Oh boy I sure do like me some societal context!

Extra Clarification: The term Sabaibukei means “survival story”, or “type”, or “theme” (“sabaiburu” = Japanization of “survival”). The reason it’s also known as “death game” is just because Battle Royale was the forerunner for sabaibukei and it depicts the most literally “death game”. However, it’s not meant to be taken in an extremely literal sense.

It’s important to note that this is just a small slice of a bigger picture.

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_Sources_
Tanaka, M. Trends of Fiction in 2000s Japanese Pop Culture. (2014). electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies.

Watch my other videos!
Kyousougiga Review:
Shin Sekai Yori Review:
Tanaka-kun Review:
A Perspective on Your Lie In April:
Culture in Uchouten Kazoku:
Why Charlotte Sucks:
Contradiction in Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu:

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Kiznaiver on Crunchyroll:
Kiznaiver on MyAnimeList:

~Music~(All from the Kiznaiver OST)
共有意識の認識 (Kyouyuuishiki No Ninshiki)
喪失と疎外 (Soushitsu To Sogai)
透明な想い (Toumei Na Omoi)
女の思惑 (Onna No Omowaku)

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21 Comments

BasementOtaku

June 27, 2020

Holy buckets, I am just starting to get back into making reviews in a shortened compressed format and then I watch a video like yours and I'm Blown Away. It is so well-written, well thought-out, and well-researched it puts many other anime related videos to shame. I do agree that this show isn't the best, I actually ended up dropping it after the fourth episode, but I might try and watch it after seeing this. I am now going to watch every video on your Channel, thank you for making fantastic content!

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Akemi Homura

June 27, 2020

Kiznaiver=flawed and disappointing
death note=hated the male lead
death game=?

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Digi-née

June 27, 2020

Interesting connection to draw–I can see where you're coming from with it, though it's hard to think that this genre would come to mind first, or ever, when thinking about Kiznaiver myself. If I were to place it in a tradition, it seems to me like a super-anime version of The Breakfast Club, and other stories following from that genre trend. Still, it could be interesting to find where that genre and the survival game genre have connections.

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glich610

June 27, 2020

OK, this was posted on reddit and this is my first video I saw from you. You just got a new subscriber!

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Leo Penny

June 27, 2020

Great analysis! Keep it coming! Off topic question: have you seen Serial Experiments Lain?

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Aggressive Goldfish

June 27, 2020

I'm having quite the hard time of seeing Kiznaiver as a death game when death is not part of it,until like the final 2 episodes where still calling that death feel like quite the stretch. A death game is supposed to put the survival instincts in a clash against ideology where a highier authority works as a deus ex machina for this to happen. Kiznaiver hits barely 1 out of those 3 important aspects of a death game story as far as i see it. Although i can still see this as a really good video since you still managed to make your points clear despite it being opposed to me personal opinion, keep it up dude!

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Alpharius

June 27, 2020

I didn't really think about Kizniver that way. Very interesting. Subscribed.

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All Arounder Geek

June 27, 2020

As a big Battle Royale fan (book, manga and film), I really enjoyed your perspective to the Kiznaiver hopeful perspective of the "Death Game". For me, Kiznaiver puts this aspect through the previous Kizna-system kids. Failling doesn't mean death, but something "similar" if they lost the capability to relate to others. Their goal is to bring peace, but the enemy isn't a goverment or a particular group, but rather the indiference between people in modern society.
I think Kacchon is a proxy of modern society (particularly Japan), unable to relate to others and as a main protagonist of a "(Emotional) Death Game", he makes an interesting approach to the idealism of defending the world, because he's trying to save something he can't understand.

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Kylie Williams

June 27, 2020

I thought Kiznaiver was 'okay' as well. The concept was great, and very contrary to shows like the ones you mention. It had a very unique feeling to it. But I just felt like it wasn't executed well. Very good video!

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DiegoSG

June 27, 2020

Great vídeo, and i will be sure to try and read the article you mention 😀

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StaySkeptic

June 27, 2020

First vid I watched by you, and I'm far from disappointed.

