Brynhildr in the Darkness: Episode 10 – “Proof She’s Alive”

Brynhildr in the Darkness focuses on a high school boy named Murakami. 10 years prior to the start of the series, he knew a girl he called Kuroneko who insisted she knew about aliens and had met one. When she takes Murakami to see the alien, an accident happens that injures Murakami and kills Kuroneko. Now in high school, a new transfer student named Kuroha Neko joins his class, and she looks suspiciously like Kuroneko. However, Kuroha insists that she’s not Kuroneko. At the end of Episode One, Murakami learned that Kuroha is a witch who gained her abilities through surgery and drugs. Murakami has since met three other witches: Kana, Kazumi and Takatori.

At the beginning of Episode 10, Nanami is taken to the observatory, where Kogoro is waiting. Murakami asks him to find a way to remove the beacon from the harnest. As Kogoro tries to come up with ways to determine what to do, Nanami and the others talk about friendship. Unfortunately, so much time is taken up with the friendship talk, that Nanami’s eject button is pushed remotely, and she begins melting into goo. As she melts, she’s able to rewrite the witches’ memory so they don’t remember her. We later find out that Nanami inserted herself into Murakami’s memory and that he can see the fragmentary secrets that she knows about the lab. This felt like a “deus ex machina,” but it wasn’t touched on again for the remainder of the episode.

Then, Murakami and the witches that go to school are studying for the finals that are coming up. Kazumi wonders why they should bother, since they only have three weeks’ worth of pills left. Through discussion, they come up with an incentive to study and do well: they’ll get a trip to the ocean. This leads into Kazumi claiming that she kissed Murakami in Akihabara, and Kuroha gets mad. She causes a couple of trees to topple over. Kuroha leaves, and Murakami finds her later, singing a song about the incident and trying to claim that she doesn’t care. Murakami knows that she does, but he’s too dense to figure out why she’s so upset.

At the end of the episode, we see that Valkyria, the strongest witch at the lab, has been sent out to find Kuroha and the others. She was supposed to be monitored by seven other witches due to the fact that she can’t be controlled outside, but Valkyria kills them all. So we seem to be setting up some kind of a major confrontation between Valkyria and the other witches.

Once again, the device from Kuroha and the code that Murakami thought he had figured out were not addressed in this episode. Considering that it’s stated at one point in the episode they only have three weeks’ worth of pills left, shouldn’t Murakami be getting off his butt and moving on this already? Honestly, I’m starting to think that the writers forgot that this loose thread is hanging out here and hasn’t been resolved since it’s been ignored for two whole episodes. With only three episodes left, they need to be getting a move on in the search for the pills.

At this point, I have to say that while Brynhildr in the Darkness started out strong, the writing seems to be starting to become a bit more sloppy now that we’re closer to the end. Elements like the device and code seem to have been forgotten or glossed over, and there really isn’t the tension that there should be about the fact that time is running out for them to acquire more pills for the witches, considering how much of a life and death situation this is for them. I’m almost afraid that the ending is going to be rushed, potentially rely on at least one “deus ex machina,” and perhaps even contain a plot hole or two. I hope I’m wrong, but that seems to be where this is headed. I’ll watch the final episodes of the series and hope that I don’t end up being too disappointed in its conclusion.

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