Tag Archives: Brynhildr in the Darkness

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 8: The Clue That Was Left

Review:

Note: This will be the last episode that I will review for this series. After talking with my wife, I think it’s wise for me to walk away. She pointed out that the only positive thing I had to say about the show was its plot. This episode really takes the fanservice to the next level, too. So, while I will probably read the episode summaries on Wikipedia (assuming they’re there), I will not be actively watching it anymore.

This show. The plot is engaging, the characters are interesting, but the use of fanservice and sexuality is just absurd. Take the first half of this episode. It starts off well: Ryota is planning to locate and investigate the area revealed in the device, Neko reveals her concerns, and Kazumi even shows up to lend a hand in the search. All of this is fine and great, no problem. Then we get a roughly three minute period of useless fanservice. Oh, I’m sure someone could offer up an excuse for Kazumi’s behavior, but it would just be that: an excuse. Honestly, the actual plot relevant details of this episode were great. It was a very entertaining episode outside of Kazumi’s antics, both in this portion mentioned and later on with Kana. These incidents leave a stain on what could have been a great episode.

Case in point: when Ryota goes to investigate the site revealed in the device. The cops get involved (although why they go to arrest him for checking out a destroyed building, I don’t get), and it turns into a big blow out as the girls get involved as well. We don’t really get an explanation as to why the cops were so aggressive and quick to arrest Ryota, though. My original thought was that they were somehow affiliated with the people who created the witches, but that theory goes out the window with later developments. As usual, the show does a good job of feeding us some new stuff while still leaving us with plenty to anticipate. It’s just a shame that it has to throw so many potential stumbling blocks out along the way.

A Christian Perspective:

I can’t, in good conscience, suggest that Christian viewers even bother with 06:19 – 09:22. There is nothing edifying here, and nothing that contributes to the overall story of Brynhildr is revealed. Save yourself the potential temptation (or point of stumbling) and just skip this section. Honestly, for as much as I enjoy this show (fanservice aside), I couldn’t recommend it to Christians as a whole. If sexual sin was not an issue for you–or if you are a particularly strong Christian–then this is certainly a show that has a decent story (excluding the fanservice, of course).

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”, 1 “s**t”, 1 “h*ll”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Kazumi is shown sliding her panties off and asking Ryota if he wants to “do it” with her (note that you see nothing except her panties being slid from her thighs down–her skirt is still in place–though that doesn’t make it any less unsavory in terms of content) 06:19 – 06:34; Kazumi removes her top and her bra–she makes moves on Ryota, inviting him to massage her breasts, and at one point he knocks her down and falls on top of her (and somehow she becomes completely naked)–his knee brushes between her legs at one point (I tried to cover the screen as much as possible, but still saw some stuff–I won’t detail too much, but honestly you could probably skip this section without missing anything) (07:00 – 08:58); Kazumi stays at Ryota’s house, and appears to be sleeping in her underwear (you see her in her bra at one point) and she cuddles up to Ryota (08:58 – 09:22); Kazumi makes comments about Kana’s breasts getting bigger and then undoes her shirt–we see the sides of Kana’s breasts (exposure starts at 17:43 – 17:57 although Kana’s chest isn’t shown this entire time)

Violence: A character is punched in the face; Kuroha uses her magic to crush a car and rescue Ryota; cops fire their guns; a character is tackled and choked

Blood/Gore: None

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

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 6: The Reason for Her Smile

Review:

As you’d probably expect, we pick up right where we left off last time. Their mission failed, our heroes naturally return safely to their home without risking their lives, right? Well, if you believe that, then you need to watch more anime. A conflict was bound to happen, and though it’s not the most intense fight ever, it happens. More to the point, it sets up a series of events to bring a conclusion to Kana’s visions from the last episode as well as to explain some of Kotori’s back story. Yep, it’s sad, but we now know why Kotori was smiling in those visions.

A large portion of the episode centers around the resolution of the conflict at the waterfront and the resolution of an incident with Kotori. I won’t ruin it by saying what the incident is, but it sheds some light on her character, and ultimately brings her into the fold of characters hiding in the observatory. If you want laughter and cheer, then look elsewhere (although you should know that by now). Nevertheless, the writers did choose to break the tension (again) with fanservice, although it’s nothing as extreme as the last time. Still pointless. Still aggravating. Thankfully, it was only a minor portion of the show (just skip the 16:00 – 17:00 portion of the show… you won’t miss anything important).

