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Manga / Brynhildr in the Darkness

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For ten years, Ryouta Murakami has been tormented by the death of his close childhood friend Kuroneko. The guilt he feels because of her death motivated him to fulfill a childhood promise he made with with her to show aliens do exist. At 16, he's already third-ranked in school and is on fast track to become a NASA researcher, thanks to his Photographic Memory. But her death left him with a deep inability to communicate with and understand the opposite sex.

One day, Neko Kuroha, a lookalike of Kuroneko appears. He begins to bond with her, and several other girls who show up, before discovering that they are super-powered beings known as 'witches', who have escaped from the labs of Vingulf, where they were experimented on. Now, the wicked Director Takachiho, head of Vingulf, wants to recapture the escaped witches for his mysterious plans, and Ryota must help protect the girls from his minions. Thus begins a story of horror, experiments, human communication, and despair.

Brynhildr in the Darkness, known in Japanese as Gokukoku no Brynhildr, is a manga by Lynn Okamoto, which was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from 2012 to 2016 and compiled into 18 volumes. It shares the science-fiction horror tone and Gorn of Elfen Lied. A 13 episode anime adaptation aired as part of the Spring 2014 season, covering the first half of the series. The animation studio behind it is Arms, already responsible for the Elfen Lied anime.Crunchyroll is streaming the anime, which can be viewed here for people living in the following areas: U.S.A, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Turkey, Latin America (Central and South America including Caribbean), Spain, Portugal.

The character sheet is currently under construction. Character tropes should be listed there.

Cautious editing/viewer warning: While the manga is Seinen and has a public run, it is very graphic, courtesy of being a Lynn Okamoto manga.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Animal Motifs: The witches seem to be associated with cats a lot (All Witches Have Cats). Neko Kuroha's name literally means "black cat", Shino sacrifices her life to save one, and Kazumi shows some stereotypically cat-like personality traits and mannerisms. There's even official artwork of the two main girls in cat costumes.
  • Anyone Can Die: Zigzagged. Kotori, unfortunately, ends up with a Mercy Kill in order to keep her from eradicating the world, which is the first time a main character gets a perma-death. Except there's a key phrase: perma-death. Many other characters end up Back from the Dead via Time Reversal (Ryouta and Neko), Not Quite Dead (Nanami transfers her consciousness to Ryouta), or get subjected to Hatsuna's Healing Factor abilities. Hatsuna even survives her own hatching.
  • Artificial Zombie: Chapter 163 reveals that the witches from Vingulf (as well as Ryouta) are all reanimated corpses.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Some witches such as Hatsuna have such a powerful Healing Factor ability that they can come back from the dead. As a result, several characters who suffer normally mortal wounds get off with Only a Flesh Wound.
    • Played straight at the very end of chapter 154 and beginning of 155, when Kuroha meets Kotori, who appears to be alive and well within the alien ruins that Machina brought her to. However, due to her recent memory loss, Kuroha doesn't remember her, aside from some notes scribbled about her prior to losing her most recent memories. They do at least have an awkward moment when Kuroha asks about Kotori's large breasts.
  • Beach Episode: The very end of episode 10/chapters 55-57 has them go to a beach.
  • Big Bad:
  • 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 Drasil inside the magic users' bodies. Interestingly, according to the translators, "Harnessed" in English was the original name.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The anime's Gecko Ending. The Big Bad and The Dragon have been stopped, the apocalypse has been cancelled, and Kogorou has managed to synthesise the death suppressants, meaning the remaining witches with Ryouta will live. However, Kotori sacrificed herself to do the cancelling, Kuroha has lost all her memories again, and the Omniscient Council of Vagueness is still out there presumably creating and hunting down more witches.
  • Bland-Name Product: Episode 9 has "Rich(m)ond Hotel".
  • Blessed with Suck: Witches in general. Their powers come at an extreme cost, and they're all ultimately fated to either die due to lack of death suppressants, be killed by The Organization, or hatch and be devoured by the Drasil in their Harnessed and then proceed to go on a killing spree.
  • Blood from the Mouth: This happens to the Magic Users when they do not take their "death suppressant" pills. If they don't take the pills every 30 hours or so, they'll start to bleed. And after 35 hours, their internal organs start to melt and they die.
  • Bloody Horror: Quite a few witches in the story are shown to be on the run from the organisation responsible for creating them. Even eluding the more direct methods of disposal, they are not exempt from having to regularly take the now unprocurable death suppressant capsules to push back the certain gory melting to death. Your skin ruptures a bit or nose starts bleeding? Congratulations, that's an indication of entering the 5-hours final countdown stage. And if the drug supply you had is used up by now...
