Nightmares about solving puzzles? Me too, bro. Me too.
I feel like it’s a sin if I don’t talk about puzzles as soon as possible in these posts. The first thing I should say should just be PUZZLES in case some of you aren’t sure you’re in the right post, or to ensure that I’m staying on topic. It would be nice if I could get away with all of my summaries from now until the end of the series being “Puzzles.” but I don’t think Kyokai would be too happy with that. So here’s a real summary!
Kaito still hasn’t recovered from episode 5 where he had a meltdown during a puzzle. He’s plagued by nightmares of his childhood and still can’t solve even the simplest of puzzles – a big issue for someone who eats, sleeps and breathes them. He feigns indifference, but you can totally tell he’s not his usual, cocky self. In order to get to the bottom of this, Edison (Or Q-chan) knocks him unconscious with some sort of sedative and drags him to his lab for research.
The things they teach you in school these days…
The cause of all his problems is the Orpheus armlet – no surprise there. The science lesson behind all of this is how it works. While focused intensely on a puzzle, it allows other areas that process emotions to direct their efforts into solving puzzles. However, the reverse occurs if he starts getting overly emotional – causing his logic areas to start contributing to his emotional response. Apparently, devoting all of your brain power to logic is okay, but devoting it all to emotion is incredibly harmful. As a defense mechanism, Kaito’s body is rejecting puzzles so he won’t have another reverse berserk episode and go ballistic.
Kaito being Kaito, he doesn’t even accept this scientific fact. He just can’t give up those exciting days out, risking his life to solve a puzzle. They’re not even giving out treasure anymore, WHAT GIVES? Anyways, he goes out of his way to prove them wrong by trying to solve a POG invitation…but he fails. He goes to the Puzzle Club to do a sudoku…and also fails. Frustrated, he heads to the river bank to cool off.
YOU HAVE ENTERED THE SUDOKU MATRIX
Galileo is nice enough to tell Kaito the location of the next puzzle in case he’s curious or wants to tag along, but Kaito is convinced he can solve the whole thing himself. Galileo tries to punch some sense into him, but it has absolutely no effect on Kaito’s massive ego. Galileo leaves him alone to head to the puzzle.
Nonoha finds Kaito by the riverbank and tries to console him by saying that quitting puzzles wouldn’t be so bad. Except, apparently it is, because puzzles are Kaito’s only reminder of his parents. At this point, puzzles pretty much are his parents. Kaito recklessly runs off to meet up with Galileo as Jikugawa watches from afar, slowly growing more concerned about POG’s almost obsessive interest in the slouchy genius Einstein.
This week’s solver is a derranged miko who has her puzzle set at night, in a cave, with the puzzle surrounded by flames so hot they burn bluish-purple. A little more intimidating than usual, I’d say. The actual puzzle is one where you place the correct kanji in the circles and then stand on the physical spot of the one kanji that isn’t needed to solve the puzzle. Kaito is still in no shape to solve it (although the poor soul still tries) so Galileo takes over. However, for the first time ever, he makes a mistake and ends up falling into quicksand. Not just quicksand, but JESUS EFFING CHRIST LIGHTSPEED SONIC THE HEDGEHOG sand.
Nonoha manages to grab hold of him, and using her monstrous strength, she holds him steady while Kaito tries to activate his Phi Brain mode. The puzzle has changed to a slightly harder version, and Kaito has to solve it fast so his friends won’t die. All this pressure leads to him activating a reverse berserk episode, and all hope looks lost…Kaito suddenly remembers that the show is 25 episodes long and he needs his sidekicks for a bit longer and properly activates Phi Brain mode to solve the puzzle and save his friends. In the distance, Sheepfro chuckles in his limo and comments on how magnificent Kaito is.
The real puzzle of this show: Kaito’s sexuality
(Mostly) BL Bonus Screenshots:
I am literally a hop-skip away from writing a GalileoxKaito crackfic. Don’t encourage me!
“Wait, where’s the treasure? W-why is Gammon carrying me like I’m loot?”
Well, balls. Guess I need a new job.
WHAT ARE YOU GUYS DOING DOWN THERE?!
End Thoughts: If you thought Kaito was whiny and dramatic in the last episode, then you probably faded out of consciousness from this episode. In case we somehow don’t get the hint that he can’t solve puzzles, Kaito spends most of the episode going through a myriad of different puzzles that he would normally be able to solve. After each failure he gets more and more depressed, to the point where you realize the man is sulking by the river because of his inability to solve puzzles. I’d like to think he was contemplating drowning himself, it was so bad. But seriously, Kaito handled his loss of solving powers like a giant asshole. Instead of at least acknowledging it and trying to get around it, he just says “NOPE, I CAN STILL SOLVE THINGS.” As they say, the first step to fixing a problem is to admit you have one. It’s a miracle he gained his powers back despite his insistence that he never lost them in the first place.
Kaito is probably my least favourite character right now, while Q-chan and Galileo have steadily moved up in my preference ranking. Galileo is a bit…extra…but he’s a brilliant puzzle solver and actually cares about Nonoha and Kaito. He told Kaito the location because he knew his pride was injured and that he’d want to come along and at least TRY to solve the puzzle. Galileo had most likely planned on being the one to actually solve it, but he knew he should at least include Kaito to try and slowly get his weakened brain back into puzzles. The punching part was really not needed though. I understand his frustration (I wanted to punch him too) but again, it just made the drama wayyyyy too crazy. This is Phi Brain, I know, but even Phi Brain should have limits.
As for Q-chan, he went from annoying brat to adorable little kid that idolizes Kaito like a big brother. I love that angle a lot more. There’s something cute about a stalker who shoots tranquilizer darts at you. Plus, he’s useful. It’s an interesting concept, using areas of the brain associated with emotion to solve puzzles and vice versa – using logic areas to express emotions. As a neuroscience student, I liked it, even if it’s kind of BS. :3
While I really liked this week’s puzzle as well, how is this going to continue for 25 episodes? There’s been a puzzle-of-the-week theme with only one minor divergence: Kaito losing his power. However, he gained his puzzle-solving skills back in this very episode. Not a very big development if you ask me. The only thing POG has been doing is shuffling around chess pieces too, so nothing is even set up to happen yet. The next episode looks like it’s the same thing, except focusing more on Nonoha. Perhaps Sheepfro will be more involved? Or maybe that girl from the OP that hasn’t been introduced yet? There has to be something bigger than just puzzles, right? No? Okay, well, see you next week for more sudoku ._. I hope I’m not the only one having puzzle-solving dreams/nightmares…
Preview: Nonoha gets a title?!?! YOU GO GIRL! It better be something cool. If they give her a mocking title like Sarah Palin as a joke, I’m out. It IS rather sad that the puzzle she appears to be solving was devised by kindergarteners. Isn’t that kind of…unfair?
If you give them candy, you win