I have this pet peeve of establishing a group of characters at the start, only to add another character an episode later or so later. I absolutely hate it when that happens. Especially when the group dynamic is already so good and then all of a sudden they throw a wrench into things. Which drove me absolutely crazy in Fire Force when they introduced a new character joining the team literally the next episode. There are good examples of integrating a new character into a group such as Avatar with Toph. However, in that regard, they went a whole arc before introducing Toph as a character. So I think the thing that bothers me most is when they establish a good group dynamic and then literally next episode they introduce a new one and immediately changes it.
The first six Kiznaivers already had a fun and interesting dynamic with each other. So introducing a new character to join them the very next episode annoys me a little, not gonna lie. What makes it worse is that despite his introduction, we still know very little about him and his life… which remains like that for the rest of the series. Which is honestly a shame since he does seem fairly interesting (if not a bit creepy and weird) but they didn’t end up using him all that much, making him feel more of a seventh wheel than adding to the group dynamic in an interesting way.
Anyways, after that rather traumatic event, the Kiznaivers are given an overall mission to survive the summer with each other and once they complete it, they will be freed from being Kiznaivers. To which sounds a lot easier than it turns out to be. Seeing how this whole experiment works just SUCKS. You’re just minding your own business and then out of nowhere, one of the six other people you’re connected to gets hurt… And then there are idiots like Tenga who do dumb things and get themselves hurt. I can only imagine how annoyed and frustrated the others must have been when they felt him fall from a two or three story drop. And with the addition of Hisomu, it just made their lives all the more difficult with him just casually throwing himself through window displays.
The group is tasked with finding out who the seventh Kiznaiver is after multiple failed attempts at picking the person out from their class, they eventually come to the conclusion it is most likely Yoshiharu Hisomu who hasn’t attended class the entire school year. And just going off what little we’ve seen of him so far, SOMETHING is going on with him.
But then it ends up ultimately leading up to nothing. Especially with how cluttered the front of his apartment is and I can only imagine how incredibly cluttered it is on the inside. And then a silly chase scene that I feel went on for a bit too long ensues with Hisomu running all over town. Poor Yuta… he may be a dick, but I don’t think he deserved to be used as a constant punching bag to try and pinpoint where Hisomu was. Which eventually leads to a brief confrontation with Hisomu, who COULD have been a fairly interesting character if the series had the time to delve into his character more, but I digress.
The chase ends with Katsuhira jumping off a bridge over a street and while the pain gets split seven different ways, it’s still a miracle that the guy didn’t end up getting killed. While the pain may have been distributed to everyone, that doesn’t mean the fractures or broken bones also gets distributed. Since we learned early on in the episode that residual pain doesn’t effect the others besides the one who sustained the damage. So… yeah… don’t know what else to say about that lol. Either way, this “leap of faith” ended the chase with… Hisomu really getting off at the amount of pain he felt… To which, I feel like I could have lived my entire life without having to witness this scene and would have been happier. Trigger at it again with their fanserive and sex jokes… In all seriousness, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this part of the episode since while it brought intrigue to Hisomu’s character, it ultimately lead to no where considering the conclusion was that Hisomu just enjoys pain.
Ironically enough, the parts that I did enjoy had nothing to do with Hisomu and instead focusing on the other characters. We also get a little more characterization from some of the characters and some hints on what’s below the surface. Despite his deadpan and dull demeanor, Katsuhira still shows a level of sassiness with his retorts towards Tenga. Which is honestly pretty funny all things considered. I wouldn’t have expected him to have deadpan sass. On my first watch through, Katsuhira didn’t really stand out to me all that much until later on. So looking back on the series and seeing that Katsuhira did exhibit a certain degree of funny wit in his deadpan way made me like him a lot more. But while he has his moments of sass, he still tends to do whatever he’s told without question. Something that has been established from the first episode as it is “easier” to just comply with demands rather than argue against it, really feeding into his “slothful” demeanor. And surely won’t bite him in the rear or put him into compromising situations in the future. >_> Though it does feel a bit sad that it seems like he DOES want to connect with others and understand them, but because of how he is, doesn’t know how to. However, the fact that he’s taking more interest in others around him is still a good step in the right direction. And while he isn’t at the point of taking interest in himself quite yet, it still says a lot to him as a character of wanting to be able to change how he views others and not remain indifferent.
Chidori is a complicated person and just seems constantly in conflict with herself. On one hand, she claims she liked Katsuhira in past tense, but when he suggests he can act like he didn’t hear it, she gets defensive and offended by it. It’s obvious she has lingering feelings for him presently and wants something from him, but he just doesn’t understand what those wants are and thus can’t provide for them. A little… hint towards later developments. Chidori means well most of the time, but her hotheadedness and self consciousness about how other view her often gets in the way of that. Not to mention that she censors A LOT of her actual feelings, which is probably why she felt so fake to me for most of the past two episodes. It’s actually a fairly interesting contradiction in her character. She has a natural tendency to want to take care of others, but she puts on a fake smile most of the time so she can be found appealing to others. Played incredibly straight with her “tsundere” attitude whenever she says something but wants something else. I honestly can’t blame Katsuhira for being confused about what Chidori wants most of the time because she’s just the queen of mixed signals at this point. And it’s only episode 3 lol.
Honoka is one of those characters where everything she says and does sparks intrigue. Like, you WANT to know more about her considering all of these rather foreboding things she drops suddenly, but of course we’re going to have to wait to get the whole picture from her. While she waves off her secret of being that she has killed someone, we can’t completely disregard her claim. Especially with her exceptionally spooky situation she had in last episode. Not to mention that later on in the same episode, she drops a very concerning and specific example when talking about Hisomu possibly trying to “disappear” from the world. At this point in time, we can only theorize that something is certainly up with Honoka and her situation seems to tie into the theme of “death” in some way. However it is far too early to guess what she has gone through and while she acts like she’s put together, there is some pretty deep rooted trauma underneath. Also interesting to note how worried Yuta looks when she says that. Possibly noticing that something is not fully right with Honoka. But I will leave it at that for now.
I also just really like the subtleties in the characters that were shown in this episode. Such as both Yuta and Honoka don’t like getting hurt more than the others and seem a bit more irritated over it. Not to mention that both of them literally have 0 endurance as shown with them completely out of breath compared to everyone else, which honestly makes me giggle.
Overall, this episode was a bit of a downgrade compared to the first two episodes. Especially with the amount of focus they put on Hisomu to being a lot more important than he actually ends up being is a bit of a let down in the future. However, I still enjoyed what we got from the other characters and their subtle qualities foreshadowing future situations and events. Not to mention that it seems like there are A LOT of people who are in the know about the Kiznaiver situation and somehow thought it was ideal to force seven high school kids against their will to be test subjects to a convoluted goal to figure out how to connect to others better? Honestly, this still baffles me to this day.