  • Body Horror:
  • Break the Cutie: All the magic users come pre-broken for your convenience. You could think that further breaking is on the menu and we wouldn't blame you for it, anyways.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Episode 4, or at least the second half. While episode 3 had a lot of intense action, episode 4 is mostly filled with high school hijinks and Fanservice scenes.
    • The first half of episode 5 spends time with the girls and Ryouta bonding a little while watching the stars at night on a mountaintop. Then Shino, one of the witches that escaped with the girls, shows up being chased by another witch.
    • Most of the later half of episode 7, where Ryouta and Kazumi go to Akihabara. Until Ryouta looks at the device Kuroha gave him.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Horribly subverted in the first episode. Ryouta trips and falls from a pipe on the side of a building, and Kuroneko extends her hand to catch him. He grabs it...and pulls her down after him. To make it worse, he survives anyway...but she doesn't.
  • Censor Steam:
    • Used a lot in episode 4, both to hide gruesome stuff in the first half, and to hide the usual female nudity in the second half. Used again in episode 6 when the girls are outside with a garden hose due to it being really hot that day.
    • Also used in every other episode, especially the last 3, to hide the bodies of the melting people.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The device that Kuroha gives to Ryouta. He's smart enough to not turn it on while they're at the observatory, and instead activates it in Akihabara while shopping there with Kazumi. He later uses it again in episode 12, this time with the hopes of attracting whoever owned the device. Fortunately for him and the other girls, Hexenjagd agents show up and save them from Ichijiku and Valkyria, though they still manage to kidnap Kotori and make their escape.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Ryouta and Kuroha/Kuroneko. They were close friends as kids, but they were separated after an accident in which Ryouta thought she died. Years later, they meet again, but Kuroha doesn't remember him because of the memory loss caused by her powers. However, they still have feelings for each other.
  • Cliffhanger: Happens a couple of times:
    • The first is in episode 3, after Ryouta finds Kuroha fighting Saori, and watching the latter turn his friend into Ludicrous Gibs.
    • Another happens at the end of episode 5. Kuroha heads to a lake to help Shino. Then they find out the witch chasing her is Kikako, a AA+. Kikako shoots a beam from her mouth, which vaporizes the right side of Shino's body. Kuroha just watches in horror as she's unable to do anything.
    • Valkyrie shows up in the observatory right at the end of episode 11.
    • The final chapter of the manga actually ends with a cliffhanger, which introduces a mysterious new girl. But since the series ends there nothing will possibly come of it.(though it's heavily implied its Kazumi in a new form.)
  • Compressed Adaptation: Somewhat expected to the very long nature of the series. Due to only having thirteen episodes to work with, the anime is forced to cut out large chunks of story and even some characters, such as Yuki Tsuchiya and the Skadi arc (it is trying to go through around 100 chapters, anyway). During the first 9 episodes though, it manages to stay remarkably close to the source material. However, the compression gets really egregious in the last 4 episodes. For example, episode 10 skips some content from chapter 40 to 58, and episode 11 includes content from chapter 59 to 70.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Ichijiku explains humanity actually has its original form as the weird Eldritch Abomination (see entry). Each person has it innately, since humanity is aliens, but the race has evolved far enough that they use their "human" forms. This otherwise means the powers come from an innate human trait and the research facility was simply unlocking it for their own use.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The third button on the witches' harnests. They don't know what it does, because nobody's ever been brave enough to press it, considering what the other two buttons do. According to Nanami, Kuroha's will unleash her true power if pressed, but has a 99.9% chance of ejecting her. Even Ichijiku himself says it'll eject her... but when she presses it, sure enough, her true power is unleashed. Kana also gets hers pressed, and while it removes her forecasting ability, it cures her paralysis, allowing her to run in and protect Kuroha from Valkyria.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Teenager attemps to protect escaped lab experiments against the evil, all-powerful organization that created them by hiding them in a school clubhouse and passing them as simple students: That goes about as well as you'd expect, as the main character is powerless child note , the institute is absolutely ruthless and unrelenting in its hunt for the escapees and the witches themselves are living on borrowed time anyway, condemned to either die a gruesome death in the ensuing purge or to ultimately become mindless eldrich abominations.
  • Do It Your Self Theme Tune: The ending theme is performed by the Seiyuus of the first four main characters: Risa Taneda (Neko), Aya Suzaki (Kana), M.A.O (Kazumi), and Azusa Tadokoro (Kotori).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In order to get inducted to the Vingulf 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 Drasil 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?
