Promotional image featuring the main cast of characters. Clockwise from the top: Noriko, Yuta, Honoka, Chidori, Katsuhira, Tenga, Nico, and Hisomu.
|Genre||Action, science fiction|
|Written by||Roji Karegishi|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|English publisher||Crunchyroll (digital)|
|Original run||March 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Kobayashi|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Music by||Yuki Hayashi|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, BS11, GYT, GYT, ABC, TVA|
|Original run||April 10, 2016 – June 26, 2016|
|Mini! Kiznaiver Theater|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|English publisher||Crunchyroll (digital)|
|Original run||April 27, 2016 – June 27, 2016|
Kiznaiver (キズナイーバー Kizunaībā) is a 2016 Japanese anime television series produced by Trigger, Aniplex, and Crunchyroll and written by Mari Okada. The series features character designs by Shirow Miwa. It also features the directorial debut of Hiroshi Kobayashi, assistant director of the anime Rage of Bahamut and episode director for Kill la Kill. Kiznaiver follows a group of high school students who are chosen to be a part of an experimental program which creates bonds between people by forcing them to share each other's pain. It is thematically similar to Trigger's previous works, which deal with problems attributed to character interaction. The series' title and premise are based upon the Japanese words for "wound/scar" (傷 kizu), and "bond/connection" (絆 kizuna).
Kiznaiver takes place in the futuristic, fictional Japanese town of Sugomori City. While the city appears to be normal, it was created to test a large-scale experiment known as the Kizna System, which connects people through shared pain and suffering, both physical and emotional. Those who are connected to the system are called "Kiznaivers".
A few days before the start of summer vacation, a mysterious and seemingly emotionless girl, Noriko Sonozaki, tells high school student Katsuhira Agata and several of his classmates that they have been selected to become Kiznaivers. Sharing each other's pain allows them to build bonds between their differing lives and personalities.
- Katsuhira Agata (阿形 勝平 Agata Katsuhira)
- Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese); Rylan Strachan (English)
- The story's apathetic and "semi-emotionless" protagonist.
- Noriko Sonozaki (園崎 法子 Sonozaki Noriko)
- Voiced by: Hibiku Yamamura (Japanese); Natasha Strickey (English)
- A beautiful girl who lacks human kindness and displays no emotion whatsoever.
- Chidori Takashiro (高城 千鳥 Takashiro Chidori)
- Voiced by: Yuka Terasaki (Japanese); Caitlynne Medrek (English)
- Katsuhira's childhood friend who is humanistic, emotional, and seemingly nosy at times.
- Hajime Tenga (天河 一 Tenga Hajime)
- Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno (Japanese); Lucas Gilbertson (English)
- A delinquent who is excessively impulsive and rowdy, but very protective of his friends,
- Nico Niiyama (新山 仁子 Niiyama Niko)
- Voiced by: Misaki Kuno (Japanese); Katrina Salisbury (English)
- An energetic girl who behaves in an eccentric manner by claiming she "sees fairies".
- Tsuguhito Yuta (由多 次人 Yuta Tsuguhito)
- Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki (Japanese); Scott Roberts (English)
- A sly and self-centered honors student and ladies' man.
- Honoka Maki (牧 穂乃香 Maki Honoka)
- Voiced by: Rina Satō (Japanese); Lori Bachynski (English)
- An aloof and intelligent girl who outwardly maintains a cold and condescending attitude towards others.
- Yoshiharu Hisomu (日染 芳春 Hisomu Yoshiharu)
- Voiced by: Kōtarō Nishiyama (Japanese); Hans Wackershauser (English)
- A handsome and distinct man shrouded in mystery.
A tie-in manga by Roji Karegishi was published simultaneously by Crunchyroll digitally and by Kadokawa Shoten in their Dengeki Maoh magazine. It premiered on March 25, 2016. and ended on February 27, 2017. It was compiled in two volumes.