The end of the episode brings things back around to plot, as Ryota exposes the fact that he has a friend who may be able to help them. Ah plot devi…. I mean, convenient friend who we never hear about until it’s convenient. Well, okay, it’s not that bad, although one does have to wonder how a high school student would acquire such a… unique acquaintance. Also, if this guy can help in the way I think he may end up helping, then it will raise the question of why Ryota didn’t go to him first instead of raiding the pill factory….

Well, all that said, this episode delivers and provides a bit of character development. If you’ve liked the show thus far, you probably won’t stop now.

A Christian Perspective:

*Spoiler Warning*

Sacrificial love is a huge theme in this episode. First, there is Kotori’s intention of sacrificing herself to save Kuroha by switching places with her. While it may be a stretch to call this an act of love (since Kotori was close to death anyway), she still could have chosen to live out the last bit of her life in peace, but chose instead to lay down her life for a friend. Later, when we find out about Kotori’s back story, we find out about her friend (Chie, I believe) who stopped taking her pills so that Kotori could have a larger supply to ultimately make it to her 16th birthday. Chie even enrolled Kotori in school so that she could live out her dream of going to school. Putting aside our own wants, needs, and desires for the sake of the same for somebody else is a part of the Christian life, and though most of us may never be in a position to live it out to this extreme, we can still put the lesson into practice in small ways every day.

*End Spoiler Warning*

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “s**t”; 2 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: There is a zoom in on Kuroha and Kotori’s chests, both of whom have wet shirts–you can see Kuroha’s bra through her shirt, and apparently Kotori isn’t wearing a bra, although this is only revealed through commentary (16:25 – 16:27); Kuroha removes her shirt, and is seen in her bra (and, thus, cleavage) 16:33 – 16:39; Kazami is shown topless, although glare censors her breasts, and she removes Kotori’s shirt, although glare also censors Kotori’s breasts (16:46 – 17:01, although angles change during this time)

Violence: A character fires several beams; a character is bound and pinned down; Kuroha makes some stuff blow up

Blood/Gore: A character is shown lying in blood; a witch pulls the hanest out of a dead witch’s neck–you can see a bit of red under the pulling skin, and there’s blood on the removed hanest; an image shows another character lying in blood; a character is shown with blood coming from her mouth; a character is shown sitting on the floor with a lot of blood on her (and in front of a bed with blood on it); another character is shown in a flashback covered with blood

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 5: Astronomical Observation

Review:

Breast jokes and anime are pretty much a staple of the genre, much like childhood friends and unrequited love. Being a staple, though, doesn’t mean it’s good or welcome, and we as Christian viewers should probably guard ourselves so that we don’t become desensitized and just write it off with a, “Well, what can you do?” attitude. Thankfully, the jokes are mainly near the beginning of the episode, and unlike the previous episode we don’t have to deal with any nudity. Hey, this one’s already better!

Okay, all snarky attitudes or whatever aside, I’d be a liar to say that I’m not enjoying Brynhildr for what it is. This time around we get to explore the character of Kotori, the new character introduced at the end of episode 4 (for those who weren’t paying attention). Of course the obvious suspicion is that Kotori is an assassin sent to kill the other witches, what with her sudden transfer into the school, interest in the astronomy club, and the cut-aways at the end of the previous episode. But are things really that obvious? Maybe not. Kotori certainly doesn’t come across as a threat when confronted with her identity as a witch, and with another AA+ witch tearing through runaways, it certainly seems like Kotori isn’t the biggest threat. Still, Kana’s vision leaves some doubts to be had, and we get to wait until next week to see the conclusion (of course).

Overall I enjoyed this episode. I’m glad that they don’t seem to be intent on making it a constant barrage of fanservice (let’s hope last week’s episode was a hiccup and not a preview of things to come), and the characters themselves are interesting enough. The fact that we’re in on Kuroha’s back story certainly leaves us anticipating when Ryota will find out, and the other characters aren’t exactly boring themselves. I’d like to stick with this one to the end, and barring a sudden detour down excessive fanservice lane, I may be able to do just that.