    • Chapter 127 confirms that the Drasil consumes and replaces the magic user's brain.
    • Chapter 157 confirms that it is entirely extra-terrestial as The Sorcerian realizes that "Loki" has been revived after scanning Onondera's.
    • 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.
  • Evolving Credits: In episode 10, Nanami joins the main cast at the end of the credits as they look at the night sky. Hatsuna joins them in episode 12 (episode 11 in the Blu-ray). The Blu-ray version of episode 13 has also Kana standing on her own feet, but Kotori is missing.
  • Explosive Leash: Ejecting the Harness kills the witch, and witches working for Vingulf have beacons attached to their Harnesses to trigger the eject remotely.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice: Improbably Female Cast with a guy who is not comfortable around women; of course there is going to be fanservice.
  • Fate Worse than Death: What the Magic Users are told about the third button on their harness. Note that this is implied. Kana's disables her foresight to let her walk. Neko's causes her to regain her full memories and powers.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • This manga doesn't even try to hide the idea that Neko Kuroha might be Ryouta's childhood friend Kuroneko.
    • A much more subtle and literal example in the first chapter is of Valkyria's shadow being present in the page when Ryouta tries to pull out the knife in Kuroha's chest.
  • 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.
  • Gag Sub: A German fansub group made a Misheard karaoke sub for the second opening. See here.
  • Gainax Ending: Chapter 181. Fans can't be sure what the author was trying to accomplish here. There's a time skip, Ryouta's witches still, the survivors at any rate, still live in the astronomy center, Kougo still visits on occasion, Ryouta's disembodied ghost popped in for a visit and floated away, and then Ryouta's at a beach holding hands with Koneko, until a snotty kid yells at them, and they turn shocked to look at her with the final frame having "THE END" slapped on it.
  • Gecko Ending: Due to the Compressed Adaptation issue, the anime changes some things around. Some of the more notable examples:
    • Kogorou and his team unlock the secrets behind the pills the girls need on their own. In the manga Hexenjagd gives them the recipe for Ryouta and the other witches helping them stop Ichijiku and Valkyria.
    • Kuroha's fight with Valkyria is drastically shortened. In the manga it goes on for several chapters, while in the anime it lasts a couple of minutes, and nearly borders on The Unfought. Much of the city is also Spared by the Adaptation, since Kuroneko stops Valkyria before she can cast her antimatter spell, whereas in the manga Valkyria destroys a significant portion of it before being stopped.
    • Kana's role in the final battle is downplayed. In the manga she shows up to slash Valkyria's throat, though that doesn't stop the latter. In the anime she arrives to momentarily stop Valkyria's attack on Kuroha long enough for the latter to press the harnest and unlock her powers to deal with Valkyria. Additionally, she is seen in a wheelchair again, implying she's crippled again, while in the manga she can still move around and transfers to Kitsuka's school.
    • Kotori's fate is the same in both adaptations, but it differs slightly in each version. In the manga, she convinces Ryouta to eject her. In the anime she does it on her own, though she still manages to tell him to let Ichijiku know his little sister doesn't approve of what he's doing.
    • Hexenjagd plays a smaller role in the anime than in the manga. As with the example with Kogorou above, they only serve to stop Ichijiku and Valkyria. Their interactions with Ryouta and the witches is largely downplayed after they save them from Ichijiku and Valkyria.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Ryouta attempts one in episode 12 of the anime, when he activates the transponder that Kuroha gave him in an earlier episode, not knowing what would happen when the device was tracked down. Hexenjagd agents show up to save them from Valkyria and Chisato. Unfortunately they fatally wound him, along with kidnapping Kotori. Fortunately Hatsuna is able to heal him back up.
    • In chapter 127, Hexenjagd sort of saves the day again after Hatsuna hatches. Ryouta then attempts something never done before after hearing a suggestion from Kazumi. He helps her drasil back into its harnest, after Kazumi theorizes that it may be enough to bring her Back from the Dead. It works, and as soon as she's able to, Hatsuna starts to heal up Takaya, whom she had taken a bite out of earlier. Even Hexenjagd is shocked at Hatsuna being able to recover from hatching.
    • In chaoter 180, Murakami shuts down Neko's magic and lets himself be eaten by Loki to stop the latter's rampage.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: One of the security guards attempts this in chapter 111 on an awakened drasil that just appeared inside the hospital. It seems to work at first, as his attacks seem to be hurting it, but then the drasil simply bites him in half.
