This is it. This is the final Byrnhildr in the Darkness episode. Let us see this anime off properly.
— So first things first, the Hexenjagd fellas have given up hope and are just content to sit there and pray to God. Meanwhile, Neko and Kazumi knock Ryota out with a big, brown stick they’ve managed to find on the ground, I guess. They don’t want the bland harem lead to risk his life here even though he’s been risking his life all series long for his girls. But when the entire world’s at stake, THIS IS WHERE I DRAW THE LINE, HAREM LEAD. THIS IS WHERE! Plus, we all know Kazumi and Neko are just Dumb and Dumber, so this doesn’t sound like a hot idea any way you look at it.
— So according to Chisato, this stupid Ain Soph Aur thing has the ability to reset all life on this planet, and as a result, whoever came up with this mechanism must be the planet’s true god. I’m sure there’s more to the concept of god than this, but whatever, let’s just grant it for the sake of the argument. Plus, it gets even nuttier: the idiots in the Vingulf organization want to recreate these extraterrestrials so they can, uh, become the planet’s true rulers. Why exactly do we want to be ruled by these assholes? Why do we even want to be ruled at all? Oh well… Chisato makes the idea sound cool for a brief moment: “In other words, rejecting the God we’ve worshipped up to now: killing God.” But think about it practically for a moment. We’re going to recreate an alien race that we don’t understand psychologically, and this alien race has the ability to wipe us out. Why are we doing this? Hurr, because they are the true rulers of the planet! All of these smart scientists gathered around a bunch of alien ruins a hundred years ago and came up with this brilliant plan. Or rather, some shitty writer thinks a bunch of intelligent scientists would gather around a bunch of alien ruins and come with this shitty plan, thereby insulting the intelligence of scientists everywhere. Yeah, I think the latter makes more sense.
— Kotori intends to eject herself to protect all of humanity. That’s nice… just do it, then. No, really, just do it.
But nope, Kotori keeps talking and talking and talking. Y’see, she has to explain to the bad guys — and therefore, the audience — what she plans to do and what she hopes to accomplish in doing so: “If I melt to death, both the light and the sky and the drasil should disappear.” Naw, the bad guys don’t know that already! That’s why it has to be explained to them! And it’s not like time is of the essence or anything.
— Chisato insults the girl for sacrificing her own life for the sake of humanity. Uh, she’s going to die either way. She may as well pick and choose how her death affects the world. Sounds like you’re the fool…
— Motherfucker, Kotori is still talking: “Is it so strange to do something for someone else?” Who the fuck cares what Chisato thinks?
— Finally, she presses the button to eject herself. See ya, Kotori. You offered nothing to this anime but extra ditziness on top of Neko’s utter stupidity. And oh yeah, how can we forget her large boobs? Without them, whose boobs would the other girls molest instead? Whose?!
— But really, Kotori’s dead so this upcoming battle between the rest of the witches and Valkyria seems kind of… pointless. In the short term, the fate of the world is no longer at stake. We’re just going to fight Valkyria because the anime needs a final boss fight, I guess.
— Oh wait, Kotori can’t go yet until the harem lead offically sees her off. Ryota finally wakes up from his little nap and makes his way to the enemy base. There, he finds Kotori still alive, but barely holding on by a thread.
Au contraire, Ryota-kun. There is always time to teehee. But good, now that Ryota’s here, we can have a shitty montage about all the fun times they’ve shared. Like stargazing and going to the beach. I JUST WANT TO BE A NORMAL GIRL, AND I GOT TO BE ONE, YAY!
Anime has constantly exoticized the shoujo for decades, using the female gender as nothing more than a tool to make our mundane world seem more exciting. Look at me, I’m the bland shounen who is average in every fucking way. Won’t a magical girl thus fall into my lap and turn my world upside down? It’ll make up for both our lack of distinct personalities. Once it has become so ingrained in our heads, however, that shoujos are automatically magical — that they serve as nothing more than a catalyst for the shounen’s heroic journey — people now suddenly think it’s subversion to turn around and ask, “Gosh, what if magical girls just want to be… themselves and not magical?” Man, here’s an idea: don’t make them magical.
Just imagine if there was a show in which the asshole harem lead kept expecting his female classmates to be witches and shit, but it turns out he’s just a delusional loser who expects girls to complete his boring, mundane life. Girls are not concepts. They have their own fucked up problems. Too bad we’re often too busy assigning them ours to see them as anything more than mahou shoujos, which is, more or less, a concept. Then when a mediocre show about a normal girl comes along — like maybe she’s just an aspiring fashion designer — it is so shocking to everyone that they cream their pants and immediately crown it the best anime of the year. It happens all the time, and god, it is so sad to see.
— Anyway, Kotori is aware that she’s Chisato’s imouto, but she just hid it from him. ‘Cause he’s a lunatic. She nevertheless has one last request, and that is for Ryota to tell her brother not to hurt anyone else. Somehow, I don’t think a lunatic is going to give up his life mission just like that…
— Out of nowhere, we see a scene in which Kogoro has accomplished a breakthrough in replicating the pills that the witches need. I’m not sure why this scene is placed here in the middle of everything. It adds nothing to the current situation, and as a result, you could just stick it at the end as an aside without interrupting the pacing.
