Brynhildr in the Darkness
Years ago Ryouta lost his childhood friend Kuroneko in an accident where she fell to her death. Now in high school, a transfer student named Neko arrives with a striking likeness to her. Attempts to find a link between her and his lost friend leads Ryouta into a secret underworld plot using girls as experiments. The girls, known as witches; have super human abilities, but if they fail to take medicine for a day they'll die. Ryouta dedicates himself to saving a handful of escape witches, although obtaining medication is only one of many issues to contend with. Witches under the organization creating them, continues to hunt the ones escaped. There's also an organization opposed to all witches, no matter which side they're on.
Ryouta remains haunted by the question, is Neko the girl he loved long ago? Kuroneko continues to lose her memory, so she can't answer. But perhaps the answers lay in the ones trying to find them.
Sometimes I like an opening sequence so much, it raises my expectations. Brynhildr in the Darkness has many interesting ideas, but as it progressed I found many aspects difficult to like. As a whole I thought it was good enough to say it was worth watching, even if I'm disappointed that it wasn't nearly as good as I wanted it to be. And I really wanted it to be better.
Brynhildr in the Darkness has a nice mix of sci-fi, although it tries to be smarter than it is. The huge leaps in deduction required for "clever" story points are obvious and unlikely. Still, it works well enough, and isn't entirely flawed for at least trying. The story is strong enough to glue everything together, but then there's the big problem with this anime... fan service.
It's not so much about fan service being appropriate, it's a matter of how badly it clashes with the rest of the anime (okay, the paralyzed girl getting molested by another girl was REALLY inappropriate). It's even brazen enough to require fog censorship. That made it hard for me to stick with the program, however the fog censorship has unexpected uses censoring violence, of which of this show has a surprising amount.
This anime gets gory, so be prepared. If the girls don't get medicated daily, they hemorrhage blood everywhere. It's a big plot point that they need more pills, but it's also an excuse to make them look like a car crash victim every other episode. It doesn't stop there however. There are intense death scenes. (Yes, people die). That aside, there is the threat witches can be "ejected", causing them to melt into slime. Many shows would elude to the ill fate awaiting them, but Brynhildr in the Darkness explicitly shows you. It's terrifying enough to make you empathize with their situation.
By the middle (6 episodes in) I felt this one had gone adrift, but the last two episodes pulled enough together to redeem it. It's a bit unballenced, and things would have gone far better if so much weren't packed towards the back. While the big story is still in progress, this one thankfully answers MANY of the questions invented throughout the show. I think many of us have tired of the 12 episode
Brynhildr in the Darkness may not excel at anything, and it has problems, but I found the graphic violence and interesting sci-fi stuff spiced things up enough to make it worth watching. If those features don't appeal to you, the rest isn't strong enough to justify picking it up. It has nice features, but even the good parts are assembled in a way which is rather sloppy.
Murakami: If you're really a witch how did you get your powers?
Neko: Surgery and drugs.
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