When Ryota Murakami was small, he had a friend that he named Kuronneko. On an expedition to prove to Ryota that aliens do exist, the two of them have an accident that puts Ryota in hospital and kills Kuroneko. Carrying his guilt into adolescence, Ryota has dedicated his spare time to discovering alien origins. One day, a new student arrives at his school who looks exactly like Kuroneko. Her name, coincidentally, is Neko Kuroha.
Brynhildr shares its manga-ka with Elfin Leid (Lynn Okamoto), so it’s no wonder a lot of unusual elements are combined here to make something dark and mysterious, but at the same time including high school comedy and science fiction references.
So far in the series, we have discovered that Neko is a witch that has special powers. She and a few other witches have recently escaped from a facility where they were experimented upon, her powers being controlled by a strange valve on the back of her neck. Seemingly never to have gone to a normal school, she has advanced understanding of a wealth of scientific knowledge but can barely read or recite her multiplication tables. Now this experimental facility are seeking to retrieve Neko and the other runaway witches – to terminate them.
In a bit of a contrast to Elfin Leid, Brynhildr is quite reserved in its violence. But soon enough things began to change as the realisation of Neko’s situation really hits home to Ryota and the viewer. Things escalate quickly, so you barely have time to register this anime as a mystery/high school romance before events take a drastic, violent turn. What had the potential to be a harem anime became something completely different in the duration of one episode.
This is when I knew that I wanted to continue to watch this series. I’m only a few episodes in and already the carnage has started. Events snowballed at an alarming pace and I can only hope that this anime continues to raise its stakes (although they seem pretty high already). It would be a real shame for this series to peak early after doing so well at grabbing my attention. It has made a lot of promises with all the mysteries surrounding this facility, the witches’ origins, and let’s not forget the primary mystery: is Neko Ryota’s supposedly-dead childhood friend Kuroneko? And will she now survive long enough to discover for herself? I’m hoping that this one can deliver on all the potential it has as the story progresses.
Brynhildr in the Darkness, in my opinion, is one of the most promising series’ of the Spring season releases. I look forward to finding out what happens next.