Phi Brain S3 – 09

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“I…I made it myself.” “Well, that explains why it’s so terrible.”

Enjoy the drama? I hope so, because episode 9 was chock full of it. Enigma suddenly co-operating was certainly a surprise. It’s amazing how civil they are to each other as they sit around eating cheesecake and discussing Jin’s memories. Past murder attempts and burning rivalries? Not a problem at all! There is nothing shady about keeping your enemies closer than your friends. Not in Phi Brain, at least. Dining with the enemy has been a trend of late. Maybe these kids don’t actually go to school and are really homeless and starving to death.

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Jin’s amnesia has been a fun topic for season 3 because it’s pushed the series in a bit of a new direction. Everything always connects back to Jin somehow, which has given this season a sharp focus that past seasons haven’t really had. Some of the ways they uncover Jin’s past are incredibly lazy though. They went to all this trouble to make Jin have a complex and conflicting past that could be slowly unlocked through trigger incidents. Instead, they all sit together and flat out tell Jin what his past was like. It’s a really cheap and convenient way to make him remember, and it’s happened more than once now. Not only does it involve a lot of talking, it’s just not as interesting compared to if he saw an old puzzle and suddenly got a pang of nostalgia.

Fortunately, the flashbacks keep the dialogue from getting too buried in bullet-point lists of what Jin did. A lot of what we learn about Raetsel this week helps to explain why she’s so viciously possessive and why she despises puzzles. She grew to care about Jin dearly since she had no one else to look after her, so seeing puzzles hurt someone so important was traumatizing. As a result, she desperately clings to the only person who ever cared for her. It’s a little weird that they cast her affection as a crush when he’s more like a father figure, but I doubt it will cross any lines since romance has no place in Phi Brain. All in all, her clingy personality makes a lot of sense when you consider all the shit she’s been through. The teaser of what looked like Raetsel solving some difficult Fool’s Puzzles with Jin and getting banged up probably didn’t help. Math homework is already traumatic when you’re a kid – add on a 50 foot drop to a pit of spikes if you mess up and you’ve got a lovely recipe for one messed up kid.

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And they laughed when we said Math and Phys Ed could be combined into one subject

It’s nice to get some more background information about Raetsel, because so far we’ve mostly heard her version of what Jin is like. Now we know where all of these statements are coming from. She’s clearly extremely biased, admitting that Jin tried to get her to see the joy in puzzles but still declaring her hatred for them. I was also curious about why a girl would just leave everything behind and travel with a stranger..and why Jin would let her. The reasoning has air-tight logic in the world of Phi Brain: it’s because she’s a puzzle prodigy and the POG will find her. Yes, the POG are omniscient beings who know about puzzle geniuses in remote mountain villages. They probably just smell the sudoku on her. I love how even the serious episodes have serious lapses in logic and common sense. How is there not a spin-off series about a guy who goes from town to town picking up underage genius girls to protect them? It would be a harem life puzzle anime – the next step to make the puzzle genre make a splash in the otaku world. We’re branching out!

Speaking of genre-shifting, this episode didn’t feel much like a regular Phi Brain episode. It was missing that threshold level of nonsense that makes me think “ahhhh yes, that was another wonderful episode of Phi Brain.” It was still a good episode, mind you, just not along the vein of what I’m usually expecting when I sit down for my weekly puzzle time. There was still some derp to be had in Enigma’s creepy laugh and Ana breaking the tension by psychically communicating with cats, but moments like those were rare. Dare I say it, Phi Brain actually successfully used drama without going too over the top! Wow! Compare this to the Melancholy episode where she pouts on a rock in the middle of a misty lake for half the day and drags on the drama for the entire episode. Raetsel was built up then horribly let down…but she got over it quickly, turning her sadness into rage and using it as fuel. It was a nice, quick turn of events (although once again…lazy storytelling because Raetsel conveniently overhears exactly what she shouldn’t). Phi Brain isn’t a masterpiece, but the drama here felt more like “regular crying in the rain animu drama” than “i am sad because puzzles killed my parents” Phi Brain drama.

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They’re in a field of wheat. Now I imagine they kinda just steal a bunch of shit from farmers every now and then to survive.

