Phi Brain – 23

This week, on ‘Puzzle Husbands’

Phi Brain is coming to an end, only not, because there is still season 2 on the horizon. It’s starting right away next season, so we won’t even have to wait to see how the next batch of episodes fares. So don’t despair! Even though there’s just 2 episodes left in season 1, this series is far from over.

Poor Kaito – he’s the one who will destroy the world. That is quite a big issue to mull over, so he shoos Nonoha away and spends half the day thinking of a solution (or maybe just moping) on the rooftop. He sees a bluebird, which is somehow remarkable enough for him to get up and watch it sail through the open window of a small building near the school. By putting two and two together, he realizes it’s the art building where Ana usually locks himself up in. Kaito pays him a visit and sees his prophetic painting of the apocalypse for the first time. He panics, but Ana just paints over it with a fresh layer of white and tells Kaito that the future can always be changed.

Psychic Trap Magical Prophet Painter Genius Ana….desu.

Just as things are looking up for Kaito, he’s summoned for a POG puzzle against Gammon. This match allows spectators, so Rook, Bishop and Kaito’s friends all observe from the balcony. I’m sure the Principal would love to watch as well, but he’s being locked up for sneaking into Jin’s room. It’s a shame, because this match has a pretty sweet set-up. They’re stuck in a pit with a grid of the wall for beams to come shooting out. They call out a number and card suit, and the square on the wall corresponding to that will come shooting out to become a platform. First one to the top without standing on the same beam as the other player and without getting crushed wins. BEGIN!

This puzzle starts off much like their last show down – with Gammon viciously assaulting Kaito in order to get in the lead. Kaito remains passive, and doesn’t even activate the Orpheus armlet. His friends watch with growing tension as he just barely scrapes by. Things only start to change when Rook calls him and triggers the chilling vision of Kaito destroying the future. The armlet remains active after this, allowing Kaito to finally solve the puzzle properly. It works so well that he soon overtakes Gammon, cornering him in no time after a few cleverly-placed attacks. At this rate, Kaito will win and Gammon will die.

They can’t just stop the puzzle (lordy no. WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING?!?!) so Nonoha begs Kaito to find a way to save them both. In a way, that is the ultimate puzzle. However, the armlet doesn’t allow Kaito to feel sympathy when his brain processes are accelerated. Hmm…Guess he should just break it then. Because…apparently that is a thing that can happen – the armlet can shatter while still allowing the previous wearer to use the powers. With a raised thinking speed and his emotions in tact, Kaito quickly calls out a series of seemingly useless moves in order to shepherd Gammon into a dead corner where the beams will not crush him once Kaito solves the puzzle.

I knew I should have gotten a warranty on this thing!

Gammon lives to give Kaito a curt ‘thank you’ much to Elena’s relief. Everyone is about to go on their merry way when Rook has a meltdown and starts screaming that Kaito belongs to him and no one else. He very nearly falls off the balcony from trying to reach out, but Bishop restrains him. This outburst is part of something that changes the future to one where Rook destroys the world instead of Kaito.

Bonus Screenshots:

Out of context, this is a scene where Bishop is feeling up Bishop’s nipples and blowing in his ear while Rook tries to escape

“Huh, I thought Rook was the moon..?” “Ana ships GammonxKaito now.”

Nonoha takes note of how to be an AAA tsundere

Free Hugs! (Disclaimer: he doesn’t let go. ever.)

End Thoughts:

Just when I forgot that part of why I love this series is the presence of yaoi hints, I am knocked off my feet by a ton of casual love confessions. Cubic lets an ‘I love you, Kaito!’ slip out – which is still pretty affectionate even if you translate it as ‘I like you.’ I don’t usually say goodbye to people like that <_<. That in itself was a precious moment. I would have had a field day with just that, but then Rook outdid him. Of course they timed it so after another man confessed, he would grow jealous enough to flail wildly and scream at Kaito. He wants Kaito to be his alone, and he wants it so bad that he is willing to kill everyone else. No, really, not having Kaito made the future change so he destroyed the world. These VERY EXTREME FEELINGS were pretty hilarious, especially when combined with Rook uselessly grabbing at the air and nearly jumping over the railing. A scene to go down in the Phi Brain history books, to be sure.

Glorious BL fanservice aside, this was a pretty solid episode. I didn’t like how Cubic and Ana suddenly shunned Kaito, but I like the way they slowly wormed their way back into Kaito’s life. It was seamless, and didn’t happen at a convenient moment where they swoop in and save him, all deus ex machina-like. Most of all, I like how it was Kaito who took the initiative to break out of his introverted shell. His stubborn attitude has officially softened after all of this time! Ana also apologized in his own way for abandoning Kaito, saying that he was the one who walked away and suffered because of it. He doesn’t exactly shoot from the hip with his advice, but his points do come across eventually. I think this was one of the first times he didn’t sound like a lunatic hippie, because his metaphors actually worked. His crazy speech was cool – but we still don’t have an inkling of how he managed to see the exact landscape of the apocalypse in Kaito’s mind. He may not have seen the face of the cloaked figure, but everything else was spot on. As expected, Ana is just conveniently magical, psychic, and/or Pocahontas whenever he needs to be. *sigh* On a bit of a tangent, I like how each painting he did of his friends represented them in some symbolic way. Cubic was drawn in a cubist style, Gammon was drawn with everything revolving around him to show both his ego and his Galileo namesake, and Kaito was drawn as the sun. I still don’t see what’s so great about the guy for him to be the bloody SUN. He’s getting better, but he ain’t exactly a ray of sunshine just yet. Bitches in this show be crazy.

