Kiznaiver, episodes 1-3
- It’s like they looked at Sense8, which had a similar scifi gimmick involving sensory connections between perfect strangers, and stripped everything interesting and sophisticated out of it. In Kiznaiver, it’s only immediate physical pain that is shared, and only for a split-second. It turns it into a slapstick routine when it wants to be an exploration of empathy.
- The third episode is more interesting because it has moved beyond the contrived kidnapping setup, and now they are forced to use their “power” to engage in a bit of detective work. And what do they discover? The last member is some kind of pain fetishist who repeatedly hospitalises himself to get off. Wow, edgy.
- The “seven deadly sins” concept just feels like another layer of cheap psychological gibberish slapped on top to create an illusion of depth — and to justify the cartoonishly one-note characters, who no longer have to be well-rounded because they each slot into a predefined niche of awfulness.
- Kiznaiver is gratuitously crass. When the protagonist in the first episode (I don’t remember his name because honestly, who cares) is pushed down a flight of stairs, he takes a moment to look up his attacker’s skirt and note the pattern on her underwear. I suppose it is intended to show he is unconcerned by the physical danger, but it is incomprehensible why the character who is defined by his complete lack of interest in anything would be motivated to make that observation. It’s the kind of fanservice that treats the audience like complete imbeciles. (Which might actually be a fair assumption if it persists with this.)
- Worst of all, this is a show that glamourises self-harm and suicide. Its literal premise is that when you feel no emotional connection to other people, you can use physical pain (symbolised by wrist scars, because it’s as subtle as a brick) to create that connection — even to the point of jumping off a bridge. At best, this is a shallow gimmick for a show with pretensions at depth, and at worst it will cause actual harm to vulnerable people.