Phi Brain S3 – 06

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There is no double chin. There is an infinite vastness of perpetual chins.

Sometimes you need a break from the male-dominated world of puzzles.  What better way to unwind from puzzle assassins than a day at the beach with the ladies? Being completely useless at anything puzzle-related, they pass the time by flaunting their bodies in front of the camera in swimsuits. Ahh…Phi Brain. Stay classy.

There has never been a villain in Phi Brain quite like Raetsel. She’s a good person walking down a dark road, coerced into evil by a dark puppeteer who knows how to manipulate her love for Jin. She’s the classic “misunderstood” villain, but she differs from Rook and Freecell. Unlike the white-haired duo, Raetsel can have a normal conversation without slipping into bouts of insane threats and homicidal behaviour. The fact that she’s sane makes it easier to sympathize with her since it kiiiiind of makes sense why she’s so keen on annihilating puzzles and puzzlers. She’s also not as acutely dangerous because she would rather frolic with Jin than plot the demise of Kaito. All in all, she’s actually a pretty nice girl caught in unfortunate circumstances thanks to her contract with Enigma.

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The pool episode really takes advantage of Raetsel’s ability to actually blend in with both sides. The concept of Ana being buddy-buddy with Raetsel is just too cute, especially since he’s the only guy in the group invited to the “girl’s day out.” I was almost convinced she would cave in and become more friendly. She’s gotten utterly pissed at these puzzle assassins almost every week, and this time they explicitly tried to kill her. Furthermore, Enigma’s apology for trying to kill her is “lol, you deserved it, bitch.” Raetsel’s weak point is Jin, so just mention his name and all is forgiven. The way Enigma guilts her into staying with him with those crocodile tears exemplifies what a rotten person he is. Jikukawa straight up says that Raetsel is probably being controlled, and it’s becoming more and more clear that Enigma’s manipulating skills are top notch. As much as Raetsel may think she’s getting a big benefit from this, I’m almost certain she’ll get screwed over in the end. The appearance of season 2′s rotten loli, Melancholy (oh my god, it rhymes. Did they name her that on purpose?), makes things even more ominous. We’re making lots of plot progress each week, aren’t we?

I’m amazed they actually put some plot into the fanservice episode. Then again, an episode without puzzles would be blasphemy. You’d think this would be Elena’s big chance to solve a puzzle but God forbid we have a woman solve something! Instead, I like to imagine all the creators of Phi Brain (men, of course) got into a room and brainstormed ideas of things they think girls do for fun. Shopping??? Clothes?? Beach?? Talk about boys??? Unable to decide, they had them do all of these things in an incredibly cliche day of girly nonsense. Of course, part of the girls-only episode contains lots of skin…without any of the guys in the show there to ogle them. Let’s be serious, they’d be too busy with puzzles to notice anyways. In fact, while the girls try and parade in swimsuits, the men are out solving puzzles. Such is life.

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I love how there is literally no one else in the pool

While the fanservice stuff was pretty lame (the girls didn’t even get any budget spent on…you know..movement) it was nice to see Ana try and become cat friends with Raetsel, only to have it backfire. It seems like all the really depressing stuff always happens to Ana. As soon as he almost befriends her, she becomes unapproachable again. Oh Ana…you try so hard to convey your prophetic visions to everyone but no one ever listens.

I almost forgot about Gammon’s puzzle. I like the attention to Jin-Raetsel-Kaito storyline, but that has eaten up a lot of screentime. This means there is only a sliver of time left for a puzzle, which by default has to be a simple one or else they’d run out of time. The designs are still great and the bounty addition really spices things up since it gives them different reasons to target different people, but the reasoning behind each puzzle becomes really simple. I have a thing for when the main character explains the reasoning behind their brilliant solution. This puzzle was so trial and error that it wasn’t really necessary. It’s not a bad puzzle, but the villain of the week format feels more like an add on to desperately remind us that this show is about puzzles. Yes, we know it’s about puzzles, no need to throw in a random villain with a terrible name.

I’ll give them this…each villain looks more deranged and terrifying than the last. Colonel Demolitionman is another name that will go down in Phi Brain history…

Bonus Screenshots: Show ▼

Preview: A puzzle with Freecell! I wonder how that will go down considering how he’s leery around puzzles now.

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Part of me hopes he retained a smidgen of yan to even out the dere.

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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4 Responses to “Phi Brain S3 – 06”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Hey, look! A fanservice episode that has some meaning. Elena chose an odd method to get information out of Raetsel. I was expecting a full-on interrogation. Ana would be the ideal agent to infiltrate anything that’s “girls only” and bring back some dirt. That would definitely benefit the brainstorming. *sigh* Such talent going to waste. Hehehe…

    As a villain, Raetsel is a lot more down to earth than Rook and Freecell. Plus, what she’s after could actually be obtained depending on how things will go. She also shows she doesn’t socialize around people much unless it’s Jin or Enigma which could explain her personality and why she has a death grip on the hopes Jin remembers everything and sides with her. The montage of wearing different clothes was nice to watch.

    Enigma has made it clear he’s no one to cross and it’s even more serious given that he micromanages by assuming what Raetsel would think and make decisions from there. I really believe he’d let her die if Gammon didn’t complete the puzzle for so much as beginning to accept Kaito’s point of view. And it seems Melancholy is back to her old self. I assumed she’d have some kind of change in her personality after what Freecell did to her last season but apparently it wasn’t enough to halt a complete recovery.

    • belatkuro says:

      Enigma believed in Gammon to finish that puzzle ;)

    • Overcooled says:

      Compare Raetsel’s goal of wanting to recover Jin’s memories and do what he asked of her to Rook wanting to destroy the world with the all-powerful Puzzle of God. :/ Yeah, she’s a lot easier to be around.

      I don’t think Enigma would care if she died either. He’s totally using her. I wonder how Melancholy will play a role in all of this deception. How the heck does she know Enigma?

  2. Noc says:

    It appears that Raetsel was just a red herring all along- so I wonder, could Enigma be the real psychopath obsessed with Jin? The Freecell to Jin’s Kaito, whereas Baron takes the role of Rook? (I guess that makes Raestel Nonoha or something lol)I gotta say, seeing him cry was creepy as all hell. And Melancholy! Her appearance genuinely surprised me. I assumed she’d be appearing as a changed good gal, but it’s nice to see villains sticking to their guns after a beat-down. I hope this means we’ll be seeing Hoist again as well, his storyline felt somewhat unresolved.

    And hurray, Freecell~ I’ve been waiting for him to get more screentime! So excited for next ep! I do wonder how he’ll fair now that he’s lost his bracelet and seems to be avoiding puzzles…

    Which reminds me for whatever reason!! I’m going to take a wild guess and say the thing Jin claims Raetsel to be “lacking” is…the ability to hear the puzzle’s voices? Or a strong impression of puzzles in general? I don’t know- it seems like she’s just imitating Jin when it comes to puzzles, when she should just be looking at them with her own eyes. Even Nonoha can do that. I was so happy to see her making him smile last episode, ohoho ^^

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