Aniwords – We Ain’t Swallowing No Buckets of Barium Here! Kiznaiver and the Sign of a Scar

You guys wouldn’t know this since I haven’t done a weekly round-up post in a while, but Kizaniver‘s probably my third or fourth favorite show this season—besides being the first Studio Trigger show I’ve actively liked. As such, I took my chance with this week’s Aniwords to explore one of the things that’s most fascinated me about the series so far: the use of scar imagery as a symbol for human connection.

Here’s the link~


11 thoughts on “Aniwords – We Ain’t Swallowing No Buckets of Barium Here! Kiznaiver and the Sign of a Scar

  1. Another element to go along with human connections and scars is the concept of “blood brothers”. This is pretty common in many human societies. To share blood, to share a wound and a scar, is to mark the two as in a relationship as important as family.

    As for Kizaniver itself, personally I’m not quite feeling it yet. The second episode was better than the first one. I think that I just don’t like MCs who are listless and grey. Both Kizaniver and Tanaka-kun are kind of falling into that zone for me. Even in Hyouka, Chitanda carried the show through the early episodes.


    • Blood brothers… like… iron-blooded orphans, perhaps? Okada got us again. That lady really is obsessed with the same few ideas.

      I don’t mind Kacchon too much, except holy crap Yuki Kaji gets to be even more Yuki Kaji than usual, sheesh.


  2. I find Kiznaiver rather promising, although the apparent theme and subject of the show are rather challenging: as the story progresses, either it will be something glorious or it sinks into superficiality.

    As a side note, I find it hilarious that I actually know someone like the Niyanma Nico character in real life – with almost same looks and behaviour. 😀


  3. Barium is used as a constrast fluid for x-ray purposes, I know from moderately discomforting personal experience.


  4. Someone in Crunchyroll beat me to the punch of telling you that Barium contrast is used in radiographic examinations of the gut. As a doctor, I is ashamed.

    Anyway, that was a refreshingly different view of Kiznaiver’s core ideas. Many people dismiss it as random nonsense coming from the mind of Mari Okada, but I think there’s an endearing universality in the concept of pain as a vehicle of communication.

    There’s a good reason why pain registers deep within the brain: it has intrinsic links to memory and enables us to avoid potentially noxious stimuli, or possibly even things that can be life-threatening. Being unable to feel pain isn’t incompatible with life per se, but Kiznaiver shows us that being unable to experience it disconnects you from the world, both physically and emotionally. As a social being, a human unable to connect with the world sorta becomes less of a human and more of a doll – a punching bag that doesn’t reflect any hint of a soul.

    But at the same time, being able to feel pain doesn’t make you any more human, either. If it’s pain experienced for no reason, then that’s masochism (or sadism, if you’re Sonozaki). But Kiznaiver’s characters obviously don’t want to experience physical pain, but the pain of revealing your deepest secrets to people you just met can be just as terrifying. And maybe that’s the pain Sonozaki is trying to make them experience — that gross feeling of swallowing a cup of barium in order to reveal your filthy guts to a stranger (in this case, your doctor). There’s human filth in every one of us, and revealing that is far more painful than any number of tazer shots. And then we get that last scene in episode two where we find closure in just letting it out — just getting through that f*ck-awful medical examination in order to be told that “you’ve got shit inside of you, yes, but you’re otherwise a healthy human being”.

    To be honest, the manner they presented these ideas wasn’t the most elegant of approaches, but I guess forming meaningful human relationships isn’t really that gracious, either. I just hope they can rally these ideas together in such a way that doesn’t feel contrived. Otherwise, I think the show is off to a great start.

    Again, great article. It was a very refreshing read for the day.


    • Someone on here beat you to it, too! 😛

      Anywho, we’re already getting random nonsense coming from the mind of Mari Okada over in Mayoiga but Kiznaiver, despite being superficially wonkier, is definitely the more grounded of the two. Also better.

      I think of the classic example: if you can’t feel pain, you won’t know to pull your hands back from the stove until you’ve burned your fingers off.

      It’s certainly not elegant, but then again, neither are the growing pains of youth out of social ineptitude. Which is a pretty poor argument probably, but that kind of structure-content harmony always makes me feel smart when I point it out.

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed~


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