Phi Brain – 15

Back to the lab with you! You’re not getting out until we figure out what the hell your hair is made of!

I woke this morning to an interesting tweet from Kyokai: Phi Brain is getting a second season. I like the show, so this is good! However, I’m not sure what the hell Sunrise is thinking making a second season of a show that is far from being a cash cow. At best, there’s probably 50 fans of this show in the entire world. It’s not amazing either, it’s just funny to watch and write about. My guess is that the cost to animate the entire season 1 is less than what it would cost to sell one DVD, so they made a profit and decided to make season 2. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that season 2 costs a little more than a middle schooler’s weekly allowance to animate!

Kaito’s friends still haven’t given up on trying to be a good distraction to get him to forget about Rook for a while. That doesn’t mean they’ve gotten any better at it, mind you (if anything, they got worse). Kaito only starts showing interest in his friends when he sees Cubic being far less clingy than usual. It slips out that he went toe-to-toe with the POG in a less than friendly puzzle duel, which enrages Kaito. FINALLY, HE CARES ABOUT HIS FRIENDS AGAIN! KIND OF! Okay, well, he’s going to see Rook still, but at least it’s to get revenge for Q-chan as well.

Nonoha follows Kaito this time so he doesn’t plummet from the top of a fiery building again. However, they don’t run into Rook, so things are pretty chill. Rook no longer lives in the facility Kaito used to spot him returning to when he was a kid, and all that’s left is his jail cell. That’s right, Rook was kept in a tiny room with noting else to do but apparently write down ideas for morbid puzzles with the intention to kill the solver. Suddenly, Rook’s almost yandere-like behaviour makes a lot more sense.

After having their cages rattled, they return to either their hotel (Nonoha) or to the hospital (Kaito) to relax. Nonoha has a heart-to-heart chat with Ana, who is convinced that Rook still has a soft spot for Kaito underneath all the death threats. Kaito isn’t so convinced of this. Ana – who can hear the voices of Kaito and Rook when they were kids – is called to go to the ruins and find the truth about their relationship. He leaves the hotel without a word in the middle of the night to explore “Greathenge.”

Paint me like one of your Phi Brain girls

Coincidentally, the POG was going to summon Ana to the ruins anyways in order to solve a puzzle. He completely catches the Giver off guard by appearing just as she sends the invitation, as well as confusing her with his gender. He promptly ignores everything she says about taking the right path to avoid getting crushed by the stones and starts frolicking through the maze without a care in the world. Meanwhile, Nonoha, Kaito, Gammon and Cubic realize that Ana is gone and run to the ruins to find him.

By the time they arrive, Ana has almost solved the puzzle just by coming to the conclusion that Greathenge is in the shape of a crescent moon. Oh man, the symbolism is so deep it could be my grave. Just…stick me in a coffin and let me die from this symbolism six feet under the ground. Ana’s psychic abilities are no match for the POG. Sadly, all of his friends come and screw things up by sending a robot into the puzzle and triggering all of the stones to collapse.

These are no longer bishie sparkles. That is a miasma of deadly moon glitter.

Ana miraculously survives, as he was standing at the goal point of the puzzle where no stone columns would fall. Not looking the least bit concerned about his near brush with death, he trots back to his friends with a kumiki puzzle in his hands. Rook had accidentally dropped it there years ago when Kaito and Rook used to sneak to the ruins and try and solve the puzzle hidden within them. Before Rook could give him the puzzle he promised, his “caregivers” find him and drag him away – never to be seen by Kaito again, until now. With that, Ana proves that he’s not just making shit up, and Rook actually did care for Kaito (in a normal way) at some point. Rook, who has magic cameras installed in GOD KNOWS WHAT watches Kaito receive his old puzzle with bewildered eyes. It seems he is having a powerful flashback, but who knows what effects this memory will have on him.


I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is headed

Breathe ONE WORD about my RookxKaito doujin collection and you’re DEAD!