  • 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/episode 3.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Done to Shino at the end of episode 5. After getting blasted by Kikako's attack. Part of the right side of her body is vaporized, but most of it's blocked from view by the wooden fence.
  • Government Conspiracy: The villains are implied to have powerful contacts in the government because in episode 6 Ryouta is warned that the police will be on the lookout for a Harnessed, meaning they must be in on the whole deal. While the police are shown being unwitting pawns by Nanami's introduction, the manga's Skaadi arc reveals that Vingulf does have powerful contacts in the government that can actually order scientists to join the Japanese branch facility, and at gun point.
  • Gratuitous English: The lyrics of the second opening are entirely in English. And they are very hard to understand.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In episode 7 two boys tells Ryouta all of the guys in their class are jealous of his relationship with Kazumi, because she's the only guy she'll talk to for any period of time.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Several characters get sliced in half at various points during the show.
  • Hate Sink: Though Director Takachiho and Chisato Ichijiku have their good qualities, the same cannot be said for these subordinates:
    • Vingulf as a whole is the enemy organization responsible for the creation of the magicians/witches, girls that they captured and experimented on since childhood. The experiments Vingulf carries out are gruesome and inhumane, often killing the subjects, and the survivors are extorted into working for them in exchange for a special medicine that they need to live, under constant thread of being painfully murdered via melting. Even Vingulf's low-ranking employees are willing to abuse defenless girls. It is later revealed that the girls are in truth aliens called Drasils that they implanted in the girls bodies, and that the true goal of the superiors is to eradicate humanity. A vile organization that commits atrocities in the name of 'advancing humanity', Vingulf shows just how awful humans can be.
    • Onodera is a magician that enjoys causing suffering to other magicians. Despite her own annoyance and frustration towards her status as a magician at Vingulf's will, Onodera is perfectly willing to abuse the newest Valkyrias in order to archieve results. When she is ordered to train the extremely powerful Valkyria Hrist, Onodera's method is to force her to Mercy Kill weaker magicians until Hrist loses her sanity and becomes a broken and obedient servant. A petty woman with a tendency for extremely violent behavior at the slightest provocation, Onodera lacked any of the pity or tragedy of other magicians.
    • Machina, the only male magician, is an extremely powerful, entitled teenager and Misanthrope Supreme. Obsessed with Neko Kuroha, considering her to be the Eva to his Adam, Machina constantly uses violence against her and murders the sister of Kuroha's best friend Kana in front of her as they tried to reconnect. Extremely petty and violent, Machina reacts to the apparently defenseless alien known as The Sorcerer by beating and mock him, leading to his pathetic death. Hated for the Astronomy Club and seen as a expendable pawn for his own father, Machina was a truly disgusting person, and The Sorcerer comments that even his taste was unlikable.
  • Hope Spot: One occurs in episode 7, when Ryouta attempts to have his uncle Kogorou analyze the pills the girls take to see if they can make more for them. He warns Ryouta that at best, it might take half a year, or several years to analyze the drug. He then mentions it might be possible to make it within a month if the structure is a crystalline. Ryouta later gets a call from him, and he tells him that it's not crystalline.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The anime, compared to the manga. The anime is not afraid to show off the girls' bodies whenever there's a lull in the action, while the manga is far more censored.
  • How We Got Here: The opening pages show Ryouta over Neko with a knife in her chest, devastation abound and him wishing that if someone, presumably Neko, would have just died none of the damage would have happened. Come Chapter 95 Ryouta is trying save Neko by pulling out the knife and talking to Neko's murderer Valkyria.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In chapter 149, the girls get really excited over the fact that they're at a buffet and can eat as much as they want. Kana looks at them from her table and calls them immature, while also eating from a large pile of food on her plate.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Witches who have hatched become Eldritch Abominations. They usually start out by eating the body of their host, whichever girl that they popped out of. Despite that, they still have some vague memories of their former life, and some characters attempt to stop them from killing others. Kana witnesses this when Rurumi hatches, and ends up eating her friend Rin. Takaya also manages to hold off a hatched Hatsuna long enough to ask her out on a date as he lay dying after being bitten nearly in half by her hatched form.
  • I'm Melting!: What happens when the harness of a magic user is removed and is first seen in chapter 3/episode 2 with Kanade.
  • Immune to Bullets: A security guard fires some bullets at a drasil that's awakened inside the hospital in chapter 111. The bullets don't even seem to faze it at all, and the monster simply eats the guard.