A Christian Perspective:

Well, I don’t think there’s anything new here content wise to discuss. Lesson wise, we should glean something from Ryota’s willingness to lay down his life for Kuroha. If I have the gist of it, he essentially has the attitude of, “She saved my life, so I’ll live for her”, or something like that. He certainly doesn’t seem to have an issue putting his life at stake if it means Kuroha can live (which is even more of a sacrifice when you consider that Kuroha is dependent on the daily pills to live). We, as Christians, should be just as devoted–if not more–to Christ. Jesus died on the cross to save us, and the only real way to respond to Him dying for us is to live for Him. Unlike Ryota’s situation, though, dying for Christ won’t be the end for us, but only the beginning. Of course, this is easier said than done. Sitting behind a keyboard discussing doctrinal truths (I think that’s the right terminology, anyway) is easy, as is intellectual faith. It’s putting those things into action that becomes a challenge, but faith must take action.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “s**t”, 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Bouncing breasts (fully clothed), boob comments, and boob poking scattered throughout 00:17 – 00:46; nipple comment at 2:25; a character licks another character’s face (4:24); more boob comments 6:09 – 6:17; bouncing breasts (clothed) 10:39

Violence: A character is kicked in the face; two characters sort of grapple with each other; a construction site is set fire; a character is hit with a table/desk; a character is blasted with magic

Blood/Gore: A small bit of blood splatters on the ground from a kick to the face; a character is shown holding his bloody nose with blood coming out from between his fingers; a character is holding a cloth with blood on it; a character is shown with blood on her back; a character is shown lying in blood twice; a character is shown carrying two bloody harnests; blood is shown coming from the character blasted with magic

Other: Of course the usual witches/magic stuff

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 4: Lost Memories

Review:

Well, this episode doesn’t waste any time picking up where the previous episode left off. In truth, seeing how the story continued was what made me want to watch this show first today. Right off the bat, we get to see why Ryota wasn’t completely devastated by the ending events of last week’s episode. Admittedly, he took a gamble, but it paid off and brought about victory for our heroes. The first portion of the show focuses on the aftermath of this, as well as the reveal of what, exactly, are in the harnests that the witches wear. Is it disturbing? Well, Ryota certainly thought so.

The show then takes a bit of a more lighthearted turn as Ryota and Kuroha return triumphantly and then go on their school trip. For all the talk about Kuroha seeing the ocean, though, it doesn’t take up much screen time. Given that most anime can kill an entire episode with a beach theme, it wouldn’t have been surprising for the beach trip to take up most of the remaining time. Sadly, a chunk of the episode was devoted to onsen fanservice. Now that I look at the time stamps below, it seems that it only took up two minutes, but it certainly felt longer since I make it a point to detail what happens, so I had to pause, type what happened, and record the time stamps. Still, in my opinion, it was a low point in the episode.

Well, gripes about the fanservice aside, the plot does continue to thicken. There is still the question about what, precisely, the thing crawling toward the harnest was, what is the scoop with the things that Kuroha gives Ryota, and what is the lab up to, to name a few. For now, I’ll keep up with Brynhildr, but if the fanservice content continues to be an issue, it may end up being dropped.

A Christian Perspective:

Well, the previous review already warned you about the blood and violence, so if you’re still here then I guess it isn’t an issue for you. This time around, though, there is a full blown fanservice section, and while a lot of the naughty bits are censored, there’s still enough to be a point of temptation. You fine people have the benefit of now having a guide with time stamps, so you can avoid it if you so choose (seriously, avoid it–there is no real purpose to this series of scenes, so save yourself the temptation and click over it). The question I have to ask myself is what toll is this taking on me? Since I type out the details of what’s going on, I don’t have the luxury of being able to look away, at least not immediately. That’s fine and all for the service I’m providing, but at some point I have to take into consideration the potential toll it will take on my own morals. While I’m not planning to drop Brynhildr at the moment, I will consider it if this continues to be a problem.

