Brynhildr in the Darkness Ep. 9: Life-changing cheesecake

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At one point in the episode, Nanami shows off her breasts for a whopping 1,000 yen. I had to sit there and listen as the guy compliments the witch on her beautiful gradation. Gradation of what, you ask? Oh, I’m sure you can use your imagination. Afterwards, she shows off her armpits for another 1,000 yen. The witch is certainly living the high life. Well, someone has to. I sure as hell am not. For an episode with this much exhibition — Ryota even walks in on his harem of witches bathing each other in the hot springs — it is also incredibly boring. It’s the same old story with every witch. Nanami has spent most of her life in captivity, so she is curious about the outside world. When she finally gets a taste of cheesecake — yes, cheesecake is the magical key — she no longer wants to return to the lab. Ryota and company thus try to recruit Nanami to their side, but the girl is distrustful. After all, she’s never had friends! Until, of course, she takes a glimpse into Ryota’s memories and realizes that Ryota’s harem totally wants to be befriend her. Wow, tomodachis? For me? Aw, you shouldn’t have! But yeah, it’s a pretty goddamn mundane story made even worse by the fact that we’ve seen this plot before in this very same anime.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention the memory-manipulating powers. Yeah, Nanami can scan a person’s memories, which, as I’ve mentioned already, she uses on Ryota to determine whether or not the guy is sincere. Not only that, she can implant false memories. Nanami uses this a few times throughout the episode to her advantage. Hell, she even uses it on Kuroha to get the girl to turn on her friends. Finally, Nanami can also erases parts of people’s memories. As implausible as this might sound, she can apparently make anyone think that they’re a child again. But hey, this is a stupid show about teleporting witches, so anything goes. Ah, but y’see, Ryota has photographic memories. Uh-huh, you didn’t forget about that, did you? Therefore, he’s impervious to her feminine wiles magic. Not only that, he’s totally smart, guys. With his awesome perceptive powers, Ryota manages to impress even Nanami. As a result, I’m sure she’s just longing to be a part of his harem. After all, she keeps whining about how that one guy from the lab can so easily forget everything about her. Well, if all you want is a guy to remember you, then let me show you this bland harem lead! Look at him! Look at his awesome powers of recall! Does it not make your thighs quiver?!

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If the show’s serious, then it makes for a really lame drama. Between the power of friendships and the girls striving to experience a shining school life, there’s nothing remotely compelling here. On the other hand, if Brynhildr in the Darkness‘ entire point is that similar-minded anime are stupid, and therefore, these girls are stupid, then that’s even worse. Why? Well, there’s just something very sad and misanthropic in its “Oh, look how dumb these girls are!” angle. After all, haven’t you noticed that the girls are the only ones who are stupid? Haven’t you noticed that most of the time, we’re only laughing at the girls? Throughout the past nine episodes, Ryota has remain relatively unscathed. He’ll say something odd once in a while, but nothing on the same level as any of the witches. Hell, he practically has to keep the witches from accidentally killing themselves. So anyway, if this show is meant to be a parody, it has a peculiar refusal to mock the bland harem lead. The implications here are apparent enough that I’ll let you guys come to your own conclusions.

The rest of the episode is pretty damn uninteresting, so I’ll just quickly jump to the next section of the post, which would be the…

Stray observations:

— I don’t know what to call the guy who accompanies Nanami in this week’s episode. I just know he’s one of the bad guys. Has the anime ever given us his name? Anyway, he sure does screw up a lot for an underling. I get the feeling he’s going to die at some point because of it. Just how many times can the evil laboratory send out witches with increasing rank only for them to fail?

— Did this scene really make any of you guys laugh? It was just kind of cringeworthy.

— If she can erase everyone’s memories, what’s the big deal if Nanami keeps raising her skirt in public? If they call the police, just erase their memories as well.

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— Ryota pretending to cry like a baby is definitely not something I ever want to hear again.

— When Nanami reads Ryota’s memories, she immediately says out loud that she’s found the witches. Who is she even talking to? It doesn’t seem as though she’s alerted the bad guys. Or does the girl just like to talk to herself? If that’s the case, boy, that sure is convenient. Oh look, Ryota overheard the girl and now he knows his harem is in deep trouble.

— Is Ryota really that perceptive? Or did he just draw some pretty obvious connections? He’s not too smart this week, however, as he willingly allows Nanami to gaze into his eyes. Why would you trust someone you’ve only met? To top it all off, Kuroha does the same shit later, which nearly gets her friends killed. Bravo, guys, bravo.

— Immediately after a “tense” scene between Ryota and Nanami, the anime cuts to Kazumi rubbing Kotori’s chest. Parody or not, the girls are the butt of the jokes either way.

— You could say the bad guys are stupid too since they can’t seem to locate Ryota and his harem, but it doesn’t seem like they have any sense of urgency.

