“Oh no! Kaito found my Rubix cube x Sudoku fanfic!”
|Ahh, there’s nothing like sitting down and chilling with Phi Brain in the summer, where it doesn’t matter how many brain cells die from watching stupidity. Although that won’t last for long since I’ll be back in class again during the summer, studying for the dreaded entry exam into med school. *sighs* But never mind that, because now is the time to savour my freedom and watch anime all day long! Oh, and blogging too. That’s why I’m here.|
Gammon isn’t doing so hot lately. He’s so enraged at the Orpheus Order’s attempt to convert his sister into a genius serial killer that he can’t focus on creating puzzles for his magazine gig. His rankings are dropping sharply, and Kaito even remarks that his recent puzzles are full of mistakes and…hatred. After school, Gammon returns home to unwind and cool his head a bit. However, Miharu isn’t very street smart, and seems really good at letting life-threatening people and objects into the house. Doubt is standing in the dining room, smiling and drinking all of their tea. Didn’t you know Gammon loves tea? He’s so pissed that he almost beats Doubt to a bloody pulp then and there.
Not wanting to stain the rug, Gammon goes outside with Doubt. Apparently this takes so long the sun has now set, leaving the two of them facing off in a dark alley. Doubt explains that he skipped an important Orpheus Order meeting so he could ask Gammon to join them. He tries to punch Doubt, so it’s pretty obvious that’s not going to happen, despite the time-keeper’s smug grin. He gives Gammon time to think about the offer. He thinks about it alright. He thinks about it so much that he gets the rejuvenated POG members to suss out their headquarters and relay the info to him so he can bust in and raise heck. Finally, someone is taking proper initiative!
Not cool, man. He was just trying to give you a brofist.
Immediately after leaving, Elena tries to talk Gammon out of his more physical approach, but to no avail. It’s time to bring out the big guns! Elena phones up Kaito (presumably) and arranges a puzzle showdown between Kaito and Gammon. She frames Gammon by putting up a giant challenge written in BAKA morse code (a la season 1) on the school walls. Kaito accuses Gammon of looking down on him as a Solver specialist and challenges him to a series of puzzles. He has to race to the roof and solve all the puzzles.
It’s pretty easy stuff. Kaito just snatched up all of Gammon’s puzzles and added a bit of his own flavour. Gammon scoffs at them at first, but he’s quickly reminded of the joy he had when he made those puzzles. He also has a flashback to a scene that never actually happened, where he decided to solve a puzzle in Kaito’s place just for fun instead of for money. Finally, Gammon remembers what is truly important in life: puzzles. Glorious puzzles. Doubt receives a refusal letter delivered by the POG shortly after. “Foolish”? More like “F*CKYOU”!
“We’re almost done the paperwork that lets us be main characters on the show!”
“Hello, I’d like to order a pizza delivered to the man hanging upside down on Root Academy’s Roof. Thanks.”
Ohhh, is this like those Miku concert holograms?! Woww!!! Sing for us, Freecell!
“Kaito, this is pointless. Let’s go home.” “I think I see a nickel jammed between the cracks.” “OUTTA THA WAY, BAKAITO!”
Everyone’s high regard for puzzles in Phi Brain has always been something that pushed an already preposterous concept (solving life-threatening puzzles) further away from normalcy, right into the realm of the ridiculous. Instead of normal friendship speeches, we get friendship speeches about puzzles. Ana speaks to animals, Kaito can communicate with puzzles, and nothing is explained. It’s so cheesy that it transcends stupid, and makes you wonder if this show is actually written by some super genius with a higher IQ than Plato who understands the true nature of puzzles. It’s been a while since we’ve had an episode steeped in so much “puzzle-sympathy.” You would think puzzles were living, breathing human beings with the way everyone talks about them this week! It’s like a comedy-callback to the fledgling episodes of Phi Brain season 1 where it was purely “so bad it’s good.” Such lovely memories! I can’t wait to watch this with my fellow black sheep of SCCSAV on Skype. What, you thought me calling Phi Brain out as nonsensical was a complaint? Far from it! When it goes this far with the puzzle thing, I can’t help but feel like a puzzle-shaped void in my heart has been filled.
Every episode has some sort of puzzle-sympathy, it’s true, but episode 5 felt like it ripped through the fabric of space and time and revealed a dark abyss housing a cold, terrifying alternate dimension. Truly, the Phi Brain universe is a twisted alternate dimension where our logic simply does not apply. Elena talks Gammon out of doing something such as skip the risking death part and just capture Orpheus Order, and convinces him to instead go head-to-head in a puzzle deathmatch. He could have gone in with reinforcements – the police even – and rid the world of them easily. But no, that’s taboo. That’s considered jumping off the deep end! I spent all this time wondering why Kaito was so eager to continue risking his life for puzzles and it turns out the answer is because that is the inherent nature of this…this..Phi Brain universe. I just…wow. By the end of the series, Kaito will reach Phi Brain and physically become THE ULTIMATE PUZZLE. Then Nonoha will cry on his rubix-cube body and the camera will pan up to the sky as some sassy latin music plays.
Focusing back on the actual episode instead of getting excited over how silly Phi Brain is (it’s really silly!), we have a nice Gammon episode on our hands. Gammon switched sides to the POG last season because they both had the united goal of defeating Kaito. Even then, it seems like he was actually a double agent (that, or no one really gives a shit and decided to forgive him anyways). It doesn’t make sense for him to join the Orpheus Order and it makes Doubt seem really dumb to try and convince him. It would be smarter to make an ultimatum such as “join Orpheus Order or your sister gets it” instead of insulting him and then hoping that counts as persuasive skills. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to flatter someone when you want them to do something for you. Gammon’s rejection was predictable, but I really did enjoy how he was brought out of his puzzle slump by Kaito and Elena. His love for puzzles and Kaito’s pure variations of Gammon’s own creations got him through his depressed period. Awwww, how touching. As much as the puzzle-of-the-week format works for Phi Brain, I like when things are switched up a bit. Kaito as a Giver and Gammon as a Solver was definitely a fresh new format. It also confirms that Kaito knows jack-all about making puzzles. Not quite the God we think he is, eh?
Another big plus about episode 5 besides not containing a shred of sensibility and being full of Fukuyama Jun shrieking like a banshee was the presence of the POG. Remember when they used to give puzzles to Ana, Gammon and Cubic in order to kill them? Remember their merciless death sentences that they gleefully gave out without even being controlled by Orpheus armlets? Yeah, they’re totally good now. I don’t know how you’d explain that change of heart, but okay, cool, nice to see that the POG is catering to the booming puzzle industry needs without slaughtering thousands. Why is this such a plus? Because Rook is probably still the boss, and I’m hoping this means he’ll make another appearance. A cameo. A fluffy white circle in the corner of the screen. ANYTHING! They brought every other character back and even gave them a taste of glory, so why not the tormented stalker himself? I think I saw his name on the official site’s cast list, so I’m staying hopeful. I’ll be waiting, and complaining every week until Rook appears. Yes, that is definitely productive.
Before we go…What’s up with Whist, guys? I want to hear your ideas, because I’m too busy making fun of this show (while thoroughly enjoying it) to even think about speculation right now.
Preview: Some sort of team battle at school. Rook isn’t there so who cares?
Melancholy is actually like 25. I’m calling it now.