After a couple episodes of kind of floundering around, I’m glad that they picked up on the plot with this episode. And boy did they really lay one into us. There’s definitely A LOT to unpack in this episode with almost all of the characters. The group starts their little retreat by preparing dinner while Tenga commences his plan to try and put Chidori and Katsuhira together more often. Though unsurprisingly he is quite heavy-handed about it much to Chidori’s embarrassment and annoyance.
Yuta and Honoka both get highlighted heavily in this episode, especially in regards to what Honoka is currently going through. Honoka’s situation seems to be slowly escalating with the stress of whatever she’s dealing with over the phone along. Not only that, but he’s still seeing/hearing this currently unknown girl that seems to be chipping away at her sanity. Funny Yuta criticizes Chidori for being too “heavy” to be in a relationship with, yet he was flirting with Honoka at the start who seems to be hoarding A LOT of baggage. And I think it just shows a lot about Yuta as a person who just wants something easy to satisfy his want for attention and doesn’t seem to care for those who have “baggage.” However, that too ends up getting challenged this episode with his interaction with Honoka.
For the first time, it seemed like Yuta was really trying to connect with Honoka on an emotional level for the first time instead of just flirting with her. It was as if after that first conversation he had with her in the previous episode he feels more comfortable talking to her as himself and not the confident Casanova he tries to portray. He even goes as far as to try to talk about his past with her, something he hasn’t done before. However, due to her unstable mental and emotional state from the creepy occurrence earlier, Honoka is not in the mood to indulge him this time. To which, Yuta seemed a bit disappointed since he most likely thought he found someone he could confide in.
Honoka seemed to reach a breaking point where she ends up just throwing herself at Yuta because she doesn’t care about her well being anymore. Which probably set off some alarm bells in Yuta’s head as he looks both sad and disappointed that Honoka would only sleep with him for no regard for herself. He even goes on to say that if he is to hook up with someone, he would want it as “normal” and not just a hook up. Which is surprisingly conservative of him despite portraying himself as a flirt especially after Honoka finds out that he’s actually a virgin. While this scene was super intense and starting to drift into uncomfy territory, I still can’t help but snort at Yuta’s embarrassed reaction to being outed as a virgin.
I do wish they delved more into Yuta’s backstory since he seemed to have an eating disorder with how little he allows himself to eat and alternatively uses supplements to give himself the nutrition he needs. Which honestly seems awful considering he must just always be hungry with how skinny he is and also explains why he must have less stamina compared to the others. POOR BOY YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY EAT. And putting what he said in the second episode about gaining weight really easily into perspective, he must still be making sure he eats as little as possible to maintain his “handsome” figure. It’s also interesting to note that he seemed a bit more monotone when talking about the things he can’t eat. It was almost as if he was depressed about not being able to eat… which just makes his whole situation a lot more sad. It’s obvious he WANTS to eat, but he’s just not letting himself for the sake of appearances. And that’s just really sad. Heck, he even went rifling through the fridge to see what else he could eat because he was still hungry. DX
The group gets introduced to their teachers essentially being secret agents for the Kiznaiver project, which kind of makes sense as to why the seven of them were chosen since they were all in the same class that Yamada teaches in. Which still is pretty messed up that their homeroom teacher essentially just sold them off to be experiments in their messed up project without any of their consent. Which is part of the reason why I can’t stand Yamada. He just feels so arrogant and above it all and doesn’t seem to have any empathy for his students despite them being put in mortal danger because of him. And he even has the audacity to make fun or tease them about their situation and their reactions to it. I’ll expand more on that after… a certain scene in the future.
Anyways, the group gets flung into this terrifying predicament of having to search for Chidori while trying to avoid the Serial Killing-looking Gomarins who are literally chasing after them with weapons. Not gonna lie, if I were in that situation, I probably would have just died because I HATE these kinds of situations. Especially if there is chasing involved. Which is probably why horror movies terrify me since I hate the act of being chased by someone or something. I can’t handle that type of thing lol. Anyways, things are also looking pretty bad for Chidori as she ended up spraining her ankle from Kamaishi chasing her.
And while I do not like Sonozaki, I have to give her credit about actually being concerned for their physical well-being in this situation.
Though she honestly should have thought about it more during the first two episodes but I digress >_>. Even being a bit frustrated over the fact that they’re still trying to harm them physically after having already tested their pain sharing. However, it makes way to a new development in the experiment.
