Nonoha is totally okay with choking out a 14 year old. Be careful what you say, Kaito.
This week’s puzzle is….okay, I’m not motivated enough to look up puzzles for you each week. I’m sorry! University life is busy. I have been eying my puzzle games though, going back to Pokemon Puzzle League and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Classics! It is like being Kaito, minus having to put your life on the line. I bet that kid’s life would be so much easier if he just bought Tetris or something and didn’t go on these crazy adventures. But then we’d have no anime to watch, so I guess it’s better this way.
You don’t have to wait even a second to meet this week’s new character: Elena. She’s a 14 year old idol whose latest gig is hosting a show where she invites people to challenge her puzzle, granting them 10 million yen if they can solve them all within the time limit. Naturally, no one is bright enough to do so, and she humiliates them thoroughly because of it. Kaito watches her show weekly and shamelessly fawns over her wonderful puzzles (and good looks too. Maybe). Q-chan gets jealous and starts showing Kaito some info he dug up about her being a completely selfish and bratty kid in the industry. Ana also pipes in with his psychic intuition that she seems really lonely.
Kaito is puzzlesexual – confirmed.
Gammon isn’t there to scold Kaito for being interested in an underage girl, and is instead playing games at the arcade with aforementioned teenybopper idol! They’re evenly matched, and their competition has attracted a huge crowd of people. It also attracts some men in suits, which is seriously suspicious. Out of fear for Antoinette’s (aka Elena) safety, he leaps over the machine to shield her and then drags her out of the arcade to safety.
Elena isn’t pleased at being “saved” from her own agents who were just fetching her from skipping out on her own show. Gammon tries to explain that he wanted to help her because anyone who solves puzzles is an automatic comrade. She leaves in a huff and heads to the studio to record her show. As she’s slumping over miserably in her dressing room, Herbert pays her a visit and asks her to challenge Kaito and his friends to a Sage Puzzle. He has a good plan to eliminate Gammon and Nonoha, two people who have been making the murder of Kaito all the more difficult. As a Giver, she has little choice but to obey.
“Gammon…they’re gone now.” “Shhh, no one cares. Just stay.”
She wastes no time in driving up to the trio as they walk home from school and handing Gammon a POG card detailing the location and time for the puzzle. She’s also pretty darn flirty about it. Poor Gammon. The directions lead them to the studio of Elena’s show, where they must complete the final stage of the very same puzzle she’s been broadcasting on television. How dare she desecrate puzzles like that! FIENDISH WOMEN, HAVE YOU NO RESPECT FOR PUZZLES?!
The trick to this puzzle is that Nonoha and Gammon are sitting in chairs that obscure some very helpful hints to solve the puzzle. Kaito can push a button to make them fall and reveal a hint, or they can push a button in their chair to make themselves a sacrifice for Kaito. There’s also the option of Nonoha and Gammon closing a cover and making Kaito fall so they don’t have to worry about being stabbed in the back. Of course, this anime is about FRIENDSHIP so Kaito just powers through the puzzle the best he can and yells at anyone who has any thoughts about sacrificing themselves.
Elena has serious trust issues, and she’s immensely perplexed by their actions. Being…nice to people? What the heck is that?! Kaito solves all of the rows except for the middle section, which could have 2 possible patterns. He just doesn’t know which one it could be since the hints are covered. At the rate things are going, Elena panics when she realizes they are all going to fall to their death and tries to stop the puzzle. However, the magical “don’t massacre all these people” button has been disconnected by Herbert. For the first time in a while, Kaito slips into Phi Brain mode and calmly solves the puzzle just before the time limit is up. Nonoha and Gammon breathe a sigh of relief and get out of that building as fast as they can. Elena has (sort of) learned a lesson, but is still a bit confused and set in her own ways. We’ll see her again, I’m sure.
Bonus Puzzle Kingdom Segment:
That feeling of disappointment when Gammon isn’t giving Kaito another piggyback ride
Guards, why aren’t you doing anything? Gammon needs serious medical attention before his mouth takes over his entire face!
Whoever thought decorating her dressing room with cupcake holders glued to dart boards was a good idea needs to be fired.
I WILL DOUSE EVERYTHING YOU LOVE IN SCALDING, HOT TEA
End Thoughts: This is a rather tame episode of Phi Brain compared to the rest (and the past episode where Kaito was basically Princess Peach for the entire time). We’re introduced to a new character and she gives them a pretty normal puzzle with the usual death penalty upon losing. No deer jumping in, no disco bling on Kaito’s arm, and no psychological analysis on the mental state of the puzzle. It was still good though! Kaito is still going around solving puzzles and risking his life (while conveniently forgetting about any prizes he might actually gain from doing this gig) which is a pretty big deal. The puzzle was a standard one, but I really enjoyed the twist of having to potentially sacrifice a comrade in order to solve it. That little bit of added tension just made it so much more fun to watch.
Much like when Q-chan first appeared, Elena is one of those characters that gets on your nerves right away. She’s basically a female version of him, with a trust complex thrown in there. I bet someone gave her an unsolvable puzzle or something, and now she’s lost her faith in mindkind. Or even worse, there is no reason and she’s just like that because why not. She’s a poorly designed character who is totally okay if one or two of them dies, but if all 3 of them die? THAT’S HORRIBLE! STOP THE PUZZLE NOW! THIS IS FAR TOO INHUMANE! Gahh, she just gets on my last nerve. Q-chan got better so maybe she’ll suddenly become a docile, obedient little girl in time who relies on her comrades? I won’t hold my breath though.
Speaking of Q-chan, I love how everyone is so gay for Kaito. “Boku no Kaito” he says. As if he’s property. Pfftt. Poor Nonoha has to fight through all of these guys to get to Kaito (oh god, don’t let Antoinette be another trap). She didn’t do much this episode, but I found her gossip-girl inclinations to be rather funny. All of a sudden she would pipe up in the background about Gammon’s love life. Hey, at least she’s stepped up from ignoring the poor guy to acknowledging him! I feel bad for Gammon, so I hope at least SOMEONE falls for him. Half of the fun in this show is the puzzles, while the other half is the crazy pairings that tend to pop up during the course of the show. So, what couple are you guys rooting for, hmm? :3
Preview: Be prepared to lose all of your shit.