  • Improbable Falling Save: Played With. Ryota falls from a water tower while trying to save Hatsuna in the process. note  He's saved by Kotori who uses her powers to switch places with people. He discovers after landing that her powers come with the side effect of cancelling all inertia when switching with someone while in midair.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Almost all of the magic users shown until now are teenage girls. There hasn't been any explanation for that so far. The one exception is Initializer, a Power Nullifier who appears to be a boy, although it's not clear whether he's actually human or the same type of magic user as the girls at all.
  • Insistent Terminology: The girls with the magic powers are called both magic users/magicians/mages ("mahoutsukai") and witches ("majou"). The girls themselves use the former, the people from Vingulf and Hexenjagd use the latter. Which one is the correct term is unknown.
  • The Last Dance: Neko Kuroha has a limited number of death suppressant pills, so she wants to use her and Kana's powers as best they can to save as many lives as possible before their termination date.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Elfen Lied, the tone and themes are certainly this; the violence is somewhat less extreme (though still graphical), the nudity tamer, and there are more light-hearted moments overall. Not that the series doesn't have its dark or sad moments though, far from it.
  • Love Hurts: Both Ryouta and Kuroha experience this in chapter 130 and 131 after he inadvertently leads her into a love hotel. Kuroha then suspects that Kazumi wanted to bring him here to have sex with him, and he says that you can only make babies with someone you love. Suspecting that he likes Kazumi, Kuroha then leaves dejectedly, and he follows shortly afterwards.
  • Ludicrous Gibs:
    • Used in episode 3, when Saori seemingly does this to Kuroha at the end of the episode.
    • Used again in chapter 83, this time by Valkyrie against Hatsuna in an attempt to get around her Healing Factor.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The second opening sound very crazy and weird. But if you read the lyrics, you will notice immediately that it's an anti-war song.
  • Made of Plasticine: Just like in Elfen Lied, an offensive power hitting a human is not a pretty sight.
  • Magic from Technology: The organization creates the Magic Users with operations and medicines.
  • Male Gaze: Used a couple of times in the anime, such as the focus on Kuroha's legs when she's running towards the scene of a predicted accident in episode 2.
  • The Men in Black: The common dispatch the science facilities use to capture and/or kill Magical Girls.
  • Mercy Kill: The hatched drasil of Hatsuna in chapter 125 begs to be killed while she's still somewhat sane. Unfortunately Hexenjagd states she can't be easily killed in that form, hence why they warned Ryouta to kill the girls while still in human form.
  • Mythology Gag: Many to Okamoto's previous works.
    • At the end of Chapter 10/Episode 4, the island visible from the beach Neko and Ryouta are standing on will look awfully familiar to fans of Elfen Liednote . It helps that they are visiting Kamakura itself, where Elfen Lied took place.
    • The Harness look very similar to the Mind-Control Device from Elfen Lied.
    • Speaking of the Harness, if they are taken out from the Magic Users, their bodies will melt. In Elfen Lied, Lucy's body melts in the end of the manga.
    • The setting is in Nagano. Nononono has also a setting in Nagano.
  • Mood Whiplash: Well crazier than Elfen Lied. In the anime opening, the girls are shown bloodied around a normal background, but then the background is swept away to a more desolate looking scene, while the girl then gets cleaned up and looks normal. The show also switches back and forth from going to school, to more action-oriented things.
  • More Hero than Thou: Ryouto, Neko, Kotori and Chi are all casually willing to sacrifice their lives for just about anyone. For the Witches, this is a major dilemma as survival means taking one of a limited number of death suppressant pills. Kotori doesn't want to take any more pills because that means shortening someone else's life, because Chi already made that sacrifice for her.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
  • Naked Apron: Neko, Kotori, Kazumi and Hatsuna wear them for Ryouta in OVA.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Despite the fact it's a Lynn Okamoto manga, he averts this trope. The uncensored anime plays it straight, however.
  • No Name Given: It took Kana's sister and her partner almost forty chapters of regular presence before we finally learned they names. Chances are this is deliberate (remember Elfen Lied).
  • 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.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Big Bad owner of Vingulf is working for some spooky old men in a foggy holographic room who make vague doomy proclamations.
  • Off with His Head!: In chapter 150, the US President loses his head right as he attempts to make an announcement that aliens exist. He is killed by Vingulf operatives.
  • Only Six Faces: If you shaved everyone's hair it would be really hard to know who is who. Not only do all the characters have the same face, they also often have the same default expression.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Several of the witches are capable of doing this.
  • Piggyback Cute: Since Kana can't move, people, usually Kuroha or Ryouta, have to carry her on their back.