A gag manga featuring the characters in chibi form called "Mini! Kiznaiver Gekijō" (みにっ! きずないーばー劇場) is drawn by S. Kosugi and serialized on Dengeki Comics NEXT. The tankōbon version was released on June 6, 2016. Crunchyroll took the English license for it, titled "Mini! KIZNAIVER Theater".
Kiznaiver is an original anime series from Trigger. It is directed by Hiroshi Kobayashi and written by Mari Okada. While Shirow Miwa provides original character design, Mai Yoneyama adapted it into anime. The opening theme is Lay Your Hands on Me by Boom Boom Satellites, and the ending theme is Hajimari no Sokudo (はじまりの速度) by Sangatsu no Phantasia. The anime has been licensed in the UK by Anime Limited.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Ref.|
|1||"Sometimes, a Bond Can Bloom from the First Day Eye Contact Is Made"|
"Hitome Atta Sono Hi kara, Kizuna no Hanasaku Koto mo Aru" (一目あったその日から、絆の花咲くこともある)
|Yoshihiro Miyajima||Mari Okada||April 10, 2016|||
|High school student Katsuhira Agata is a boy who seems to feel no emotions or pain, and a frequent target of bullying. Shortly before summer break, he meets a strange girl, Noriko, who pushes him down a flight of stairs as part of an experiment. He wakes up in an underground hospital room with several classmates, where Noriko tells them that they are all now Kiznaivers, connected through the experimental Kizna System via scars on their wrists. Katsuhira learns that the fall would have killed him if the Kizna System hadn't dispersed his injuries across the other Kiznaivers.|
|2||"If You Can Swallow a Bizarre Situation Like This So Easily, Two Buckets of Barium Shouldn't Be a Problem"|
"Konna Ijou Jitai Kantan ni Nomi Komen Nara Bariumu Nanza Baketsu Nihai wa Karuku Yoyuu Dattsuuno" (こんな異常事態カンタンに飲みこめんなら、バリウムなんざバケツ二杯は軽く余裕だっつーの)
|Keisuke Shinohara||Mari Okada||April 17, 2016|||
|Noriko traps the Kiznaivers in the building and tasks them with introducing themselves to the group; if they don't cooperate, they're subjected to painful and life-threatening situations. It's eventually revealed that the true goal is to have them confess secrets to each other, such as an unexpected fear of dogs. Katsuhira introduces himself as someone who feels nothing; when his childhood friend, Chidori, confesses her love for him, he suddenly feels happiness and reintroduces himself as someone slowly learning his own feelings.|
|3||"Depending on How You Look At It, I Think We Could Get Through Anything... Right?"|
"Donna ni Sanzan na Joukyou Datte Torae Kata Shidai de Nantoka Yatteikeru kamo...... ne?" (どんなにさんざんな状況だって、捉えかた次第でなんとかやっていけるかも……ねっ?)
|Yūichi Shimohira||Mari Okada||April 24, 2016|||
|Noriko tasks the six Kiznaivers with tracking down a missing seventh member, whose pain they can all feel. After no one in their class reacts in pain when the Kiznaivers harm each other, they deduce the missing member to be Yoshiharu Hisomu, the only student that has been absent since the start of school. Later, they confront Hisomu at his apartment; he runs, and they chase him. Katsuhira jumps from an overpass in an attempt to convince Hisomu they're all connected, landing painfully inside a nearby convertible, at which point the group learns Hisomu is sexually aroused by pain. Meanwhile, Noriko gives a conference regarding the Kizna System to government officials with the aim of the "true connection".|
|4||"Now That We're All Connected, Let's All Get to Know Each Other Better, 'Kay?"|
"Sekkaku Tsunagari Attandashi sa Motto Otagai Wakari Aou Yon" (せっかく繋がりあったんだしさ、もっとお互いわかりあおうよん)
|Naoki Murata||Mari Okada||May 1, 2016|||
In his apartment with the others, Katsuhira awakes from flashbacks involving a young Noriko. Hisomu explains to the group how he takes pleasure in fatally dangerous and unexpected pain; he submitted to the Kizna experiment because Noriko had promised him stimulation. The group further bonds at school the next day, most of them considering the others to be their friends.On the way to a "Kiznaivers training camp" at a resort inn the day after, Noriko tells the group about the history of the city and the Kizna program. Chidori jealously notices a relationship growing between Katsuhira and Noriko. Meanwhile, another car carries Kamaishi and Yoshizawa, two of Katsuhira's bullies, to the camp, and it's revealed that they are also Kiznaivers.
