For 10 years, Ryouta Murakami has been tormented by the death of his childhood friend Kuroneko, whom he had been really close to. The guilt he feels because of her death had 2 effects on his psyche: motivates him to fulfill a childhood promise he made with with her to show aliens do exist (at his 16 years of life, he's already third-ranked in school and is on fast track to become a NASA researcher), and left him with a deep inability to communicate with and understand the opposite sex.One day, a girl who looks exactly like Kuroneko appears before him. Her name is Kuroha Neko, and from then on, a story of horror, experiments, human communication, and despair begins.Kiwaguro no Brynhildr (or Gokukoku no Brynhildr going by the furigana spelling) is a manga by Okamoto Lynn. It keeps the science-fiction horror tone and massive Gornof previous works. An anime adaptation has also been green-lighted.Cautious editing/viewer warning: While the manga is Seinen and has a public run, it is very graphic.
This manga provides examples of:
Abusive Parents: Ryouta's mother is rather harsh, but is averted since she hasn't done anything that could be considered abusive.
Accidental Pervert: Ryouta grabbed Kuroha's boobs once by accident. Not to mention what he did to Kazumi in the outdoors bath.
it is suggested that she can move, but doesn't as it will for some reason upset Neko.
Anyone Can Die: While no critical characters have been killed off, there have been many side characters that have.
Badass Normal: Armed with only his Photographic Memory, Ryouta has proved himself time and again to be as dangerous as the Magicians that he and the girls must fight off on a frequent basis to stay alive to the point that he is the defacto strategist that comes with up with the plans that save the day.
Bilingual Bonus: The Harnessed is the button-like thing on the nape of magic users. Due to how things are transliterated to Katakana, it's easily possible to miss that the real transliteration is her nest (which gets written in the same way), an obvious reference to where resides the parasite inside the magic users' bodies. Interestingly, according to the translators, "Harnessed" in English was the original name.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In order to get inducted to the research facility, you must possess high knowledge and have low contacts. They can prove the former with agreeing with the college of graduation, but the latter is done with incredible levels of spying (for example, they know if you've gone to porn sites). Yuki believed that this was one thing, but the reader knows that it is the other.
Eldritch Abomination: The horrendous thing that remains when a magic user is destroyed with her Harnessed's down-left button gives all vibes of this. Might be an alien life form that parasites the magic users' bodies and gives them their powers, but this is unconfirmed.
That thing that resides in a Magic User has multiple eyes, a jelly mass, is apparently sentient, and most likely alien. If this is not Eldritch, then what is?
The Initial Sorcerian is something not from this world, but has been tested for the past 20 years. Its DNA and overall composition supports this, but the exact details of what it can do are left ambiguous.
Everything Trying to Kill You: Between the The Men in Black using Magic Users trying to capture and remove others, rogue Magic Users attempting to kill anyone just for the sake it, and several times the environment trying to kill the main characters, nobody is safe.
Fan Disservice: The first two pages is Ryouta stabbing Kuroha with lots of blood flowing in full color. By this, you know that Fanservice will not be plentiful. In chapter 3, we learn that Kanade, another escaped magic user, has been captured. She's shown strapped face-down on a table, naked.
Fate Worse than Death: What the Magic Users are told about the third button on their harness. Note that this is implied.
Foreshadowing: This manga doesn't even try to hide the idea that Kuroha Neko might be Ryouta's childhood friend Kuroneko.
For Science!: Every scientist so far (with the exception of Yuki) has only the desire to continue their work just because they think it is interesting. Kougorou is the good variant of this trope, but he is slightly crazy in his normal work and very hard to convince.
Gorn: Okamoto indulges in this each time more and more; just compare the post-accident Ryouta in episode 1 to the fight with Saori in chapter 9.
Everytime Kuroha uses her powers, she loses a part of her memory.
Ryouta is on the receiving end of this where the Mind Rape user erases all of his memories, but it's revealed later that her power doesn't work on him due to his eidetic memory.
Lethal Harmless Powers: Ryouta openly asks how someone with the ability to change places with anything could kill someone. Kana responds by stating how she could jump off a cliff and switch places with her target so they plummet to the ground.
The Men in Black: The common dispatch the science facilities use to capture and/or kill Magical Girls.
Mind Rape: Nanami. From wiping out their memories from until the age of five to implanting memories to believing a guy raped his sister who doesn't even exist. This ranges from Hilarity Ensues to Fridge Logic.