  • Power Glows: Several examples: Kazumi glows yellow whenever she's hooked in to her computer. Shino has the ability to understand animals and her ears glow when this happens. Kuroha also glows blue when she uses her powers.
  • Power Limiter: The harnest on the back of the witch's necks will partially eject, causing them to become "hung up" if they attempt to use their powers too much. Further usage before it resets itself after a day or so will cause the harnest to eject completely, causing them to literally meltdown and die. It can also be manually set, either to control them, or if the girls don't want to be found by a witch with the ability to track down other witches. Some of the unluckier ones have a harnest that can be remotely ejected should they attempt to escape custody as other witches have done in the past. The third button has a different effect depending on the witch. Kana can walk but loses her foresight. Neko could regain her memories and access to her incredible power but has a 99% chance of dying instead.
  • Prophecy Twist: Kana's forecasts show what will happen, but not why. For example, in episode 5 she sees Kotori smiling while standing over Kuroha's body and thinks Kotori killed Kuroha. In episode 6 we learn that it's actually Kotori being a Stepford Smiler to hide her sadness.
  • 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 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 
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Ryouta has a memory so good, he averages in the top 2 percentile. This is apparently known by many of his classmates. When Kuroha ends up beating him in the midterms, everyone gives a Flat "What" at the results as if it was something impossible, and gave Ryouta Color Failure. The implication is that Kuroha's intelligent enough that, if she wasn't losing her memories all the time, she can effectively beat photographic memory.
  • Red Herring: The Manga's first chapter Cold Opening appears to show Ryouta in the process of stabbing Kuroha to death. Chapter 95 reveals that Ryouta is actually trying to pull Valkyria's knife out of Kuroha's chest and the dialog that seemed like threats and imprecations are actually lamentations that Kuroha would sacrifice herself to protect him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sort of Kotori and Neko.
  • Relationship Reset Button: Just when Ryouta and Kuroha where making some progress she loses her memories of him again.
  • The Reveal:
    • In chapter 69, after Kotori accidentally spills some water on Kuroha, Ryouta sees the three moles on her breast.
    • During chapter 73, Hexenjagd explains more about the nature of the witches. Specifically, the aliens that Ryouta saw are actually the "brain" of the girls, and any memories of early life they have are imprinted on them. Additionally, those organisms grow inside of them and use the "death suppressant pills" to do so. After some time, maybe a few years at best, the organism will consume the body of the girl, and they will emerge as something not-human and seek to kill humans. The only reason they let the girls live was because Ryouta told them they only had about a week's supply of pills, so one of the Hexenjagd members says it's not likely they would emerge in such a short time, and their priority was to capture Kotori, who was kidnapped by Ichijiku just moments earlier.
    • "Aphrodite" eventually reveals that she's actually a hallucination caused by Nanami.
  • 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 (i.e. Kotori) is not captured, it would initiate via Drasill. Also, the title of the series (Brynhildr is the name of a famous Valkyrie).
  • Running Gag:
    • Anytime Kazumi tries to show off her body, especially her breasts, and Ryouta making a snarky comment about it. Then getting hit by her as a result.
    • Neko smashes something when something happens to Ryouta since it's her old self taking over and remembering that she loves Ryouta.
      *something remotely sexual happens to Ryouta*
      (everyone looks at Kuroha)
      Kuroha: "I-I didn't mean for that to happen!"
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: From what Kuroha has mentioned, the girls who are turned into witches seem to have almost superhuman powers, but are also horribly experimented on and not allowed to learn basic things like reading and math. She also says they usually die young, which may also explain why they're only teens, and she feels she doesn't need to know stuff like that anyway, never mind that she's attending a high school with an education equivalent of an early grade schooler.
  • Scry vs. Scry: Kana vs Skadi (a.k.a. Mizuka).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The very first episode/chapter has Neko's "Urusai! Urusai! Urusai!" This reappears later again.
    • "What's Tetsuzanko?"
    • In episode 11 Kazumi explains that Hatsuna's power is that she doesn't die even if she gets killed.
    • Nanami meets two children, one of them is angry at his friend because the latter drop his rare trading card in the water. The card looks suspiciously like a Yu-Gi-Oh! card. The anime puts a star on the black circle of the backside, but you can even see the frontside of the card there. It's a Pendulum Monster Card, a new introduced type of Monster Cards; the only difference is that they turned the green color part into pink like a Trap Card.
    • In chapter 116, Hatsuna does "Moe Moe Kyun" twice.
    • All of chapter 176 is a complete rip-off and shout out to The Third Impact with Loki in the place of Lilith and people dissolving into puddles of ooze.
