Brynhildr in the Darkness Ep. 3: Pill junkies

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Wow, you suck, buddy.

Episode Summary
Ryota learns that the witches must take a pill everyday or their organs will literally melt. Unfortunately, Neko clumsily manages to burn not only her house down, but the ten remaining pills in her possession. All hope is not lost, however, as our heroes are determined to infiltrate some pill factory in order to acquire the medicine that our witches so desperately need. Thanks to her powers, however, Kana sees a future in which Neko will die at the hands of Saori, some evil witch under the bad guys’ control. Neko intends to sacrifice her life so that Ryota can find those pills and save her friends’ lives, but c’mon, no anime protagonist would ever allow his precious childhood friend to die! That’s right, this Neko is the same as Ryota’s Kuroneko. But before the two of them can have an actual reunion, it appears as though Saori has sliced Neko in half…

Notes
• So… Neko shows up to class one day covered in bandages, but the anime never even bothers to tell us how she got injured. Okay? What is even the point then? And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with what we find out later about the witches, which is that these girls begin to bleed if they don’t take some pill every 30 hours. After all, Neko says it herself that they heal up instantly after taking the pill.

• Speaking of said pills, yes, the witches will die if they don’t take them. Obviously, you can’t get these pills at your local pharmacy, so these girls will run out of them eventually. Unless, of course, our hero can somehow infiltrate a government base and steal a bunch of pills, but that would be silly, wouldn’t it? I like how Neko says a witch’s skin will split if she goes more than 30 hours without the medicine, but her face is still anime babe smooth.

• This screenshot is prime material for a tasteless joke:

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• Neko: “Somehow, I feel like I really wanted to go a long time ago…” It’s the same girl from his childhood. Not only that, she doesn’t seem like much of a liar either, so the only remaining option is memory loss.

• We only have five days to live! So feed us caeki! Ugh.

• All of a sudden, a fire breaks out. It’s a little weird to me how Neko is oblivious to the fire until Ryota points it out to her.

• Yes, in the middle of a fire, let’s have the gothic lolita accuse Ryota of trying to cop a feel. ‘Cause it’s not like she has anything bigger to worry about or anything.

• I like how Kana starts bleeding from the mouth as soon as the characters find out that the remaining ten pills have been lost in the fire. Well, that’s convenient.

• Out of nowhere, Ryota goes, “All we have to do is take some pills from Dresden Pharmaceutical’s Takayama factory?” How does he even know this Dresden place even have the pills, you ask? Because not only did he memorize the pill’s identification code, he somehow knew that the ‘DR’ in the code stands for Dresden. Some high schooler just knows this. Yep. Not only that, he knows that the ‘G’ in the code stands for the Takayama factory! No, no, we got a perfectly good explanation: “It was written in a book about drugs I read one time.” Yeah, as a high schooler, I read books about drugs. All the time, in fact. What of it?

• Also, Ryota’s special power is his photographic memory. He then says, “But thanks to that, I can’t even forget things I’d like to. It’s rough.” Neko bizarrely replies, “That’s nothing at all. It’s so much sadder to forget things you want to remember.” First, I didn’t realize this was a competition to see who had it worst. Second, how can you want to remember what you’ve already forgotten? But yeah, this Neko is the same Neko.

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• Ryota: “There’s no info about those pills.” Naw, really? Are you sure you just didn’t search for “pills that prevent magical witches from melting” hard enough?

• So to get pass the factory’s security, they’ll have to rely on another witch. Oh yeah, this witch just happens to be a brilliant hacker. Literally, her magical ability is bypassing encryption.

• All of a sudden, Kana gets a vision of Neko dying, buuuuuut it’s censored. Nothing to see, folks. Cartoon violence is just too dirty to show on TV.

• Oh look, the villains noticed that someone’s been searching for those exact pills. What I’m actually shocked by, however, is that our heroes had searched for the pills behind “numerous anonymous, oversea proxies.” No, really, I’m not even joking. I’m pleasantly surprised that the characters actually do something smart for once.

• But y’see, the bad guys have an even badder witch under their control. And this badass witch with glow-in-the-dark eyes will exterminate our heroes with extreme prejudice.

• Welp, even witches are ranked. And Saori is AA, just one step below the highest! I’m surprised the highest rank isn’t ‘S’ though.

• So there are three buttons on the back of a witch’s neck, and pressing one of them will cause the witch to die. Wouldn’t it be rather easy to inadvertently hit any of these button since they’re on the back of your neck? Anyway, another button temporarily disables the witch’s magical powers and then the third button? Magic! Actually, the witches have never been told what would happen if you press it other than that they’ll meet a fate worse than death.

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• So Kazumi, the witch that can hack, is also out of pills as well. So, uh, was she just going to sit there and die had Neko never contacted her? Seems that way.

