Once in a while, a show comes along that leaves controversy in its wake. Whether it’s because it was over-hyped, under-hyped, poorly adapted, rushed, or just plain over the top, polarization’s the name of the game when it comes to a highly subjective medium, and Brynhildr ended up being a great poster child for this in particular.

Let me start off by saying this off the bat: Gokukoku no Brynhildr isn’t something that’ll be everyone’s cup of tea. There are obvious (major) omissions from the source material, the pacing shifts back and forth like no one’s business, slices of life moments turn into slices of death (and oh are these scenes dramatic) within a span of a few minutes, the main character clearly has some issues that need to be tended to, things don’t quite get explained from time to time, development tends to be a hit/miss… the list goes on. Clearly, Brynhildr’s not the shining example of how to adapt a series, but even then—even despite all these negatives—I must say I came out with fond memories of the series in the end.

In many ways, I’m not even sure why. Almost any other series with such negatives would’ve earned a trip straight to “dropped”-ville, but Brynhildr didn’t really ever come close to that for me. When it’s all said and done, there’s just a kind of artistic charm to a series such as this, and it’s something that started way back in the beginning of the first episode.

Yes, I’m talking about the opening sequence. The first and only vocal-less opening sequence I remember seeing in all my years of watching anime (okay, that’s an exaggeration, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some, but they’re pretty rare), it’s also one of the better sequences in general that I’ve seen in a while, and a perfect representation of what the Brynhildr universe is all about—blurring the line between life and death and living an actual life versus dying without ever getting to. It wasn’t particularly flashy, but it was different, subtle, and it worked. Here was a show that was clearly intended to be a bit ridiculous, over the top, hilarious, jaw-dropping, shocking, simple, and complex at the same time, and it’s the kind of show that you could switch your brain off and enjoy watching for what it is (entertainment) on a weekly basis.

Really, there’s so much you could have fun with in this show, and despite the rather rough-shodden development, there’s a cast here you’ll enjoy watching purely due to the circumstances they’re in. There’s just a kind of charm in seeing characters who’ve never been able to experience life do so for the first time ever, and it’s also refreshing to see a main character who’s generally quite competent (even if Murakami does have a few screws loose) in supporting them. Each episode also tends to have some memorable dialogue for one reason or another—whether it’s in the comedic virgin jokes or the more serious discussions about death—and the interactions between a cast that by all means shouldn’t be together normally are things that make this show a worthwhile watch by themselves. Add in crazy supernatural powers on part of both the cast and the villains, and it’s just icing on the cake of a story that’s equal parts Sci-Fi, Horror, Comedy, and overall hard to stomach at the same time.

With that said, again, Brynhildr’s not something for everyone. To make it tougher, the ending was controversial for even people that liked how the show was going. It clearly could’ve used an extra-cour to expand on things and it might be arguably better to go straight to the source material instead, but who knows? I enjoyed it when it was all said and done, and I think I can speak for a fair amount of people when I say others did too—at least, up until the last few controversial episodes. If there’s anything in the aforementioned that gets you interested, I’d give it a watch. Who knows? You might just find yourself with a surprise source of entertainment.

Still not sure? Here’s the links to the first episode snapshot and the series’ MAL.


  1. Even though they burned through an immense amount of source material in just 13 episodes, the show was still one of the more enjoyable ones of the season. On the subject of the OP, im right with you on that one Zephyr, definitely one of the more memorable ones in recent memory. Cheers on the getting Zankyou no terror and im looking forward to your coverage.

    1. I’m getting this real itch to read the source material now, truth be told.

      And yeah, I’ve got high hopes for Terror next season. I was having a hard time choosing between that or Aldnoah.Zero, but I figured it’d be a good time to jump slightly out of the mecha/Sci-Fi writer niche I’ve been carving out for myself.

      Thanks btw. I look forward to seeing ya in the comments. 😛

      1. Lol, you troll. I kinda of figured you were being sarcastic in that response you gave me in the other post but I wasn’t 100% sure.

        Strange that you had to choose though. I kind of figure you were hesitant to pick up two original shows at the same time so you were waiting on the first episode. Does that mean someone already claimed ALDNOAH but it’s being shrouded in mystery?

        Sorry for the off topic btw. I’m not quite done with series yet and came to check out the general reactions to it before I marathon the rest.

      2. Read the original manga Zephyr, belive me when I say is more than worth it. The adaptation was doing just fine until they rush the Nanami arc and skiping the arc of Skuld was a huge mistake because it give an incredible insight of true feelings of all the girls and Ryouta and makes the bond between him and Kazumi stronger than ever.

