Ah, yes, the dark side has good use for gingers. Come closer, child.
Phi Brain is the first anime episode I’ve seen in almost a week now. I’ve been so busy studying for midterms and packing for my trip that I haven’t gotten the chance to do anything remotely anime-related. Well, aside from confessing my love to a 2D guy. That was…special. Anyways, don’t be surprised if next week’s Phi Brain post is either extremely late or written by someone else since I won’t be here when the episode comes out.
Bubble bubble, toil and trouble, Nonoha is cooking some nasty “sweets” to try and shake Kaito out of his emotionless stupor. It’s all she can do to try and support him in his time of need. She delivers the cookies to his house, only to find Gammon’s imouto already comfortably settled in. She’s not trying to get in Kaito’s pants like literally everyone else in the show, but she is interested in getting her brother back. He left without a word, leaving her only a cheque with a handsome sum of money to live on. Seeing as Gammon rambles on about Kaito and Nonoha all the time, she figures they would know where he is. Except…they don’t.
What a difference…
With no idea where her brother is, she decides to tell them his tragic backstory to pass the time. The two of them are parentless for whatever reason, and depend on Gammon’s puzzle-creating abilities for money. Now he sees puzzles as only a means to acquire money, and he cares not about the actual joy of solving a puzzle and feeling its..heart…or whatever. Miharu leaves, allowing Kaito to complaining about Gammon and boldly state that he plans to do absolutely nothing to try and find him. Then he touches a puzzle and gets high. The usual.
Maybe this whole time, puzzles have been a metaphor for drugs. Givers are drug dealers and Solvers are addicts.
They decide that grocery shopping will be a quaint way to pass the time as their friend is possibly kidnapped, murdered and/or missing. They run into Elena along the way, forcing them to actually think about Gammon instead of buying a bag of nachos and dip. She tells them he joined the POG at the request of Rook himself, and you know you can trust her on this because she’s head over heels for the ginger biker. Nonoha is ready to go and get him back, but Kaito really wants to use up his coupons and get 2 bags for the price of 1. SCREW FRIENDSHIP! Kaito runs off, leaving Nonoha on her own with a puzzle Elena gives her for no adequately explained reason, aside from that she wanted Nonoha to give it to Kaito. She tells Nonoha to stay away from Kaito if she wants to live and then drives off smiling like a lunatic and advertising her new single.
Elena wasn’t lying. Gammon really was invited by Rook to be a POG Giver. However, he must first solve the puzzles of his main 3 Givers. The first puzzle is a dice sudoku, which Gammon quickly fixes into a better puzzle before solving it completely to prove his point. The next puzzle is a maze, which Gammon adjusts ever so slightly so that the solution spells AMAZED instead of MAZE. The last puzzle is WHOOAA THEREE we can’t let the black guy be smart now, can we? I think not. Gammon’s next opponent is Bishop, who has a very special puzzle planned for Gammon.
Ugh, I feel like a Giver having to explain the rules. You know what? Screw it. If he wins, he can be a Giver and prove himself to everyone and if he loses his bike explodes. Gammon starts off with Bishop closing in from behind, so he tries to force him to the outer lane in order to lap him. Bishop doesn’t go down so easily though, so he switches the gates around in order to try and make Gammon’s bike explode. Throughout the entire match, he insults Gammon’s intelligence and futile efforts to surpass Kaito. It’s only towards the very end that Gammon suddenly lets out a maniacal cackle as he pushes random buttons until the puzzle traps Bishop. Well, ok, he had a plan, but it sure as hell looked haphazard. The end result is Bishop leaping off of his bike to avoid certain death and Gammon standing over him with a cheshire cat smile.
Gammon is promoted to a POG Giver by Rook himself after solving the puzzle. In fact, Rook even offers to let him solve the God’s Puzzle if he proves to be better than Kaito. He won’t even need the armlet either. All of this is conducted on a magical, God-like staircase just to make sure any slight inclination to take this scene seriously is dashed. He’s going to go after Kaito now, but can he really fight back when his armlet is glowing a darker purple than Nonoha’s malevolent sweets and making him convulse on the floor? We shall see.
White and pure just like….the walls of an insane asylum. <_<
Sorry, I’m not allowed to die until season 2.
It’s a special, family recipe! Only 5% arsenic!
AWWW LITTLE, SKINNY GAMMON..!!!
It might be anime withdrawal syndrome clouding my judgement here, but I was completely engaged in this week’s episode. Everything just fell perfectly into place! What a relief after last week’s episode had me spitting bullets out of anger. Kaito and Gammon are still idiots, but it’s not as obvious this time around because of all the time they spend doing awesome or mysterious things. I don’t know how to properly express how impressed I was at Gammon’s skills as a Giver. He’s just a fictional anime character. He could FLY and shoot PIZZAS from his eyes if the director wanted him to, but that didn’t stop me from genuinely admiring his talent. The Giver showdown between Gammon and the other 2 Givers was a really nice change from the usual solving gimmick. In order to make the puzzle harder and more elegant, he has to first solve it himself and THEN think of a way to change it. He did both almost instantaneously when he laid eyes on the two puzzles. Incredibly clever. There need to be more Giver showdowns!
Even the puzzle-of-the-week was fun to watch. It was a little hard to tell how Gammon came to his solution in the end, but all that really matters is EXPLODING MOTORCYCLES! Man, how could I have ignored Bishop all this time? He’s such an awesome character! He’s calm, relatively sane, and very to-the-point in his manner of speaking. The perfect opponent for Gammon, who was as sassy as ever this week. I’m actually glad to see Gammon return to being a cocky little bastard once more after all that sulking and pouting, even if he is going to the dark side because of it. He really just wants to laugh like a hyena and beat everyone to the ground, with no concern for his life at all. His goal has moved up from just shaming Kaito to solving the God Puzzle. Is he really that power-hungry? I still have a hard time believing he’s on the bad guy’s side for real since he’s just as contradictory with his real feelings as Kaito is. He can’t really be interested in the God Puzzle, right? Even if he is, I doubt Rook is going to actually let him near it…he’s just gonna use Gammon as a tool to make Kaito stronger. Hence the showdown in the preview for episode 20. Rook will always prefer Kaito over..well…everyone. o_o
Nonoha, Kaito and Miharu also provided some interesting little side-stories as Gammon took on the main action. Even Elena had a moment to shine and confess her love for Gammon! The humour was surprisingly spot on for these segments, especially when Nonoha is spazzing out. She drops a puzzle and solves it by accident, then feels like a pro Solver? <_< It’s a wonder Kaito is her friend. If Nonoha joined the POG, would he care? He seems to be even more apathetic than usual. I don’t think he reacted with more than a shrug to anything that was said to him this episode aside from “Gammon can cook.” Now, I’ve been pretty harsh and blaming it all on Kaito being a jerk, but maybe the Orpheus armlet has a role in all of this. Yes, Kaito is on the uncaring side…but this is a bit extreme. He didn’t even argue against Elena’s warnings for Nonoha to stay away from him. The Dark Solver mode may be like an overdrive mode of the usual puzzle-solving capacities of the armlet. Instead of having his brain working at 100%…it pushes it to 150%. As a result, any puzzle he touches, his brain instantly solves without any conscious effort on his behalf. The ultimate tool for solving the God Puzzle, but not so much for retaining sanity and emotions. Of course, all of this is just speculation based on him touching his funky rubix cube and getting a sudden jolt of tetris pieces floating through his mind. Damn, just as things get really good I have to leave! CURSES!
Preview: Miharu is worried about her brother…she should be since he’s challenging Kaito to a puzzle deathmatch on top of a construction site.