• Hmm…

Unless, of course, our hero can somehow infiltrate a government base and steal a bunch of pills, but that would be silly, wouldn’t it?

Well, here we are. I like how the factory doesn’t have any security guards to patrol its grounds, especially at night. Nope, they just depend solely on a system that can apparently be hacked from the outside. Basically, why can you even access the security system from the internet?

• This seems like such a half-baked plan. Even if they get pass the security, I’m sure it’s a large factory. How would Ryota even know where to look? And since the bad guys know that a witch (at the very least) is coming to get the pills, why wouldn’t they assign someone to actually guard the pills as opposed to sending a witch to hunt for our heroes?

• On the one hand, Saori has to slice away Neko’s top in order to reveal those three moles to Ryota. The ending wouldn’t really work if our hero doesn’t think he’s lost his precious childhood friend all over again. On the other hand, however, the anime milks the hell out of it. Not literally, thankfully.

• Case in point, let’s zoom in on that boob so we can get a closer look. Ryota then begins to cry tears of joy. Right. Rocking hard music begins to play as he’s more determined than ever to save Neko! Jesus Christ.

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• Aaaaand she dies. Or did she…?

• It’s the third episode so of course not. We’ll just have to wait a week before her apparent death is hand-waved away.

Closing Thoughts
This episode cuts down on all the comic hijinks, so it’s… eh, decent. It still has a little too much infodumping for me, though, but after last week’s episode, there’s nowhere to go but up.

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18 thoughts on “Brynhildr in the Darkness Ep. 3: Pill junkies

  1. DataportDoll

    I think what bugged me most was that the writers needed to pack DRAMA into this. Five days to live isn’t enough of a ticking clock? The hell? Jack Bauer has more time to plan daring raids.

    Inb4 “SSJ Kuroneko” pushing the third button.

    Reply
  2. Rachel

    “No, no, we got a perfectly good explanation: “It was written in a book about drugs I read one time.” Yeah, as a high schooler, I read books about drugs. All the time, in fact. What of it?”

    About this–in the manga, it’s actually expanded upon that Ryota gained this encyclopedic knowledge of medicine after doing research while his mom was ill. I wish the anime had bothered to delve into that.

    “So to get pass the factory’s security, they’ll have to rely on another witch. Oh yeah, this witch just happens to be a brilliant hacker. Literally, her magical ability is bypassing encryption.”

    Her ability is another point that gets a rather drawn-out explanation in the manga: She can calculate “prime factor decompositions” within seconds, and because the factory’s encryption code is a massive prime number, that’s how Ryota/Neko are able to infiltrate it.

    Again, I’d have much more respect for this show without the needless otaku pandering (“I’ve only got a few days to live, so give me caeki”/”I know you’re rescuing me from a burning building but kyaaaah, don’t cop a feel, you pervert!!!”).

    Such a frustrating mix. Also, another great recap! :)

    Reply
    1. kaoknight

      I also read the manga and tbh I have to agree, they cut out a lot of little details that help the story make more sense. This anime needs at least 24 episodes(the least) to do the original manga any justice but since it’s only 13 episode it’s gonna be rushed somehow and I know I’m gonna hate the inevitably abrupt ending.

      And the OP of this show had some characters that wont make an appearance till chapter 60ish and since this is only gonna be a 13 episode anime(while the manga still has 95+ chapters) they are gonna rush it, or make it have an original story/axed-ish ending like elfen lied.

      And I also hate this anime’s obligatory need for otaku pandering, seriously why would girls who are in hiding from a “evil secret powerful organization” transfer to a school and become harem members, sure I get that they wanted to experience a “normal life” before they died but it’s just ridiculous. And seriously the steven hawking tsundere loli screaming about “coping a feel” in a fire.

      Reply
  3. kaoknight

    yeah, to tell the truth I found it pretty funny that kana started bleeding the millisecond neko mentioned that she didnt take her medicine that day and when she was covered in over the top bandages and the only excuse she can think of is that she had a cold. And I get that kana is supposed to be some kind of gothic loli tsundere version of steven hawking but why does her speech synthesizer have a cute voice.

    If this anime ever gets a drinking game then “take a drink for everytime someone ominously and conveniently start to bleed” would be a rule.

    Reply
  4. ZakuAbumi

    The house burning down because of BAD COOKING PRACTICES DON’T DO THIS AT HOME three minutes after the reveal that their live-saving pills would not last much longer, burning them to crisps in an instant, has got to be the laziest writing in quite a while.

    I also liked how the MC spent half an eternity standing around, narrating to himself how that one girl over there who just happens to look exactly like that one girl from back then actually is that one girl from back then and how he’s going to save her before running out of time and therefore letting her die. That was downright comedic.

