The gauntlet has been thrown! The hair has been released!
|Tomorrow is my last day of volunteering at the hospital, meaning that I have one less obligation. I would love to say this means more time for anime, but it more likely means I’ll have more time for studying. It’s the sad truth, but I’m entering full-on hermit mode just to make sure I am SUPER PREPARED. Phi Brain, as per usual, is the little treat I allow myself when my eyes melt out of my skulls from reading about ketones for too long.|
The Orpheus Dis-Order
What a mess! Mizerka is completely questioning the Order and getting worried, but has no one to sympathize with her. Doubt is so blindly loyal that he wouldn’t care if they ordered him to cut off his big toe as long as the command came from Klondike. His obsessive loyalty (again with the over-the-top relationships) will be his downfall, as the Order is genuinely pulling the wool over their eyes. Everyone has fake Rings, Klondike is keeping secrets, Pinochle is gone and so is Freecell. Not to mention that Herbert has been kicked out of the Order, while probably still wearing his two Rings…which has me irrationally worried about a comeback of some sorts. Unless the falling rocks conveniently broke them off his arm, I think he still might be a threat. Speaking of threats, HOW ABOUT DAT KLONDIKE?!?! I feel like someone should hand me a prize now that they’re showing him to be a REAL DUDE and not Whist or Melancholy or…dead. Nice move, Phi Brain. Nice move.
A Bleak Future
No, literally. The future only has black and white.
To put things simply: some funky stuff is going down with those Orpheus Rings. Even Kaito is suffering, and he doesn’t have a Ring! It’s now been confirmed that Freecell can see the future with his awakened Ring. Awakened is a nice term, because it doesn’t necessarily mean his Ring is actually real now – it’s just gained all the abilities of a true Ring. Freecell’s reaction to seeing the future is to grin like a chesire cat at everything and wander around solving puzzles to taunt Kaito, so I imagine his future is looking good.
The Ring must have numbed his emotions to the point where we doesn’t care about his mom or his promise with Kaito, but not so much that he isn’t obsessed with Kaito. He snuck into a cave, solved a Fool’s Puzzle, and then left him a love note at the end. This is even creepier than him seeking revenge for his dead mother and his promise because now he literally has no reason for stalking Kaito except for one thing. That one thing is “puzzle time.” If a kid from grade 3 still held a grudge because you kicked sand in your eyes, then okay, that’s a pointless grudge but it makes sense. If a kid you knew from grade 3 and then never saw again suddenly saw you again and decided they wanted to be your best friend forever and ever, that would be creepy. What’s the motivation? It’s just pure obsession! I won’t just single out Freecell though, because I really haven’t the foggiest idea why Pinochle is so hellbent on saving Freecell. He didn’t even recognize his face when he was recruited to the Order, so why would he go so far for him? Phi Brain seems to be all about unhealthy, possessive relationships everywhere I look.
Cubic seems to have all the answers behind what’s going on, although why he kept it a secret is beyond me. In fact, I’m not sure why Kaito is keeping quiet either – especially after he seemed to be opening up to everyone. I’m amazed Gammon was the one to realize something was up instead of Nonoha or Ana. It seems a bit out of character for him to pick up on human emotions so easily. It seems more like a convenient way to have Cubic explain the situation to someone *sighs*. Anyways, despite the forced presentation, I like the idea of Kaito being able to see the future despite not having a Ring. Is it because he is a Phi Brain child, so he’ll always have a connection to the ring? Does his brain just remember the sensation of accelerated thought and being able to see the future, so it keeps going? The brain has a certain level of plasticity, and synapses can completely change or be formed when performing a new task over and over. After solving so many puzzles with a Ring on and seeing the future, he may have permanently rewired his brain in such a way that he can do these things without a Ring. At least, that’s my theory for how it would work if this was real life and not…you know…puzzle heaven where nothing makes sense.
The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For
That’s right! Nonoha lets her hair down! It’s not the glamorous, bishoujo-sparkle moment that I imagined though. Instead of the tell-tale shimmering of stardust flowing with every movement of his hair, Nonoha gets stuck with ink blots and a gritty background. It’s like watching an old war movie, or the censoring in Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls getting out of hand. Nonoha letting her hair down is supposed to symbolize a bleak future, which means it’s not really supposed to be a “oh man, she’s hot now!” kind of moment. As Kaito is gone to train for the Puzzle Olympics with Rook, Nonoha is left alone. She seems to be sympathizing with Freecell a lot, which has me worried that she might try something on her own. Something drastic. Another part of me is terrified of that necklace she has, because it looks suspiciously like one of those weird Replica Rings. Remember the Orpheus earrings and rings they gave Chieno and Airi? It’s a long shot, but I can’t help but wonder if that necklace is going to push Nonoha in the wrong direction for one reason or another.
Fool’s Screencaps:Show ▼
Phi Brain pulls some pretty cool twists and reveals, but with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop. Characters conveniently meet and have convenient conversations that conveniently explain everything the viewer wants to know. It all feels like it was set up with the mechanical precision of a robot instead of a nice, flowing story that feels natural. Phi Brain has always been pretty blunt though, and likes answering questions in a very straight-forward manner. What would we do without a character who keeps track of Kaito’s vital signs and location 24/7 and is able to study advanced brain-accelerating machines!? Sometimes I think Cubic is just there to explain everything to everyone. If you’ve played Devil Survivor, then he’s like Atsuro – explaining how the game works to the player like that’s what he was born to do.
Things are getting really intense now as the plot picks up. Sure, the way it’s told is clumsy, but it’s easy to get sucked in by all the new developments. Kaito seeing the future and finally getting a glimpse at Klondike were some major events! I’m also a big Rook fan (could you tell?) and love the idea of Kaito visiting his friend to solve some puzzles. I still feel like the new Rook is a little too nice and normal, so I like the idea of him revisiting old puzzles he made when he was under the control of his Ring. Imagine if Kaito died because of one of his old puzzles. Imagine the guilt he would feel! Rook must be really pained to let Kaito solve these old puzzles, and seeing just how cruel he was in the past can’t be fun either. It make sense for him to go solve a puzzle with Kaito so they can at least die together if something goes awry. I’m super hyped for that Fool’s Puzzle Rook offered to solve with Kaito. My God, I will kill someone if that isn’t shown onscreen!!
Preview: Kaito said he’d solve another puzzle with Rook, and yet here he is fooling around with Doubt and Mizerka. Well, I guess it still counts as puzzle training. It looks like a crazy 2vs2 puzzle with Kaito’s partner being…Ana?! Is he even going to be useful?!