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josofo2

June 27, 2020

battle royal (obviously i only saw the movie) and death note are not really that close in their idea. battle royal as you said is pretty much a straight up death game, though it does have the lord of the flies element.

death note i would describe more as a cat and mouse detective vs mastermind criminal from the mastermind criminal perspective.

The themes of Death Note. i don't think he wrote it to make points with the show themes. I think the point was more to have most thrilling scenarios that rules of his universe provided.

for example to the obvious theme of death note is power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. In AKira Tetsuo is at first just a cranky teenager but as he gains more and more power he becomes more and more evil. In Death Note by episode two Light immediately tries to kill for all he knows is a just detective trying to do his job. I mean this point is certainly arguable because he does send his dad to his death and is begrudgingly willing to kill his sister. But its not 100 percent clear he wasn't willing to do this things in episode two. He becomes more audacious as the series progresses, making himself in charge of the kira investigation. taking on an assistant and working with the news reporter etc. but its not like he took that many crazy risk.

so i don't know i think death note is a rather surface level show.

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baronlz

June 27, 2020

I mean that's far fetched to say the least. I don't think it's particularly wrong but I think Battle Royal, Death Note and Kiznaiver has similarities that all links to deeper roots in the Japanese culture. They don't particularly reference each other. You see recurring theme in Japanese stories : fascination for science, relationship between groups (governing or not) and individuals. To put Kiznaiver with the big boys on that basis is definitely 2edgy4me.

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Ethan Chu

June 27, 2020

Fantastic video! Kiznaiver is entertaining at least. The drama is just exaggerated in my opinion and it breaks my suspension of disbelief way too much near the end.

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Matty Clark

June 27, 2020

Episodes 6 and 7 of Kiznaiver were great and offered a satisying emotional climax to the story with Maki finally getting over Ruru's death and the main theme of connection being displayed beautifully in ep 7's final scene where they agree to try to become friends. The problem is that the series carried on beyond that with drama that felt forced, exposition about the past that felt unnecessary, and a conclusion that was barebones and unsatisfying. It's pretty bad when the best thing about the final episode was a cameo of characters from another show.

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Zap Renfro

June 27, 2020

Sad to hear you didn't like kiznaiver that much, as flawed as it was it still is one of my favorites, i'm a huge slut for trigger

Battle Royal-esque shows aren't really my thing because im not a huge fan of the pessimism and overall bleak tone they usually have, hell i never even saw Kiznaiver as a Death Game show till you brought it up now, but seeing how it took a somewhat dark premise that easily could've been something more sinister. It was refreshing to see a more positive spin on it. As inhumane as the Kizuna project was, people genuinely believed in it and the idea how it would lead to world peace, especially Sonozaki as she believed that it was the only way people could make true connections with each other, and as flawed as her thinking was.. It was surprisingly human considering how much of an influence it had on her as a child.

So, yeah. Kiznaiver was a breath of fresh air.

and also do you think chidori's best girl y/n

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Pause and Select

June 27, 2020

Ah yes, Sabaibukei fiction strikes again!

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The Hunter x Hunter 2011 Dickriding Association

June 27, 2020

Wow this is really really well done! I never thought of death note as a death game but how you explained it made alot of sense. To me the best analytical videos are those that as I learn from them I slowly begin to see where the rest is going and yours did exactly that 😀

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PejmanMan

June 27, 2020

Idk how kiznaiver counts as a death game. Was there an overarching plot regarding their failstate? I mean, they were constantly threatened with death if they didn't perform certain tasks but it was disjointed much in the way of "monster of the week" whereas death note and battle royale have the risk of death, or capture, as a constant looming giant. Maybe death parade could be seen as a mix of the two, and fits with your view of a genre evolution, depending on who you view as the protagonist at any one moment of course. Great parallels drawn nonetheless! You said kiznaiver like 30 times though 😛

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Lujia Cai

June 27, 2020

#1 fan

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CyanideBlizzard

June 27, 2020

I have to confess this is by far your strongest review. Massively improves from a visual standpoint, and even improves upon your normal writing process.

You've really found your mark, and I'm extremely excited to see how you shape it from here.

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