On a positive note, this episode can teach us a little something about faith. Ryota is given a bit of information about Kana in the previous information that we are privy to until this episode. Despite having no proof that what Kan said is true, Ryota presses on with his plan instead of losing hope, and is ultimately rewarded–for lack of a better term–for his faith.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h*ll”, 1 “s**t”, 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Saori’s ripped up outfit, although you don’t see any revealing parts–it’s basically like a one piece bathing suit; the camera shows the part of Kuroha’s shirt that is ripped and exposing her bra again (although she has her hand over it this time, so you don’t see as much) from 3:47 – 3:54 and 4:25 – 4:36 and 4:58 – 5:10 and 6:24 – 6:29 (it’s important to note that these scenes are from different distances, and she doesn’t always have her hand over her chest); Kazumi shows up at a mixed onsen where Ryota is–she’s shown in a towel (so there’s cleavage, but nothing else) 14:29 – 14:41; Kazumi removes her towel, and is shown from behind, sitting down (you can see her butt) 14:44 – 14:48; Kazumi is messing with Ryota using her foot, which causes him to turn around abruptly–he ends up facing her, with a full frontal camera shot, but thankfully anything inappropriate that you would see is blocked by Ryota’s head and glare 14:56 – 15:00; a different angle shows Ryota and Kazumi from the side, with Ryota staring at Kazumi’s crotch (at this point, though, you can’t see anything inappropriate on Kazumi) 15:00 – 15:03; Kazumi’s bare back is shown from a distance, but you don’t really see anything this time 15:06 – 15:08; Kazumi puts her legs over Ryota’s shoulders and pulls him back–the camera shows her side, but you can’t see any inappropriate body parts 15:09 – 15:13; Kazumi is shown naked from a front angle, but a glare obscures her breasts 15:14 – 15:24; Ryota lunges at “Kazumi”, and this time the camera shows a side shot of a breast as well as Ryota going face first into them 15:29 – 15:31; Ryota is shown on top of a female character, naked–you can see some of his butt, as well as some of the female character’s breast, which Ryota’s hand is on 15:32 – 15:37; the camera zooms in on Ryota’s hand that is groping the girl’s breast, which means a close up shot of that breast as well as the other breast 15:38 – 15:39; a female character is shown in the hot springs from a distance, naked, which allows a fogged view of the side of her breast 15:48 – 15:49; a female character stands up out of the hot spring, so you see a portion of her breasts as well as part of her butt before glare kicks in 16:01 – 16:03

Violence: A character is seemingly sliced apart; a character is impaled with a metal spike (although a black line obscures much of the actual imagery); a character is sliced apart; a character is kicked in the back of the head; a character is kicked in the face

Blood/Gore: A wall is splattered with blood; some blood is seen shooting from the wound of a stabbed character; a character coughs up blood; blood is dripping from a character’s wound and is coming from her mouth; a character is sliced apart and, well, blood; blood is seen coming from an ejected harnest, and the character proceeds to melt; some blood is seen under the melted remains of the character; two characters are shown with blood over several parts of their bodies; a couch has blood on it, and blood is pooled on the floor; a character is shown with blood on her, while sitting in a pool of blood; a character has a bloody nose and blood running from the corner of his mouth

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 3: Death Suppressants

Content Guide:

Well, we now know a little more about these witches and their situations. Not only are they lab escapees, they also rely on special pills to keep themselves alive. It’s through this plot device that we are introduced to another escapee, and that our main characters face danger for the first time. It is also a very bloody episode. As the witches approach thirty hours without a pill, their skin starts to crack and they start to bleed. Granted, the animators certainly didn’t go as graphic as they could have. We simply see the characters with blood on their skin/clothes, as opposed to detailed scenes of cracked and splitting skin. In truth, such a thing would probably be much more sickening in real life.

This episode carries with it a bit of tension. Ryota and Kuroha are in a race against time, as they have to get their hands on more pills before Kana reaches the point of death. Of course, this leads to the first fight of the series, a reveal about Kuroha, and quite a shocking ending. It wouldn’t be complete, of course, without a cliff-hanger. At this point, though, I think Brynhildr is showing it’s tone a little more, which is more to the tune of dark and violent. It’s definitely captured my attention, and I’m curious to see where it goes.

