It’s not a proper beach episode until all the girls feel physically uncomfortable and slightly molested!
|Don’t you wish you were on a lovely beach vacation as well? Subtract solving puzzles 24/7 and you’ve got a pretty sweet trip on your hands. It’s a shame I’m stuck here with summer courses and hospital volunteer work, because I really feel like I need a break from all this. Alas, I must slog through my work so I can get around to some blogging. What’s more relaxing that blogging about a light-hearted show like Phi Brain, right? I get a little..er..heated this week in my discussion but ah well, I’m sure it was more calming than trying to squeeze more studying in!|
Oh God, this episode just made me mad. Nonoha is a character I want to like, but can’t. She’s fierce, determined and doesn’t take shit from anyone. By all rights, she should be a badass. However, this week she did nothing but piss me off. It’s a real shame that Nonoha is so easily peer-pressured into attempting puzzles. You don’t have to adopt the same hobbies as your friends. Nonoha should be confident about her abilities to support her friends and cheer them on. But noooo, her big revelation is that she’s useful to everyone…because she can cook. Yes, that’s right, the only thing women are good for is cooking because they are too dumb to do anything else. Excellent message, Phi Brain. You really know how to show off your female characters as strong, independent women. =A=
Watching Nonoha struggle so much with puzzles was nothing short of infuriating. I must have mouthed “GIVE UP” a million times to my TV, as if my whispers could somehow make her foolish actions stop. It’s great that she wanted to try, yeah. Good for her. But do you know how annoying it is to watch someone try to do something they suck at? It is pretty annoying. I could have done with less shots of her sitting there and just fumbling with that rubix rectangular prism. Maybe watching her try really damn hard to figure out a puzzle she got when she was like 7 would be more endearing and garner more sympathy from me if she didn’t make the situation so dramatic. I can’t believe she threatened to leave her friends just because she sucked at puzzles. That is like being friends with really great people who just happen to play a lot of video games and then not hanging out with them anymore because you suck at games. People have different interests, strengths, and weaknesses. No one (Except her) even cares that she can’t tell a magic square from a crossword puzzle – so this whole dilemma is brought on by her own misperceptions about how her friends feel about her. Low self-esteem is very harmful, and here is your exhibit A to prove it.
Kaito: Oh mann…I didn’t think turning the computer ON would count as a puzzle for her…
It would probably be a better idea to write this after I’ve cooled down, but what better time to give you my emotional reaction to an episode than immediately after? Strike while the iron is still hot, is what I always say (except not really, because this is the first time I’ve used that saying). Nonoha made a lot of stupid decisions, but at least everyone else was normal this week. Kaito and Gammon were still getting bromantic, Elena was a pleasant mix of sympathetic and saucy, and Ana was pretty adorable. BUT DAT HO NONOHA. Urrggghhh, she’s gonna betray Kaito because she sucks at puzzles any moment now, isn’t she? *sighs a million times*
Overall, a very frustrating episode where Nonoha does a bunch of stupid things.
“Woman actually doing something useful…ISN’T THAT CRAZY, GAMMON?!”
Mark this spectacular event in your calendar, folks, because Phi Brain just invented a new form of sexism. Puzzle sexism. It is a form of sexism where women are shunned from solving puzzles, and are thought to only be useful for cooking. The “get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!” theme is still prevalent, but now there’s the added twist of women being denied the right to solve puzzles. This was most likely unintentional, but it’s kind of hilarious how all the men ignore the women unless they’re providing either puzzles or food. Sex appeal or personality? Pah! Who cares? Don’t forget that Nonoha isn’t the only one being ignored. Airi, Chieno and Miharu are never seen interacting with the Phi Brain kids except at meals. Even Jikukawa is a bit estranged from the group since he’s a bit more tentative to solve puzzles. He plays it smooth, but I think he’s still a bit insecure about being an Orpheus armlet reject (hence his special episode next week which might lead him to being the first to betray Kaito).
The only girl who breaks the mold in the group of good guys is Elena. I was very ‘meh’ about her at first. I felt the same way about her as one would feel about a cloud in the background. It’s just there. Elena can solve puzzles, and she’s really intuitive. Kaito and Gammon play the role of typical dudes who don’t understand things like feelings very well, so they don’t react to Nonoha’s sullen mood at all. Elena picks up on it right away, and confronts Nonoha. She’s not the type to go “awww, poor baby!” while soothingly patting someone on the back, but she does address the issue rather bluntly. She supports Nonoha in her own way, and she understands what her true role in the team is. Nonoha supports everyone and brings them together. Without her, the team drifts apart. Jikukawa notices everyone suddenly becoming a hermit too, but he’s too busy drinking apple juice to do anything. Elena gets stuff done! She also doesn’t cry like a baby just because there is no food. Seriously, is your role as a food provider so important that if you can’t make food, your entire life is ruined? Elena’s got my respect now, because she’s the closest thing to a strong woman this show has got.
Bonus Puzzles:Show ▼
Preview: Remember when Freecell said everyone would betray Kaito? This might be starting now with Jikukawa. Even if not, we get to see Jikukawa in grief as his alter-ego assaults him mentally (and maybe physically!). Can’t wait to hear Ishida Akira’s silky voice for 20 minutes, mmmm…
“Hey Jikukawa, you alright?” “I am going to fling myself off of this roof.” “Okay, cool, seeya later!”