“I drew you a pretty field of flowers…now solve it in 5 minutes or else I’ll gut you like a fish.”
Watching The New Prince of Tennis before Phi Brain was an interesting choice this week. They are both plagued by cheap animation, messed-up logic and cheesy drama that sucks you in despite how ludicrous it is. They are one of a kind. They are both largely populated by guys too! The only big difference is that one is about tennis – but even then, tenipuri barely has more tennis than Phi Brain. <_< It’s a pity I might drop it and just read the manga, because the two go so well together!
Interested in what happened to Jin and the Principal when they were in the POG? Good, because that is what happens this episode. After The Principal and Gammon break into Rook’s airtight security (by waltzing in) and try to shake some sense into Jin, they meet outside and start talking. That’s how Gammon learns all about Jin, the Principal, and the POG. Back at the school, where they do everything except what a school is meant to be used for, Cubic and Jikugawa open various files from the POG database to uncover the very same truths themselves. Get your popcorn, because this story is about to begin.
Jin and the Principal lived in simpler times, when the POG was considered a noble organization. The two friends decided to join the POG together – Jin as a Solver and the Principal as a Giver. Jin was a smart ass, so the Count snapped an Orpheus armlet on him and trained him to be smart enough to solve the God Puzzle. That’s right, Orpheus armlets are actually located all over the world. Jin was just one of the worthy Phi Brain children. The Principal was tasked with helping him progress mentally by devising more and more difficult puzzles, but Jin was so restless that he spent his spare time on clambering through deadly puzzles to get his adrenaline going.
Much like Kaito, Jin got to the stage where he could see the future. It was not bright. In the future, the world was destroyed because of the Count. Not liking this one bit, Jin quit the POG. Seeing as this isn’t the mafia, they really couldn’t do anything but let him walk away. The Principal stayed in the POG as a double agent, tasked with raising potential Phi Brain children to be worthy of wearing the Orpheus armlet. His first target was Kaito, who could unlock the God Puzzle (for him to destroy) if he was careful enough. Men have testosterone and sometimes they punch each other for no reason, so Phi Brain thought throwing that in would be neat.
“My head is killing me! Ughhh, do you know a way to help m- *gets punched*”
Jin spends a good amount of time helping Kaito grow, but he inevitably has to go on a PUZZLE JOURNEY (basically Uncharted, but with puzzles) to become smart enough to beat the Count. If he succeeds, he can destroy the God’s Puzzle and stop the horrific future where the world is a barren wasteland. But at his current level – he has no chance. Despite how impressive the puzzle montage looks, the ritual where two people fight in a puzzle duel does not actually work. Or, at least, the world is safe by the end of it. No one really knows what happened when the Count and Jin had their face-off.
So the end result is that Jin is alive but…the Count is dead. He hasn’t been the one pulling the strings, it’s been Rook. The Principal doesn’t now this, but Kaito and friends certainly do. Not only does a curious POG file tell it to them straight, but Rook himself makes an appearance just to rub it in their faces. He shows off his red eye and Orpheus armlet with pride, eagerly talking about how they will have a puzzle battle to unlock the God’s Puzzle. During this scene, Kaito has a particularly troubling future vision that shows him standing alone in the post-apocalypse world. In other words – he was the one to destroy it.
“EAT IT, BITCHESSS”
Hidden POG Files:
Two Kaitos? I’m out.
“Alright, so on 3 we run in and take all his stuff”
Who needs an armlet when you can see the future already?
>beats you up >comforts you afterwards
I cared a lot less about Jin and the Principal’s backstory than I thought I would. It was pretty dull. Jin and the Principal feel more like narrators than characters to me, so any shocking twists involving them whizzes right over my head. It’s like telling me your cousin’s sister’s friend’s boyfriend is actually a serial killer compared to telling me that YOU are a serial killer. I only started to feel the ‘oh snap!’ when it was revealed that there are multiple Orpheus armlets and that Count Pythagoras is dead. First of all, I’m not sure why there being multiple armlets surprised me considering Rook obviously had the tell-tale crimson eye, but I guess I forgot about that connection. Or at least, I guessed there could be maybe 3 or 4 armlets max…not a whole scattering of them throughout the land. They make it sound like they’re super common! Secondly, the sudden file of ‘Count Pythagoras is dead’ opening on the screen was just so well presented. Simple and elegant, yet very effective. I guess there is no point guessing if Pythagoras is Jin or Rook anymore since he is neither. I loved that entire ending scene, especially since it featured Rook (in a brand new outfit to boot). They overdid the dramatic reactions JUST a bit, but there was more quality drama and shock in those last 5 minutes than in the rest of the episode.
So, what have we learned? For one, Jin was a crazy-ass Solver who also saw the future. He predicted that Count Pythagoras would destroy the world, so he set out to change the future and stop him. The end result is that the Count is dead and Jin is just a vacant husk of a man. The in-between is a black box. The ritual was unsuccessful in unlocking the God Puzzle’s knowledge – but for some reason the Count still died. I was under the impression that the loser died and the winner got the knowledge. Could Jin have actually succeeded, but the knowledge was too much? Did it make his mind blank? Is that why Rook keeps him as a pet (aside from luring in Kaito)? It’s hard to tell. Furthermore, Jin should still have his accelerated thinking from his armlet. You can’t remove them, so he must still have it, and that could come into play later on.
The Principal was under the impression that the Count was playing Rook by having him fight against Kaito as a sacrifice to solve the God’s Puzzle. Except, he’s dead. So Rook is TOTALLY OKAY with one of them dying in order to solve it. Based on his yandere tendencies, my guess is he wants to die for Kaito to gain all the knowledge and be king *shudders*. Not that the reverse is any better. Did I say my weekly ‘he gets more deranged each episode’ bit yet? Well, he does. I really wonder how he came to get control over the POG. Is there like..an heir? Or did Rook just swoop in after his gruesome training and assume control like a boss? How does someone stuck in a cell creating puzzles suddenly become head honcho? I don’t even know if these kinds of questions will be answered given Phi Brain’s weird logic, but it still bugs me! SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
Lastly, Kaito destroys the world. Goddammit Kaito, I knew you were a jerk, but I didn’t think you’d be that much of a jerk. I definitely don’t recall him seeing himself in these visions before either…I thought he saw Jin! Did the future change between now and then or am I remembering incorrectly? ARG, KAITO, NO STOP DESTROYING THE WORLD WITH SUDOKU, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOIINNGGGG!?!?! Can they please just find the God’s Puzzle and nuke the place? That would be nice. I mean, it’s worth a shot given our two options based on his vision. 1) Rook wins and we’re screwed or 2) Kaito wins and the world bloody ends for some reason. So many gaps that need filling in…My head hurts. Phi Brain takes itself so seriously, it’s tricking me into doing the same when this is the same puzzle nonsense as always. You win this time, Phi Brain. This time…
Preview: Rook leaves quietly and lets Gammon be the one to challenge Kaito to a deadly puzzle. Kaito’s armlet tells him more about the future while Nonoha and Elena try to stop them from tearing each other apart.
King of Hearts