Series Recap: Gokukoku no Brynhildr

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It just fucking sucks, okay? Why does it have to blow so hard? Best guess: this creative team knows what boobs are, may even have seen a few up close, but has no clue how to access them.

(I’ve just wanted to do this gag for a while, this series is the best place. Because I had to fill the episodics with material I would normally save for the recap. To see my incomplete journey, and full opinion, on Gokukoku no Brynhildr, you may go here.)

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Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr 7+8

…No, just insert your own joke. They’re all good.

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Yeah, more double features for this show. Can you blame me? It’s so boring.

One of the elements that made Elfen Lied work for me (and the twisted people like me) was Lucy’s nature as an antihero.   Not even antihero, she was an outright villain protagonist.  This helped drag the plot along because, while the situations themselves were quite average, it was basically a sequence of new opponents trying to kill her/capture her, the fact was that Lucy was a loose cannon and her reactions to these intruders was never what you’d expect.  Add in the Nyuu personality to the mix, and her behavior was downright unpredictable through the course of a fight or even a normal day in the life.

Lucy wasn’t the only one like this (though certainly the best example), many of the other characters had dimensions to them that spoke against the archetypes they filled.  They were still recognizable (Kouta as the kind-hearted harem lead, for instance) but there were always details threw wrenches into the tired storyline (Kouta, not one of the love interests, being the traumatized damsel in distress).

Kuroha, as Lucy’s counterpart in this series, does not have those shades to her.  She is quite average as the superpowered teenage girl, and quite average as the kind hearted protagonist.  There is no dynamic element to her character that could elevate the cliche plot beyond what it is. Because the story is not wowing us.  We desperately need an angle, any angle! to save it from the dustbin and it just is not happening.

So Ryota…you know I had to look up his name? That’s how average he is. Anyway, Keanu is talking to his gay his scientist friend. He needs to manufacture pills.  Sadly the process of doing so will take about six months.  The girls only have enough for one.  So he makes his top priority to check if the pill is a crystalline compound, in which case it will be much simpler to determine its components, maybe even in time for the girls.

So about seven minutes he later he calls Ryota to say that it is NOT crystalline, we just waved that in front of you so it would seem natural for Kuroha to hang out with students for no reason.  Don’t look so glum, though, Ryota, now Lore can’t use the pills to destroy the Earth, so that’s good news! Continue reading

Because it’s Relevant to Our Interests.

Consider this a plug for a guy who deserves it. If you haven’t heard of Rob A. Ranowsky, shame, shame on you.  Among other things, he does some pretty impressive anime covers.  This just appeared! And since it’s the first time he’s done a show we’re covering, I figured now’s as good a time as any to share my love of his work with you. My personal favorite is when he did the Rozen Maiden ED during the reboot.

Either way, here’s something you might enjoy. The show might be crap, but the music is good!

 

Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr 5+6

@#%$ the pain away.

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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? Continue reading

Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr 3+4

There isn’t a word in English to express the manufactured conflict this time.

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We’re off to a bad start. Kuroha walks into school all bandaged up.  Why? Well we’re supposed to get one impression, but from what we see that impression isn’t true.  Either way, Ryota is rightly concerned, so he goes to the girls’ home to find Kuroha bleeding from her…everywhere, and curled up on the floor.  She asks him to bring her to the kitchen, where she takes a pill.  She may be suffering horribly, but she can exposit that these are what I am going to call “death pills”, if they aren’t taken every day, the witch’s body breaks down.  And since we saw one melt from losing her implant, it’s a safe bet to say that’s in play here.

Kuroha laments she doesn’t have enough to get her to the ocean.  Oh, wow, how touching. Faced with imminent death, the only thing she wants is an innocent trip to the beach…

Cue Ryota, “She’s pushing herself all because I invited her to the ocean”.  Yeah, everything’s about you, asshole.

Kuroha lies down, and this is where the intro runs straight into a brick wall, as when she wakes up a couple minutes later she’s completely healed.  It took far less time for her wounds to close and wash the blood away than it would have to bandage herself up in such an attention-grabbing manner.

So the beach trip is in about a week.  This leaves Kuroha with, what, five pills?  So naturally, she has to burn the house down boiling water.  Yes, really.  So NOW it’s drama!  Because five days to live isn’t enough of a ticking clock.  And Kana’s already starting to bleed, she has HOURS TO LIVE! We must find replacements!

…Jack Bauer has more time than this. Continue reading

Double Feature: Gokukoku no Brynhildr: Episodes 1+2

 

All we need is a puppy…

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You’ll recall I dreaded this series.  I have never been a fan of “socially awkward boy and his magical female companion” series.  I could not tolerate Witchcraft Works.  People told me there was parody or subversion somewhere in there.  Well, I think I watched a different Witchcraft Works from these people because I need to break out those tiny brushes to scrape away the sediment to find it.  Going to need a Vidocq-level microscope to show it to me, I’m afraid.

“Gokukoku no Brynhildr”, or “Brunhildr in the Darkness” does give some strong indications it might be shooting for more, though.  I can’t entirely put my finger on it…but I don’t have the same sense of dread I had with the aforementioned Witchcraft or any of the other siblings in this field.

Perhaps I have become desensitized to this crap.  I am not ruling out the possibility that I have gone insane.

Or, upon further research into the show, I discovered what may be the reason.  The creator of this series (though not the script writer) is none other than Lynn Okamoto.  If that name is not familiar to you…it’s the Elfen Lied guy. Yeah. In fact this project is something of a tribute band to that work, as it is an Arms production, and you can see a lot of similarities in style to that series.

Elfen Lied, as we all know, is a rite of passage for any true anime fan. Once you’ve seen it, it cannot be unseen.

Don’t worry though, we aren’t QUITE on that level.  It may actually justify a comment made by the creators of KILL la KILL that “the edgy creators of 10-20 years ago have lost their edge”.  Especially for…fucking ARMS, for cryin’ out loud, the studio that gave you La Blue Girl, Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai, and Queen’s Blade.  This is like Justin Bieber just going J-Metal one day on a whim. This is a tame, tame series.

At the moment.  Sorry. I need a disclaimer whenever the firepower might be brought out when we least expect it, and we are all kind of totally expecting it now, right?

Whatever the reason, heart or shoes, I’m finding myself enjoying this one.  And there’s plenty of room for it to slip up and piss me off, so this will be a true throw of the dice.

So we start our lead character, Ryota, talking about his childhood friend, whom he used to call Kuroneko.  She died, it seems, because they went on a stupid journey across what I think is a dam, and fell.  He blames himself for grabbing her hand when she reached for him.  He survived (somehow) but she didn’t. He never even knew her name.

This sense of guilt has followed him into his junior year of high school, where he studies to be a researcher at NASA.  Wait…NASA? Kind of dating yourself here, show. For shame.  How will you be relevant in six months? Continue reading