>Gets discharged from hospital >Returns to hospital anyways >”He has a severe case of emo, better let him stay”

This is basically me every time I try to read something in Japanese

End Thoughts:

Phi Brain has been growing into a rather surprising entity as of late. In the past, Phi Brain tackled serious events so they felt like a child’s notion of what something serious entailed. It was something you laughed at, and I’d fancy I would pat it on the head dismissively if it were a real thing. It’s part of what made the show so funny, and still makes it funny right now – those failed attempts that miss the mark by a rather large margin. More recently, they’re actually coming close hitting the right notes with these serious moments. Instead of snickering whenever something supposedly traumatic comes on screen, I’m actually starting to believe some of the more mature undertones. I have to admit, Rook’s minimalistic jail cell filled only with the most sadistic puzzles (accompanied by some very disturbing drawings) floored me. Okay, so it’s a bit extreme, but it was way more convincing than Kaito having his parents killed by puzzles. It also said a lot about Rook. He was horribly abused, and that’s part of why he’s so batty right now – but he really did like Kaito back then. Kaito really was his reason to stay alive, and that warm affection has shifted into a more object-based obsession. At this point, I’d go as far as to say they’ve done a better job developing Rook than Kaito. He’s just infinitely more interesting than Kaito! (Also, Kaito is a jerk).

Much like what Ana’s weird, mystic mumbo-jumbo predicted, Rook still retains his original feelings deep down. Like, really deep. We’re talking core of the earth deep. He reacted to seeing that old kumiki puzzle he made, making me wonder if Rook will somehow revert to seeing Kaito as his friend again instead of “that precious, puzzle-solving machine.” It will take a while, but the power of friendship will somehow fix everything and they’ll realize the God Puzzle is not meant to be solved. I mean, this is still Phi Brain here. It’s not like everything is super serious business here, so there’s going to be some friendship speeches coming up and they’re going to be the band-aids that fix EVERYTHING. When one of your characters is a psychic trap genius painter who can communicate with the dead, you really don’t have to make things realistic. Once again, this is another one of those reminders that Phi Brain…is still Phi Brain.

Ana, the aforementioned hybrid character who can use magic, was the star of the show this week, so I guess I should talk about him and not Rook. In short: Ana Gram is awesome. He’s a typical ditz character, but it just works out so well in a show where everyone is so dead serious about puzzles. I don’t know what’s up with him and hearing voices that lead him strange places, but it’s been very helpful so far! Forget his metaphors – they’re dumb – the real insight he shows is at the end where he gives the kumiki puzzle to Kaito. He completely understands Rook’s feelings as well as Kaito’s, and was able to communicate them simply and effectively. After this, it’s almost safe to say that Kaito is on his way out of his slump. Instead of beating Rook to a pulp, he’ll probably focus on bringing back that caring side of him. Ah, yes, finally Kaito can return to being at least slightly nice to people. He rushed out as soon as he saw Cubic in that shaken state, which was a good sign. The next episode has Gammon in a lot of trouble solving a POG puzzle from what I can tell, so I bet they really do some bonding. Of the friendship kind or otherwise…kukukukuku~

Preview: Either Gammon is stuck solving a deadly puzzle, or he has a love for extreme Gondola drag-racing. All this and more as the gang heads to Italy because WHY NOT?!


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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16 Responses to “Phi Brain – 15”

  1. Kitty says:

    I woke up to that as well!! I’m interested to see how a second season will go, since we haven’t seen the finale yet. Needless to say I’m very excited!

    I’m enjoying that the others are getting a try at puzzles. Its a nice change. I look forward to Gammon’s I wonder if Nonoha will get one. My heart broke a little when we got that background on Rook. Kinda a Joss Whedon Dollhouse thing going on. I hope things get cleared up between Rook and Kaito, if not second season baby!

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I wonder what else they could do. They must have thought up a LOT of different puzzles.

      I’m kind of hoping Nonoha gets one. Someone will probably have to help her out actually solving it since I can’t think of many good puzzles with memorization, but it would be nice.

      My friend keeps telling me to watch Dollhouse! If it’s good, I should steal his DVDs and watch it. :3

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Let this be a lesson to Gammon to never interfere with Nonoha’s corny cheer-up ambitions. She nearly killed him with that headlock.

    I knew Rook was bad news but I didn’t know he was that screwed up thanks to that prison-like room of his in the school. All the drawings on the walls and that various torture devices in his books. Has he been to Deadman Wonderland? He’s a fruitcake with extra nuts. Is Rook really a human? At the end when he saw his old puzzle, his eye opened up like a robot.

    Damn it, Ana!! It’s too crazy to keep remembering he’s a guy because he looks and sounds like a cute girl. Even the P.O.G giver was stunned. A trap that works too well. But does he have some sort of psychic power? Like the episode with the resort in the forest, he hears things outside that no one else could, this time which led him to an old puzzle of Rook’s. Gotta give him credit for figuring out the Greathenge puzzle so easily and that it’s the opposite of Stonehenge.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah..Rook was TORMENTED as a kid. Poor thing. Maybe he designed some of the Deadman Wonderland games? Haha. I saw some other people claiming he was a robot in a forum, but why would a robot…grow up? Why would they make a kid robot and then a teen robot? <_< I think it was just the reflection from the TV screens surrounding him I keep writing "she"...there's probably a few "she's" I missed in the post...I keep forgetting his real gender too haha.

