Brynhildr in the Darkness: Episode 02-04 Review

bryhindler 03Also known as: Gokukoku no Brynhildr
Streaming Allegiance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaissance Report by: Kara Turnbull
Progress: Episode 04

Plot Summary: Murakami Ryota, after finding out Kuroha is a witch made in a lab, is curious about her. After being sent to a fake address that overlooks an abandoned village, Murakami snoops around and discovers another witch named Kana. Kana is almost completely paralyzed and can forecast the future. She and Kuroha require pills to stay alive and to keep their bodies from melting. It is revealed also that the device at the base of their neck, the harnest, can be removed to kill them as well. The lab that made the witches is on the hunt for the escapees and they must fight for survival in every possible way.

Brynhildr in the Darkness is an anime that is pantomiming a depth I’m not sure it possesses yet. The plot is thickening, and I’m enjoying some aspects while being leery about others. They mystery behind the witches’ creation is what I’m most anxious to see. How did all the girls become witches? How is the lab still in operation? These are questions I’m interested in the show addressing.

Although these characters are going through traumatic experiences and are supposed to be fighting for their survival, I don’t feel like they are in danger yet. I keep thinking, “What next?” Even when both main characters’ lives were threatened completely, there was a Mary Sue-esque loophole that conveniently allowed them to live. I’d like to feel like they’re actually desperate to stay alive. Oddly enough, considering they have to take death suppressants and have a powerful lab chasing them, the pacing seems stagnant.

There’s a lot of talk, and not enough action. Kana and Kuroha talk about their escape, but you don’t see much to prove it, just them talking about it. There was a flashback about Kuroha’s escape in Episode 01, but since then, there hasn’t been any reference to that flashback again. A lot of the action is standing around talking, or thinking aloud.

There are some scenes with action, and they are well done. I really enjoy these scenes, when the witches get to use their powers. Kuroha’s character seems to be the only saving grace of the anime besides the action scenes. I really like the correlation between her memories and the use of her powers. With every blast of energy, a small part of her memory dies. This also obviously points to the suspicion that Kuroha is most likely who we think she really is.

The downfall of Episodes o2-04 is the bath scene in Episode 04. It is just an obligatory grab at fanservice and embarrassment that really didn’t need to happen. It didn’t really further the story, and the lifeless reactions of the characters in response to these moments made it all the more cringe worthy. It didn’t belong at all.

All in all, I see some potential here, but some of the characters need a bit more depth and are currently falling flat. I just can’t bring myself to sympathize with any of them, despite the hardships they have faced. They are like dolls setting up an elaborate play, but in the end there are no expressions on the faces to portray the emotions we need to feel to connect to the story. Without the element of mystery surrounding the origins of their powers and the lab, I would probably not bother to watch anymore.

Score: 7.00/10.00