— I’m sure I could dig up more observations, but I feel like I’ve written enough about this episode already.


15 Replies to “Brynhildr in the Darkness Ep. 9: Life-changing cheesecake”

  1. I find that this show is not only hard to take seriously but it’s super easy to predict what’s going to happen next.

    I’m guessing since there’s some kinda arbitrary limit(of 4) to our lead’s harem, nanami will eventually suffer the same fate as every other witch that was sent from the lab no matter how much the show tries to falsely build it up/tease that she’ll join the cast.

    1. That prediction is correct; Nanami doesn’t become a part of the harem, but she *does* manage to stick around in a way I thought was pretty contrived. You’ll probably see it in the next episode.

      At this point, Brynhildr has become my (extremely) guilty pleasure–I think I’m fascinated by how it manages to plumb the depths of otaku pandering while still trying to sell itself as having an intelligent premise (there’s science involved!!!). So I’m going to keep watching/reading, and deny, deny, deny if anyone catches me. :P

      1. yeah, I’ve already dropped most of the shows of this season.

        During every second of each new episode I keep telling myself how ridiculous this show is but I also watch it as a guilty pleasure as well.

        At first I was expecting a very dark and serious show but then all of a sudden we got a childhood friend with amnesia(how original), some tsundere loli, a flat chested girl who’s trying too hard to get laid and some airhead whose only character trait is that she has big boobs.

        The story wants us to think that the main character is some kinda genius because he’s the only one that has common sense in his dumb harem with equally dumb villains.

        1. It gets funnier, because in the latest chapters of the manga, you have Ryota straight-up (and repeatedly) telling the witches that they’d be dead if it wasn’t for him. Which is true, because, like you said, their combined intelligence really isn’t worth that much in the grand scheme of things, and it makes Ryota look like a prodigy in comparison.

  2. Spring 2014 is plagued with shows taking themselves too seriously for their own good:
    (non exhaustive)
    Brynhildr : harem + stupid fanservice (“boob fees” seriously?)
    Mahouka : incest + surrogate awesome MC + Japan DA BEST + you are a misunderstood special snowflake.
    Ngnl : incest+ loli + surrogate awesome MC + pet princess + you are a misunderstood special snowflake.
    Black bullet : loli harem

    The sole purpose of their “seriousness” being able to justify the “otaku pandering” I listed above.
    If you dare point out a single flaw about these anime, certain fans go like this :
    Brynhildr : “You can’t complain about ____ because the show is so dark, gory and with an amazing plot!”
    Mahouka : “You can’t complain about ____ because you’re probably jealous of Tatsuya and the show is so clever full of tought provoking dialogues!”
    Ngnl : “You can’t complain about ____ because the plot is so deep and intelligent and Skyrim in my knee GOT iT lol?!” (btw I love Skyrim, just an example)
    Black bullet : “You can’t complain about ____ because Enju is so mature! and she is so cursed too! the setting is so post apocalyptic, lol so gritty!!”

    Yeah, I’m a tad salty.

  3. I think I can finally buy people’s theory that the author is doing this on purpose.
    There is no way someone can write such a stupid story without realizing it.
    However, as a purposely made stupid’s story, the plot is reused too many times…

    1. This reminds me of those typical saturday morning cartoons I watched as a kid where the generic evil villain would say something to his henchmen like “You failed me for the last time” before killing them off, then picking a new stronger henchmen in ascending order to finish the job only to rinse and repeat until the hero eventually got to them

  4. L-Laugh at the MC?! Are you nuts?! He’s gotta be awesome, handsome, smart & appeal to all the guys that watch this! Girls can be dumb, because they got a perfect guy to protect them from themselves.

    (I don’t think that denigrating and making fun of all the girls as ‘sexy but dumb’ counts as parody. It’s just misogynist.)

    1. I don’t think that denigrating and making fun of all the girls as ‘sexy but dumb’ counts as parody. It’s just misogynist.

      It might have a case if it was equal opportunity hate. Alas…

  5. The problem with Brynhildr is that it lacks consistency and flip flops between drama and comedy too much, with a bit too much predictability. I’m more than a bit sad, since it was made by the guy who made Elfen Lied, which truly was a more deep and consistent story with a hard dramatic feel to it. While I know they are two different stories, his previous work proved he was capable of writing a relatively good work. And Brynhildr’s potential was great, but is very lacking. I’m reading the manga and while things have gotten more serious (and the characterization seems to be getting a bit stronger), I still feel that it is lacking in some ways more than it should.

    On the other hand, props for the creator to have Ryouta run to a onsen with all the girls without getting slapped by everyone but the paralyzed seer. As a MC, he’s at least infinitely more capable of holding his ground than other males in a harem.

  6. Brynhildr has literally become a ‘god this is such a fascinating and hilarious trainwreck’ kind of thing for me, to the point I actually kind of look forward to each episode just so I can laugh at how completely shit it is.

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