    2. I will never, ever understand the point of adapting a long-running manga…into 13 episodes. What’s the point really? Why do they do this? Anime original endings rarely ever work.

      1. One word: money. It’s simply easier to produce 10-13 episodes than it is 22-25 and will result in less loss for the investors should the thing fail. Combine that with what many people feel is either a stagnating or shrinking consumer base and it’s not hard to see why studios are opting for the “single cour unless insanely popular” route now.

  2. The series eerie, haunting, captivating opening has been on top of my musicv playlist for the last few months…
    But let’s talk the show. What did make me watch it for 13 weeks? Major plot spoilers under the spoiler tags! Read at own risk!
    1.Scientifically explained superpowers.
    Yup. The Witches powers do bear scientific and logical analysis, making the lead character’s analytical mind and Show Spoiler ▼

    extremely useful. While the main source of the powers Show Spoiler ▼

    sounds a bit cheesy, it is a lot more plausible than in 99% of other shows.
    2.Non-romantic nature of the main character’s harem. Show Spoiler ▼

    . Girls involved with him definitely like him, but there is one definite love interest who focuses his feelings.
    3.Lots of deaths. Similarily to original Higurashi series and Stein’s Gate, when running into Show Spoiler ▼

    , our witches die in droves. And while this makes for some cheap drama, I like the contrast between witches just trying to live normal school life for a while Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼


    What I didn’t like?
    The ending. WTF? Did Show Spoiler ▼

    . Sorry but it baffled me.

    What had me sitting on the fence?
    Main character’s “Determinator” status. He was really trying TOO hard. Though at least this might be explained by his Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Regarding Kasumi and Hatsuna at the end…
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. well the explanation for them to dodge the bullet Show Spoiler ▼

        Of course it would be great if they explained everything, and of course this show begged for another cour wich i would like to see, but oh well…

        Jim Dean
      2. Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Regarding Ryouta´s romantic feelings
      Show Spoiler ▼

  3. Brynhildr was hilarious. I’ve heard a lot of people find it funny in a “so bad, it’s good” way, but I think most of the time it’s funny because it’s genuinely good.

    Only vocal-less OP? Baccano?

    1. Read or Die, Haibane Renmei, Banner/Crest of the Stars, Texhnolyze, Master Keaton, Victorian Romance Emma, the Hakkenden… there’s plenty of them, of varying quality.

    2. Yeah, I sadly haven’t gotten to Baccano yet. I have it though, so it’ll be rectified soon.

      With that said, yeah now that I think of it I do remember like two other vocal-less OP’s (Read or Die comes to mind), so I’ve fixed that on my post. They’re quite rare and always fun to have though.

      1. I was caught quite off guard by that OP change, Lol. That’s another thing about the show though… I feel like I should dislike it because it’s far from my usual tastes and replaced a great first OP 10 episodes in, but man I haven’t been able to stop repeating it after the finale.

    1. The ending leaves too much to be desired. It felt like they were expecting a season 2, hear that there won’t be a second season, and proceed to hurry to wrap things up.

  4. Having read the source material I was really disappointed in how it did end. Though those who haven’t read the source may have a different opinion. I would really suggest to everyone to read roughly chapters 80-100 of the source material for a better understanding of what happened here.

    1. Yeah, the ending felt way too rushed although it was inevitable given the constraints. They had to present 1/5 of the manga in 1/13 of show. One extra episode would have gone a long way towards a more satisfying conclusion but they did the best with what they had.

  5. I’d say go for the source material. It’s funnier, less confusing, and less rushed. Also, the manga has better character development. Having said that, this is probably the first ARMS produced anime I’ve watched with so little fan service XD (even Maoyu had more I think), and one of the very few ARMS produced anime where I didn’t get rather annoyed or mostly/completely bored before the end of the season :p. Among all the rushed animes this season, this was one of the more coherent ones.

  6. There is no better way to describe Brynhildr than a B-grade Syfy production. We had the total serious business storyline that is actually pretty interesting, but bogged down by melodramatic characters, incoherent actions, incredibly fast pacing, missing chunks of information (lol nuns out of nowhere wut), and a botched ending. Only those indie disaster movies with the ridiculous acting made me laugh as much as some of the actions in Brynhildr.

    Is the show terrible? Not really, it’s never bad, but definitely plays out more like a tragicomedy than a struggle of escaping certain death that was obviously intended. I’d give Brynhildr a generous 5/10 (average), like most B-grade things you’re either going to like it for its defects or hate it for them. Can’t forget that instrumental OP they used too, definitely stood out among the rest (Sidonia’s is still better though :P).

