Last week gave us something new to be interested in, but it didn’t carry over to the main plot. This week looks to be more progressive. Hopefully Brynhildr can stay focused, and not devolve into slice-of-life again. Let’s watch.
1) Moving Forward:
1.1) Alright, reason to be optimistic right off the bat. They cut out the opening and just put in the theme as background music. Hopefully that means this is a dense episode.
1.2) The threat of running out of pills is come to an end. So the remaining runtime will probably be more focused on fighting other witches from the lab. That was actually paced fairly well.
1.3) Also, the alien is back in this. So that might go somewhere. I expect it’ll be some kinda final boss material, and Kogorou’s scientific curiosity is gonna screw him over. But really, it could be anything at this point. How did Neko get that thing in the first place anyway?
1.4) Alright, so Kogorou can’t replicate the drug within. So now they try to steal more to hold out long enough for him to do it, I guess.
1.5) So there’s some connection to be made with the Germanic mythology here. I’m no expert on this stuff, so if you know more please share in the comments. Valkyrie is the name of the next witch. 2 things come to mind with this name. First, it’s meaning with regards to that witch; I doubt this is that deep, and likely is just meant to imply that she’s really powerful, and valkyrie were said to have had some choice over who lives and who dies in a battle. The second is it’s meaning to another character. Brynhildr was a valkyrie, so this new witch and Brynhildr are likely equal but opposing forces in the show. So then, who’s Brynhildr in the show? The obvious answer is Neko, but I’m not so sure about her. I think it could also be Ryouta, since he’s been the driving force for change here; he’s even been described as the girls’ hope in this very episode. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got on that, share your thoughts in the comments, please.
1.6) Never mind, there goes my theory. Thanks flashback, and now we have a prophesy to be fulfilled. Thanks, lazy writing.
2) Holding Back:
2.1) Oh good, the High School Harem stuff is still prevalent. For a minute there I was interested in these characters because they showed depth and a will to achieve something. Thank god the writers are there to remind me that I only care about them because they’re cute and undeaged, and the biggest conflict I should be concerned about is whether the boy and the girl get together. How do people defend this kind of writing in anime? It’s Michael Bay levels of characterization and romance.
2.2) And of course Ryouta has to be reduced to some male saviour fantacy. “He gives us hope!” “All the guys at school are jealous of you.” Please shut up, I’m trying to like this character.
2.3) And now Ryouta has a student who has a crush on him. It seems every 3rd episode is actually good, and then the rest is just something you have to force yourself through. Well, at least I can look forward to episode 9.
3.1) So Neko is very shy when she’s asked to hang out with the other girls. Is this character development or just inconsistent? She’s too strong a character to really get bashful like that; remember back to episode 3, when she walked into class covered in bandages and could straight-facedly pretend nothing was wrong. But this could be like One Week Friends, in that she’s more open to friendships now so she doesn’t have to be on guard all the time. I guess having hope at getting those pills would do that. She’s no longer worried that if she makes friends with someone then she’ll have to leave them days later when the pills run out, because soon they might have all the pills they could ever need. The problem is, it wasn’t the reason she was so strongly set against being Ryouta’s friend in the first place. It’s not leaving them that she’s scared of, it’s taking them with her. The other witches are still out there, and the labs still searching for the girls. So yeah, Neko acting like this doesn’t work.
Final thoughts: So this was a romance episode, and even notably good anime rarely handles romance well. What can I really say? It was dull, cluttered, poorly executed, and thankfully over. And when I say that last part, I’m not just being snarky. Brynhildr has not been an especially good anime, but I’m still here each week making my notes on it. And that’s because underneath the surface something intriguing has slowing been building up, and occasionally surfaces. It was prominent in episode 3. But has been most covered by fanservice, slice-of-life and poorly executed romance since then. At this point, I doubt the ending could be good enough to make the show really worth watching, but I’m in this deep already, and with 5 episodes left the fluff’s gotta be stripped more and more, revealing whatever it is I’m really watching this for. Until then,
Don’t Lose Your Way