Phi Brain – 11

Don’t worry, I don’t remember what this show is even about either.

I have an exam in a few hours, but here I am…writing about Phi Brain. No, it’s not because I’m trying to procrastinate. You see, I have the opposite problem. I start studying for exams weeks in advance, to the point where I’m at my saturation point a few days before the exam. As soon as I’m given a job, I feel the compulsion to do it and do it RIGHT AWAY. My obsession for being on time/early is a good blogger trait though, I suppose. SO, LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS WEEK’S EPISODE EVEN THOUGH I HAVE AN EXAM SOON! HURRAH!

Did I get my hopes up ridiculously high for a cyber-reality themed episode, like that one arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!? Yes..Yes I did. Learn from my mistakes, reader. Elena is shooting a TV show about a magical shoujo whose magical ability is PUZZLES. She forced Kaito and his friends to join in the shoot as well, although they’re all wearing some seriously whack costumes such as fly suits. They eventually get to the scene where they reveal the puzzle, but Elena throws a fit at the director for changing her original puzzle. She postpones the rest of the shoot until it’s fixed, causing Kaito to raise his eyebrow suspiciously at her insistent manner.

It’s sad that Ana in a dress and heels is normal at this point

Kaito doesn’t have to do much guesswork, because Elena says all of her thoughts out loud. Loudly. She was asked by Herbert, now at his wit’s end when it comes to Kaito and his pesky friends, if she could challenge Kaito one more time and defeat him. She also remarks that puzzles are tools she uses in order to remain on top and continue to win. Kaito gives her a mini speech about the importance of puzzles, to which Elena scoffs at. She challenges him to defeat her puzzle to see which opinion is better. THE HEART OF THE CARDS IS NONSENSE! ..I MEAN…Ugh, it’s too late to correct myself…you know the deal.

The rest of the shooting crew heads home once the sun sets, allowing Kaito and his friends to sneak into one of their facilities to solve a puzzle. Oh, dem bad boys. Elena wastes no time announcing her presence with a cackle. Her puzzle is a block-moving puzzle where you have to put them in the proper arrangement, however, all the blocks are heavy and take a while to move around. So not only is it an issue of placement, it’s an issue of deciding who carries which blocks so they can solve the puzzle on time. They have 10 minutes to solve it, or else they get electrocuted.

There’s some mild bickering and disagreement about where the blocks should go, since the puzzle can be solved in several ways. The arguments don’t last very long, as Kaito takes on the role of the leader and dictates what everyone should do. From there, it seems like it should be smooth sailing. BUT IT’S NOT! WHAT A TWIST! Elena has a flying saucer robot knock them off balance as a distraction. As they struggle to deal with that, Herbert laughs from the safety of his headquarters and sends some more helicopter droids after the Solvers. These ones have grenades.

“More to the left…a little more…a little more…Now hoist it over your head and squish Cubic.”

Luckily, they are pretty lame grenades. Maybe they’re stun grenades? No one is really hurt by the explosions, they just end up tripping because of them. That’s nice. Still, they’re pretty annoying, so Cubic gives everyone (except Ana) pieces of his robot to fend off the attack. One lone grenade knocks Elena off of her chair, but Gammon catches her before she hits the ground. At this point, she finally realizes she wants to stop the bastardized version of her precious puzzle, but she can’t because her remote was smashed during the fall.

Kaito activates his Phi Brain powers (you could have done this earlier, dude) to finish off the puzzle in the remaining time. With everyone’s combined efforts, they finish right on time before anyone becomes charred, electrified flesh. As for the treasure, it’s Elena’s childhood puzzle book, with the added bonus of a rather scenic, lit-up miniature set. Elena explains how she wasn’t loved unless she was good at something, and puzzles were that one thing she worked really hard to be good at. Once she became acknowledged through puzzles, she knew she couldn’t stop, otherwise she’d go back to being a nobody. Ana and Kaito compliment her on how pretty her…deductions are.

Herbert has a hissyfit at the results, and attempts to unleash a hidden squad of those remote-controlled grenades. However, it doesn’t work. Rook (or Luke? Godammit, the katakana and pronunciation is the same for both…) steps in calmly and explains how everything Herbert did has been videotaped, and he is now fired. They carry his hysterical ass away, allowing Rook to regain control. As Director.

Behind the Set Bonus:

Everyone was more alarmed at Ana attempting to reenact The Exorcist head turn than the flying UFO

“I’m tired, let’s stop using backgrounds” “Sounds good.” 

This week’s puzzle solution is brought to you by Mahou Shoujo Elena Puzzle-ka

Messing with Nonoha is a big no-no /bad pun

End Thoughts: Let’s just get this out of the way off the bat: what the hell is wrong with the animation? I know Phi Brain doesn’t exactly have a Guilty Crown type of track record when it comes to animation, but the derpometer was off the chart this week. Not only did everyone’s face look like it went through a trash compactor, but there was more lazy animating styles than usual. I don’t think the characters were actually moving in half of the shots. Not cool. Even as I’m watching this show without taking an ounce of it seriously, that was bad. Why didn’t they make this 13 episodes and focus on the animation instead? It’s not like they need 25 episodes to tell some sort of deep story. Furthermore, this sort of show is watched just for laughs, and the novelty has started to wear off in the past few episodes. This show really shines when it goes over the top, and it’s been so tame lately.

