Phi Brain S2 – 15

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.


Puzzle Pup

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 ▼


Preview: Eve has a Replica Ring! Kaito has a toga! I have a heart attack!



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 S2 – 15”

  1. Yuushin says:

    More screaming and broken objects than a heavy metal concert

    Kyahahahahaaha! So true! Good one!..*wheeze* omg, that got me laughing like a maniac xD TuT also your comments for preview xD….
    I think we’re safe, Eve is not a trap…At least not kind of we’re fearing of D: But from the looks of it she’s not coming in friendly visit next Sunday either -___- >__>
    And seeing Kaito in toga I just know next episode is going to be WIN xD I’m just stalking official site and twitter now for more preview pic’s xDDD

    As for actual episode it was OK I guess, good screen time for updating us on how’s Rook doing and all that…I’m not sure what to think about old-ass genius dog xD whole plot for this episode looked really silly xD Also, I’m under impression that Lotte is a girl? O___O E? E?

    That’s pretty much all I have to say. No long-ass boring comments ass usual~…
    Well save that for next week :3 xDDDDD

    • Rolca says:

      I laughed hard too XD Herbert hass the best tantrums, He even jumped and kicked the sofa! :’)

      It’s Phi Brain, Eve being a trap is still a possibility to me. Kaito in a toga was just one screen so I hope it’s not just somebody’s imagination going wild. I would be golden to have him solve a puzzle wearing that like he did with the princess dress, it’s too bad it won’t happen.

      Lotte is a girl! I think she was even referred so several times, but the subs still used he…

      • Overcooled says:

        Herbert’s tantrums are getting more…intense…as well. He just keeps going! XD What a champ.

        Yeah, I dunno about Eve not being a trap. The fact that Gammon was interested in her when women are never the object of affection makes me suspicious. XD We’ll just have to see what we learn during the puzzle match about Eve’s sex. As always, I’m avoiding extra info until the actual episode airs. I don’t want anything to be revealed until the actual thing!!! I’m patient about odd things like that.

        It was a pretty good episode considering that it was about a dog. Lotte…I think Lotte is a girl, but the trouble with Japanese is you can have an entire conversation without addressing the gender of the person you’re talking to. It’s a very gender-neutral language unlike French, so you literally would be unable to tell unless someone said “that boy” or “that girl.” :B My subs switched between he and she too..probably to cover their asses in case one was wrong lol.

  2. Jenanime4eva says:

    Wow, you got this recap up much quicker than usual haha! 😀

    To be honest, I felt the plot for this ep was a just bit on the retarded side. Especially when Rook had to explain to the kid (couldn’t tell if the kid was a he or she, they had a female seiyuu but the subtitles said he, ah whatever) oh look the dog really loves you and not the puzzle o_O. The size of that little kid’s head was also ridiculously large compared to the body :P.

    It was funny how quickly Rook became the most popular guy to fangirl over in the school, but we all know that he only has eyes for Kaito ;).

    I hope Rook and Bishop return soon. We’ve still got that inevitable Rook/Kaito/Freecel showdown waiting to happen nehehehe XD.

    So next week…KAITO IN A TOGA. Sold! 😀 I heartily approve of this pure crackiness :).

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m finished with my summer school course, so I can hopefully try and post this a bit faster. :3

      Uh, I don’t think anyone blames you for thinking a puzzle-solving dog is kind of iffy, haha. Rook’s speech about the dog was dumb, but I enjoyed it for some reason. It just felt like the natural explanation for why this stupid mutt kept running through these goddamned mazes without even getting food at the end. XD

      Oh man, I’d love a Rook+Kaito against Freecell (and whoever else) match. Rook has gotta come back some time right? Right?

  3. Liza says:

    I did not realize Lotte was a girl until the subs told me so. I thought she was a boy… But anyway, yeah it was ridiculous that the Orpheus Order is now relying on a dog however this is Phi Brain so I can let it slide. Plus it is something different I guess than from having the humans do all of the puzzle-ing. At least we got to see some awesomeness from Rook before he poofs to oblivion for a while.

    • Rolca says:

      As dumb as scouting a genius dog sounds, it would have been a great satisfaction for Melancholy and Herbert if Rook lost :’)

      This maze felt like it would have been perfect for Nonoha (unless finding her way would have been too puzzle-y for her), what a waste 😡

      I don’t like dogs, but seeing Rummy suffering and stopping despite having the ring (collar?) on made me sad and angry.

      • Overcooled says:

        @liza: It’s amazing how far we’ll take our suspension of belief just to cater to Phi Brain’s level of insanity. GENIUS DOG, TOTALLY COOL!

        @Rolca: Nonoha would have been awesome for this maze. I’m still kind of impressed that Rook nearly memorized the maze though.

        I like animals, but I liked seeing Rummy abused like that :3 The pain of having your owner push you like that while ignoring your own desires! Yes! Perfect!

  4. Foshizzel says:

    AHAHAHAH THIS EPISODE! OH MY GOD…that dog…I was like is the dog going to die mid puzzle? Then I remembered oh right this is a friendly show where no one really “dies” except for moms and dads I think?

    It was great to see Rook! And then he had to go? DAMN IT MAN! Kaito and the others need you, but he will return when the team needs him.

    • Overcooled says:

      LOL I thought it would die too. I think if it died I would laugh until I rolled off my couch. Sadly…this is apparently a kids show so no one dies except for poor Kaito’s parents :<

      Yes, I think he will return too. He's too smart and good-looking not to!

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Wow. Even though this plot is unheared of, it wasn’t the least bit laughable. I actually took it seriously. Kudos to anime for always taking such insignificant things and make them seem possible.

    It’s been a while since there has been a puzzle that brought up a certain amount of tension. The maze itself was good enough being so high you can’t see the bottom but the icing on the cake was the fog. My knees would be knocking together if I were there.

    The other highlight was Melancholy’s cold, evil aura. It’s was a more than usual. “I’ve found an interesting toy” brrr!!! I couldn’t believe Lotte didn’t notice the feeling but the dog did. You could feel evil just by looking at her eyes. If she gets a demise in this show, I’m voting for being run over by a tractor.

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