14 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Inushinde /

Brynhildr in the Darkness Episode 1: It’s Just Balls

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Say what you will about the first episode of Brynhildr in the Darkness, but it made me go through an emotional exodus the likes of which I haven’t had in years. Or rather it was a constant stream of bemusement, before the episode finished and the preceding stream of absolute dreck caught up with me. After that, I had a laughing fit the likes of which I haven’t had in months—maybe even years. I just witnessed a show that straddled the thin line between hilariously awful and unwatchable, both because of its content and that content’s delivery. And the best part is that there’s more. A word like amazeballs, bereft of anything approaching decency, might actually be the perfect way to describe it.

It’s actually rather amusing how clearly little anybody involved cares about this thing. It’s like everybody came into work hungover on the first day, and immediately decided to wrap things up before lines could be rehearsed. The characters spout their every thought with the grace and subtlety of first year drama students after a discount lobotomy, trying to express everything from grief to shock to glee with a pronounced lack of enthusiasm. The stiff, clinical way with which important information is delivered (“A transfer student? That’s rare! Our entrance exam is notably difficult for transfers.”) makes every scene a contest to see who can knock off work faster, with the least amount of effort put in. Fittingly, the episode’s idea of setting an ominous tone is zooming in slowly on a character looking really really bored.

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The most notable performance is that of protagonist Murakami, whose every train of thought and line of dialogue wraps back to “I knew a girl who I nicknamed Kuroneko. I named her Kuroneko. Did I mention that I only knew her as Kuroneko? This girl kind of looks like Kuroneko so I’m going to monologue about Kuroneko some more.” He refuses to talk about anything but Kuroneko in what was probably supposed to be a nuanced look into his obsessive, grief-stricken mindset, but instead ends up as padding for the otherwise anemic introduction that does little to endear him, or make him come across as a person suffering from personal demons.

The writing of Grymdarkr is full of almost prodigiously idiocy. The highlight is the gem of a pool scene, where a girl almost drowns because she gets her knee caught in pool suction, while Totally-Not-Kuroneko monologues that she knew this would happen. It isn’t just a thought, she actually mumbles that she predicted somebody would probably die in a pool suction-related accident. The scene comes and goes without explanation, fulfilling the arbitrary “two students are going to die” quota. It’s not known if the pool suction was in on a plan to murder an unsuspecting student, or if Not-Kuroneko’s clairvoyance just predicts potentially fatal situations in general, and a terrible job is done of making it a mystery that I fervently desire to be solved. There’s just no interest to be had in the actual plot when there’s no hint of an overarching threat beyond faulty pool equipment and loose soil.

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Oddly enough, the total apathy with which this is made is kind of charming. Though with that said, I’m not going to give Brynhildurr an endorsement for being the best kind of abhorrent; even people who like that kind of shit have standards, and I recognize that I might be the only one who finds it fascinating. As an introduction, it’s a poorly cobbled-together mess that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, which does little to nothing to sell itself in the first episode. So, of course, I’m going to watch every episode, because I tend to enjoy really dumb shit. Also because really terrible CG buses.

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14 Comments

  1. ANON
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Why do you always have to be a tsundere? Just tell us if you like it, nothing wrong with liking “really dumb shit”.

    • gedata
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      “because I tend to enjoy really dumb shit”

      He told us right there.

  2. Alt Eisen
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Yeah man, but I´d totally teach that Kuroneko math using the numbers of my ruler … if you catch my drift. Sorry, I´ll crawl back to my cave now.

  3. Cirith
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    The one she talks with over radio is the one making predictions. But yeah it wasn’t very well made.^^
    So does anyone think she actually isn’t kuroneko?

  4. Canary Paint
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    AnimeSins #1 (yes… shameless plug for CinemaSins… Love that shit…) – Agent apparently needs to be undercover enough to wear a schoolgirl outfit but not enough to learn anything about being a schoolgirl and not enough to not admit seeing the future to what should be only some kid to her.

    AnimeSins #2 – No lap dance in the observatory scene with Bland Celestial Star Gazer and I-cant-believe-its-not-Kuroneko.

    AnimeSins #3 – Bland Celestial Star Gazer’s back is not snapped by being slammed into a guardrail by a shit ton of dirt, which would have been better cuz she could have put what will probably be some dumb legacy alien power into him to save his life and make him into a sometimes crazed anti-hero as he enters into the primal struggle between bland and weirded out psychic slayer.

    Seriously though… Watched this out of a sort of nostalgic “Elfen Lied popped my anime cherry while I sat there thinking what has the world come to… Fucking Japanese.” And maybe… Just maybe… They knew they had to stay as far away as possible from the 30 not just dead but dismembered people opening scene of Elfen Lied. So far away from it that you could write a book called “Zen in The Art of Blandness” afterwards…

    Probably watch another episode ;-p

    • Cirith
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      To one, it is a big spoiler but I will tell you anyway: She isn’t very smart.^^

  5. Canary Paint
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    How could I leave out:

    AnimeSins #4 – amazeballs

  6. Shadow
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Comparing the manga and the anime, the production for the first episode was badly made. I also think the voice actors they chose are not the best choices. After all some animes, despite how bad they are they can become watchable if the voice actors convey the emotions properly. But hopefully they will step up their game.

    But then again, the first chapters of the manga also give me weird feeling as well. They weren’t good, we’re cliche and predictable until the first WTF moment happened. After that it becomes better. But i don’t know how the studio will be able to pull the school comedy to dark mystery properly.

  7. Baphomet
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Or rather it was a constant stream of bemusement, before the episode finished and the preceding stream of absolute dreck caught up with me. After that, I had a laughing fit the likes of which I haven’t had in months

    This is what happened to me when I was reading the SAO LN. Only that my laughing fit already started at the first third of vol. 1.

  8. zztop
    Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Brynhildr’s manga is written by Okamoto Lynn, who also did the very violent Elfen Lied. Just so everyone knows.

    • gedata
      Posted April 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      And this is by the same dudes who made the anime version of it I believe

  9. Jaysus
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I forgot that I read (and dropped) the manga until about halfway through the episode (and dropped it again).

  10. Posted April 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink
  11. R1CK_D0M
    Posted April 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    don’t you get it? This anime is final destination the TV show. and because it’s a TV show they have no budget and therefore the writing is even more terrible than usual

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