Because smart is SEXY
|Just when you thought it left, Phi Brain is back already. …Was there even a week’s break for this show? Whatever. The important part is that it’s back and it’s as fabulous as ever xD|
|Without even pausing for a breath of air, Phi Brain is back for season 2! For those of you peeking in to see if you want to suddenly get into Phi Brain, you can’t really start here…You’ll have to watch season 1 to get what the hell is going on. It’s a dorky show, but it really has its glorious moments. Let’s see if S2 can top that!|
Remember those deadly puzzles Kaito and his friends were forced to solve in season 1? Well, they’re still doing those, but no one is even forcing them to. This show doesn’t even need a villain to get these guys to risk their lives for puzzles! The gang is merrily having a BBQ in the middle of a deadly puzzle, taking their sweet time to solve it, enjoy the food, and come up with yet more puzzles to pass the time with. (note: the answer to Cubic’s puzzle is 8-3=5. Move one bone from the 9 to make it 5, and then place the bone on the 6 to make it an 8.) Nonoha is not pleased so she scolds them thoroughly, like an normal person would. This sets off a trap and sends them flying into the air. How do they recover? No clue, but LOOK! A new villain is watching them!
He stood in the shadows with a dark smile etched on his face, his shadowy frame ominously framed by floating weiners…
To set things up, Kaito has a little flashback while talking with Nonoha. He regrets not keeping his promise to Rook and to Nonoha as well, and he has no intention of repeating the same mistake. Hence his determination to set every puzzle free, which he originally promised Jin. Not that Jin would care, since his memory is gone. As Kaito reflects on his life with Nonoha, the stalker, Rook look-alike talks to his necklace and foreshadows about his upcoming ‘play date’ with Kaito.
Kaito doesn’t even manage to make it to school before he’s challenged to a puzzle. The bus route to school is sectioned off by a large amount of KEEP OUT tape, causing a huge hold up. Kaito and the other Phi Brain children investigate, and soon realize that it’s a puzzle invitation for only Kaito. They send the buses and students back home, which is funny, because it’s not like anyone actually ever goes to class in this show. Anyways, they miss class and Kaito leaps over the tape and onto the bridge…causing it to explode. They really meant it when they said KAITO IN and KEEP OUT on the tape. This is a purely 1vs1 showdown.
HOLY SHIT A GIANT GLASS PYRAMID!!! Clearly, this new organization has time-bending powers, unlike the POG. Kaito, not being one to turn down a life-threatening puzzle, quickly ascends the steps (which are like a puzzle in of themselves). He ends up in a room filled with mirrors that have the ability to turn either reflective, clear or opaque at the snap of fingers. The one snapping the fingers? The coin-whisperer from before, Freecell. He’s had his eye on Kaito for a while, and wishes to challenge him to a series of puzzles to test him. Sensing nothing fishy at all, Kaito accepts. All he has to do is pick the right exit out of 4 possible choices in this crazy maze.
Meanwhile, the Phi Brain gang are taking the long way around to try and get to the massive pyramid erected in their schoolyard. It’s not exactly the sort of thing you can miss, even from a distance. As for the vice president, she’s being forcefully persuaded by another Orpheus Order dude. He knows all about her crush on Jikugawa (again, all villains in this show have high stalker levels) and how jealous she is of how much attention he pays to Kaito. He gently suggests taking him out of the picture, which sounds a little extreme considering that they’re both guys and there’s nothing going on between them. JUST A LITTLE.
Kill Kaito and steal his harem-gathering powers!
Freecell starts moving to the exit, one block at a time. Kaito watches carefully so he can figure out the right exit path, but it’s not so easily when the walls literally lie to you. To make the task even harder, Freecell chastises Kaito for breaking promises and hurting his friends. Kaito only thinks of Rook, but it can pretty much be generalized to his entire friend circle. Despite the sudden stress, Kaito manages to buckle down and enter a Phi Brain mode-like state to solve the puzzle. Using his knowledge of the angle light reflects at and the distance he saw Freecell in comparison to where he was, Kaito deduces that the C exit will lead him out.
The building explodes as Kaito jumps out. Luckily, Cubic is there with his robot to catch him and save him. It seems like a happy ending until Freecell appears again to mock them. He shows them his Orpheus armlet and tells him he’s part of the Orpheus Order. He also promises that he’ll make all of Kaito’s friends turn against him…starting with the Vice President! Wait, was she ever his friend? No matter, she’s got a shiny new earring and she’s ready to challenge Kaito to a puzzle.
…and then Cubic never ever washed that hand or that lab coat.
The trademark “Einstein” or “Okay I’m ready to put a contact in now” pose.
Puzzles, meat and beer. Obviously, a women would never understand.
Look a little more impressed…Do you have any idea how hard it was for me to get here after this thing exploded?
