Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 7: Fragments of Hope

Review:

If you don’t enjoy your plot-centric details being given over scenes of fanservice, then you’re not going to enjoy a good chunk of this episode. Of course, it all starts out where the previous episode left off: Ryota talking with his scientist friend about producing the pills. That’s all fine and dandy: I think we all probably figured that’s where this was going. The episode also starts to hint (probably not so subtly) that Kazumi has a thing for Ryota. So the harem trope has been activated… At first it really is kind of a light episode, other than the tension of whether or not the pills can be reproduced. We find out that Kazumi only talks to Ryota out of all the boys at school, Kuroha gets invited to karaoke, and Ryota goes to his part time job as a tutor. The part that gets bothersome is when Ryota comes to the observatory, and all of the girls are in their bathing suits because it’s hot. Alright, I guess that’s something of a legitimate reason, though I could deal without the temptation, but the inappropriate camera angles that are occasionally used throughout this portion of the episode definitely didn’t need to be there. Let’s face it: the very inclusion of the girls in their bathing suits is little more than fanservice, and on top of that the episode carries on with the girls in this state of dress. During all of this, we are given plot relevant information, so simply skipping the section isn’t much of an option (not to mention you’d be skipping a decent chunk of the episode).

Once we get past this section, we get to a portion with Kazumi and Ryota in Akihabara. Yeah, Kazumi’s thing for Ryota is pretty obvious at this point. Of course, it wouldn’t be a scene  with the two of them together without them throwing the word “virgin” at each other, as if it’s a bad thing for high school kids to be virgins. Outside of that, this section is kind of cute, I guess. It seems that Kazumi has wanted to come to Akihabara, so she now has her opportunity to do so (including a visit to a maid café). Much like the end of most of the episodes, this one also leaves us hanging a bit. No one’s life is left hanging in the balance, but some information is revealed that we will have to wait for the next episode to follow up on.

 A Christian Perspective:

Really, it’s all in the review. I like the plot of this show. I like the characters of this show. The fanservice, on the other hand, I don’t like. I’m at odds with myself at how much I should be okay with in terms of fanservice. While much of the “harder” fanservice is censored (at least in this tv version—and I won’t be buying any DVD releases), there’s still the inappropriate camera angles. Granted, I don’t feel like my mind is being lead down wrong paths, but given that I’ve gotten so strict with myself at times to the point that I’ve considered so much as noticing a girl’s cleavage to be sin (and I work at a college, so we get a lot of female students who come in), it becomes hard to draw a reasonable line. And I mean I’ve literally looked around the room, noticed a girl wearing a low cut shirt, quickly looked away and asked for forgiveness, despite the fact that I did nothing with what I saw. I noticed, and I reacted by looking away, yet somehow in my mind I worried about what if simply setting my eyes on the sight was sin.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h**l”, 1 “j**z”

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: A close up of Kazumi’s butt in a bikini bottom, followed by a full shot of Kazumi in her bathing suit–throughout this segment are other close up shots of Kazumi’s butt, Kazumi pulling up her top while commenting she’s not wearing a bra (although I don’t think anything was actually shown), Kuroha and Kotori in bathing suits (including cleavage revealing shots), at least one close up of Kotori’s cleavage, and at least one shot from behind Kotori and Kuroha (butt close ups, in other words)–unfortunately, there’s plot relevant material thrown in to this section 10:27 – 12:42; Another scene where Kotori is shown in her bathing suit 12:56 – 13:07; another scene where the three girls are seen in their bathing suits (there is a close up of Kotori’s lap, and at least one fairly close shot of her cleavage)–I should note that this isn’t a constant barrage of girls in bathing suits, though–there’s a flashback and shifting angles that sometimes only include faces or none of the girls, but this whole section at least contains scenes with them in their bathing suits 14:08 – 17:30; virgin comments exchanged between Ryota and Kazami

Violence: A character is hit in the head with a school bag; Kuroha knocks a character to the ground with her powers; a character is hit (kicked?) in the face

Blood/Gore: A character is shown lying in a pool of blood (and covered in blood); a flashback shows a character with blood running down her face

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