We get introduced to a new type of “pain” the Kiznaiver project is receptive to. Unlike the physical pain that’s been shown for the past four episodes, we find out that intense emotional pain is also picked up and shared to the others. To which, I love how the initial yellow pang of emotional hurt was covered up by the typical blue physical pain we’ve grown accustomed to when Sonozaki smacked Katsuhira on the cheek to kill a mosquito. With emotional pain now added to the pool, it’s definitely going to be interesting in how it effects everyone since emotional pain could be a lot harder to deal with than physical. Especially with how much Chidori seems to bottling in.
Speaking of Chidori, I think Chidori is one of those rare cases where I actually feel bad for the person who has feelings for someone but hasn’t made a move to actually tell them. I’m not sure if I necessarily ship her with Katsuhira, but I think the series does a good job making me at least empathetic towards her. However, I do feel like Chidori’s feelings are a bit skewed. At first she was yelling about how much pain Katsuhira must have been going through, but then turned it around so that she was talking about herself and how she felt about it. I think this was probably a moment where we needed to see a flashback with her and Katsuhira as kids so we could actually see how it all played out and their reactions to it. I can understand feeling hurt seeing a friend have to go through terrible things, but it honestly sounded a little presumptuous on the way she made it sound like her pain of having to watch Katsuhira had to go through matched his despite being the one to actually go through it. I feel like it kind of shows just how selfish Chidori is towards her feelings for Katsuhira, especially when she ends up ranting about how hurt she feels about the attention Katsuhira has been giving Sonozaki. There’s definitely a lot that she needs to personally unpack, especially since she’s keeping all of these feelings bottled up without a healthy outlet, she’s going to end up getting hurt by this “festering wound.” Possibly even hurting the others if this continues to go unchecked. Even Katsuhira asks her why she even brought up Sonozaki. There was no reason to bring her up at this moment, but the feelings she’s been trying to keep under a lid leaked out. Which is probably a big reason as to why Chidori often feels so fake because she bottles up how she really feels most of the time. Man… all these kids need therapy.
Katsuhira personally asking for the money he lent them felt like a really big character moment. Especially since he felt like just going along with their demands was easier and he just didn’t care about himself. However, after realizing just how much it hurt Chidori to see him do these things, actually made him actively ask for his money to be returned instead of continuing to be indifferent. And I love the detail of the sun coming out after he did this, signifying the start of Katsuhira changing. The moment where he was helping carry Chidori after she twisted her ankle was honestly very sweet. Especially since he stated that he doesn’t mind the “baggage” that she has and she’s fine just the way she is. Just shows that he does care for her as a friend and is grateful to her in his own way even if he doesn’t express it much.
While I do feel a little bad for Kamaishi, the fact that he acts like he’s the victim and putting all of the blame on Yoshizawa for every thing that went wrong in his life does feel very unfair. He always had a choice to not go along with whatever Yoshizawa did and yet he always followed him. Not to mention that he still chose to bully Katsuhira along with Yoshizawa. He made so many terrible choices despite there always being a better one. Sure, Yoshizawa maybe holds a little bit of the blame with how terrible of a person he is, but Kamaishi holds just as much if not more since he let himself do these things. And we don’t even know what kind of things Yoshizawa might have gone through to become what he is now. Which could be a reason why Kamaishi might feel a sense of loyalty to him and why he continues following him. To which makes Kamaishi even more responsible since he could have just ended the friendship, but he didn’t and just kept going along with everything Yoshizawa did. And I’m glad that Chidori called him out on it that he doesn’t get to act like the victim after everything he did to support the bullying of Katsuhira.
This was such an intense and intriguing episode and probably one of my favorites. I really like the foreshadowing and the visuals used for the storytelling was just top notch. There were definitely quite a few character relationships that are slowly being developed such as Yuta/Honoka and also Tenga/Chidori with a side of Nico being sus about something. While Yuta and Honoka didn’t have the greatest of first impressions, it is evident that while they have different views on certain things, they are capable of being on the same wavelength. Though it’s obvious that whatever Honoka is dealing with is getting in the way of truly opening up to anyone, much less Yuta. And then there’s who Tenga is trying to help push Katsuhira and Chidori together. But it’s obvious that he’s constantly putting her needs first before his own and cares a lot for her well-being. He’s the first to react when they find out that Chidori is hurt and is also the one to tell Katsuhira to go and search for her. Something even Nico catches on to. Though I’ll just put a pin on that for the time being to address in a later episode. Even Katsuhira gets some well needed development this episode and it was a really good character beat for him.
Next episode is when the best arc of the series starts so there will be A LOT for me to talk about. Especially with the addition to emotional pain, this is certainly going to be a ride.