HOLY CRAP THERE WERE FEMALE PHI BRAINS (unless they’re crossdressers… sadly, I wouldn’t put it past them). I didn’t even know that those could exist. Oh man, those new villains are fabulous. It looks like each of Kaito’s friends get a new rival~. I’m totally down for that. Also, KAMIYAN IS THE NEW VILLAIN! AND HIS CHARACTER HAS A HAIRSTYLE FABULOUS ENOUGH TO MAKE UP FOR ROOK’S ABSENCE! Yaaaaay! Like OC joked last episode (aka the end of season 1), he very well could be Rook’s brother. How fabulous that would be. He seems to know a ton about Kaito and Rook’s escapades in their childhood, so he has to be involved somehow. While I’m just as confused as Kaito was at how the glass pyramid was built overnight, quite liked the puzzle. Especially how Kaito struggled with it. When Phi Brain takes the time at explain a puzzle like that, I’m more and more amazed at the guy who comes up with these things.
I love that OP more than season one’s already (though I don’t like the ED). Another bonus from the OP is that Nonoha had her hair down for maybe three seconds. She should do that more often. On a completely different topic, the thing that’s great about this season is that it looks like Kaito is past his broody angst-ridden “I don’t need anyone, now leave me alone while I go stand alone under a streetlight in the rain at night” phase now. …Or at least that’s how things are as of current. Who knows how high Kaito’s angst levels will rise again if he encounters a difficult puzzle or something, let alone Rook.
Long story short, I already think that season two is better than season one (please note that I have an extreme Kamiyan bias and am therefore not responsible for how crappy you may or may not find the actual anime in comparison to the first season). I’ve long gotten over the fact that the characters are convinced that puzzles=life and while I’m still confused as to where all of this money is coming from, I don’t really care. I’m just glad this awesomeness of an anime is continuing xD.
Welcome back, Puzzle Husbands! I mean..Phi Brain. I’m still unsure how this got a sequel, but I’m beyond caring at this point. Season 2 is continuing with the same feel as season 1 – featuring a crazy organization obsessing over Daimon Kaito. It’s the same schtick but with new characters to ignite a brand new storyline now that the POG has stopped its evil ways. The most exciting part is definitely the Orpheus Order, who are proving to be just as entertaining as the POG, if not more. Freecell already has a lot of the traits Rook had: an armlet that’s skewing his emotions, a toned down fixation on Kaito, colour scheme, and some relation to Kaito’s past. He’s not at the Rook level of stalking, but he’s pretty high on the scale. How else would Freecell know so much about Kaito’s life is he hadn’t been prying into it excessively all this time? The OP also hints that the two share some sort of past link. Perhaps Kaito made a promise to him as a kid, but was so wrapped up in Rook that he forgot about it. There’s also the magnetic KAMIYA HIROSHI factor, which instantly makes him a winner. My worries about the next villain being an underwhelming replacement for Rook have been quelled.
As a whole, the Orpheus Order looks pretty exciting. The character designs are definitely an improvement over the POG goonies (seriously, did they even try?) and they all seem pretty badass. Anyone who constructs a glass pyramid in one night goes down in my books as someone to look out for. They also seem to be sticking Orpheus armlets on EVERYONE now, which finally addresses their explanation of there being tons of armlets out there. This means all the members are probably being slightly controlled by them, and will need Kaito to free them with the power of…say it all together now…FRIENDSHIP! Yes, it’s terribly cheesy, but that’s what this show is about. I look forward to them having every character turn on Kaito. I don’t think they’ll stop at just stupid characters no one cares about (like the vice president) turning on him. Was I supposed to care about her? I’m just quietly waiting for Nonoha to don an Orpheus armlet, suddenly become smart, and completely destroy Kaito. The two-bit Vice Prez character got to have a glowing red eye, why can’t Nonoha? Is that too much to hope for? I would enjoy it IMMENSELY if we could see Kaito suffer for his past assholery.
Looking at this week’s actual puzzle – it was standard fare, but a nice reintroduction to the series. I couldn’t even process Kaito’s explanation of how to solve the puzzle, but I appreciate them going through the solution so thoroughly. The in-house puzzle creator for this show deserves a round of applause for coming up with these every week! Props to the animation staff too, because the art has actually gotten better and things look considerably less derp! The OP and ED look and sound incredible (the old ED was garbage), although Brain Diver will always live on in my heart. So, do I like season 2? Yep! Am I still going to blog about characters who take puzzles so seriously they can’t go a minute without mentioning them? Yep! Phi Brain still retains that odd charm where you can’t help but love both the good, the bad and ugly.
Preview: Vice Prez is up to bat at challenging Kaito to a puzzle duel. Look at that, she’s even got the glowing red eye part down. Wait, I thought activating that power was supposed to be rare? Must suck to be a armlet reject like Jikugawa.