holds. The most we can pull from at this point is that someone she knew has died and she is still deeply affected by it. I’m not sure if what we saw was something that was actually happening or something caused her to hallucinate. Either way, Honoka isn’t as emotionally stable as she’d like others to believe as seeing a particular name immediately set her off.
These two episodes definitely kickstarted the series pretty well with the set up and getting to know our exotic band of characters a little more. Now that they’re all connected via Kizna mark that links all their pain together, hilarious hijinx are sure to unfold.