How was this episode any different from the last episode?! Did she really need two whole episodes to understand that puzzles are precious objects and not things to be used as tools to achieve fame and adoration? If by some miracle you haven’t watched this yet and are reading this – I recommend you skip this and wait for next week. You’ll know all you need to know from the summary, and it’s not like there’s any actual animation so the screencaps should suffice. The only really funny thing about this episode is 1. Gammon’s tail haphazardly flailing about and 2. the little fly arms on Kaito’s costume bobbing up and down as he moves. The rest is cheesiness of the bad kind…the kind you don’t want to laugh at. The only time the melodrama became believable was at the end when the puzzle lit up like a Christmas tree and Elena told everyone about how she became a stuck-up bitch. That was kind of sweet.

I lied to you, there is one other great thing that happens this episode. Herbert throws a tantrum and tries to throw a chair at the monitor…except it’s actually a projector screen so it just lightly bounces off instead of shattering anything. It’s brilliant. Furthermore, he spazzes like a CHAMP when he’s taken away by Sheepfro. Let me tell you, it feels reaaal good to see him back in charge. Herbert harboured so much hate for Kaito, and didn’t really have much of a reason to. It’s one thing to be frustrated for not being able to accomplish your job, but he hates Kaito as if he had murdered his parents or something. All in all, a lame villain with no explained motivations. At least Cottonball-head has a legit reason for wanting to challenge Kaito, and he isn’t so obsessed with death. Plus, he has awesome hair and likes to call Kaito things like “magnificent” as he solves puzzles. That HAS to mean the next episode will be better, right? It’s up to you now, Fluff-noggin.

Preview: Kaito reunites with his childhood friend, who doesn’t hesitate to screw him over with a puzzle. Lots of flashbacks, drama, and maybe a dash of fujoshi bait.

Being playful and showing their friendship? Nope, gonna be twisted to yaoi, and you know it.


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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9 Responses to “Phi Brain – 11”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    Hahahaha yes! When that guy threw his chair I was like, you know what would have been funny? If the chair bounced and knocked him out! Damn…and yes thank god sheep-fro is back in charge.

    Also I was thinking if you hate Kaito so much get a damn gun and shoot him instead of using grenades! Seriously you know the puzzle god will pwn any and all puzzles you throw at him…then again the feel of Phi-Brain is not so violent.

    Dem suits man dem suits! And ya at this point seeing Anna in a dress is like I forgot that was a dude, but hey continue being awesome Anna! Nanoha’s suit was like something from Star Driver she is just missing a golden mask.

    • Overcooled says:

      Haha, I thought about that too. I was waiting for it to happen! But sadly, no. I don’t get why Herbert didn’t cut out the middle man of puzzles and just go straight to the exploding grenades part. He’s already cheating so badly, HE MIGHT AS WELL.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    The theme this episode feels like cosplay, Power Rangers and traces of Zelda games combined thanks to the movie sets and Anna’s costume. But I give this show an “A” for creative puzzle death traps.

    Man, I love to hear Gammon’s constant ranting and overreacting. Jun Fukuyama is just plain awesome no matter what role he plays.

    Elena’s childhood background was sad at one time (for being lonely most of the time) but sweet at other times. The puzzle book was a nice touch. It’s made me a little more sympathetic towards her. Hopefully she sticks around.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s all about the whacky costumes. First crossdressing now…this. XD

      I think Elena is going to start helping Kaito now, probably popping up every now and then to save him/help him and act smug. Is it weird that I don’t like her, but I also want her to stick around anyways?

      • BlackBriar says:

        Nope. It’s like a 50/50 thing, and it can be very conflicting at times. You don’t like a character but for some unexplainable reason, you want them to stay. Besides, I want to see more girl characters come along. We need to balance things.

        First crossdressing then cosplaying. What else is up their sleeve?

  3. obladi05 says:

    I love this show because, no matter what, I always end up laughing at something. When Kaito said Nonoha looked like Kintaro I searched for it on the net; hahah poor Nonoha, but he was so damn right! And Herbert and the chair… no words!

    For some reason Elena’s Thunder attack reminded me of Sailor Jupiter, even her bishoujo senshi speech was way too similar to Sailor Moon’s! I’m such a fangirl that if it’s a character voiced by Megumi Nakajima I automatically like it, so I hope Elena stays around with the group.

    Good that Rook/Luke is back again, let’s see what he’s up to!

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s quite therapeutic – watching Phi Brain after a long, stressful day relieves so much tension! It’s fun to watch and blog about.

      I think they were going for a parody/rip-off theme of every children’s show in Japan they could think of, so the resemblance makes sense XD I didn’t notice the speech similarities between her and Sailor Moon though. Nice to see some parodies in such a ridiculous show~

  4. Joojoobees says:

    There is actually a special name for this kind of show: Tokusatsu. The puzzle was Tokusatsu-themed as well, because shows like Ultraman and Godzilla (Galileo’s costume) use miniature cities as sets to make actors look huge. Essentially the episode was a joke that people who see a lot of Tokusatsu would get, but makes less sense outside of Japan.

    Completely agree about the change in leadership at POG. Rook wins because of his hair, if nothing else. The other guy needed to be taken down.

    • Overcooled says:

      I didn’t know that. I mean, I knew these kinds of shows existed but didn’t know they had a name, nor did I make the connection here. Phi Brain is a lot more clever than I give it credit for if it can make references like this!

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