|5||"Wahoo, It's a Training Camp! Let's Step in Deer Poop and Have Pillow Fights! Go, Go!"|
"Hyahhoi, Gasshuku Daa! Shika no Fun Funde Makuranage Shite Go Go!" (ひゃっほい、合宿だぁ! 鹿のフン踏んで枕投げしてゴーゴー!)
|Takashi Tagashira||Mari Okada||May 8, 2016|||
|As the group settles in at their inn, Tenga tries and fails to bring Katsuhira and Chidori closer together. The group meets Kizna Committee members Yamada and Urushibara, and they discover that Kamaishi is a Kiznaiver. Chidori berates Kamaishi about the pain that his bullying of Katsuhira has caused her, which makes Katsuhira realize that he had never been alone in his suffering.|
|6||"Nothing Good Comes From Being Around All Of You"|
"Anta-tachi to Iru to Hontto ni Rokuna Koto ga Nai" (あんた達といると、ほんっとにろくなことがない)
|Mari Okada||May 15, 2016|||
|Honoka experiences more visions of her past involving a girl named Ruru. While the Kiznaivers (excluding Yuta) spend the day at Katsuhira's apartment, Honoka leaves alone until she is stopped by Nico, wanting to walk home with her. When she pries on her about her ideals of friendship, Nico calls herself stupid, with her words resulting in Honoka's inner pain transferring to the rest of the group. While Noriko discusses the Kizna experiment's financial situations, a mysterious man approaches Honoka. At a restaurant, while Yuta's friends are enamored by a girls manga under the pen name Charles de Macking, a line in the manga strikes a chord within Yuta, prompting him to leave. As an editor attempts to negotiate with Honoka to obtain the rights to produce her manga as a movie, he is then stopped by Yuta. Claiming to have followed the painful sadness within her, she detests him and soon runs off. As Yuta regroups the other Kiznaivers while sharing with them a piece of Honoka's past as a manga author, Noriko assigns a special mission to them to save her, leading all of them back into the school. When Honoka arrives first noticing the crowd of people and a TV crew, her attempts to escape are stopped by the filmers wanting an interview with Charles de Macking, attracting the attention of the crowd as well. Bombarded by the media and bystanders, Honoka breaks down with a massive pain signal transferring through the Kiznaivers. Despite the intense pain, the rest of the group manages to drive away the filmers and the crowd, deeming the mission complete. However, when Honoka realizes the scenario in regards to their mission, she runs off as Nico emphasizes how severe her case must be if a seventh of the massive pain they all felt had accumulated in herself. While the group decides to confront Ruru's family to connect Honoka's past, Katsuhira first confronts Noriko to express his disappointment in her by how half-hearted the mission felt.|
|7||"A Battle Touching Upon the Identity of the Pain that's Seven Times the Pain of One-Seventh of a Pain"|
"Nana-bun no Ichi no Itami no Sono Mata Nana Bai no Shoutai ni Fureru Tatakai" (七分の一の痛みの、そのまた七倍の正体に触れる戦い)
|Yoshihiro Miyajima||Mari Okada||May 22, 2016|||
|As the group confronted Ruru's family amidst a tense atmosphere, her parents tell them about her terminal kidney illness, her connection to Honoka, and a mysterious parting of ways before her inevitable death. When Honoka reminisces of their time together, it is revealed that as a manga artist duo under the name Charles de Macking, they were the best of friends while only having each other to rely on. However, as work with the manga progressed, Ruru developed feelings for Honoka, causing her to create the wedge that would drive them apart. Moments before Ruru created the final chapter, Honoka expressed her desire to stop drawing manga with her, and while she takes it lightly, she gives a traumatizing message of resentment to Honoka as the final scene from the chapter. As Honoka's heartache resonates with the other Kiznaivers, they set out to form a lasting friendship with her. The next day, the group reaches out to a withdrawn Honoka within her room, and while she does not respond to their calls, they decide to personally confront her to ask if they could be friends with her. Despite not working as planned, Yuta assures the group that Nico's outburst of concern actually touched her heart as evident with their shared pain. As the rain quickly pours