Brynhildr in the Darkness: Episode 12 – “Hexenjagd”

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.

Valkyria and Ichijiku arrive at the observatory, and it’s revealed that #1107 is Takatori, not Kuroha. Murakami finds himself begging for his life, and Hatsuna tackles Valkyria in an attempt to hang her up, but Valkyria has a different harnest from the others, so Hatsuna has no idea what to push. Valkyria attacks Hatsuna, but of course she doesn’t die due to her regeneration ability. She can only be killed if she is ejected. After Murakami gets into a debate with Ichijiku, Valkyria is ordered to kill all the witches except for Takatori. With her first attack, she is thwarted when Takatori tackles her. Ichihiku puts a gun to Takatori’s head and tells her to stop. Kuroha uses her magic to destroy the gun.

Valkyria is then ordered to kill Kuroha. When she attacks, Murakami pushes Kuroha out of the way and takes the blow instead. As he’s laying on the ground, he has a vision of Nanami that was etched into his memory, and she explains that Kuroha is stronger than Valkyria but her power is sealed away. There’s a way to break the seal, but there’s a 99.9% chance that Kuroha will die. Kuroha’s harnest hangs up on her in the meantime, and just when it looks like it’s over for Kuroha, members of Hexenjagd appear and Valkyria is unable to use her powers. Ichijiku pulls out another gun and shoots at the member of Hexenjagd that was suppressing Valkyria’s power, and he, Valkyria, and Takatori teleport out of the observatory. Hatsuna makes a sacrifice in an attempt to help Murakami, who was very badly hurt.Between Hatsuna, Kuroha, and Kazumi’s efforts, Murakami is able to overcome his injuries.

We learn that Hexenjagd is the organization responsible for the device that Murakami had. He had pushed the button on it during the confrontation with Ichijiku, and that was how the organization found them. It turns out the members of this organization worked for the lab and they are a resistance movement. Their goal is to kill the witches because of the slime creatures that reside in them. If the creatures are allowed to hatch, it will wreak havoc for Earth. And if Takatori’s hatches, it will mean the end of the world. Hexenjagd, Murakami, and the other witches make an uneasy alliance to track down where Ichijiku is and go to him…

A lot of information was thrown out over the course of Episode 12, especially in regards to why Ichijiku began creating the witches. Wow, Ichijiku is one sick person. Once again, this ended up being a story where the main villain did the things he did because someone close to him died, and he wanted to try to find a way to bring her back.

The device that Murakami had was finally important to the story, and we also got to learn who was behind it. From what was seen earlier, we knew it was someone who wasn’t going to be friendly to the witches. Their outfits are kind of interestingm though. The female was wearing a nun’s outfit, one of the guys looked like he was dressed as a pilgrim, and the other guy almost looked like he could’ve come out of the Wild West era. Is there any significance to this attire, or was this done just to do it?

It was also a little disappointing to see Hatsuna sacrificing herself. Like Nanami, she was there for such a short amount of time, it was hard to truly care about her as a character. In the end, they both come across like “deus ex machina,” and that they were simply introduced in order to provide Murakami with information he couldn’t have easily gotten otherwise and to make sure that Murakami doesn’t die.

And the ante has also been upped. The story is no longer about saving the witches, it’s now about trying to save the entire world. That ending scene almost makes me afraid we could be heading into something like the destruction of Earth sequence that appeared in The End of Evangelion. Hopefully it won’t get too over the top.

To me, this just felt like such a sudden change to the tone and direction of the story. It also felt a little unnatural, like they’re trying to rush things in order to fit everything into two episodes. It’ll be interesting to see how the story of Brynhildr in the Darkness is ultimately brought to an end.

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