A Christian Perpective:

If you’re no fan of violence–and especially blood–then this may be a deal breaker for you. There is a lot of blood in this episode, along with some violent content. I don’t know that it could be argued that the violence is gratuitous or pointless–the conflict serves as a part of the overall plot, although we could debate endlessly about the use of so much blood. Whatever your convictions are on the issue should guide you. Given the fact that the witches bleed profusely without these pills, it’s probably safe to assume that more blood is to come. Of course, we can probably expect more fights too, as we already know that the lab isn’t trying to let them live.

As for fanservice, there is some in this episode. I suppose you could argue that at least the ripping of Kuroha’s dress leads to a plot reveal, but it still doesn’t really strike me as a necessity. Then again, I doubt I’ll ever find fanservice to be a necessity. I’ve intentionally set my mind against it. I suppose that makes me biased, but I cannot, in all honesty, see a purpose for it other than to tempt and entice. Granted, what we see in this episode is mild–you’ll see more if you pass the Victoria’s Secret in your local mall–but still… details are below.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “s**t”, 1 “dumba**”, 1 “da***t”, 1 “d**n”

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Saori’s outfit may be considered slightly fanservicey–the top is kind of like a one piece bathing suit; Part of Kuroha’s dress is cut, which reveals part of her bra (19:28 – 19:30); Saori is shown after having been attacked again, and her outfit is a bit ripped up, although the only really “fanservice” you see is what I assume to be the bottom of her butt from her outfit; Ryota finds Kuroha and notices that her shirt is torn–the camera zooms in on the exposed part of her bra (which also means you can see portions of her breasts that aren’t covered by the bra) 20:17 – 20:24 and 20:32 – 20:34 and 20:50 – 20:53; other shots of Kuroha’s ripped dress at 21:27 – 21:28 and 1:34 – 21:36

Violence: Kana has a vision that shows a character being cut in half, although the carnage is mostly censored with a big black line/bar (this scene is shown twice); two witches fight–one has the power to cut anything within a certain range, which results in her cutting a water container, Kuroha’s dress, and Kuroha’s ankle; Kuroha tries to drop something on the other witch’s head, but she cuts it into pieces; a character is seemingly cut up

Blood/Gore: A character is shown lying on the ground with blood on several parts of her body–she is shown in this state for several minutes; a small trail of blood is seen coming from the corner of another character’s mouth and her nose; Kana’s vision of a character being cut in half contains some blood (this scene is shown twice); some blood can be seen on a tissue in a character’s nose; another character is shown with blood running down several parts of her body; a third character is shown with blood running down her face; blood squirts from a character’s ankle; a flashback to a character who has a lot of blood on her; a LOT of blood is shown being splattered on the walls and floor

Other: Ryota has to pick up Kana, and she tells him not to use it as an opportunity to grope her boobs–he picks her up and asks how she can be this heavy when she doesn’t even have any

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 2: Witches

Review:

Last episode we found out that Kuroha is a scientifically engineered “witch”. This time, we find out a little more about that, such as the fact that Kuroha is on the lamb from the lab (military?) and that if she’s caught, she’s dead. The same goes for Ryota, since he is now friends with Kuroha. This episode also makes it a point to show us how these “witches” are killed. Apparently, they melt when the little things in the backs of their necks are ejected.

The episode itself has a good balance between its serious elements and its light-hearted, comedic elements. While we certainly find out that Kuroha is in danger (as well as another “witch” who is in hiding with her), that doesn’t stop the episode from having some fun at Kuroha’s expense (especially her singing, and her inability to read basic kanji) or from laying the groundwork for what will probably be a romantic subplot between Kuroha and Ryota. There are some concerns, which I will discuss in the Christian Perspective, but for now the show has given me enough reason to keep coming back, at least for the time being.

A Christian Perspective:

First off, I’ll say this: I found out that this comes from the same creator as Elfen Lied, so it probably isn’t too far off the mark to expect this to get violent. If it does, I suppose the responsible Christian thing to do is to assess whether it’s violence for the sake of violence (perhaps we could use the term “pornoviolence”, which I read on another Christian anime blog once), or whether the violence actually serves a point to the story (such as in The Pilot’s Love Song). Brynhildr already starts off better than Elfen, though, in the sense that the first half of the first episode wasn’t devoted to showing a naked female character. Of course, this episode does show some nudity, and though it isn’t sexual in nature, it still isn’t necessary (as fanservice never is). The time stamps are included if you want to skip those scenes.