down, Honoka goes for a walk and encounters Yuta reading her manga, and much to his surprise, found out that Honoka did not read the final chapter. While she assumes Ruru's hateful message was laid inside, Yuta convinces her to read the final chapter, while telling her she lied about the ending. When asked about the reason for breaking off Ruru's friendship, she did not want to bear the burden of her death should they have stayed together. As they meet up with the other Kiznaivers attempting to blow up fireworks at the beach, Honoka tells them to go for a swim, which they reluctantly do despite the rain and the time. Reaching the end of the manga, her eased heart is felt by the Kiznaivers, as Ruru's message was revealed to have forgiven her. While Honoka states that she cannot be friends with the group, she assures them that being Kiznaivers makes them closer than friends or lovers, remarking to her late friend's message from their manga.|
|8||"Happy Times Don't Tend to Last Very Long"|
"Happii na Jikan tte Sousou Nagaku wa Tsuzukanai Mono da yo ne" (ハッピーな時間って、そうそう長くは続かないものだよね)
|Kandai||Mari Okada||May 29, 2016|||
|Yamada and Urushibara review the latest analyses from the Kiznaivers' previous mission while noticing Honoka's emotions resonating on a deeper level above pain, prompting the start of another mission. In the middle of a typhoon affecting Sugimori City, the Kiznaivers are spending time together until several Gomorin kidnap them and are taken back to the school. There, Yamada shows the group a video presentation covering the details of a previous Kizna experiment done many years ago on children to connect the entire spectrum of sensations including pain. While they question the previous experiment's inhumane methods despite their true aim for world peace, the Kiznaivers are left at school with another mission to get home safely. While the group plans an escape however, Yamada makes preparations for the true purpose of the mission, to forcefully pair certain Kiznaivers to instigate a romantic connection. Using a flowchart of pairings, they deduce Yuta's feelings for Honoka, as well as Nico's love for Tenga and his love towards Chidori, who still likes Katsuhira. When Noriko traces Katsuhira's romantic feelings to her, she decides to confront him personally despite Urushibara's wishes, wanting to reciprocate his feelings he said "from before". Meanwhile, Yamada manipulates the pairings by separating Tenga and Nico, leaving Chidori and Katsuhira to find a way out. As Nico's flustered emotions are transmitted, an irritated Hisomu attempts to trigger pain and angers Honoka by touching on her internal trauma, leading to Yuta chasing after her. As Yamada confirms the romantic bond between Honoka and Yuta, Chidori and Katsuhira are led to the roof, where she attempts to confess her feelings to him. After her confession however as Noriko comes out to confront him, Katsuhira runs outside and saves her from a crumbling statue, to which a glow emanating from her collar is seen. As she takes it off, she reveals to have her own Kizna Scar on the back of her neck, much to Katsuhira's surprise.|
|9||"It's All Over......I Think"|
|Keisuke Shinohara||Mari Okada||June 5, 2016|||
|As Noriko reveals her own Kizna Scar to Katsuhira, she tells him of her existence inside of him before collapsing. While Tenga and Nico follow what seems to be Chidori's inner pain to her despairing over Katsuhira's feelings, the group responds to a beaten up Hisomu, in which they take shelter in the AV room. Safe from the Gomorin attacks, Yamada screens Katsuhira and Noriko conversing from the gym onto a projector. As the others watch, Chidori becomes more unnerving at the sight, while Noriko's possession of a Kizna Scar is revealed to the others as ties to her past and Katsuhira's visions. While Tenga rallies the group to head to the gym, a reluctant Chidori comes along due to Nico's persuasion. While Urushibara questions the Kizna experiment's boundaries, Noriko vividly tells Katsuhira of the time they spent 12 years ago with the other Kiznaiver children. As the present-day Kiznaivers experience a tremendous bout of pain, Hisomu traces it back to Katsuhira, much to Chidori's concern. Clenching on to his glowing chest, Noriko unbuttons his