— Next up, Ryota holds Kazumi’s severed body in his arms. So is this going to be a Dead Witches Tour or what? One tearful conversation after the other with my poor, dying mahou shoujos! Boy, they certainly do add that special touch of tragedy to my journey! If… if only they got to be normal girls…
— So in her last moments — after Ryota has departed the scene, of course — Kazumi goes on and on about how she wanted to have his babies, how she’s going to die a virgin, and how she at least got to fall in love. Yay, everything is about her sexuality or the main character! She epitomizes the concept of the average shoujo in any given anime series. She exists within the story only for the sexual organs she possesses, and how she might affect the hero’s life, positively or negatively. We reduce these girls down to a concept, then we have them beg to become normal. It’s almost cruel when you put it that way.
— Now, at the very last minute, we get Valkyria’s backstory. I just don’t care.
— If Valkyria’s not going to kill Neko, Chisato will just have to do it himse-… FLYING SHOUNEN KICK:
— Oh man, the bland harem lead will never forgive the lunatic bad guy. Whatever will the lunatic bad guy do! Oh right…
— Our hero tells Chisato all about Kotori’s last words, but as predicted, he’s a bad guy so why would he stop now? He could just redo his experiments. Way to think things through, guys.
— Valkyria finally lifts her finger in the bland harem lead’s direction, but even though she can conjure up antimatter and just antimatter from nowhere — conservation of mass be damned — she’ll just shock our hero instead. As always, everyone else dies instantly, but the main character gets to bide his time with a long, painful death. In reality, the animators merely shake Ryota’s cel really furiously. Quality animation.
— What do you do when the final boss is immeasurably stronger than you?! You literally press the plot button and become magically stronger than her! Even so, the harem lead doth protest: “No, Kuroha. Don’t do it!” Yes, don’t try and save our lives! Don’t try and stop the evil witch and her keeper from possibly endangering other lives as well! ‘Cause you might melt or something, and even though you’re going to die anyway if you don’t do anything because Chisato was going to eject you just moments ago, gosh, you might melt. Wait, isn’t Ryota supposed to be the smart one of the group?
— So Kana shows up just in time. Remember? We learned a long time ago that she wasn’t permanently paralyzed. Apparently, she has to trade in her mobility in order to keep using her crappy foresight ability. Still, mobile or not, I’m amazed she got here in such a short time. Didn’t the good guys have to come here by helicopter? I guess she alternates between being the Flash and a crappy psychic.
— And now we get Kana’s backstory. Fuck man, it’s too late. I don’t care anymore. Let’s pad this shit with needless flashbacks so we can extend the story and sell more of it. Except, however, this is an adaptation with a set amount of episodes allotted to it, so it just feels like the show is wasting precious time.
— And of course, Kana has to explain to us what she’s done. ‘Cause, y’know, we can’t figure it out for ourselves.
— Even in this desperate moment, Ryota insists, “Don’t do it, Kuroha!” What an asshole. Or an idiot. Or both.
— Finally, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: SSJ Neko. Not only that, her memories have returned. Yay, let’s have this conversation now while the bad guys look on! But hey, we did the same thing last episode, so why wouldn’t we do it again? Shitty stories never change.
— Ryota: “There’s… so much I want to say to you…” Sure, why don’t we hash it out here right now! Therefore, more flashbacks!
— In the end, this is what the final boss fight amounts to:
No wonder they had to pad this shit out with boring flashbacks, because the actual fight itself is even more boring. We’ve gone from wacky witches shooting lasers out of their mouths to two girls just shooting beams at light at each other. I guess writing the dialogue for all of these tearful exchanges in the final episode sapped the author of his creative juices.
— The Hexenjagd jerks finally show up fashionably late in order to rain bullets onto Valkyria, but then Chisato jumps in front of her. Awwww! He does care! Hey look, Valkyria is now busy having her tearful exchange with Chisato. Boy, it’d be a shame if someone suddenly decided to shoot the distracted girl, huh? But nah, we’re just gonna sit here and watch as she recovers, flies herself into the air, and swears to the destroy the whole world.
— Finally, Valkyria pulls out her antimatter ability out of her bag of tricks, but it’s okay, because Neko can destroy it! Well, y’know, the antimatter should be currently reacting to the regular matter all around it and thus destroy itself, but this is anime, blah blah blah… Alright, so how’s Neko going to save the day?
— But before we save the day, Neko gives our hero a kiss and confesses that she had always planned to do that as a kid. Uh-huh, tell me more. It’s not like we have pressing matters or anything.
Wow, what a shocker!
— Neko then flies at Valkyria and then…
I don’t know… something happened. This flash of light is all we get to see though. Sure enough, a micro black hole shows up later, but we don’t even get a good look at it. Good final boss fight, guys.
— Somehow — just somehow — Neko leaves the aftermath of that giant explosion and floats back to the ground. But then the ground breaks off, echoing that fateful day from their childhood. Ryota has one more chance to correct his previous mistake and save the girl he loves! Everything comes full circle. That’s deep, Lynn Okamoto. Very deep.
— This time, Ryota manages to save Neko, but she’s lost her memories again. We’re starting back at square one. Haha, of course. Real relationships are scary. Let’s just wipe the slate clean and never be in an actual romance. And just like that, the anime is over. On the bright side, we won’t have to see these two idiots rebuild their relationship. On an even brighter side, it seems as though Kazumi is dead for go–…
Haha, nope. I’m sure Hatsuna saved her or some bullshit explanation like that. That’s why she gets to replace Kotori. After all, Kotori was never in love with the harem lead, so we sure fixed that!
— Final thoughts? F-plus. The plus is for how the anime can be so dumb, sometimes it is almost entertainingly dumb. But make no doubts about it, Brynhildr in the Darkness is an incredibly dumb story full of dumb characters, and I sure am glad I won’t have to watch another second of it.