The other issue Christians may find with this show is in the terminology–“witches”. This will, of course, depend upon your personal convictions when it comes to fiction, although their powers are scientifically engineered (plus, there’s another spoiler that I came across that I won’t post here).

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “h*ll”, 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Two female characters are shown bound in a military vehicle, naked–amount of nudity shown equates to one girls butt and the majority of another girl’s breasts–there’s about as much detail as you’d see on a Barbie doll (4:22 – 4:29; and again at 11:42 – 11:45, although this time you only see one girl’s butt); a female character is shown lying naked on her stomach, strapped to a table, although the glare of the light obscures what you would otherwise see (that is, her butt), from 18:17 – 18:22

Violence: None

Blood/Gore: A female witch has the thing in her neck ejected out, which results in a little blood coming out of the metal port, and which results in her seemingly melting; a character gets a nosebleed, and several drops of blood hit the ground

Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness, Episode 1: While I Wait For You

Review:

Well, I didn’t really know what to expect from this show when I read the synopsis, and after the first episode, I still don’t know exactly what to make of it. I guess I expected something dealing with aliens, so getting a show about people with knowledge about individuals who are due to die trying to prevent said deaths was definitely not on my radar. One thing that I suspected from the closing credits (and then confirmed via Wikipedia) is that this is a harem show, which I’m not particularly ecstatic about. If it doesn’t play out like a typical harem show, then great. Right now it’s something of a minor detail, with enough mystery to certainly keep it interesting.

One central question is who, exactly, Kuroha Neko is. She bears a strong resemblance to main character Ryota Murakami’s childhood friend Kuroneko, and she certainly isn’t a normal high school girl. If this goes the normal harem route, then we can expect nothing to come from the obvious romance story that can develop between Ryota and Kuroha. If not, then I’m calling these two as an eventual couple.

What else can I say? Commenting on the art style isn’t really my thing, mainly because I really don’t have the credentials to truly critique art, other than to say that the artwork looks “good”. Critiquing the plot isn’t really possible at this point, although what’s presented here has me interested enough to come back more.

A Christian Perspective:

Well, let’s start where I always start: with the fanservice. There is a bit, centered around the scene when the class is shown at the pool. Besides the obvious feature of both male and female students in their bathing suits, the camera also zooms in on Kuroha’s crotch and breasts as some male students are checking her out. We also see some cleavage. The series also looks like it will have some fighting, judging by the intro, and there is some blood featured (mainly in the intro, at least for now). There are three uses of blasphemy (at least in the Crunchyroll translation).

If you don’t like series featuring “magic”, then this might not be for you, either. A character comments that she is a “witch”, although her powers are apparently the result of surgery (she has something on the back of her neck) and drugs. Whether you consider this fantasy magic or sci-fi power, I don’t know, but if you come into this show, then come into it knowing this in case this type of content is an issue for you.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “j**z”, 1 “Oh G**”; 1 “s**t”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: The boys and girls are shown in their school swimsuits; the camera zooms in on Kuroha’s crotch and breasts (cleavage here) as some of the male students are checking her out; I think the teacher also shows some cleavage

Violence: The intro features a large explosion that throws two characters forward, and it also shows a character being attacked with what look like some kind of shots (but she is shielding against them); a character is slapped (off screen–you just hear the noise); a character is caught in an avalanche and slammed against a guardrail

Blood/Gore: Several girls are shown with blood on them in the intro; two spots of blood splatter onto a window; a woman is shown with blood running down her face

Other: A girl in the intro is shown protecting herself with some kind of forcefield, and another character seems to call out fire from nowhere–not sure if sci-fi or fantasy, but take note if you don’t like that kind of stuff; one male student makes a comment about wanting to grab Kuroha’s breasts; a girl uses some supernatural power to suspend and then split a boulder; a character states that she is a witch, although her powers come from surgery (some kind of implant) and drugs