  • Shown Their Work: A situation in which Ryouta asks Kougorou, a head chemist at a research facility, on the process how the "anti-death pills" are made (this field is known as "organic chemistry") is done using extremely basic terms, which is Techno Babble at best for those who may or may not know the topic itself. It's useless to explain a concept that would take several pages when the audience only needs to know the basic idea to understand. Plus, we're talking about a kid who's listening to a topic very outside of his field of research and he only heard about it briefly, if barely at all. You may need to know some of it already in order to understand the entire concept.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In chapter 126, Machina saves Ryouta and the others from Hatsuna's hatched form. However, Hexenjagd seems terrified of him, and even Ryouta senses an evil aura emanating from the guy. However, once he kisses Kuroha because she looks like Valkyria, she slaps him and tells him not to touch her. Despite Hexenjagd warning them not to make him angry, Ryouta delivers a dropkick to him, which forces him to retreat since his body is still really weak, and Ryouta's attack was enough to disfigure his face.
  • Sick Episode: Kazumi catches a cold in chapter 130 on the day she was supposed to go see a movie with Ryouta. Though she asks Kana to tell him, Kana instead sends Kuroha. She then ends up going on the date with Ryouta instead.
  • Skinship Grope: Kazumi really can't keep her hands off the other girls' breasts.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: In chapter 164, Aphrodite explains to Ryouta that the capacity of a person's brain is fixed and that there is a balance of what is remembered and forgotten. As Ryouta is unable to forget anything, this causes his brain to exceed its storage limit and it to suspend its functions, taking a toll and even killing off his brain.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The anime's ending theme is jarringly light and happy, so pretty much any time an episode ends with a Downer Ending (which is a fair few of them), the viewer is subjected to this.
  • Spell My Name With An S:
    • Grane or Grani? It's apparently the former, considering how the characters pronounce that name. Also, it's written like that in the second opening.
    • Harness, Harnessed or Harnest?
    • Valkyria or Valkyrie? Though in this case, the word Valkyrie would be pronounced the same way as Valkyria in German, the language that keeps cropping up in canon, so it's especially unclear.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The first opening shows all main heroines, including even Hatsuna, who is not even introduced before the switch to the second opening. Other characters, whose appearances are spoiled there before their introduction and the switch to the second opening, are Valkyia and Hexenjagd. It also spoilers that Kotori is either a good girl or has a Heel–Face Turn, since she's introduced as a possible assassin, and the silhouettes of Saori and Kikako including their powers. Not to mention the final battle between Neko and Valkyria.
    • The second opening spoilers that Hatsuna is definitely going to be a main character. There are also a few subtle possible spoilers: Kotori is shown switching places with Hatsuna, probably a Foreshadowing that Hatsuna will replace her in the manga; Kana is seen moving her right hand, despite she can only move her left, Foreshadowing that she will move again.
  • Squishy Wizard: All witches we've seen so far don't seem to be any tougher than normal humans. Made most obvious when Ichijiku goes Taking the Bullet for Valkyria, suggesting that even she who is the World's Strongest Man still doesn't have the Super-Toughness to be Immune to Bullets.
  • Supporting Harem: Among all the girls in love with Ryouta, Kuroha/Kuroneko is the only one he truly loves.
  • Surreal Theme Tune:
    • The first opening is a bizarre mash-up of angry violins, ominous wails and chants, and dubstep.
    • The second anime opening is a heavy rock tune full of Metal Screams à la What's Up People… but the movie that accompanies it consists mostly of mundane, semi-static images, which gives a rather weird effect.
Miki (when Hatsuna's Drasil is about to devour Ryouta): You brought it upon yourself...Serves you right...It's all because you didn't eject her when you had the chance.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: One occurs in chapter 131, after Kuroha and Ryouta end up in a love hotel together following their date. They actually don't do anything, but Takaya and Hatsuna end up seeing Kuroha leaving the hotel, followed shortly by Ryouta later, and she tells Kazumi about it. As a result, Kazumi thinks Ryouta and Kuroha had sex, while Kuroha thinks that Ryouta is in love with Kazumi. Ryouta fails to clear up the misunderstanding and his feelings towards her. But even if he did, she likely wouldn't believe him anyway due to her recent memory loss after the fight with Valkyria and is still cold towards him.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Occurs a couple of times in episode 13, such as when Kuroha talks to Ryouta while Valkyria is nearby and attempting to break through the former's barrier.