  7. Show Spoiler ▼

    Cute girls killing each other? Maaaan i really wanted another Higurashi or Elfen Lied experience.

    i loved the idea, and i REALLY loved the innocence that the show puts forth and then you see a girl get gutted and she’s now a pile of goo. It was a big contender for one of my favorites this season but i’m left with a feeling of wanting…more. Definitely thinking of picking up the source material because i think this series deserves a second chance.

    1. Brynhildr isn’t as good as Elfen Lied IMO. Turning cute girls into piles of goo just isn’t as jaw dropping or sadistically awesome as sawing them limb from limb with invisible arms vibrating at high frequency.

  8. I literally LOL’d at how that Chisato guy tanked the horizontal rain of 150+ bullets in the back and still able to speak normally before going down the drain.

    1. don’t forget no blood in the front (surprised the guns were low caliber enough not to penetrate at least to that) and that the black hole could rip out trees and pick up Chisato but no one else?

      but that’s not why we love Brynhildr so it’s all good

  9. Good series, though the ending was rough (to put it politely). I’m just going to quietly forget most of that and focus on the ecchi Kazumi hijinks.

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)

  10. I enjoyed Brynhildr right up until when it started to make its way into its final episodes. The finale crashed and burned, with super rushing pace, unexplained happenings, dying everywhere that it felt kinda cheap (and is made actually cheap in the ending sequence)

    1. You should read the arc they skipped, the arc of Skuld is full of great moments of Kazumi with Ryouta, that´s why I raged so hard when they cut it out, how could they do this to one the best arcs in the manga?.

  11. While I do enjoy the series, I personally finds the ending a disappointment. It seems like ARMS desperately want to end the anime series no matter what and how. I stay with the anime to see what surprises it’s going to bring, but I’m far from being pleased. This is why I think that ARMS should remake Elfen Lied instead.

  12. Speaking as someone who has been reading the manga almost from the beginning, I loved the anime… until episode 11. They jumped over an entire arc, then tried to cram >30 chapters into three episodes and turned it into an absolute disaster.
    That absolutely disgusting second OP didn’t help them either.

  13. Reluctant to watch the last 2 episodes still though, because they started to burn through so much source material that i’m afraid of the carcass they left after the possible butcher 🙁

    Will probably watch it this week. Meanwhile i still can’t listen to the new op, while the old one still blasts through my speakers on a regular basis.

    Still hoping on someone from RC on blogging Akame ga Kill! ^^;

  14. Came to Brynhildr, expecting Elfen Lied 2.0 but it ended up…. Meh.

    Still, an enjoyable show.

    That being said, the current moe-fication of things is starting to irk me. Espicially after chronologically spamming Rental Magica in 3 days.

  15. Overall, I liked Brynhildr, especially compared to some other things this season that, as largely an anime-only viewer that I am, just tanked at times (Mahouka and Black Bullet primarily). Could it have been better? Definitely, of course, but at least the tanking didn’t really come until the end rather than taking up most of the series (or at least at a similar point in terms of Mahouka, seriously? Bringing up the whole Weeds and Blooms stuff again now?), and even then, it still had enjoyable (if ridiculous) parts among it.

    I do wish we had a lot more answered, and it doesn’t help that the ending clearly shows that there’s tons more that still needs to happen.

    1. It’s interesting that you bring up Black Bullet, because I feel like in the end Brynhildr and that have a lot in common in regards to how they tried to approach things with their adaptation. There’s clearly a lot of things cut out for both, but they both tried to pick a particular aspect to focus on, and although the obvious omissions do leave some development to be desired, I feel they both ultimately did decently overall considering their circumstances.

      Mahouka’s… just another story entirely.

  16. There are obvious (major) omissions from the source material, the pacing shifts back and forth like no one’s business, slices of life moments turn into slices of death (and oh are these scenes dramatic) within a span of a few minutes, the main character clearly has some issues that need to be tended to, things don’t quite get explained from time to time, development tends to be a hit/miss… the list goes on. Clearly, Brynhildr’s not the shining example of how to adapt a series, but even then—even despite all these negatives—I must say I came out with fond memories of the series in the end.

    I never once thought any one of this was any problem for this show. The pacing was fine. I guess someone will always find problems with a single core show, because you rarely have enough time to fully get everything you want into it.

