Man’s best friend…UNTIL TODAY!!!
|I just had a stress-filled morning choosing my courses as fast as I could for the next term. The course selection system at my school is so treacherous that you’d have a better chance surviving flinging yourself from the roof of your house than getting into the courses you need. I…I…need some Phi Brain to calm me down. There’s nothing more heart-warming than a puzzle-solving canine.|
How Phi Brain managed to make a puzzle-solving dog genius into a serious plot point is beyond me. This should be screaming cheese and corn and whatever other food items are used to describe dumb ideas taken to extremes, but it somehow turned out to be a nice little episode. Phi Brain is like the Schrödinger’s cat of being neither dumb nor brilliant…until you decide on one. It can go either way, really!
I liked the action of the foggy maze puzzle a lot more than some of the more recent ones where you can just loaf around. The sense of urgency involved makes things more exciting, because an accidental death can occur at any point in the puzzle – not just if you run out of time or lose at the very end. When you look at things that way, this was a great “goodbye” puzzle for Rook as he fades back into the background, only to reappear again if he’s needed for convenient plot purposes or fanservice. However, once you remember that his opponent is a dog that flops around like a mass of wet spaghetti with every bounding step, things kind of fall apart. Not in a bad way, but in a silly way. Every now and then while watching the episode I had to lean back and say to myself “that’s a dog.” I really could not believe that a dog was solving a puzzle.
The story with Lotte and Rummy was dumb, but kind of endearing. Like with most things Phi Brain, it becomes ridiculous when you stop and think about it, but at the time all you can think is “Oh yeah, the dog is really smart. Mmm, I see. Makes sense.” I like that the show is trying to go in slightly new directions though. As expected, The Order is taking a bit of a break – choosing to raise pawns such as Lotte and Rummy in their place by giving them Replica Rings. I love how Melancholy was like “well, screw this” when the puzzle was over meanwhile Herbert starting to desperately clutch at straws and throw a tantrum. Her-oji-san just doesn’t fit in, does he~?
Overall, a fun, dorky episode about a dog who solves puzzles. Classic Phi Brain.
Rummy (named after a card game) is pegged as a genius dog for being able to solve mazes without fail. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a dog to even sit on command, so this is pretty impressive. However, I think the Order got a little bit desperate choosing a dog. For one thing, Rummy is old as balls. Do dogs even get grey hairs? Well this one is so old it does. Not only that, but it nearly has a heart attack just trying to to finish the maze. I don’t think Rook was even sweating. Okay, so he’s old, but he’s not senile. How else could he solve all those mazes, right? It turns out, Lotte likes making mazes that can all be solved exactly the same way. It would only take a bunch of trials for Rummy to be conditioned to automatically alternate between turning left and right at junctions. Yes, it takes a certain level of intelligence to realize he has to stay on the lines – but after that, it’s all automatic responses. I was markedly less impressed when Rook revealed that little trick.
Putting the Replica Ring (collar?) on Rummy is also a bad idea because Phi Brain mode dulls all of the senses. Unlike humans, dogs rely on scent rather heavily. Jikukawa losing the ability to taste his apple juice isn’t so bad, but a dog being unable to smell his owner at the goal must be very disconcerting. This is also a very cardiovascular-based puzzle when you think about it, and having a device chaffing your neck that also lowers your stamina and slowly harms your body isn’t the greatest of help. Anyways, I am pointing out reasons why it’s a bad idea to make a dog kill a man for you, which is probably so Captain Obvious that this rant has no real place in this post (or anywhere). Doggy murder….please.
Boku no Kaito
Ahh, it’s been a while since I got to fawn over these two as a pair instead of just screaming into the ether for them to bring Rook back. Admittedly, Rook is a bit bland now that his possessive side is gone, but he brings out the best in Kaito. Our sunglasses-toting hero is a lot better at socializing without his Orpheus Ring, but he’s still a few notches away from really being friendly. Kaito will passively accept the affections of his friends, but he rarely ever asks to hang out with anyone. His bond with Rook is arguable stronger than any other bond he has with his friends (aside from perhaps Nonoha, who he is so used to she is practically wallpaper). Kaito sees Rook as his equal in terms of intellect and his disappointment upon hearing that his friend was leaving was – how should I put it? – totes adorbs. He’s not a clingy guy, so seeing him ask Rook to stay was sweet. Cubic has every reason to be jealous!
We all know that Rook has it bad for Kaito, but he’s toned it down since the Ring was removed. We still get the “boku no kaito” reference at the end, but it’s used in a joking tone as opposed to in season 1 when he screamed it until he collapsed and had a meltdown. Yes…Rook has changed a lot. I like how he’s seeking redemption for what he’s done as well. They even joke that Gammon was forgiven way too quickly for joining the POG in season 1, meaning they are completely aware how ridiculous it was. They know guys…These Phi Brain peeps know they’re doing crazy stuff here. Anyways, back to Rook. He’s manning up and taking responsibility by trying to stop the circulation of the Replica Rings, and hopefully the entire Order as a whole. I would like to see him wracked by more guilt for hurting his precious Kaito though. He talks about atonement like he’s commenting on the weather. I may just be eager to see Rook suffer some more, but I’d believe his atonement speech more if he didn’t deliver it with a giant grin.
Doggie Treats: Show ▼
“Oh, I forgot to mention that rule. The floor falls away to reveal a pit of rabid fangirls!”
More screaming and broken objects than a heavy metal concert
Creativity is good. Finding creative ways to torture animals…not so much.
Preview: Eve has a Replica Ring! Kaito has a toga! I have a heart attack!
WATCH OUT, IT MIGHT BE A TRAP!