    A few other things I’d like to add:

    “We only have five days to live! So feed us caeki! Ugh.”
    To be fair, that actually sounds like a legit request. Particularly from Kana’s point of view who doesn’t know about many pleasures in this world apart from those gained through taste maybe. Might as well get off on the C.

    “Yes, in the middle of a fire, let’s have the gothic lolita accuse Ryota of trying to cop a feel. ‘Cause it’s not like she has anything bigger to worry about or anything.”
    Legit too. I’d rather accuse this of tonal discrepancies than Kana getting her priorities wrong since hey, it’s not like she can do anything about it.

    “He then says, “But thanks to that, I can’t even forget things I’d like to. It’s rough.””
    Ah, the context for that was so overwhelmingly stupid. “I have a photographic memory, meaning I can’t forget about that one girl I was in love with who fell to death with her superpowered copycat being around all the time now.”. I don’t think any other human being could forget about that either but woe is him, he’s special!

    “So, uh, was she just going to sit there and die had Neko never contacted her? Seems that way.”
    Frankly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this. It’s not like she has any other options like strolling around, given that people are looking for her. Plus, hey, sitting there actually is the best option as she’s usually hired by other witches and gains pills through those means. So that’s the only thing that might end up saving her life.

    Regarding the cliffhanger:
    “Aaaaand she dies. Or did she…?”
    As you stated, of course not. But I’m interested in how they’ll fix this. Maybe the magic of the third button will kick in. Or all of that was just Kana’s vision. Which would be kind of stupid, considering half of the time there was spend inside MC’s head but eh.

    Reply
    1. Naota

      As you stated, of course not. But I’m interested in how they’ll fix this. Maybe the magic of the third button will kick in. Or all of that was just Kana’s vision. Which would be kind of stupid, considering half of the time there was spend inside MC’s head but eh.

      It’s… worse than that. There’s actually a perfectly logical reason for Neko surviving what seems to be her clear and obvious death (which really did happen), but it relies on information which the characters already know by now, but that is deliberately withheld from the audience. In other words, they’ve made a bewildering asspull out of something that didn’t actually need to be one. The twist stands on its own just fine… and if it doesn’t then write a better twist!

      This is like a classic mansion murder mystery where you’re introduced to the seven guests and given all the little whodunit facts, but at the very end… surprise! The culprit was Eugene the butler, who was never mentioned or seen on screen before just now! The characters had been interacting with all this time – just between cuts! It still counts because he’s not a guest, and we only said there were seven guests trapped on the island!

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      Legit too. I’d rather accuse this of tonal discrepancies than Kana getting her priorities wrong since hey, it’s not like she can do anything about it.

      Who said I was accusing Kana of anything?

      Reply
  5. Boytitan

    He literally has a photographic memory but still the story never explains how so I just can’t believe a regular human has a photographic memory and can never forgot anything to the extent he has.

    Reply
    1. kaoknight

      photographic memory is real and there’s also that woman in real life(Jill Price) who literally cannot forget anything, but either way the plot convenience seems super contrived…

      Reply
  6. Nick

    He’s meant to be a smart guy, they did exposit that he scored the highest in their class.

    The dumb thing is why hacker witch was also running out. She takes payment in pills from the other escapees. So why is she running out as well? Is she chugging them like candy?

    Reply
    1. Naota

      More likely the escaped refugees just don’t have a particularly immediate need for a computer expert. While she does get paid in these pills for her work, that requires the other girls to literally sell days of their lives for it. It’s not too hard to imagine that they’d only part with them if the alternative was dying even sooner due to being caught.

      There are a few contenders for “dumbest thing in this episode”, but I’m going to have to go with Ryouta spending so long telling the audience things they already knew that he apparently missed his chance to do any life-saving. It doesn’t actually matter if Neko survives – he still only wound up in this situation because he was too busy… hamming it up for an entire minute rather than making any use of the metal spike he was packing?

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      He’s meant to be a smart guy, they did exposit that he scored the highest in their class.

      There’s a difference between intelligence and knowing absolutely obscure bullshit like how to interpret medicine’s identification codes. Some other commenter has already explained it to me that he used to read this sort of shit for his sick mom. Fine, that’s reasonable. In the manga. Since no such explanation was offered to us in the adaptation, I have no choice but to call it retarded in the adaptation.

      Reply
    1. Naota

      Whoops. that was meant to quote:

      Welp, even witches are ranked. And Saori is AA, just one step below the highest! I’m surprised the highest rank isn’t ‘S’ though.

      Reply
    1. The Real Sugoi Sugoi

      I knew it was going to be melodramatic the moment I saw that very long, awkward close-up shot in the OP sequence of the main character just crying. Good grief, that shot really overstayed its welcome. It was so emo (to use jargon from the mid-2000s) that I was waiting for him to begin cutting himself.

      Reply

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