    Chekov’s arsenal was utilized, in my opinion, brilliantly to the point where I had no problems with the endings. Everything came together and there was nothing I felt needed to be explained that was left out. Maybe you wanted more action in a showdown between the two witches, but this wasn’t really and “action” show. More of a problem-solving show.

    I loved the mixture of slice-of-life to slice-of-death. It added to the mood of the show, taking the situation of the witches into consideration. There was always that bit of hopelessness you had when you watched them having fun with each other.

    And Murakami was an awesome MC. He was brilliant. Not a Gary-Stu. He actually gave a rip about the girls. The girls responded in kind. In a sense, it was a situation where the ‘harem was earned.’

    I thought, for an adaptation, this was a great example of how to cram a large series into a smaller one. They cut out things they didn’t need. They made sure the things they left out didn’t hurt any explanation of things that had happened.

    All in all, I thought this was one of the best shows of spring.

    1. Yeah, there’s definitely a give and take when you want to fit a series with a fair amount of source into a small broadcast window. Inevitably things get cut/lost, but they did a decent job here considering, and I liked how they clearly wanted to focus things a certain way and stuck with it.

      I would think it’s far from as good as the source probably is, but yeah, I agree that Brynhildr does a lot better than a fair amount of other shows that do this kind of thing. At the very least, I feel it’s a lot better than how Mahouka ended up, because it seems like with that show they tried to toe the line between making it both accessible to new viewers and faithful to the source as possible, and they ended up botching a lot of the execution as a result. Though I guess one could also discuss how the writing style of the source made it not as conducive as Brynhildr to be adapted, but that’s a whole other story.

      1. I really would have loved to see this show get 2 cores, if only to adapt all the material better. Given how they did so well with what they cut and focused on, giving them more time to expand on the huge source material would have made this all the more enjoyable of a ride.

  17. One of things that i feel they empathized a little to much was the brutal killings of the witches. As with Black Bullet I don’t really approve of senseless death that doesn’t serve any other point than to beat in the same issue OVER and OVER again. It doesn’t help that the villain is pretty much Disney levels of generic with a blatantly hateable attitude towards human life. I know villains are supposed to bad things (that’s basically their job) but when you have bad guys like this who are outlandishly unrealistically evil you can only help but laugh. He’s pretty much completely unredeemable so of course the only thing left is for him to get was he deserves.

    I know I’ll get crap for this but i hated what they did to Kazumi’s character. Such a despicable way to ruin what I thought was a good character by having her become a sex crazed slut. You can make the excuse “oh she just wanted to have sex before he died blah blah blah” but I’m not buying it. I’d buy this if only Kazumi wanting the D all the time wasn’t tailored to tasteless fanservice shenanigans the majority of the time. You can make any excuses you want but i’m not buying her “sex” crazed mind was merely intended for us to feel bad for her being the verge of death thus making her justified. Murakmi is sick of it, I’m sick of it and this is simply a trait I’ll never accept in women in anime. It’s one thing to think and act like a pervert but continuously acting on those things despite the other person clearly not wanting any of it just pisses me off. We all know that her efforts are pointless since if he’s going to end up with anyone it’ll be Neko. So find it to be a rather pointless addition to her character.

    Sure whatever she’s deep down scared despite acting all tough but is the writer really wanting you to think that while she has her legs constantly wrapped around Murakami asking for the bone?

    You could easily get that whole “fake tough guy” act across without the sexual mind thing right? I personally think so but apparently I’m in the minority here so whatever.

    And yeah the finale sucked major hard. Just a a cheap way to get everyone to survive. What is wrong with this season? All these retarded rushed endings really don’t seem to want to stop. Might just be the directors involved but they should really take lessons from No game, no life and Chaika which show you can rush through this without making it LOOK rushed.

    Lots of plotholes and conveniences in this episode that made me laugh instead of cry given how tragic everything was supposed to be.

    I already knew Hatsuna was going to be a deus ex character given they foreshadowed her coming back o all the tension with Kazumi seemingly dying didn’t have any effect at all. There is a loophole with how her regeneration works even though it doesn’t make any sense. Of course they do her saving Kazumi off screen for some reason. Chisato suddenly saving Valkyrie for no reason was also BS. Plus I’m pretty dang sure that the bullets from those assault rifles would have gone through his body into Valkyrie regardless.

    And even though Neko had a 99 percent chance of dying when she awakened she was still able to survive after disposing of Valkyrie. How was she even able to escape the black hole she created? That’s not how science wor……………bah whatever. I’m sounding like a broken record at this point but here lies another rushed and unsatisfying ending this season.