shirt to reveal a second Kizna Scar on his body. Reaching out to hug Noriko, Katsuhira pieces together his past, welling up with emotions for the first time since the start of the second Kizna experiment. As the group arrives, Katsuhira responds to Chidori's inner pain as she then runs off, forcing a furious Tenga to yell at him to chase after her. Confronting Noriko, Tenga and the others respond to Nico's emotions, running off as well after Noriko tells Tenga about Nico's hidden feelings for him. As Katsuhira grabs Chidori's hand while she pleads to let her go, Katsuhira and the others hear her inner voice wanting to be held, as their Kizna Scars glow red. As Urushibara goes against Yamada and tries to stop the kids before things get any worse, Katsuhira holds Chidori until a jealous Tenga starts beating him up as his inner feelings for her resonate through the group. As Nico's and Honoka's inner sorrows are resonated as a result of their broken friendship, the culmination of everyone's inner thoughts leaves the group writhing in pain as their red Kizna Scars flicker. When the rain clears out, Urushibara and Noriko confront the recovering Kiznaivers and assures them that their Kizna will be released once summer is over.|
|10||"You Knew Very Well That Your Romantic Feelings Might Be Unrequited, Right?"|
"Suki na Kimochi ga Mukuwarenai kamo Nante Juujuu Shouchi no Ue daro?" (好きな気持ちがむくわれないかもなんて、重々承知の上だろ?)
|Satoshi Takashi||Mari Okada||June 12, 2016|||
|Hisomu confronts Katsuhira in his apartment as they talk about the day the Kiznaivers headed their separate ways. To prevent even more turmoil from coming between them, they reluctantly decide to cut off all contact with each other until the end of summer when their Kiznas will go away. As the new school year comes about and the group's Kizna Scars have all disappeared, Yamada mocks the ex-Kiznaivers on their summer experiences in front of the class. While majority of the group is still apart from one another, Hisomu and Nico encounter a wandering Katsuhira looking for Noriko and decide to rebuild their friendship from scratch. As support for the Kizna System begins to falter under government investigation, Noriko runs to the school rooftop and attempts suicide to try and produce firsthand results of the Kizna experiments. As Katsuhira resonates to her massive pain from his other Kizna Scar, him as well as Hisomu and Nico trace her steps to the same hidden stairway below the roof where she exited to confront Katsuhira. As the Mayor expresses his sympathy to Urushibara of the Kizna experiment's insufficient funding to continue on, she confronts Katsuhira and the others as they tried to figure out what happened to Noriko. While she only collapsed mere moments before jumping off, she agrees to tell Katsuhira about their past as Kiznaiver children. 12 years ago during the first Kizna System experiment, there were 19 kids that were part of the experiment that would divide a part of their sensations to everyone else, minimizing their bodily harm. However, a fatal error was tracked where one of the children took in the pain of several others, that person being Noriko. As the other children continued in their daily camaraderie, every sensation felt by them became amplified 19 times to strike Noriko with unbearable amounts of pain. As the experiment was deemed a failure, Noriko has been given medication to this day that nullifies all of her senses. However, because every other Kiznaiver child's sensation is connected through Noriko, the medication also took away their senses as they were never returned back, and Noriko has been taking in Katsuhira's pain the entire time. While Katsuhira was one of the few people allowed back into society, Urushibara takes the group upon Nico's request to the laboratory's old playground to the remaining children still under special care. Encountering five of his old friends sitting nearly still and emotionless, Katsuhira remembers their time together as well as Noriko's childhood love confession before uncontrollably sobbing.|
|11||"We Have To Contact Each Other And Confirm Our Feelings. Because We're Friends!"|
"Ichiichi Renraku Shiatte Kimochi wo Kakunin Shiawanaito. Datte, Tomodachi Nanda kara!" (いちいち連絡しあって気持ちを確認しあわないと。だって、友達なんだから!)