Mundane Utility: The one that can teleport used her ability so she wouldn't be late to school. Note she can only use this once per day and is supposed to be in hiding. Ryouta immediately calls her out on doing such a thing so carelessly.
Nothing Is Scarier: The Magic Users are told that on their harness the first button cancels their magic for 1 hour, the second button kills them, but are not told what the third button does. They are only told it is a Fate Worse than Death.
Photographic Memory: Ryouta has a really good eidetic memory; he never forgets anything, and it also gives him incredible powers of observation and deduction. It also makes him immune to Laser-Guided Amnesia.
Posthumous Character: Since Nanami knows that Ryouta has photographic memory, she rewrote his to include her own memory. It "took some space" for her to fit but she will visit again.
Random Power Ranking: The Magic Uses are ranked by how many powers they have and how skilled or powerful it is. If they are not strong enough, they are disposed of. It is because of that this series started, as the Magic Users escaped a disposal transport.
Rank Inflation: To begin with, ranks are described as ranging from B to AAA (with A being a step up from BBB,) but in chapter 26 the existence of a rank S Magic User is alluded to but what sort of power involved is unclear. note The overall vagueness of what power this magic user can have makes this go either way between Beyond the Impossible and Rank Inflation. For background, a high-ranking Magic user was able to eviscerate anything withing a six-meter radius, as well as turn back time by one minute, and was demonstrated in the manga very clearly, but this user is not even close to Rank S.
Rule of Symbolism: Norse Mythology gets thrown around by the researchers. The closest to any sort of explicit information is "Skadi", a AAA magic user with the ability to see, predict, and interfere with the future, at the cost of her life. Another one is "Drasill", which is briefly mentioned twice, never explained entirely, and said to have some kind of horrendous power. One head researcher states that if 1107 (the number for Kotori) is not captured, it would initiate The End of the World as We Know It via Drasill.
Secretly Wealthy: Ryouta's Uncle, who has a lot of money in several accounts due to being very good in the stock market.
Shout-Out: At the end of Chapter 10, the island visible from the beach Neko and Ryouta are standing on will look awfully familiar to fans of Elfen Liednote The island is Enoshima, which was significant to the plot of both the anime and manga.
Techno Babble: Ryouta's explanation of RSAnote the de-facto example of real-life asymmetric encryption and the processes within organic chemistrynote the discipline that is used to create and discover real-life compounds and medicines leaves a lot to be desired.
They Would Cut You Up: Why Ryouta and the escaped magic users don't simply go public. Ryouta claims they would simply end up back on the experiment table. Which is odd considering the lengths the antagonists themselves go to to keep ordinary people finding out about the magic users, but then, if the central conflict could be resolved that easily, there would be no story.
Time Master: Saori's second power is to revert time back for one minute. However, it causes her to lock up.
Because Kuroha never attended school, she wears a self-made uniform (see page image).
Kazumi's uniform consists of clothes she found at the abandoned village.
Truth in Television: In chapter 6, it's revealed that Kazumi's magic is her capability to factor very large integers with ease, and that makes her capable of breaking the security of many systems. Then again, the explanation and theory exposed in the chapter would make mathematicians and cryptographers cringe.
Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Kana insists that Ryouta wants to molest her every single time he's around; she even does this when he carries her out of a burning house. She gets over this in Chapter 46
Unskilled, but Strong: Kikako, the second AA+ magic user we see. Her beam powers are capable of decimating chunks of land, but she can only shoot them in a straight line with a little time lag.
Unwanted Harem: In the straightest way possible. Ryouta doesn't want more girls to be in danger, and every new girl just adds too many problems to the mix. Every new girl depletes the anti-death pills by a significant number, and causes them to have an even smaller chance to live even if they distribute the pills evenly.
Later becomes Heart Is an Awesome Power when she is able to use it to capture a AA ranked Power User by handcuffing herself and switching places with it so she would captured. Another Power User even comments on how it is a Lethal Harmless Powers if she decided to switch with someone after she jumped off a cliff.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Kuroha clearly has feelings for Ryouta, but does not understand what they are. She even questions why her heart isn't beating fast like it does when she touched Ryouta's hand when her hand was held by another guy.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: How the research facility deals with scientists who leave the facility. They give a GPS tracker, a set list of guidelines, and a ride out. Then they kill the scientist.
You Never Asked: The magic user that teleports has a nasty habit of not giving Ryouta extremely important information until he himself has already come to the conclusion. Though in a rare case it isn't because she is a Jerk Ass but because she is The Ditz.
Zettai Ryouiki: Kuroha wears thigh-high black stockings to a short dress as her school uniform.