Gammon’s duel puzzles are always the best. I’d love to play them if it didn’t force the losing party to become a human pancake most of the time. You would think Gammon could make better use of his physical prowess in puzzles like these…shouldn’t he be able to outrun Kaito’s scrawny ass and steal a beam first? Anyways, it was a close match until Kaito’s armlet BROKE. I can’t say I expected that to happen. What a nice shock! How pleasant, since it was strikingly obvious that Kaito would let Gammon live in comparison. It seems like Kaito still has the powers, but is free of having his emotion centre shut down. He still knows he needs to save Gammon, and acts accordingly. He still has uncontrollable lapses into visions of the future though, so that power still exists. I’m glad he’s made a move to change the future, but I really don’t see how he can make things right if he can only change the face of the person who causes the apocalypse. Not that it matters, because if there’s a season 2, the apocalypse has to be stopped somehow. So who’s gonna stop Puzzlegeddon and how? Kaito better think fast before a giant rubix cube crashes into the earth and annihilates everyone. u_u

Preview: Kaito goes on a date with Rook. It’s so suggestive, you even knew I was going to make that joke before you read this. You knew. Rook and Kaito look very relaxed and casual, so I expect a lot of reminiscing and bonding. Although, in the end, you can’t expect Rook to play nice for very long…

Rook stares lovingly into your soul (before killing you)

About

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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11 Responses to “Phi Brain – 23”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Where does the storyboard staff get the ideas for these awesome and well thought out puzzle deathtraps? Each seems to outdo the ones from previous episodes everytime there is a new one. A puzzle death match between two opponents? That sounds like a Yu-Gi-Oh! Shadow Game.

    Having the armlet destroyed right before this season’s finished was a big surprise. I think when the armlet broke; it implanted its power into Kaito before it went to pieces. Even though the armlet’s gone, Kaito still has his powers and now that it’s gone, I think the future has changed as well since it’s now Rook in the cloak instead of Kaito.

    Rook completely snapped. His tantrum reminded me of the girls from Black Rock Shooter when their personal world breaks before getting a little personality change. And the comparison would be between Kagari or Yomi.

    This really is a good Anime. It’s rare nowadays to find animes like this that leave you completely stumped and not knowing what direction it’s going. And I don’t know why they don’t do things this way more often. This anime isn’t restricted by a Manga so it’s free to delve into its story line freely without filler or hesitation. If there ever was an anime that needed to be exposed to the western world it would be this one. Perhaps it would help promote slightly more intelligent and creative cartoons. And the creator must be a puzzle freak.

    • Joojoobees says:

      I read somewhere that they have a dedicated puzzle designer on staff.

    • Overcooled says:

      As Joojoobees said, they have a dude whose only job is to make up puzzles for this show.

      I’m surprised it broke too – I thought Kaito needed it to retain his powers. WELL, I GUESS NOT. Also, the future definitely changed, that’s the whole point of showing Kaito’s visions.

      I feel like I’m enjoying it way more than I should. It’s good, but not something I’d really recommend to others. I like the puzzle-solving concept though – my love of puzzle games is what convinced me to blog this in the first place. I don’t think Phi Brain is popular enough to really start a trend by itself, but who knows?

      • Joojoobees says:

        Well, a “puzzle battle adventure” game is coming out for the PSP in May, so maybe it can start a trend?

        http://www.arcsystemworks.jp/phibrain/

        • Overcooled says:

          I just saw that announced on Tumblr! Not the best source of news, I know, but oddly effective. Anyways, I’m still…immensely surprised. How are they getting all this money? Is Phi Brain really doing that well in Japan?

          Now that you bring this up…I kind of want to play it. I hope it’s kinda like Professor Layton

  2. Joojoobees says:

    Another thing I liked about Ana’s paintings was that each was done in the style of a different famous painter. You mentioned cubism (alá Braque or Picaso), and the one in the screenshot above where each face is set against a different color is very much like some of Marc Chagall’s work.

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh wow, I didn’t know each style was also a reference to a specific painter. Even better! It makes sense since Ana rattles off painter’s names in ordinary conversation all the time.

  3. CJ says:

    “Free Hugs! (Disclaimer: he doesn’t let go. ever.)”
    Damn, that one’s worthy for a demotivational poster

  4. Karakuri says:

    Wow Ana is like the biggest mystery of them all in this show. …What CAN’T he do?

    As for Rook… there’s just no turning off his BL switch for Kaito. I’m surprised he wasn’t the one destroying the world in the first place actually.

    Once again (or maybe I’ve never said this before, I can’t remember), I ask: Where the crap does the POG get the funds to build this stuff? Is puzzle building really that profitable?

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, pretty much everything Rook does is to get closer to Kaito. Creepy. I guess now that Rook is in a frenzy, there’s less of a chance of Kaito talking him out of things, so now Rook will just kill him in that puzzle-summoning ritual for the God Puzzle :/

      I don’t know where the POG gets their mad bank from. Are they commissioned to make puzzles to seal people’s treasures? That’s what I would think. Not sure how they can charge such steep prices to build several headquarters <_< WELL, THERE’S ANOTHER LOVELY BIT OF PHI BRAIN ANIMU LOGIC.

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