Phi Brain S2 – 20

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 ▼


Final Thoughts

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?!


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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13 Responses to “Phi Brain S2 – 20”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    There is discord in this Order. With everything falling apart among them and the members being used as lab rats, I suspect treason to come soon enough. Mostly on Mizerka’s behalf with snooping around. Doubt, on the other hand, is going to get a reality check when he’s no longer of any use. People like that break in the worst of ways.

    I wonder what’s in it for that haughty loli Melancholy. She’s the only one being wired into everything with a front row seat. Maybe she got all the luxury because she acted as some kind of recruiter like what she did with Freecell.

    Visions of the future again. But there’s no indication of an apocalyptic end here whereas last season explained the world would be destroyed if the God Scrolls. Right now, it’s just Kaito, Freecell and Nonoha.

    We get some things we wanted. First, Klondike is finally revealed, alive and isn’t used as some puppet for someone behind the scenes. There better some development on his part concerning the little amount of episodes left.

    Second, Nonoha letting down her hair. Honestly, what took so long? She looks almost like a different person that way.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s only a matter of time before a rebellion! I’m hoping Mizerka can get Doubt to stop being a stick-in-the-mud and stand up for his own rights. Everyone has already started to rebel (Freecell and Pinochle) or is in on the experiments (Melancholy). Speaking of her, I’m curious about her position in all of this. What role did she play? Just the recruiter?

      I’m glad the world isn’t over in the future vision too…Although the visions might start to get worse as the episodes continue o_o

      Nonoha looks way better with her hair down! Agreed!

  2. Hazou says:

    Freecell, Rook, and Kaito I expect to have a together moment they were all waiting for behind the scenes. So, I always wondered. Do you have a rehab center for people getting over the effects of the replica rings? Like Replica and Original Rings Anonymous.

    • Overcooled says:

      They certainly need one. If they did, this show would end a lot sooner though XD. The same goes for if they actually had a police force. I swear there are no cops on this show!

      • BlackBriar says:

        I doubt the Order would get away with half the things they do if there was a police force around. Then again, it was the same thing with the P.O.G and no one was around to stop them. Other organizations would jump in if they can see how lawless the Phi Brain world is.

  3. Noc says:

    Given that none of the Orpheus lackeys have surnames, I’m half expecting Melancholy to end up being Klondike’s daughter or granddaughter, given that she seems to be closer to Hoist’s level of security than the other members. I always thought her reasons for hunting down Kaito with the other members was flimsy(“he said my puzzle was boring!”), as if she just made it up on the fly, so now its clear that she’s in on some other plan. I like that the big boss man was finally shown though.

    And I’m a little disappointed in Nonoha’s hair scenes…I was expecting it to be shown during some dramatic moment like her possible death or betrayal, not just in a grungy ink blot premonition and at bed time! I hope it comes up again later, otherwise I won’t be satisfied!

    I like your theory about the necklace! If there’s one thing I want to see more than Nonoha with her hair down its Nonoha under the influence of a ring. Think about it! She remembers puzzles better than Kaito himself, and has likely seen just as many as him too! With a vast reservoir of past puzzle experiences to draw from and an item that directs all her natural intelligence towards understanding them, I think Nonoha has the potential to be a very formidable opponent both as a giver and a solver. I’m not sure who she’d go up against though…she could choose to use a ring to help her friends (a la Jikukawa- and I wonder if he’ll come back at all?), but her growing sympathy for Freecell might end up warping into a reason to fight Kaito and co. instead.

    I’m guessing next episode will be used to resolve Mizerka’s tiff with Ana and maybe Doubt’s blind loyalty as well, although I think there’s still a bit more to him that needs to be shown before he has any healed memory epiphanies. The way Phi Brain tells its story is kind of clunky and in-your-face, but its managed to surprise me quite a few times when I thought I had everything figured out, and that’s always a pleasure.

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh wow, that’s actually quite possible since she’s so young (and spoiled). Melancholy doesn’t seem to care about Kaito as much as the other members either, so it makes sense. She likes teasing him about hurting Freecell, but doesn’t take any personal offense like the other members.

      Gah, me too. Maybe she’ll do it again and it will be better? Less obscured by gritty ink? We’ll see. I’m hoping that happens as well :B

      I’m jumping at any excuse to see her go into Phi Brain mode. I want to see it too! Nonoha would probably be a better Giver than Solver though, since memorizing one solution often isn’t enough for puzzles that have multiple ways to be solved. All she’s missing is the understanding of puzzles though. I don’t know how good of a Solver or Giver she’d be though with this handicap. She might end up being good at puzzles with the Orpheus powers…but she couldn’t be as good as someone like Kaito, could she? She might end up around the same level as Airi, who was alright at puzzles and then became…a bit more than alright when she got her Ring.

      I actually forgot all about Jikukawa…Ooops.

      This battle might actually make Mizerka and Doubt side with Kaito. We don’t know a whole lot about Doubt, so maybe we’ll find out why he’s so darn loyal to Klondike. What did Klondike ever do for him? I also forgot about Mizerka’s fight with Ana over Eve (my brain is just Rook 24/7, so it seems), so that will be nice to see!

  4. Jenanime4eva says:

    Whoohoo! Nonoha with her hair down = <3

    Kaito is such a relationship sue :P. So many people are obsessed with him LOL XD.

    Don't worry, as someone who is studying Biology at Uni I also raised my eyebrows somewhat in amusement at the brain scan ;).

    • Overcooled says:

      I know! I hope she does it again soon. Maybe she can get Kaito to notice her since he’s ignoring everyone that loves him.

      Oh, awesome! Another Lifesci student! Good to see someone else who doesn’t like when shows try to BS their way through science. There’s no way the brain activity would be that simplistic, and that’s not the main region that would light up on a scan anyways!

  5. processr says:

    DAMN IT I was convinced Klondike was Whist. 🙁

    • BlackBriar says:

      That’s what I thought as well. He was so close to the members, giving every little detail of plans that I started thinking he was Klondike.

      • Rolca says:

        Wait! How did you guys explain Whist giving info on the phone? He was alone in these scenes, it would be pointless to masquerade that!

        • Overcooled says:

          I originally thought Klondike might be Whist too, until I realized Phi Brain couldn’t possibly be dumb enough to repeat the same trick from season 1 where Rook was actually pretending to be Pythagoras. Then there’s the whole fact that Whist had to be giving into to SOMEONE on the phone, which I actually never really thought about until it was mentioned.

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