You are never too young to risk your life for a puzzle
I had a Phi Brain experience today! On the subway home I saw a kid playing with a rubix cube as he chatted with his friends, and he was flipping the sides so rapidly, I’d have to say he solved in under a minute. I know it’s supposed to be easy once you know the algorithm and that there are faster solve times but seeing it in real life just by chance…cool!
Welcome to a day in the life of Nonoha! When she is not accompanying Kaito on dangerous, puzzle missions, she shows off a softer side. She regularly visits kids at the Root Kindergarten and shows off her karate skills in front of them. She’s also friends with the kindergarten teacher, a nice lady named Madoka. This admiration turns to jealousy very quickly though when the teacher casually hands Kaito some sort of letter. A LOVE LETTER, OF COURSE! WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE IN AN ANIME ABOUT PUZZLES?!
lol at Kaito’s schoolbag.
Nonoha continually pesters Kaito about the contents of the letter, but he ignores her. Nonoha really admires Ms. Madoka for overcoming her husband’s death and continuing his dream, and Kaito doesn’t want to shatter that. Without any other possible explanation in her head except “RABU RETTAAAHHH,” Nonoha lets out all her frustration during extracurricular activities and turns every woman in the vicinity into a lesbian. When you are a time master who can do 4 different club sports in one day, you deserve to have a mob of chicks fawning over you.
Kaito gives Nonoha the slip after school and goes to meet with Ms. Madoka. Craft as always, Nonoha drags Galileo with her to spy on him. They meet up at the kindergarten, although it’s not to have a date…it’s to solve a puzzle! HOW UNEXPECTED! Ms. Madoka is carrying on her husband’s work as a Giver, even using the kids to help her reveal the puzzles to Kaito. As you can imagine, Nonoha is pretty upset.
The puzzle is in an old building by the kindergarten that is ready to fall apart. The kids start to cry and Nonoha consoles them, while also yelling at Ms. Madoka for not realizing that 5 year olds just might be a little intimidated by a collapsing ceiling in a spooky building. To make matters worse, the doors lock. This isn’t Ms. Madoka’s doing though, it’s the work of the POG’s new head honcho, Herbert. Rook is letting him use his more…rigorous…methods to weed out those unworthy of the Divine Puzzle.
The first puzzle is putting together a skeleton after it is knocked over. Pretty self-explanatory, and it’s over quite fast. The next puzzle is a rather untraditional version of a maze, with the only catch being the kids whining and distracting Kaito. That’s what Galileo’s stretchy, hideous face is for! It makes me laugh, so obviously kids would be in utter stitches at the sight of his whacky face. The final puzzle is a sort of “paint-by-numbers” type of thing, but the wall and ceiling suddenly give way and almost crush some kids!
Nonoha manages to shield them from any danger, prioritizing their safety before her own. Ms. Madoka runs in after hearing the loud noise, and remarks upon how much Nonoha resembles the saintly figure of Florence Nightingale. First she redraws the entire puzzle by memory, then she uses her Pied Piper-like children mind control (I’m convinced it’s mind control) she gets them to colour in the picture using their crayons. In no time, the puzzle is solved. It’s a portrait of Florence Nightingale. Hence Nonoha’s new title as ‘Nightingale’, which she isn’t really too happy about.
The answer to the puzzle is….WEIRD MOLD AT THE BACK OF THE FRIDGE!
ANA, ARE YOU ME?
Puzzle Skills: 10 Women Skills: -2
1 out of 6 kindergarteners gets high every day
Kaito: Damn, those are some nice curtains. I like those curtains. I wonder if I could get them in Ikea. Hmm….
End Thoughts: I have a confession. I am starting to unironically enjoy Phi Brain. After reading Shinmaru’s post about the joys of terribad anime, I realized my affection for the show was creeping into that third category of ‘so ridiculous, it is amazing.’ It also doesn’t help that I ended up writing a fanfic, egged on by comments in my last post. The sad thing is that I was aiming for a more crack-filled story about them “solving the puzzle of love” by finding the right way to hold hands, finding a good position to lie on the couch together like a game of tetris, and figuring out the exact angle to kiss at so their noses don’t smash into each other. Then it turned into a slightly more believable story about how I imagine the two interacting. If you want to read my little abomination, then by all means do so! I stopped myself before it got anywhere past PG, don’t worry.
Anyways, I digress. This post is not about my various fanworks, so I apologize for advertising my other writing pursuits like some sort of glorified prostitute. ONTO THE PUZZLES. It was nice to see Nonoha in action this week. That girl has even me beat in the number of sports she did in high school (baseball, soccer, karate, wrestling and track and field! Damn, girl!). Although she’s smart, I like how she was really aversive to having a title, because it meant being grouped with the puzzle nerds. I guess, contrary to what the show seems to suggest, the entire world ISN’T obsessed with puzzles. Nonoha still sucks at puzzles by the end of the episode, but she gets named after some…really nice lady. Okay, okay, I’ll save you the trouble and wiki her: she was a really kind nurse who tended to wounded soldiers during the war. She also was a statistician and wrote books! I expected more of a..you..know…SPORTS title…but I guess this is better since it goes against her stereotype as the tomboy.
I liked the episode in that it was a little different than just solving a puzzle, seeing as the Giver really regret what they were doing and little kids were running around. I still don’t get why she couldn’t have been a NICE Giver, like that painting puzzle a while back. Not all of them have to be cruel. Anyways, even with the puzzle-of-the-week formula, things are still relatively shaken up by these nice little changes. Of course, the fact Madoka was a Giver was obvious as soon as Kaito got the letter, and we all knew he wanted Nonoha to preserve her pure image of her. Hence, hiding the letter. At least the puzzles were okay, albeit very quick solves. I remember doing the circle puzzle in Layton, and I found that working backwards from the exit is by far the best strategy. The last puzzle was just…dumb…because they took their sweet time colouring the WHOLE circle despite the fact the ruins would collapse at any moment. It was also easy, although it would arguably get pretty hard if you didn’t happen to have some crayons on you. :/
The biggest thing to happen this episode, really, is the shift in power and control in the POG. Rook was replaced by someone with a much lamer name, and he has decided that DEATH BY PUZZLES TO ALL is a good idea. So, the idea is to give puzzles to people and then kill them? Why don’t you just…skip the puzzles part and kill them? You can do that, you know. I mean, if that’s your end goal and everything. If I’m really forced to decipher this puzzle BS, I think Herbert is trying to unlock Kaito’s potential through fear. The more they fear puzzles and get used to that panic when a lot is at stake, the better they will be able to cope with the Divine Puzzle. Because the Divine Puzzle will scare you shitless, son. However, this plan instantly backfires the second once he kills all of his candidates, which sounds pretty damn likely. He could afford to make the punishments a little less severe than…death. This just makes him a really lame villain. At least Rook has an afro. THIS GUY HAS NOTHING. =.= I’m praying Rook will step in at some point and change things, but we’ll see. His motives still remain a bit unclear.
Preview: Hotspring episode with Da Vinci. *blinks slowly* This is a thing…that is actually happening.