    RIP spring anime endings 2014

  18. Best line of the show goes to Nanami:

    “So I saved their friendship by showing a guy my boobs.”

    Oh Brynhildr… just lol.

    I actually liked some stuff like the witch’s lives being on borrowed time and their reactions to it, Ryota actually being competent and having some balls, Nanami’s death (that one actually kind of got me), etc.

    But then there’s stuff like that quote above and Valkyria being all, “You know how badly I want to get revenge on you, right?” and then *slap*. Now all of a sudden she’s like, “I love you, please don’t hate me!” It’s almost like a real life domestic violence relationship. *shakes head*


    Then there’s stuff like Hatsuna reviving essentially being an asspull. She melted and she was hung up. This needs seriously needs explaining. (Though I was still pretty much going like this when she and Kazumi showed up at the end.) Plus an onsen scene every third episode and harem hi-jinx everywhere despite the pretty dark tone. It made me feel kind of weird watching it.

    And poor Ryota keeps getting cock-blocked by pretty much everything. Memory loss, turning back time, you name it.

    It wasn’t perfect, or even really that good but it did make me want to read the source (if only to make things more coherent), so I suppose it did its job.

    1. Hatsuna’s death wasn’t really an “asspull.” Remember, Hatsuna can only die if she’s ejected. She wasn’t ejected, she just melted. So as soon as she isn’t hung up, she comes back to life. This is the same girl who could have her head cut off and still live.

      1. If that’s so then wouldn’t she not even really need the pills in the first place. Kind of seems a bit suspect to create that kind of loophole. This would pretty much mean that she breaks the system. (Granted, you can’t really know until it happens, but I’m still not really a fan.)

        Seems a bit weird, but perhaps it’ll have a proper explanation in the manga.

  19. I must say I came out with fond memories of the series in the end.
    In many ways, I’m not even sure why.

    Let me explain it to you then, it’s Kazumi’s cute voice speaking in Kansai accent.

    Kazumi best girl.
    She’s actually the most fragile of the group, although always putting up a strong facade. She got me when she went outside to cry by herself when Ryouta told the group there was no hope for more pills.
    Her only desire was to be allowed to love. Her explicit way to deal with it seemed just a bad attempt due to inexperience and insecurity, much like sometimes a shy person becomes overly aggressive trying to be just less shy.

    Ah, and she was also more powerful then one would expect. Very minor spoiler (not adapted info): Show Spoiler ▼

    Kazumi deserves more love 🙂

    (p.s.: Nanami best girl too. This is the internet, I can say whatever I want)

  20. Because of this post I decided to start this series… finished it in two days lol. I really enjoyed it. Not sure if it’s cause I watched the entire series as a whole, or expected an odd ending and pacing issues from this post, but I really didn’t have a problem with either. It did end on an odd note for a first season but Game of Thrones does something similar to this every season so, kind of used to it.

    I really like the characters. All have their place and reason I enjoyed them and wasn’t annoyed with seeing any of them on screen. I liked the premise even if it wasn’t logically sound. It was still very captivating to me and entertaining to watch and think about.

    Thanks for writing this post, I wouldn’t have known about this series otherwise. I would really enjoy a second season but I’ll make due with the manga :D.

    Just curious, is 106 the most recent chapter in the manga? For some reason I thought the manga was completely but where I was looking recently it looks like it’s still ongoing…

    1. Everything pointed to the manga finishing around ch100, the same point the anime jumped several arcs (and major plot threads, what happened to the alien embryo etc) – but Okamoto Lynn trolled everybody and apparently it continues to roll.

  21. Saw the anime, got disapointed with the ending, went on a manga marathon and i have to say that:

    I can’t forgive them for not animating properly the epic battle between Kuroneko and Valkyrie, (what a showdown :O ) including the much more amazing Kana appearence, this show would be perfect for a 24 episode anime –‘ a complete animation until the end of the Valkyrie arc would be perfect…

    Having read the manga i can only say one more thing, Kana is the best girl :p

    Jim Dean
  22. Just finally cleared this from my backlog. It was ok for a rushed anime original ending, however…

    HOW DARE YOU CHANGE KANA’S BADASS MOMENT! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE! >:( Kana is the most badass character in the story and you changed her epic moment, damn you all to hell! Don’t ever make another adaptation! EVER!

  23. I enjoyed it. Kazumi was easily the best character in the show. The brazeness of her approaches, and Murakami’s straight up push back was hillarious.
    The ending was clearly rushed, but you could tell if paced better and with another cour it could have been a pretty damn good show. As it is it’s only good.


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