Don’t be afraid of puzzles, they are people just like us. Say no to racism against puzzles.
It’s time for another episode of Phi Brain, which means things are continually creeping up notch by notch on the crazy scale. How the hell this show manages to outdo itself every week is one of the most pertinent puzzles of the show, alongside what kind of elastic/rubber hybrid Galileo’s face is made of to make all of those facial contortions. Anyways, if you’re still here you must be enjoying the freak show, so let’s get started.
POG has a board meeting that talks about Kaito solving too many puzzles and the true power of his armlet. Curious at his true power, they decide to fly on over to his school and invite him to POG’s headquarters and prod him a bit with puzzles. Better than just speculating together in a dark room I suppose. So as Kaito chows down in the super special GENIUS PUZZLE SOLVERS ONLY cafeteria, POG just lands their air craft in the school’s field like it’s nobody’s business.
No one expected this arrival, not even the suspicious principal who apparently took Kaito in as a guardian after his parents died! Fancy that! Kaito’s depressing childhood aside, there is a private aircraft for them to ride in! They specifically ask that only Kaito comes with them, but everyone else packs on anyways. Only Da Vinci and Edison stay behind out of disinterest…Seemingly. Edison is still a bit too fixated on Kaito than one would deem healthy, and has placed a tracking device on him accordingly.
Spot the derp! Oh wait, it’s everywhere…
On the plane ride to the elite puzzle facility, Sheepfro’s henchman Bishop explains Kaito’s armlet to him. It simply enhances his neural activity so he can solve puzzles faster. It’s just working with what he’s already got up there in his noggin. Somehow, he’s still insulted by its presence and feels the need to prove himself. The terse conversation ends and they descend into a facility that I can only describe as WAY too lavish to be a centre for…solving puzzles. Apparently Kaito went to this huge puzzle institute when he was little, so a place the size of Disney Land just full of puzzles doesn’t shock him.
Upon arrival they are treated to…puzzles. Kaito came to talk to the head of POG, but he won’t even look at them until they get past some warm-up challenges. Kaito has actually done all of these puzzles before, so he lets Galileo take the spotlight and do all the work. He solves a rubix-cube tower and..Nonoha almost falls off. Then he solves a Stonehenge problem…and Nonoha almost falls off again. WELP, SO MUCH FOR HER USEFUL STREAK.
Welcome to episode 5 of Phi Brain: Galileo and Nonoha do things…and there is also Kaito sometimes
The third puzzle takes a bit longer to solve. You have to ride a glowing platform across a chasm in a certain order so that all the platforms fall and all the lights turn off. Kaito stays behind as Galileo drags Nonoha around like a rag doll. During the puzzle, Kaito starts to notice that all the puzzles around them are puzzles he loved when he was a kid. It’s almost like his long lost childhood friend was behind all this!
Kaito’s flashbacks suddenly reveal a very important tidbit of information – his parents died solving this exact same puzzle. Kaito tries to warn them, but their platform has already disappeared under their feet. Luckily, Galileo is a TANK and pulls them both up after grabbing onto a ledge. Kaito still sobs like a lunatic about how much he hates puzzles for killing his parents, with his armlet providing mood-setting disco lights the entire time.
Galileo and Nonoha swiftly finish the puzzle and go back to console Kaito. It doesn’t work. That’s when Jikugawa and Edison appear (they stole Galileo’s bike) and tell them to use the power of Nonoha’s cookies! They taste normal to everyone but Kaito. The emotional moment is forever ruined by Galileo facepalming Kaito with cookies. At the very least, he snaps out of his funk. However, Sheepfro is not impressed and kicks them out. A good move, because Kaito has now encountered a puzzle block where he simply cannot solve any puzzle for the life of him. This is a bad in an anime ABOUT PUZZLES.
Hey, I finally get character develo-GRHRHRRRRHH
IT’S PUZZLE TIME:
Roll over, boy! Roll over! Roll over and you get the yummy doggy biscuit!
It’s like that one bug gym in Pokemon! Don’t know what I’m talking about? No..? Okay…
Little did they know, the bottom of the pit was padded and had an endless supply of kittens and candy.
WHOA, I never taught him THAT trick before!
End Thoughts: Dare I say that Phi Brain was actually very good this week? It was honest-to-goodness entertaining! It didn’t magically become deep or anything, but this episode had some great character development for Kaito. For 4 episodes he’s been nothing but an overconfident, capricious brat. This time around, he showed an emotion other than arrogance. I was wondering what Da Vinci meant when he mentioned Kaito’s underlying dislike for puzzles, and that was immediately answered. Puzzles murdered his parents. It was only when they started to shove cookies into his mouth that I recovered from almost feeling bad for him and realized how ridiculous the situation was. Instead of wanting revenge on a villain who had murdered his parents, he wanted revenge on a puzzle. He had a complex. ABOUT PUZZLES. I’m sure if our world actually revolved around puzzles, I’d actually shed a tear. This isn’t the case though, so his backstory is essentially cheesier than a brick of cheese with melted cheese on top of it.
As laughable as the turn of events are, it’s an interesting development. We’re finally diverging from the “puzzle of the week” syndrome and getting into an overarching plot. Kaito won’t be able to do so much as a crossword until he overcomes his trauma. I hope this takes more than just one episode, although the preview does show some glowy-glowy-bling-bling action from his bracelet. It would be nice to have him gradually accept puzzles as friends and heal over a 2-3 episode span. He needs to eat some humble pie, afterall. Not only that, I love seeing Galileo in action solving puzzles and furtively trying to hog Nonoha all to himself. I’m rooting for the guy, I really am.
I get the feeling that Sheepfro doesn’t really want to hurt Kaito like a regular villain would, but he wants to see Kaito reach his full potential. Whether it’s to solve the Divine Puzzle or for his own personal reasons, well, I can’t tell. Based on their childhood promise to always trust in puzzles though, I get the feeling he really loves puzzles and wants to re-ignite Kaito’s love for them as well. It seems like there’s some sort of kindness underneath all that smirking and randomly placing chess pieces on a board by himself in the dark. He’s an interesting villain to watch, along with the whole of POG who seem to be awfully shady. I’m sure they’ll interfere with Kaito and his friends again sometime in the future, and their puzzle won’t be sliding around a few blocks here and there. It will be..deadly!
Preview: Please tell me Kaito doesn’t get his powers back. Please. (His bracelet is shining blue like in this episode instead of gold, so that’s good). Anyways, Kaito is momentarily out of commission so Galileo has to do all the work. Kaito uselessly tags along to see that the Giver is a totally bonkers, homicidal-looking shrine maiden. Middle-aged city explosion man ain’t got NOTHING on this chick.