|Masahiko Ōtsuka||Mari Okada||June 19, 2016|||
|Noriko remembers her past as a Kiznaiver child, as she grew closer to Katsuhira and the others who are bonded by her. Wishing for their happy times to continue forever, she resonates to Katsuhira's sorrow before waking up. While Nico decides to keep everyone informed of the events that happened on the way out, the group still has trouble accepting what happened between them, and Katsuhira decides to call Chidori to confide with her. Reuniting with his emotionless friends, he apologizes for not acknowledging her feelings and thanks her for sticking through for him before hanging up. Angered by his unrequited feelings, Chidori soon realizes her own selfishness after yelling at Tenga for the same thing. The next day, Yamada and Urushibara are reminded of the Kizna System's precarious situation, and Noriko arrives at Katsuhira's class where he goes with her for a talk. As he talks about yesterday's events, he concludes her reasoning for getting Katsuhira's pain back was to help her realize her own pain. As Noriko disregards his reason and leaves, Katsuhira gathers the old group after class to discuss what he learned on his second Kiznaiver venture. Apologizing for forcing his pain onto the group and expressing his desire to feel pain to truly connect with his friends, the others experience a heavy sensation in their hearts despite not having their Kizna, and Katsuhira collapses. As Noriko cannot come to terms with the imminent shutdown of the Kizna System, she meets her five friends to assure their fun times will be back soon as one of them, Asuka, murmurs her name, much to her surprise. While Katsuhira recovers, Urushibara thanks the group for resonating with his pain, as the strength of their bonds transcended their own Kizna. Meanwhile, as black-colored Gomorin overrun Sugomori City, Noriko makes an announcement asking the people to connect all of their bonds with her.|
|12||"If The Kizna System Spread Throughout The World"|
"Sekaijuu ni Kizuna System ga Hirogatte" (世界中に、キズナシステムが広がって)
|Mari Okada||June 26, 2016|||
|As the group tries to make sense of the chaos that's taken over Sugomori City, Kamaishi and Yoshizawa confront them with special Kizna Scars on their bodies, seeking revenge on Tenga. Urushibara reveals to Katsuhira that Noriko's announcement is her and Yamada's intent to connect her pain with every citizen of the city using the black Gomorin, despite already carrying the pain of Katsuhira and his friends. Lonely since childhood, Noriko became devoted to the beliefs of the Kizna System after meeting Katsuhira and the other children in hopes to connect with everyone, even willing to surpass the limits of the Kizna System to do so. Believing that she can raise the efficiency of the Kizna System in hopes to save her friends, her ideals of a peaceful world through bonds are her only motivation. As a beaten Kamaishi and Yoshizawa tells the others of Noriko's intentions, the group comes to terms of their friendship and bonds through Katsuhira to try and save Noriko. As the city's drawbridge rises with Noriko standing on top of it, Urushibara and Katsuhira hijack a police car and rushes to her location, where he will confront Noriko. As she sets off a bomb destroying part of the drawbridge, she stands dangerously near the edge, telling Katsuhira of their moments together which were only possible through the Kizna System. However, Katsuhira and the others object, stating that them becoming friends had nothing to do with it. Unconvinced, Noriko prepares to jump off until Katsuhira tells her to let go of her wounds, promising that their friends will always be there for her. With her and Katsuhira's pain resonating with each other, he scales the drawbridge where they both fall together. As both of them come out of the water, Katsuhira feels a multitude of sensations, much to his relief. Time passes after the incident, and love is in the air for the group. As Yuta and Honoka reciprocate each other's feelings, the same happens to Chidori and Tenga, and although Nico planned their meeting, she confides to Hisomu that she'll one day win Tenga's heart. While the Kizna facility's old playground becomes a park where the first-generation Kiznaivers' emotions start to bloom, the group meets up at the hospital, where a recovering Katsuhira and Noriko have begun dating, with their emotions slowly returning as Nico and the others open up to Noriko.|
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