(SPOILERS) Manga Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness (Ending)

Volume 18 Cover

Brynhildr in the Darkness – one of my favorite manga that hadn’t ended yet. “Hadn’t” since it has ended by now. Volume 18 (cover on the right) has concluded the story and removed yet another of my long-term-reader manga from my list. I seriously lack manga that suits my taste these days, but that’s not the point here, instead: How was the ending?Β How did it end?

The scanlation goes pretty far, it stops roughly 3-4 chapter before the series concludes (the manga volumes aren’t divided into chapters, as far as I can tell). What follows is a hastened slaughter of characters, partly pointless. I didn’t read it all too carefully, so here’s a rough sketch of what happens, I can’t guarantee it’s super accurate:

Kotori’s back!

It appears that Ryouta can take over Loki’s consciousness when he’s eaten, maybe. He wants to take chances and let himself get eaten. That “maybe,” though, doesn’t sit well with Kuroha, so she deals him a blow and decides to fight with Loki. It’s a complicated fight that doesn’t go in her favor since she can’t use her magic when close to him. And now the slaughter starts (not chronologically accurate!): Of course no one wants Ryouta to get eaten, hence they sacrifice themselves. Ryouta’s father, the High Priest, dies just by going to that building and be like, “I just came to say bye, I love you, wanted you to be the last human being to survive, but oh well” and gets eaten, Ryouta doesn’t really give a fuck, nor are there any major results from that. Ryouta tries to get eaten again, but Loki refuses since he knows or thinks that eating him wouldn’t do him good.

R.i.p. Kotori. πŸ™ It was fun while it lasted.

Kazumi dies by powering herself up with that harvest button and hacking into an artifact (?) that’s said to be able to stop Loki by erasing all his memories and stuff. She succeeds, but Loki still lives, just deprived of his personality.Β Kotori (Remember? She rejoins the group like two chapters before this.) dies by saving him from that black goo Loki oozes all around, apparently hazily remembering Ryouta from before. There was also the choice of having her hatch again to kill all humanity and have Loki lose interest in Earth. That fat scientist and the sado bitch might die, I’m not sure. The scientist loses half his body in that goo at least, and that sado bitch tries to get him out of it, so she might be dissolved as well, either way they don’t play a role in the ending.

Since Loki lost his personality (see above), Ryouta can now be eaten and is also reassured that he can take over Loki, as he refused to eat Ryouta before. Kuroha tries to stop him, but he presses that button which nullifies witch magic for a certain time and provokes Loki to eat him. He manages to take him over and dissolves him.

R.i.p. Ryouta.

The narration moves into the future, to the observatory, where Kuroha is still in a koma and the only other witches from their team still alive are seemingly Kana and Hatsuna. Hatsuna’s more in love with Ryouta than ever, just FYI. Anyway, that professor they’ve been allied with turns up and tells them that the artifact from above has been located in the north pole at certain coordinates. That info wakes up Kuroha, who’s exhausted as she seems to have been looking for that thing all the time (don’t ask me how). Apparently, Ryouta’s soul or something is in that artifact and can’t physically manifest for… well, a long time. Kuroha says goodbye to the others, since she’s planning on entering that artifact too and be with him. In that white nothingness inside the artifact they reunite – and surprisingly, a little girl speaking Kansai (I assume it’s Kazumi – child version) and in the background a big-boobed one (should be Kotori) appear, too. The end.

So yeah, it’s great that Loki’s gone, the Earth not destroyed, and everyone’s kinda happy. Where’s the “but?” Here it comes:Β But

Ryouta – The Sixth Sense Version

Isn’t it convenient, that suddenly an artifact turns up three chapters before the series ends? Isn’t it convenient that it literally saves his soul? Isn’t it convenient that our dead heroines turn up in there without any explanation whatsoever? I might miss something here, but as far as my knowledge goes, there’s no relevant intel on that artifact, it’s the first time I’ve heard of it – I can’t recall anything about it, at least. It really read like: “Oh shit, how am I gonna wrap this up?” The ending didn’t really disappoint me – I might be used to this kind of stuff by now – but it sure as hell didn’t psyche me either, I was just feeling… indifferent. That’s not a great adjective to describe the ending of a manga that has one of – if notΒ the – most interesting settings I’ve ever come across. It also nags me that Kotori rejoins them just to be killed right after. Maybe the author was in a bind since he had her revived, but the series had to end, and he couldn’t just let herΒ not appear at all.

Remember the other Valkyrie? And I thought they’d save her soul.

From all of this you probably get the feeling, “Isn’t this all a bit rushed?” Assuming you’re not new to manga and light novels, you’re probably familiar with stuff that ends “rushed.” All we can ask ourselves is: Was it supposed to end like this? I believe Ryouta was supposed to reunite with Kuroha and the other witches that he tried to protect. Almost all of them die, but not really; if that makes sense. But this highly compressed ending just doesn’t seem to be right.

R.i.p. random teleporting dude.

Kotori’s arc doesn’t appear to have reached its true ending – contrary to Nanami – and in case you’re a fan of that “kouhai” girl that Ryouta’s been teaching from time to time: She doesn’t even get mentioned anymore. Kuroha does reach her true ending, in my opinion, but in a skipped version. She simply appears barely before the whole series ends and then it’s just one fast wrap-up. I believe Ryouta and her have much more to tell each other than what’s actually being said. At the same time, Kazumi’s forced into the background – she’s Ryouta’s girlfriend, after all, and doesn’t fit into this fastforwarded Kuroha route. And we’ll never know how that artifact works, where it came from, and why everyone dead’s in there. Lastly, I kinda gave up on thinking about anime/manga/light novel fights, but how come Kuroha can even fight Loki in the slightest? He’s skyscraper-sized and supposed to nullify her magic, right? Shouldn’t she be helpless when he’s around? Maybe she just accelerates her bodyΒ before she hits him and simply uses the momentum. I don’t know. And by the way, I’m not just trying to let the last volume look bloody by only picking the killing parts, that’s just what happens all volume long: People die. A lot.

R.i.p. Kazumi.

All in all, the ending seems kinda planned out, but highly compressed and rushed. As I said before, it left me indifferent. The manga drops in terms of suspense and interest significantly during its second part, which – in my belief – starts when they’ve reproduced the medicine and aren’t dependent on hunting it anymore. From there on, it’s netorare, deaths -> revives, and just much less from the do-or-die atmosphere the series delivered in the beginning. It doesn’t get bad, but it gets worse compared to the series’ first half. This wraps up my personal opinion after having read it from chapter 1 up to the end. I wouldn’t want to have missed out on this series, so I’m glad I read it.

I’ll pass on a “Ranking,” this is just supposed to be an evaluative opinion of the last, like, 3-4 with references to prior chapters of a roughly 180 chapters strong manga series, so I don’t see a point in slapping a number on it.

P.S.: Have you noticed the shadow on the bottom left in the last pic? ( Ν‘Β° ΝœΚ– Ν‘Β°)

The End

Here’s a gallery:

Gallery

16 thoughts on “(SPOILERS) Manga Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness (Ending)

    • That won’t really help, but:

      “Who the heck are you?”
      “Haah?! You don’t even realize that?!”
      “That breast size… You couldn’t possibly be…?”

      Last line I’m not sure whether it’s Ryouta saying both lines or not. Doesn’t really matter, though.

    • No idea who that shadow is, you could analyze the hairstyle and try to guess. It has to be someone kinda important, I’d guess the memory-altering girl, but she had a different hairstyle, IIRC.

      The girl behind the rocks should be Kotori though.

  1. I just finished reading the manga and everywhere i go theres no that last frame (the last ending scene), thanks for showing it. Ill leave my guess. πŸ˜€
    I think the shadow is nanami (aphrodite version?), nanami write his persona inside murakami memory right? and u maybe she left the afro version bec its the one that get to date murakami. Lastly i think its bec u know… theres no way its not one of the magician thats close to murakami.

  2. I just finished reading the manga and everywhere i go theres no that last frame (the last ending scene), thanks for showing it. Ill leave my guess. πŸ˜€
    I think the shadow is nanami (aphrodite version?), nanami write his persona inside murakami memory right? and maybe she left the afro version bec its the one that get to date murakami. Lastly i think its bec u know… theres no way its not one of the magician thats close to murakami.

  3. The random girl who pops up in between Murakami and Neko is clearly Kazumi, albeit in a new form, evidenced by her precious hair clip and her ongoing status as the annoying third wheel in Murakami and Neko’s unbreakable romance. This is actually quite devilishly clever on Kazumi’s part, as she knew she was going to die and was probably banking on Murakami making his heroic sacrifice at the end there. What better way to have the man all to herself than by downloading her consiousness into the one spot Murakami was destined to end up being marooned until the end of time once he defeated Loki? (:P) Imagine her surprise when Neko followed them in anyway… The figure behind the rocks appears to be Nanami in her Aphrodite disguise since the hair accessories and uniform match, which makes sense since she is a component of Murakami’s eternal memory (which we now know is stored in an ancient alien database rather than on Murakami’s biological hard drive) and has been watching over him since she first infiltrated his mind. The shadow overlooking them thus would appear to be Kotori happily watching her decidedly not dead friends doing what they do best. How Kotori actually ended up there is a mystery, but by the looks of it, we now have the perfect setting for a slice of life romantic comedy sequel series taking place in the iconic ending sequence of End of Evangelian!

    • Only thing that’s throwing me off here: Nanami deleted herself from Murakami’s mind.

      And it still doesn’t make perfect sense to me why just these characters turn up in this vast place of nothingness.

      Or maybe there are others who just aren’t in the frame? Just wished the author would’ve spelled it out a bit more.

  4. The author was getting less and less amount of revenue compared to the amount of time it took to create chapters for this manga, so Lynn decided that it was time to cut loose ties with this manga, and it quickly. The reason was that so he could focus on works of manga that were popular and would compensate for the time invested in creating chapters, so the ending was rubbish, and left thousands of readers suffering the same pain as being ejected by such a horrid ending. The best thing I suggest doing is reading other manga and basically either daydream or fanfiction your own story or you could send a mean email to this guy stating that the manga should continue or else umm… You decide on that! Anyway I cried tears because I was so hooked on and then kazumi just had to go die…. Just to be stuck in the EDDA as a kid… Well I guess it’s not too bad if he starts continuing the story from there :/ anyway folks I hope to see some great replies to this!! πŸ˜‰

    • Do you mean the manga didn’t sell well enough (hard ot believe) or that the publisher didn’t pay him enough?

      That was actually the greatest thing about the manga and is now, personally, my worst nightmare: I can’t even dream up the stuff the author came up with, so I can’t even imagine how it could’ve been better, but I do know that the way it went just wasn’t how it should’ve. If that makes sense. πŸ˜›

  5. There’s really a lot of holes!!
    Like, why the girls, whos left, thinks that they can all live happily ever after? Aren’t they worried about hatching? Or the author completely forgotten it?

    And I always waiting for the flashback about the time where kuroneko will show the “alien” to murakami. Whats the connection of “alien” to the 1000girla that got kidnapped?? Remember where kana’s older sister told kana that she vanished when she said she’s going to meet the “alien”???

    Like ” what the heck dude!” The story really kept me hanging! What with Loki anyway?

    • Absolutely! Hatching’s a completely unresolved issue. What I can’t wrap my head around is that place where they finally end up in, why is it there? What does it do? Why is it exactly like that? Who gets to be there? What happens in there? I kinda just flew through the last chapters, so it might have been answered comprehensively, but yeah lol.

      Isn’t that alien she’d seen the one they destroy in the end? It couldn’t have been a witch, since in a kid’s mind they wouldn’t think of them as aliens, it was probably something that from the looks already screamed ‘alien’ at you. We do know that that alien is kinda the destroyer of worlds, but where it came from, when, how, why are there all those other aliens that give the witches their powers… Lots and lots of questions. I mean, when they hatch, those aliens don’t seem to have any greater intelligence, they just devour, so I doubt they came up with some kind of technology to travel between worlds.

      Or maybe I’ve just forgotten lots of lore and there are a buncha answers to all those questions I have. XD

      Anyway, the series lost lots of its charm for me when they produced their own pills. From that point onwards, the whole sense of urgency and all the suspense it brought was gone. πŸ™

  6. I read a review on Batoto when the series ended. There is a positive takeaway with this ending in that it gives Murakami a harem ending by reducing everyone to thought consciousnesses that communicate with each other. It removes the drama of physical bodies. Unfortunately, that is like 90% of the fun…

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