  • Tempting Fate: While at the island resort in chapter 149, Kazumi asks Kana if this wasn't eerily similar to the last time they went to a beach together, right before Kotori was kidnapped and later died. Kana tells her not to bring up such ominous language. At the end of the chapter as they're looking at beautiful scenery, a very suspicious man spots them from far away.
  • Theme Music Powerup: In episode 13 the first opening plays when Kuroha reawakens her memories and powers as Kuroneko.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In chapter 150, the White House explodes from a terrorist attack, shortly after the US President is decapitated. It's then revealed to be an attack by Vingulf, who doesn't want news of alien existence to be known quite yet, if at all.
  • Time Skip: There's apparently a six month gap between the events of chapter 159 and chapter 160.
  • 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.
  • Villainous Rescue: The hatched drasil of Hatsuna is stopped by Machina in chapter 125/126. Hexenjagd seems to fear him, and Ryouta says he feels an evil presence emanating from the man.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In episode 3, Kuroha is seemingly turned into Ludicrous Gibs right in front of Ryouta by Saori, another witch. However, Ryouta stabs Saori in the heart, forcing her to utilize her time magic to go back one minute into the past, before she killed Kuroha and him. And because it caused her to hang up, she couldn't fight back or even run away.
    • In chapter 69/episode 11, Ryouta finds out that Kuroha is his childhood friend Kuroneko after Kotori spills some juice on her by accident. Valkyria also finds them at the very end of the episode when she warps into the observatory right in front of them.
    • Episode 12. The Grane in Kotori's Harness awakens, beginning the apocalypse.
    • In chapter 138, Kuroha, having lost her memories again after fighting Valkyria, states coldly that she hates Ryouta after Hatsuna warns him about brushing off their feelings for him. She then rediscovers her journal her past self wrote with various details on them. She then finds Ryouta's article, and it's filled with various love symbols and words describing that she likes him a lot. Shortly afterward, Ryouta sees Kazumi alone in the woods, and thinking Kuroha doesn't care about him any longer, kisses her.
    • In chapter 150, the President of the United States attempts to hold a press conference to announce that NASA has discovered alien life. Unfortunately his head is lopped off, and part of the White House explodes, as a response from Vingulf in an attempt to keep it secret.
    • In chapter 161, Ryota comes to the realization that although his memories can't be erased, they can be manipulated as there's a serious gap in his memories shortly after the "pipe" accident where he lost Kuroneko. "Aphrodite's" dialogue immediately after this realization would strongly suggest he's right.
      Aphrodite: "Don't worry, Murakami-kun. Yes, extra-terrestrials exist."
  • Wham Line: This manga just loves these. For more, see the character entries.
    • A particularly interesting one occurs in chapter 114, when Onodera, Ichijiku's replacement at Vingulf, says that a Drasil hatching from one of the witches, was entirely unpredictable, and amounted to bad luck. After she hangs up the phone however, she gives off an Evil Laughter, and strongly hints that Drasil hatching is not random, and is instead triggered by something, or someone else.
    • Kuroha says she wants to start liking Ryouta in chapter 139, having lost her memories again, after fighting Valkyria a while back. The previous night, Ryouta kissed Kazumi, after she gives him another Anguished Declaration of Love, thinking Kuroha wasn't interested in him anymore, and felt she didn't have any other significant rivals to compete with. So Kuroha mentioning this comes as a shock to him and Kazumi.
    • "Aphrodite" hints, that she's responsible for the gap in Ryouta's memories, and possibly being a pied piper for Vingulf, in chapter 161.
      "Yes, Murakumi-kun. Extra-terrestrials exist."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The ending is really bad with this. For example Kikka, who was brought to Vingulf along with Ryouta to become the new "Eve" is left alone in a room… and never heard of again. The last chapter only gives a resolution to a few main characters, leaving everyone else's fate in the dark.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: During the hospital arc, the nameless security guard, seeing that the hatched Drasil is Immune to Bullets, punches it, out of desperation. Surprisingly, this actually works. He comes to the conclusion, that he's a protagonist in a Shonen Jump manga, and begins charging up a powerful Ki Manipulation, complete with Battle Aura. Unfortunately, ravenous creatures are not known for being very patient. CHOMP!!
  • You Are Number 6: The organisation refers to escaped witches by numbers − in the manga at least. It's downplayed quite a bit in the anime.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kiwaguro No Brynhildr, Gokukoku No Brynhildr


Kana Tachibana

Boy, she'd definitely beat Ryota black and blue if it weren't for the fact that she's all but completely paralyzed!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EstablishingCharacterMoment

Media sources: