FUUUUS ROOOOH DAAAHHHH!!!!!
I have another fun puzzle story to tell before we get started. My friends were discussing job interviews, and apparently his friend got asked this logic puzzle on the spot. “You have 8 pool balls, and one is heavier than the rest, but you don’t know which one. You have a scale. You can measure any number of balls twice. What 2 measurements will you do to determine which ball is the heaviest?” I would be terrified if someone asked me this on the spot. That’s a real life Sage Puzzle right there, with the “sealed treasure” being a job. Kudos to you if you know the answer!
At the POG HQ, Herbert has a bit of a catty conversation with Root Academy’s Principal (*gasp* he’s a member of the POG! WHAT A SHOCK!! …except not!). He tells the other man in a matter-of-fact manner that he has installed a puzzle at his school to kill Kaito and to not interfere with him, as he is of a higher rank. The Principal’s response? “Meh.”
“PEEKABOO~!” “Herbert, no, stop it, that’s not even how you play hide and seek.”
Back at Root Academy, everyone is preparing for the Cultural festival. Nonoha is running around and doing a bunch of things for each club she’s in, Ana is hosting his own art exhibit, Q-chan is showing off his latest robot, and Kaito is…in a cross-dressing contest. Nonoha was the one to force him into it, and now both he and Kaito have to man up (..lady up?) and go through with the contest. Overhearing the conversation, the two puzzle club dorks challenge them to see who can be the prettiest girl (them be fighting words) and, additionally, to solve their sudoku. Jikugawa steps in, noticing that just because the piece of paper is bigger, it doesn’t make the puzzle any harder. He finds a way to magically ERASE PEN WITH ANOTHER PEN and redo the sudoku in a much neater form. Kaito is in awe at how hot Jikugawa is for making sexy puzzle like that.
Prettyboy Jikugawa heads to the rooftop to have a flashback about how he tried to obtain the Orpheus armlet 2 years ago, but failed. He was not the chosen one. Instead, it was given to Kaito, but he doesn’t seem all too angry. Afterall, just look at what Kaito has to go through – life-threatening puzzles and beauty pageants! Speaking of which, Kaito is looking quite divine in his princess outfit, while Nonoha is sporting a prince outfit for the school play. After taunting Kaito for a bit she heads off to the play, only to be mysteriously kidnapped.
Jikugawa laughing alone with takoyaki
The kidnapper, if you couldn’t guess by now, is Herbert. He’s wearing a really, really good disguise so you might not have noticed. He holds Nonoha hostage and sends an invitation to Kaito to solve his puzzle. All he has to do is send him a picture of a tied up and unconscious Nonoha, and Kaito is running all the way to the designated location, tiara and all. As the new puzzle that’s supposed to kill Kaito without a hitch begins, Jikugawa watches from his laptop. Good thing he knows how to hack! What did he hack exactly and how? I don’t know!
This week’s puzzle is a logic puzzle with a Snow White and the 7 Dwarves theme. Kaito has to listen to what all the dwarves say and guess which ones are telling the truth and which ones are lying. The ultimate goal is to pick all of the “delicious apples” and avoid the “poison apples.” Of course, things are never this easy. If he doesn’t solve it in time, the entire place will go up in flames along with Nonoha – who is suspended from the ceiling.
Wait, hold up, I don’t care about logic puzzles…I am NOT eating an apple if it’s blue.
If the blazing inferno wasn’t enough, Herbert also left out a piece of information needed to solve the puzzle. Exasperated by this imperfection, Jikugawa leaps into action and hacks into the dwarf so that it reveals the information needed to solve the puzzle. With this, Kaito easily solves the puzzle. However, things already got a bit out of control, so the entire place starts to collapse. But this is Phi Brain, so no one can die! Q-chan leaps into action and uses his robot to save the day. Yayyy~!
Herbert is pretty pissed at the results, but the Principal kindly escorts him out before he can do any more damage. Although he’s on the same side as the Phi Brain children, he still works for the POG and can’t have Jikugawa interfering so blatantly. He gives him a sound talking to afterwards, but softens up since he did the right thing. It’s their job as “Section Phi” of the POG to help Kaito and his friends become better at solving puzzles. Unlike the rest of the POG, they exist to show the warmth and beauty of puzzles. As the holder of the title Newton and a very benevolent Giver who looks out for the safety of the Solvers, Jikugawa really puts the rest of the evil POG to shame.
Must…salvage…files…of Kaito…in a dress…
Great, just great. The humidity is killing my hair!
ALL OF MY MONIES IN EXCHANGE FOR THE CLOTHES HANGERS WITH THE DECAPITATED ARM!
Okabe #3 travels back in time to save the day! OPERATION SKULD WAS A SUCCESS!
End Thoughts: How the hell did an episode about cross-dressing during a cultural festival….turn serious? Or rather, why did they try to make it serious? I do realize that part of what makes Phi Brain funny is how straight-faced it tries to be during moments that are totally absurd, but you think I’d be laughing more in an episode where Kaito wears lipstick the entire time. It was still a good episode, just not as funny as usual. I will say that I love whoever timidly put up their hand during a meeting and suggested a genderbender episode. That man/woman was a genius, and I am so very thankful that I can have a screencap of Kaito in a dress and have it be OFFICIAL. Also, having Ana win the contest was a nice touch…kind of reminiscent of the Persona 4 crossdressing contest. XD
Believe it or not, there is character development! Specifically Jikugawa, but let’s ignore him and the POG and just talk about Herbert. Mother. Effing. Herbert. He makes Team Rocket look like a team of highly trained assassins next to him. Why bother setting up a puzzle if your main goal is to kill him? Furthermore…why does he want to kill Kaito? Why just him?! Is it because he’s smart, and this organization wants to kill smart people? If they keep killing smart people, they’re not going to be left with very intelligent Givers now, are they? I really don’t see why someone so intent on murder has to join a PUZZLE ORGANIZATION to do it. Phi Brain, please realize how dumb he is and make him do more ridiculous things like wear a mask for no reason and standing of rooftops while calling a crossdressing teenage boy “beautiful.” That’s the kind of Herbert I want to see!
Jikugawa, however, has turned out to be much more than just the Akira Ishida character who is always smiling in the shadows and acting super nice (but has a secret!). Okay, well, he’s still that kind of character, but at least he’s got some depth to him. Anything deeper than a paper plate is a miracle for this show. I liked seeing his perfectionist side and how he wanted to be granted with the powers of Phi Brain. He’s not bitter because Kaito got it, and instead he wants to nurture his skills and help him grow. I also really appreciated Kaito pulling his head out of his ass for two seconds to praise Jikugawa. Kaito does not give praise (or even a LOOK) to people easily, so that’s a big deal. His puzzles are tidy and elegant, much like his own personality. His connection to apples in the form of how he likes apple juice and this week’s apple puzzle was a nice touch as well. Not as deep as the apple symbolism in Mawaru Penguindrum, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction!
Preview: Remember when Q-chan started out as that annoying bratty character and then became awesome? So…what are the chances of this happening again with a teenybopper idol wearing a crown and sitting in a throne? Miserably low. Miserably, miserably low.