8 Anime Like Kiznaiver [Recommendations]
Kiznaiver is Trigger’s new contribution to the anime world this season, and the reviews so far are quite solid. If you’re not familiar, here’s the rundown.
Katsuhira Agata can barely feel pain, be that the emotion or the physical sensation. He gets bullied and beat up regularly, and barely flinches at it. He wasn’t always like that, but his best friend, Chidori Takashiro, barely even remembers what he was like before.
When the two of them are kidnapped and forced into the Kizuna System as “Kiznaivers,” they join four other teenagers in an experiment that links each of them through pain. When one of them feels pain, they all do. Now they have to get along with each other, as their fates are linked in a way none of them asked for.
It’s an interesting, relatively unique approach to an anime, and Kiznaiver is doing a good job of exploring the concept. But now that it’s over, you may be looking for something similar to fill the void.
There are some things to look into, even if nothing is exactly the same. Here are 8 anime to look into if you want more Kiznaiver.
Quite possibly one of the most underrated anime of all time, Kokoro Connect features a cast of five characters who one day start swapping into one-another’s bodies after a visit from a strange character named “Heartseed.”
As they deal with their random swapping back-and-forth, they end up confronting each other’s deepest fears and secrets – including their innermost thoughts on each other.
What’s great about Kokoro Connect is that it directly addresses a recurring theme in anime – the complete and total refusal to be up-front and honest about anything. They end up divulging all sorts of messy secrets about themselves, which make things awkward for a bit, but ultimately bring them much closer together. And that’s just the first arc.
Kokoro Connect is a drama with some dark themes, but it also has some of the most heartfelt moments you’ll get in an anime. It’s worth a watch regardless of your thoughts on Kiznaiver.
As with many of the anime on this list, Mekakucity Actors deals with a group of people thrown into a situation together and forced to cooperate with total strangers against their will.
In this case, the story revolves around extreme shut-in Shintarou Kisaragi and the seemingly sentient AI that lives in his computer, Ene. On Shintarou’s reluctant trip out to the department store to buy a new keyboard, he gets himself tied up in a hostage situation.
Now, despite not being much for communication with pretty much anybody, Shintarou has to work with the other strange people in the store to get to the bottom of what’s happening and ensure he gets out alive.
AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Keeping with the theme of a cast of characters working towards a common goal and trying to understand each other, AnoHana is about the reclusive Jinta Yadomi and his attempts to appease his childhood friend Menma.
She shows up one day and asks him to grant her wish. He ignores her. It sounds heartless of him, but you can’t blame him – Menma died years ago.
Now he and the group of friends he had before Menma’s death come together again to try and lay her spirit to rest.
Zankyou no Terror
You know what happens when people get ahold of a little too much power and try creating a perfect world?
That vision gets twisted and you get awful failed projects like those in Kiznaiver and Zankyou no Terror. Here, we have a pair of boys named Nine and Twelve, carrying out terrorist bombings to “wake up the world.”
It doesn’t sound that similar, but both series go into the deep psychological aspects of personal secrets and what it does to have them exposed.
Danganronpa: The Animation
In Danganronpa, 15 students – each of them the best at whatever it is they do – are thrown into a vicious survival game.
They either have to stay trapped in their school for eternity, completely cut off from the outside world, or they can commit a murder. And not just any murder. They have to kill one of their fellow students, and get away with it after a class trial.
Of course, each character has plenty of secrets to hide, so it’s hard to know who to trust.
Your Lie in April
Okay, on the surface, this doesn’t appear to have much in common with Kiznaiver. And in terms of the overall plot, that’s actually quite true.
But the theme of kids having to deal with early childhood baggage and expose their weaknesses to one another really hit home here. If the interpersonal relationship drama and emotional complexity is what you liked about Kiznaiver, this is a decent one to check out next.
The Seven Deadly Sins
If you have Netflix, it’s a great time to get in one of the biggest anime of the year. It’s a pretty standard shounen anime romp, but it does what it does very well.
You’ll find similarities with Kiznaiver in the art style, the way characters interact with each other, and of course the fight scenes.
Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
What if you and all your friends just developed superpowers one day? What would you do?
No really. Think about it. How would you deal? How would you go about your daily life with crazy world-changing powers under your control? Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de is an anime about exactly that.
The plot isn’t all that similar, but it makes the list because it’s one of Trigger’s previous releases. If you liked the animation style in Kiznaiver, and aesthetics are important to you, try out this if you want supernatural school life comedy, or Kill la Kill if you want over-the-top ridiculous action comedy.