Episode 1 Impressions: Brynhildr in the Darkness

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From the same writer that brought us Elfin Lied comes Bynhildr in the Darkness. While Elfin Lied can be argued by many as a great series, the question is can this work differentiate itself from past work? With a story that seems to revolve around lab created super girls, one could begin questioning it.

Synopsis
e1brynhildr9During Ryota Murakami’s childhood, he would hang out with a girl he called Kuroneko regularly. At some point, Kuroneko claimed that she seen an alien much to Ryota’s suspicion. Though one day while they gazed at the stars Kuroneko claimed that she knows where one is. When Ryota asked her to tell him where it was at, she agreed if only to prove it to him.

However this adventure of discovery soon turned to tragedy when they began crossing a dam. Ryota lost his footing and grabbed Kuroneko’s hand as she attempted to catch him, causing them both to fall to their death. When Ryota came to, he was told Kuroneko was fine and at another hospital, however after he was released they finally told him the truth. Kuroneko had died.

For this reason, even after 10 years, Ryota blames himself for the death of his friend. Claiming he should have turned back and that he shouldn’t have grabbed her hand as he fell. Seeking to keep Kuroneko’s dream alive, he continues to search for alien life every day by visiting a local observatory alone. Mainly due to him being the only one in the astronomy club. On top of this, he also claims to be studying to become a member at NASA to get even closer to the stars.

At the present time, Ryota attends school where he’s fairly distant to others, more so with girls. He just doesn’t know how to handle them. Even when a classmate named Kashiwagi praises him for being 3rd in test scores, he simply thanks her and gives a cold shoulder. Though things turn interesting when the teacher arrives with a transfer student named Kuroha Neko. An awfully familiar name and even more familiar appearance. Ryota spares no time and stands up at her introduction and claims her to be the girl from his past. She assures that they have never met before, to which Ryota demands she show him her armpits. While this was for a good reason since Kuroneko had an odd mole formation under her arm, Kuroha responds with a slap across the face and class continues with glaring eyes from fellow classmates.

e1brynhildr5Later at the pool, the class does some swimming exercises, though Kuroha quickly shows her inability to swim. As the other girls attempt to stay under water, the pool filter opens up and traps Kashiwagi’s knee. As everyone looks in horror as she begins to drown and the teacher is unable to free her, Kuroha looks on with a knowing eyes. She knows that two students were meant to die today. Just before all hope is lost, poolside near the filter collapses and cuts off the suction, freeing Kashiwagi.

After school Kuroha shows up at the space observatory that Ryota frequents. He quickly apologizes to her and explains his ordeal and why he did what he did. Kuroha restates that she has never met him before but also that 2 students were supposed to die today. One was Kashiwagi but she was saved. The other is Ruyota. When Ryota asks for an explanation, Kuroha just requests that he does not miss the bus.

Before Kuroha leaves, she observes a constellation chart. When she asks how many there are, Ryota points out the list nearby. She begins counting them one by one. When Ryota explains that she could just use multiplication, Kuroha looks puzzled. This puts Ryota in a confused state, questioning why she doesn’t know multiplication which should have been learned in 2nd grade. Kuroha turns it into a comparison of strength as she believes she excels in other places, while not in any particular sport.

In arm wrestling match between the two, Kuroha quickly defeats him much to his confusion. Her arms are squishy and without muscle. Before he could question too much, she gets a call on an old radio that changes her plans. She tells Ryota to not take the bus, but rather stay at the observatory that night.

e1brynhildr2As Kuroha leaves the observatory in the pouring rain, she’s thankful that she’ll be able to save 2 lives. Unlike her past where she wasn’t able to save someone named Akane from what looks like a vehicle accident. Before Akane past away, she gave Kuroha a package and claimed she could save the world from ruin. Though she doesn’t know how she could do that.

Seeking to prove Kuroha wrong or right, Ryota not only leaves the observatory, but also misses the bus on purpose. As he walks down the road, he ponders the possibilities. Before he could figure it out, a landslide sweeps him into the railing and traps him. If that wasn’t bad, suddenly a boulder comes plummeting down on him. Thankfully Kuroha appears before him and stops the boulder with an unknown power before splitting it in two.

It’s at this time that Kuroha admits she’s a witch. Though Ryota doesn’t believe her being as he’s into science. Though after Kuroha shows a device on the back of her neck, he starts to see things a bit differently. When Kuroha questions why he chose to leave the observatory, he explains that he knew the bus would have been involved with an accident if he got on it and that he wanted to test her theory. That she was preventing deaths, many or one.

While Kuroha explains that she was drugged and given a modification, Ryota notices that she doesn’t have any moles under her arm. Thus killing any hope he had for her being Kuroneko.

e1brynhildr1Thoughts
First of all, the PV was absolutely excellent. Great music that had me pumped. It was also insanely dark and gruesome. However the only downside to it was the fact that it sort of pointed to some major plot elements. Powers, Death, Resurrection, and more.

As for the story as a whole, I’m not too sure if I’m going to like it. It did well in creating some tension and good characters, however I’m a bit hesitant to believe that it can differentiate itself enough from the writer’s original work in Elfin Lied. We have experimented girls and powers with a dark undertone. I’ll be surprised if it can pull off something unique enough. At least Kuroha isn’t an absolute dork.

I also wish they spent more time getting us to know Kuroneko before killing her off. Instead we are left believing that Ryota has a strong connection to her, rather than showing it to us. Aside from that, I’m interesting in meeting the other modified girls and learning their stories. As I’m sure we’ll get some insight into them.

I’ll be continuing impressions and I hope it turns out good. So stay tuned for more!

Episode 1: While I Wait For You

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good

Goods:

  • Good animation
  • Good tension

Fears:

  • Elfin Lied similarity
  • Some overused plot elements

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.

  • Neowned

    Wow, that OP for the show was well done. I was a little sad from the flash back of Ryota being told that his friend had died just after being released from the hospital.

    This well go on top of my current rotation, have high hopes for this show seeing as this summer shows I do not. Well this, Rowdy Sumo Wrestler, One Week Friends, Fairy Tail, Mushi-shi, and The Irregular at High School Magic.