  3. Joojoobees says:

    I would head to Italy, too, if I had a bunch of extra money to play in Venice.

    Ana is a great character. Always completely out of it and completely tuned in at the same time. I keep expecting to see some sort of explanation for the wrappings on his arms, like maybe that is the source of his spirit power. I loved the way he blew off the Giver this week.

    Also, 2nd Season? I’m not sure what to think. I enjoy the show. It isn’t deep, but it can be fun. What I really want is the OST. This show has some great music, but I haven’t even seen an announced release date. :<

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s not like they actually have any schoolwork to do either, so why not? n_n

      I kept wondering about that too, but I think it’s just an odd design choice. Kind of like how every other character has an alternate outfit except for Gammon. Ana is just…unique.

      I want the OST as well…it’s surprisingly varied! I’ll try to keep an eye out for when it’s coming out.

  4. Dawn of Madness says:

    I’m probably in the minority that love Kaito. Why because he’s a mess up kid that life was screwed over yet helped by puzzles.

    Excuse the pun but Rook and Kaito make up two parts of a puzzle. That slowly became twisted and warped over the years. Not just on Rook side either. Kaito just doesn’t seem to understand his relationships with other as friends. Because the only one he thought as the prime example of a friend was Rook. The bonds he’s formed with others are different so in his thought process not friendships.

    Also I just want this series to end with Kaito getting laid by everyone in one happy blissful orgy.Because I’m currently drowning in ships right now orz

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m glad someone has faith in Kaito! There needs to be someone to defend him. It’s true though, he technically has an excuse for his behaviour if you look at his horrible childhood. Being shunned, having all of his friends leave him, and having his parents die is devastating for anyone. If only Kaito had someone stable in his life, maybe he’d understand friendships a bit better. Like you pointed out, now his definition of “friend” is excessively rigid to the point where if it isn’t exactly like what he had with Rook, then it isn’t a friendship.

      ….Can you please be the official writer for the ending? Please? (and before I finish off this comment, I am obligated to say thank you for coming out of lurking to write your first comment! This is probably more exciting for me than it is for you, but OH WELL. WELCOME!)

      • Dawn of Madness says:

        XD I’m an awkward turtle and a typo queen, so I tend to lurk about more then comment. I’m happy that I made your day though. I might just comment more often now that I’ve going over being shy.

        By the way your reviews of Phi Brain are why I ended up on this site.

        • Overcooled says:

          Haha, that’s ok. I was a complete lurker too before I actually started blogging here. It’s intimidating to comment, but after the first one is over with, you realize there’s nothing to be scared of. Metanorn doesn’t have any trolls, afterall! :3

          • BlackBriar says:

            Yeah, I was like that myself the first few days before I said “Let’s just give this a try and see how it goes” and started typing on one of your blogs, OC. I put my first comment on one of your Shiki blogs. Since then, I’ve commented so many times it just comes natural to me.

  5. Foshizzel says:

    First off….SEASON TWO! HOORAAYY!! <3 I was actually happy to hear that, while the overall story of Phi Brain seems dumb and super cheesy there is something fun about it…maybe the characters make it more fun? Ana is fun to watch just based on how he acts and Galieo? Always makes me laugh! Dat Jun voice…always makes great comedic characters.

    Yeah random drama was a bit like huh? So afro kid isn't really "evil" and he was "programmed" so what is he? a robot? Lol just kidding I know that is some super brain-washing right there! Poor guy…

    Dem screen cap comments lolololz always funny xD

    • Overcooled says:

      It is dumb. It’s dumb…but I love it. It’s hard to explain what makes Phi Brain fun to watch, isn’t it? It just…is. I should force everyone to watch it with me on my birthday XD

  6. Karakuri says:

    Season 2?! LOL I wasn’t aware that this was making money at all. I caught up with this over the winter holidays and the entire show is ridiculous. …Though that’s why I’m watching it. xD

    Ahaha I still laugh every episode while the characters believe that puzzles have emotions and are the answer to every question ever. I don’t think that’s ever going to get old.

    • Overcooled says:

      I know! How is this making a profit? WHO IS BUYING DVDS OR MERCHANDISE OF THIS SHOW?! I can’t believe it…

      I will always love how they pretend puzzles have emotions. It’s…simply the best part of the show.

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