With this interesting turn, I wonder what Jin will remember next. Surely he’s going to recall some important memories when he goes back to that place only him and Raetsel know about. Wherever that is. Unfortunately, it seems like he won’t get the bulk of his memories back without addressing the long-forgotten God’s Scroll. To quote Cubic, “I never thought it would come up again at this point.” It was supposedly lost forever when Kaito and Rook had their puzzle battle, but now it’s suddenly making a comeback. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Isn’t anyone worried that digging into this could destroy the world? All for the sake of one person? Their dedication to getting his memories back no matter what is actually a little disturbing if you think about it. You’ve got Raetsel, Kaito, Rook, Baron and Enigma hovering over him and begging him to remember like he’s a dying grandfather trying t remember where he hid his inheritance money. It’s very…creepy.

I still don’t think bringing up the God’s Scroll again is a good move because it seems so irrelevant now. Bringing it back seems a little forceful – kind of like they ran out of magical elements now that the Orpheus Rings are gone and now they’re resorting to rehashing old things. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, the world isn’t destroyed and no one else loses their memories.

Bonus Screenshots:Show ▼

Preview: Not much on Jin, surprisingly. Instead, Gammon channels his inner Kuroko and plays basketball. Finally, in a twist that makes me want to laug and cry simultaneously, we get PUZZLES ON MOTORCYCLES. I will no longer be able to make this joke as it is a thing that is really going to happen. I do not know how I will ever be able to convey the magnificence of this episode in words. I quit, guys. Aniblogging is over forever. For everyone.

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The Generation of Miracles Puzzles

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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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7 Responses to “Phi Brain S3 – 09”

  1. Peache says:

    Well…I feel sad for raetsel. She loves Jin and he…says that ”she can leave the puzzles if she want”. That’s cruel. I mean that puzzles are like a love link. Look at rook and kaito or kaito and Jin. I’m done with Jin. I hate him ¬¬

    • BlackBriar says:

      So much back and forth and confusing facts about him that even he is unable to confirm. It all feels like a serious whiplash.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s pretty depressing that he abandoned her just because she sucks at puzzles. That’s reallllly mean. Then again, they might be able to explain most of that away with his Orpheus Ring.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I liked the new ED. It’s defenitely better than the first. Enemies sitting at a table while being civil is a rare thing to see. That little semi-psychotic episode with Enigma laughing after his talk with Raetsel has me asking questions. Even after everything he’s told, he’s still holding something back.

    Whoa, I really feel for Raetsel here. Whether it’s Enigma or the Jin she admires so much, she keeps getting royally screwed over. Despite what she heard, destroying that broach was obviously not going to happen. But she should watch herself. Directly crossing Enigma and being smug by rubbing it in his face is not a healthy choice.

    Honestly, there’s just no way to read Jin. If anything, he’s the biggest puzzle of the show. When you think you know something, it blows up in your face. At least we know he did get exposure from an Orpheus Armlet. Hope for Kaito but disappointment for Raetsel, especially telling her that she’s free to abandon puzzles? That’s some bias right there.

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh gosh, that new ED is way better than the original. I hope they keep it, but it looked like a special one just for this episode.

      Things are just not going well for her. Every time she makes progress with Jin’s memories, she finds out something about how he preferred Kaito or secretly liked puzzles. As you say, Enigma isn’t going to let her have the upper hand forever. She’s going to get hurt.

      Yeah, it’s really hard to take anything the other characters say about his past at face value. They all have their own biases so they say what they thought of Jin, not what Jin was actually thinking. He may have some good reasons behind his actions…or he may have genuinely been consumed by the Orpheus Ring. It’s tough.

  3. Kyokai says:

    Jin this, Jin that. He sure is hogging all the attention this season! Though, I’m fine with it because how can you dislike Takehito Koyasu, really? So, what if he has shoutacon or lolicon tendencies? For one, Raetsel is definitely jijicon, if there’s a trope for that.

    On another note, it was fun seeing Gammon in the basketball court because he’s recently in Kuroko, making life hell for Seirin with his detestable character of Hanamiya.

    • Overcooled says:

      No one can dislike Takehito. No one!!! I think there’s such a thing as an= jiji/ossan complex…if so, Raetsel has it for sure. I like to imagine Jin as just not liking anyone, but being such a loser that he can only befriend kids. =w=

      Oh gosh, I can’t wait for him to play basketball in this episode. Yeah, I’m a bit behind in Kuroko but I’ve seen his character introduced and he’s pretty amazing, in a terrible jerk kind of way.

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