Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr 5+6

@#%$ the pain away.


We’re starting a new theme today when discussing Brynhildr. Because even lumping the episodes together like this, my wordcount was woefully small. You know how there’s just too many easy shots to compare this show to Elfen Lied? We’re taking that a step further.

Episode 5 begins where we left off, with Kotori making rounds as the new girl. And lots of boobies jokes.

Is it possible for a character with a large chest to ARRIVE without someone commenting on it? I’m not saying it would never come up, but does it have to be the first impression every single time? Damn, what show didn’t go for those gags right away….Right! Elfen Lied. They went for the limb chopping.

So, now that we’ve got, well, an actual astronomy club, it’s time for a field trip! They’ll be observing some stars. Yay! …Are you buying my enthusiasm?

Along the way, Kuroha makes some observations about constellations and such similar to Kuroneko did years ago.  Look, guys, you already told us.  Really in the most unnecessary way. Just the information that Kuroha loses memories was enough of a warning light.  But now you’ve done the moles, the mirror dialogue, it’s too much.  Will Ryota learn?!?! Oh course he will. Of course.

Elfen Lied tried a similar trick with its foreshadowing.  We knew from very early on that Lucy knew Kouta.  But we hadn’t an idea why.  Then it became tied to whenever he thought of his dead family.  Oh shit.   We had that figured out pretty well.   But you know what made the actual on-screen revelation really stick? The part we had no indication of.  That it was, arguably, because of the way Kouta lied to Lucy that sent her on a rampage. Not only had he blocked the memory, he’d done it to block the GUILT.

But the mystery element here? We already know the answer.  Stahp. Stahp with this already.

Well it comes out really quick that Kotori is a witch.  And cue vision! She will kill Kuroha! DUN DUN DUNNNNN!

So we test Kotori’s powers.  She can swap places with another person. But she uses it once and she burns out.  Well they can just let down their guard now.

A cute bit, the girls latch onto the star gazing. I liked that.  And as people who grew up indoors, it’s kind of fitting that star-gazing would be amazing despite their expectations.

There’s more talking about if they can trust Kotori, but soon they’re called by another witch, Shino. She’s being hunted by a AA+ and in dire straits.

We find out that the witch after Shino is someone named Kikako. She can scream-cannon.  Or, ghostly wail, if you will.

Yeah, Shino’s dead.  Kuroha and Ryota are about to run, when in wanders Kotori yelling at the top of her lungs.  I almost thought that this boneheaded behavior was supposed to be some sort of trap. Nope. Turns out she’s the shortest of the short bus. Because not only does she draw so much attention to herself when the team is here trying to save someone from a super-witch, but ALSO! Her plan to save Neko’s life is to swap places with her during her fight with Kikako.  How will she do this?  By tying her hands to a lamp post so she can’t interfere with the transfer.  Yeah.

I’m loathe to make another short bus joke but we never saw the vehicle the witches were being transported in when they escaped, did we?

This is the most contrived drama we’ve had yet.  Well you know how it ends, don’t you?  She swaps with Kikako so Ryota can push her harnest off. Glad we spent so much time on this.

Narratively, what did this point serve? Nothin. We learned to trust Kotori, okay and that’s good.  But we could have done that anywhere.

Kotori runs away because she’s out of pills. Well naturally we have to save her now.

Random Idea 1: We encounter Kotori while in school, and she’s actually a threatening witch.  She has no real beef with our heroes, but neither do we really trust her.  In fact, set her up as a conflict. She tries to infiltrate the group to steal their pills.  Or perhaps she’s been an agent of sorts, turning in other rogue witches for death pills, but this time it bumbles and the girls overcome the assassin witch.  They chase after Kotori to find her running out of time and the choice to save her is a conscious one despite the fact she is their enemy.  Because in the end witches only have each other.

I’m of the opinion that the death pills exist to make the characters bloody without it being threatening.  Do you know why Elfen Lied’s blood is so well remembered? In part because of the era, but in part because of WHO was doing it.  Lucy was our viewpoint character, our protagonist. The fact we were a bit ambivalent about whether or not she was who we were rooting for made the gore that much more disturbing (or comically hilarious, depending on your sense of the macabre).   It was the object it was being directed from, not the actual blood itself.

Here? Blood is edgy. Because it’s blood.

And end on a nice bonding cookout.

…I’m offended that all the girls know how to cook. They’ve been living in a LAB, like rats, as we’re taken to understand.  You really think they’ve been doing their own cooking?  No one thought this through, did they? But why am I surprised.

Ryota has a secret. He knows a gay a friend who is a scientist who can help them with the pill problem.  Wow, why didn’t we try this before? He’s full of himself, and it’s honestly? Rather refreshing. Too often scientists are either just mad scientist types who will prove the power of science, or do-gooders who go into the field because someone pressured them like a father.  Some people just go into careers because they WANT to and seeing his personality type here is a refresher, even if it’s mostly to make the yaoi jokes all the more awkward.  He’s kind of a dick, but I like him on the whole.  And he agrees to help after Kuroha demonstrates some of her powers.  Oh boy!


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