Brynhildr in the Darkness
- What it’s about: After his childhood friend was killed in a tragic accident, Murakami takes up her dream in her stead, seeking out alien life through the telescope of the astronomy club. Years later, a girl appears at his school, identical to the friend he’d lost, but who claims to have no memory of him. She warns him that unless he listens to her advice, he will die in a matter of hours. From there, Murakami is dragged into a world of blood, horror, and mysterious powers as it becomes increasingly clear that the girl is at the centre of something beyond his understanding.
- Why you should watch it: It’s a fairly clever show and the stakes are always high. The writer does an excellent job of maintaining tension, and even the lighthearted scenes have an element of desperation to them. It’s also nice to see a male protagonist who isn’t simply hopeless when surrounded by a largely female cast, even in an action-heavy series like this.
- Caveats: This is written by the same guy behind Elfen Lied, and there are more than surface-level similarities between them. Tonal shifts are common and quite abrupt, and not always pulled off as adroitly as might be hoped for. The general tone of hopelessness and futility can be draining at times. Finally, the ending is quite rushed – it tries to shove over forty chapters of the manga into three(!) episodes.
- Themes: Prejudice, abuse, desire for normality.
- Similar works: Brynhildr is something of a blend between Elfen Lied and Another. Either would be good places to go if you like this.